October 24

John 8:31-33

“Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’” vss. 31-32

Jesus was a Jew, his disciples were Jews, and nearly all the people with whom he had contact were Jews–initially, many of those persons were interested in what he had to say. Some  believed in him–but it seems to have been a kind of dalliance, and not a lasting commitment. (It was similar to the kind of belief that many of us possessed on our Confirmation Day.) When Jesus talked about the life of discipleship those believing Jews were offended, and what really rankled them was his promise to make them free. He was implying that they were in bondage–and they heartily disagreed. Many of us have that same issue. We’ve been told that we are free by virtue of our citizenship–we can do what we want when we want–we’re freeborn Americans, and God help anyone who would try to take that freedom away! And Jesus, through John, tells us the truth. We’re not as free as we think we are–in fact, he says, we’re nothing but slaves. What we call freedom is illusory. We really worship amendments, politicians, wealth, pleasure, and individualism above all else, and have made nationalism a religion. Jesus says that true freedom is continuing in his word and serving him as Lord.

Thought for the Day: How would I describe my slavery? When am I most free?

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