Father, please help us tune in to Your wavelength, speak to us through Your through Your word and Your still small voice, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 8: 31- 59, Feast of tabernacle’s, Part 7.
VV 31-32, 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The Greek word for hold on tonis “meno” which means abide, remain, or endure. If you abide in Jesus, the truth about Him will set you free from slavery to sin.
VV 33, They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
The Jews claimed to be free was a lie. Their ancestors were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt for 400 years and Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon for 70 years. They were slaves to the Romans and under Romans’ occupation.
VV 34- 40, 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father”. 39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.
Slavery to sin was worse than slavery to the Romans. Slaves could be disowned by the family but sons had a permanent place in the family. The Jews were Abraham‘s physical descendants but not His spiritual descendants. Spiritual descendants of Abraham believe in Jesus because Abrahan believed in Jesus.
V 41, You are doing the works of your own father.”“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
The Jews’ father was satan, not God. If God was their father, they would love Jesus because He was from God, speaking of His pre-existence and incarnation. They could not understand what Jesus said. 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit”.
VV 44-47, 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
The Jews’ father was satan, a murderer, a liar, and the father of lies. Jesus spoke the truth and was without sin, John 14:6 a, “I am the way and the truth and the life“. They did not believe Him because their father was satan.
VV 48-51, 48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” 49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
Calling Jesus a Samaritan and a demon-possessed was very disrespectful, humiliating, and insulting. God will judge them for not honoring Jesus, the Son of God. Whoever obeys Jesus will have eternal life.
VV 52-53, 52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
The Jews asked Jesus, whether He greater than their ancestor Abraham expecting His answer to be no. To the Jews, no one could be greater than Abraham.
VV 54- 59, 54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
Jesus’ answer to the Jews’ question on whether He was greater than Abraham was, “before Abraham was born, I AM”. I AM is the divine, covenantal name of God, YHWH.’’ Realizing that Jesus was claiming to be God, they picked up stones to stone Jesus for blasphemy.
Heavenly Father, we claim the promise that the truth about Jesus Christ, Your Son, will set us free from slavery to sin. We pray for grace, mercy, and forgiveness of sin, in Jesus’ name, Amen.