Wednesday after Cantate
Scripture: St. John 8:30-45 (NKJV)
8:30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.”
Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.”
In today’s text Jesus lays out the two paths that are possible in this life: the path of Truth, and the path of lies. The whole argument as to which path you are on boils down to the simple test of who do you believe Jesus is: Is He the Christ or is He not? It is just that simple, the rest of the debate is just varying shades and angles of justifying one or the other of those two answers.
The one who accepts Jesus at His word is given true freedom, the freedom of a true son and heir to the Kingdom. The one who refuses to accept Jesus as who He says He is remains a slave, enslaved to sin, death, and the devil. The slaves can rationalize about being free, but that does not change the truth of the matter that they are not. The Jews in our text demonstrate this with their claim of freedom due to being “Abraham’s descendants,” while exhibiting an amazing disregard for the reality of Roman rule in their lives. Verses 30 and 31 describe the Jews as believing in Jesus, but verse 37 makes it clear that lies cloud their understanding. They lacked faith in Jesus as the Word, the promised Redeemer. Thus they remained enslaved to the Law, sin, death, and the devil.
We pray: Heavenly Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit working Your will in us, may we see the path of grace so mercifully laid through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.