So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36)
The context of this passage is where a woman has been caught in adultery and is brought before Jesus. It's meant to be a trap. The Pharisees told Jesus what the requirements of the law were and then asked him what he was going to do or say. Jesus does not fall for the trap as he lives by a higher law, the law of love.
Jesus turns everything on its head. In chapter 8 verse 12 he declares "I am the light of the world" and in doing so he turns on the light and everything becomes clear. Light illuminates and enables the reality to be clearly seen. What Jesus does is point people to the truth.
The truth, or reality, is not about observance of the law (or, by the way, the laws we make up for ourselves to keep). The truth is about relationship.
Throughout the life of Jesus, we see that he has one clear mission and that is to reveal the Father, so we may know that we are loved in the same way as Jesus himself is loved. This is the point of the gospel, as Philip so clearly stated in John 14:8 "show us the Father and that will be enough for us".
The Pharisees had made up a whole lot of rules and regulations which kept people away from God. They thought they were protecting the people from an angry God but it had led to a life of slavery, control and manipulation.
Jesus puts everything right. He tells us we are loved by the Father, that we are accepted by the Father; he affirms us and shows us the way to the Father.
And importantly, he shows us by his example that we are all sons of God through faith. As sons we are treated differently to slaves. A slave has no permanent place in the family home, they are always on duty, they can be fired at a moment's notice. They have no security or ultimate sense of well being.
A son, however, belongs. We have a permanent place in the Father's family, we have a home in his house. We belong.
Our place in the family home is not dependent on our behaviour, position or title. It's not because we've tried hard to do the right thing. Our place in the Father's house is guaranteed simply because he is our Father and we are his sons and daughters.
"I will be a Father to YOU, and YOU shall be my sons and daughters" (2 Corinthians 6:18)
© COPYRIGHT 2021:
Mark Gyde - A Father to YOU