Jesus establishes a great principle. If you keep God’s Word, then you are his disciples. How seldom is the connection between obedience to what God says and believing in God understood! We want to erect a mighty chasm between faith and obedience when here it is clear they are two sides of the same coin. If you are Jesus’ disciples, you will seek to do what Jesus says—all of it, even the uncomfortable sayings. The result of such obedience is actually freedom: for you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Here then is the principle: following Jesus means doing what Jesus says; doing what Jesus says means you will know more and more of the truth; and the truth will set you free. Could it be that your sense of not being free has nothing to do with the opportunities or otherwise in front of you, and everything to do with the level of obedience you are practicing? Remember: the truth will set you free!
They do not like this teaching for it suggests that they are lacking something. They are sons of Abraham and have never been enslaved, so how can they need setting free? But the freedom of which Jesus speaks is spiritual. Anyone who sins is a slave to sin. Another great principle this: sinning is not breaking rules and living in freedom; sinning is being enslaved to a downward spiral of habitual destruction. To sin means to be a slave! For anyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. But, says Jesus, if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed! How precious is this truth! Christ can set us free from our sin.
And then, once more, they appeal to Abraham as their father. They are seeking to kill Jesus, because, Jesus says, his word is not being accepted by them. But in Jesus’ words he is speaking of what he has seen with his Father (that is the Father God), whereas they do what they heard from their father (meaning, Jesus will clarify, the devil). This, of course, upset them: Abraham, they insist, is their father. But, Jesus argues, if that was the case, they would be doing what Abraham did. And Abraham would not be seeking to kill him. No, really their father is not Abraham but the devil. They are believing lies, and the devil is the father of lies.
Untruth, lies, deception, ideology that makes no sense and gives credence to license, all of this ultimately comes from one source: a satanic deception. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers. They are believing the lies. But “whoever is of God hears the words of God.” Praise God that we have his Word, that it is truth, and that truth sets us free.
Would you today make a fresh commitment to heed the truth of the Bible, to read the truth in the Bible, and to be transformed by that truth in your daily life.
To receive God Centered Bible devotionals directly in your inbox, sign up here.