Lesson 50


The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

8:33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to anyone. How do you say, 'You will be made free?'"

8:34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin. 8:35 A bondservant doesn't live in the house forever. A son remains forever. 8:36 If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 8:37 I know that you are Abraham's seed, yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. 8:38 I say the things which I have seen with my Father; and you also do the things which you have seen with your father."

8:39 They answered him, "Our father is Abraham."

Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. 8:40 But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham didn't do this. 8:41 You do the works of your father."


 Today's Lesson

Jesus continues His debate with His detractors. He had told them that if they would be His disciples, they would know the truth and the truth would set them free. Their response to His remark was that they were the descendants of Abraham. They had not been in bondage to anyone. They considered themselves to be free men, enslaved by no man.

 

But, Jesus had not been talking about being enslaved by men. He was telling them that they were enslaved to sin. Their refusal to acknowledge the Son of God was a symptom of their slavery. Jesus had told them that if they did not follow Him that they would die in their sins.

 

"Everyone who commits sin is a bondservant to sin." Sin cripples the human soul. It forces man to serve it. Man invites sin into his life because he is tempted by the delight of it. But, within a short time, the sin that was a delight becomes a taskmaster. And soon, it takes complete dominance of its host.

 

Jesus likens the people of Jerusalem to bondservants in God's house. A bondservant does not own the house or stay with it forever. The bondservant is there for a season and then leaves. But, the house and land are given to the son of the house for an inheritance. And, this is true of God's house as well. They had possession of the house of God (the Temple), but they did not belong there.

 

By opposing the rightful Son, they were showing that their hearts did not belong to the Father. Moreover, they were showing that they were not truly Abraham's descendants. If they were Abraham's children, they would do the works of Abraham. Abraham heard the words of God and left everything to follow Him. Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. These men were hearing the words of God and were rejecting that Word.

 

By reacting in the way that they were, they were judging themselves. They were proving that they were not children of God and not children of Abraham. They were enslaved to sin. They could not be free because freedom can only be found in obedience to God. Jesus was free and He gives the blessed freedom of the children of God to all that follow Him.

 

It is a great paradox of God's purpose. In order to be free, we must be willing to submit. Only through submission to God and each other can we be free. Any freedom found outside of Christ is an illusion. When we submit to the Father and the Son, God Himself comes to dwell with us. We have the opportunity to live the lives that we were created to live.

 

Are you willing to submit everything that you do to God's purpose and will? Do you truly want to be free?

 

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