Wednesday after Cantate
Scripture: St. John 8:30-45 (NKJV)
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.”
There were some who listened to Jesus’ words and came to believe in Him as their Savior Who would free them from sin and death. In verse 31-32, these believers are being encouraged to “abide” in Jesus’ words. “Once saved, always saved” is not true. There is a danger that a believer would let go of Jesus’ words and stop believing. The simple conditional statement is one of promise. For those who abide in Jesus’ words—and believers do—they receive three promises from Jesus. You are truly Jesus’ disciples. You shall know the truth. And the truth will make you free. What a comfort to know that through abiding in Jesus’ word-creating faith, we are saved.
In verses 31ff, for the others who rejected Him, Jesus speaks harsh words by using two contrary-to-fact conditional clauses. They claim, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus says, “If you were Abraham’s children…,” directly telling them that they are not or they would behave differently. They claim, “we have one Father—God.” Jesus denies their claim. “If God were your Father (and He isn’t), you would love me (and you don’t).”
For the believers, Jesus assures them that they are saved not by anything which they do (by grace alone), but through abiding in God’s Word (through faith alone), which makes disciples (in Christ alone). For these who openly reject Him and His teaching, Jesus denies their claim by their lack of good works, and the presence of evil works.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we have been made Your disciples through baptizing and teaching, continue to free us from false teaching and evil practices by Your Word-freeing truth. Amen.