Free Indeed! (02-09-22)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 37:1-3
Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Bible Reading: John 8:31-36
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,
"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
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?"
Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
At the start of his ministry Jesus said he came to proclaim liberty to the captives and to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18).
I wonder how you would respond if Jesus said to you that the truth will set you free. Maybe something similar the Jews whom Jesus was talking to in our reading, ‘I’m a British citizen, how can you say that I shall be set free?’ Finding freedom may not be very high on our ‘jobs-to-do list’.
Freedom though can take my forms: freedom from debt, freedom from fear, freedom from pain, freedom from abuse, freedom from addictions, freedom from oppression, freedom to be yourself.
Are there people you know who need to find freedom? I wonder of there is anything you can do to help them find freedom.
In these verses Jesus was actually speaking to those who already believed in him. Are there things today from which you need to find freedom? Jesus came to set you free. He said, ‘If the son sets you free you will be free indeed. Can you offer those areas to Jesus now, and ask him to lead you to freedom?
The freedom that Jesus was talking about here was actually the freedom from sin. When we sin we become a slave to that sin, in the sense that the sin becomes a habit. By his death and resurrection Jesus has set us free from the penalty of sin, but he has also set us free from slavery to sin. When we put our faith in Jesus we are set free to choose to do the right thing. We are no longer slaves to sin, but sons and daughters of the living God.
Father God, thank you that Jesus died to set me free.
Show me where I am still a slave to sin
and lead me by your Spirit to become free indeed.
Lord, the light of you love is shining.