Saturday 12 April 2014

Bible Book:

“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (vv. 31-32)

John 8:31-42 Saturday 12 April 2014


We are told that some of the Jews listening to Jesus in thetemple courtyards believed in him (verse 31) but almost immediatelyJesus starts to expose the shallowness of that belief and realisesthat they are actually still not far from wanting to kill him(verse 40).

As earlier, those listening to Jesus continue to get confusedabout what he is saying. Jesus' suggestion that "the truth willmake you free" is taken literally to relate to the common practiceof slavery. Even though the Jews were under Roman occupation, theystill regarded themselves as free men and woman, although thoseresponding to Jesus appear to have forgotten the period of exilewhen many Jews were taken in to captivity. However the point isthat Abraham had two sons, Isaac being free (Genesis 21) and Ishmael being the son of aslave (Genesis 16); the Jews were descended from thefree son and cherished their Abrahamic lineage.

Jesus quickly uses the reference to Abraham to expose theirmisunderstanding further. If they were truly descended from Abrahamthey would follow his way of doing things. Abraham welcomed thethree strangers in to his camp (Genesis 18:1-8) but the Jews listening to Jesuswere instead threatening to kill him. They then take their argumenta step further, taking their parenthood back further to God theFather (verse 41). Here again Jesus is able to contrast theiractions with that of their loving parent; if they truly believed inhim as they claimed then they would show that through theirlove.

Jesus is also able to restate his core message which notsurprisingly those listening to him are finding it difficult tograsp - "I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on myown, but he sent me" (v. 42). This language of "coming from God",which is also used in reference to the Spirit (John15:26) underlines Jesus' divine origin and provides a basis forlater Trinitarian theology.

To Ponder

  • Read or sing When I survey the wondrous cross (Singingthe Faith 287) and then consider how this shows the love ofGod the Father (verse 42).
  • Consider the things that bind you and get in the way of yourrelationship with God. Pray that you may be set free to be adisciple of Jesus.
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