31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”
Living God’s Word:
Sin has a way of enslaving us, controlling us, dominating us, and dictating our actions. It manifests itself in self-centeredness, rebelliousness, possessiveness, dysfunctional love, and addictive behaviors. Jesus can free us from this slavery that keeps us from becoming the person God created us to be. Even if sin is restraining, mastering, or enslaving us, Jesus can break its power over our life. Jesus himself is the truth that sets us free (8:36). He is the source of truth, the perfect standard of what is right. He frees us from the consequences of sin, from self-deception, and from deception by Satan. He shows us clearly the way to eternal life with God. Thus Jesus does not give us freedom to do what we want, but freedom to follow God. As we seek to serve God, Jesus’ perfect truth frees us to be all that God meant us to be.
Words to Live By: Jews with a weak faith in Jesus balk when He says that true freedom comes through Him and His teaching. Humans are self-centered from birth and in bondage to sin, unable to please God (Rm 8:8). Through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, He provides liberation from sin, death, and the devil to all who believe and are baptized into His name.