24 March 2010

John 8:31-42

"If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (v.31)


In this passage, Jesus outs the so-called believers of God. When Jesus confronts them, they defend themselves by saying, "We are descendants of Abraham". But they misunderstood what Jesus was trying to say. He was trying to tell them that he had come to freeall people from sin - all those who had become "slaves to sin". And it would be through Jesus' teachings that they would know the truth and thus be set free.

In verse 31 "believed" means to have 'made a formal profession of faith'. But their words show that these people were not true believers. "The truth" in verse 32 is not philosophical truth, but the truth that leads to salvation and thus freedom from sin. The response "[we] have never been slaves" in verse 33 was in defiance of the Jewish people's Roman overlords and oppressors. When Jesus reminds the people that they are "a slave to sin" he is emphasising the fact that a sinner cannot break free by their own strength, and that's why they need him. And that's why we need Jesus, now, as 2,000 years ago.

This passage teaches us that we cannot undertake this Christian journey on our own. We need Jesus and that's what he came to show us.

To Ponder

To what extent are people still "slaves to sin"?

Try writing down a brief profession of your faith. What would you include? And what might you omit?

If you are a Christian, is it time for you to renew a formal commitment to Christ?

Bible notes author

Sanya Strachan

Sanya Strachan is an administrator for the Connexional Team, a youth worker and a local preacher. She was born into the Methodist Church and her church family continue to inspire her as a local preacher, guide her as a young person, pray for her as a West Ham Utd Fan and support her as a Tim Hughes groupie.