“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” said Jesus. The Jews replied, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘you will be made free?'” (Jn. 8:33, emphasis added).
The Jews had been slaves in Egypt, overtaken and held captive in Babylon, repeatedly subject to the tyranny of the Assyrians, oppressed by Herod the Great, and were currently in bondage to the powerful Roman government. Were the Jews lying, posturing for superiority, or had they simply forgotten history? Jesus replied, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whosoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”
“I speak eternal truth,” Jesus said. “When you sin you are not free. You’ve become a slave in bondage to your sin” (Jn. 8:34, The Passion Translation).”
Jesus continued, “And the slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (Jn. 8:34-36). The Jews were Abraham’s descendants all right, but they failed to recognize the Truth who stood before them. As a result, they were subject to a lie and remained in bondage. Ironically, bondage was the condition which kept them from the freedom Jesus came to bring. The Truth confronted the Jews, but they were unable to receive it because they remained in deception.
Jesus said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” In other words, anyone who agrees (accepts or continues) with sin, is therefore subject to sin. The word “sin” is the word hamartia. It means to violate God’s law, offense, or to be wrong.
Truth is liberating
Jesus did not come to condemn the Jews (nor does He condemn us now). To the contrary, Jesus came to set the captives free. Free of what? Anything and everything that opposes who or what the Word of God says we are.
Jesus came to bring good news to the humble and afflicted; to bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives (see Is. 61:1, AMP).
To accept anything less than the truth is to be subject to bondage; to exchange the truth for a lie. Moreover, it can happen to anyone at any time. The lesson recorded in John 8 was not only for the first-century Jews—it’s for us today. Remember, our enemy roams about like a roaring lion looking for those he can devour.
As you seek (and remain in) the truth about Jesus, you live in the freedom of who you are in Christ. It’s guaranteed access to the truth Jesus came to bring and that which He will reveal. To continue in God’s Word means to give place to, be in a relationship with or have an expectancy for—it is a constant state of being present and abiding in Him (see Jn. 8:31). Then you will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.
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