Lesson 49

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

8:25 They said therefore to him, "Who are you?"

Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 8:26 I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you. However he who sent me is true; and the things which I heard from him, these I say to the world." 8:27 They didn't perceive that he spoke to them about the Father. 8:28 Jesus therefore said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then will you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things. 8:29 He who sent me is with me. The Father hasn't left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him." 8:30 As he spoke these things, many believed in him. 8:31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, "If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

 Today's Lesson

Jesus continued to debate His detractors from among the Pharisees. Jesus has been telling them that He is sent from the Father. To reject His message is to reject the Father. The idea that a man might claim to be the Son of God was something that these religious men could not even consider. Their concept of following God was completely absorbed in attempting to follow the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses had always been to prepare the nation for the coming of the Son. However, when the Son arrived, they could not recognize Him.


Jesus told them, "...I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me..." There are many sayings in this Gospel that are similar in meaning to this one. What did Jesus mean when He says that He does nothing of His own? What are we to learn from the relationship of the Father and the Son?


That Jesus did only what the Father taught Him and that He did not act on His own is an indication of the unity of God. The Father and Son are united in all aspects of their person. The purpose of Jesus Christ was to do the will of the Father. The will of the Father was to engage the world of men through the person of His Son. The unity of their purpose and will was a reflection of the inner reality of their relationship.


God's desire is that His relationship to all His people be reflected by this same unity. The relationship of all the children of God is to be modeled by this relationship. We are to do nothing of our own. We are to do only what the Father has taught us to do. We are to speak what the Father gives us to say and do what the Father gives us to do. This may sound like our actions would be severely limited by such an arrangement, but such is not the case. God does not seek to limit our behavior. God seeks to free us for service.


The flesh always seeks to restrain us. We are enslaved by sin. People cannot be free as long as sin rules in their lives. But, as soon as Jesus Christ liberates us from the slavery of sin, we become free to serve God is ways that we never dreamed possible. Jesus was the most completely free man who ever walked the face of the earth. He was free to be what man was created to be.


This is what Jesus meant when He said, "If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." True freedom comes in following the purpose and will of God for our lives. We will never be truly free until our every action is in obedience to the Spirit of God that lives within us. This was the purpose for which man was created. It is the only means by which man fulfills his destiny.


But, we have been so long in slavery that we do not know what it is to be free. To be sure, our slavery has grown familiar with us. Just as there are some prisoners who long to return to the security and regimen of jail, there are many people who are terrified by true freedom.


Do we have the courage to live as free men? Do we have the courage to live as disciples of Christ?


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