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  • Rev. Dr. Matthew Webster

If the Son...


Daily 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.”

John 8 shows how Jesus satisfied the if condition of my life, with all covenantal conditions met, curses are gone and blessings remain.

Some Jews believed and so became children of God which shows salvation is not about ethnicity (John 8:31). What you might not know is John’s Gospel is unique from the other three. It is written completely different and the audience John is writing to is the church. Matthew writes to the Jew, Mark to the Romans, and Luke to the Greeks. That is why John will make statements such as: “whoever believes is a child of God” because his audience is the church.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

You might have a Pontius Pilate moment (John 18:38) "What is truth?" Pilate asked.

Unfortunately at this time, it still exists today the worldview that truth is subjective. Pilate’s statement was based on a belief that truth is subjective.

Subjective: characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind.

Pilate believed truth is whatever he perceives it to be.

Vs.

Objective:

independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers: having reality independent of the mind.

Jesus Christ claimed to be objective truth, "I am the way

and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Pilate’s question “what is truth?” was prompted by Jesus’

words: “For this reason I was born and have come into

the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs

to the truth listens to My voice” (John 18:37).

“Testify to the truth” is a statement that truth is objective

and can be known (John 18:37) which in turn prompted Pilate’s

worldview to come forth about truth being subjective,

“what is truth”?

32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” You will know that Jesus is Messiah and this will set you free. Whether or not a person believes Jesus is the Truth doesn’t change the reality that He is in the truth.

Now verse 33 is case in point the religious Jews who did not believe in the truth and where not set 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?”

Their argument is that they are not in physical slavery so what is it that they need to be set free from (John 8:33). This is very problematic on many levels. They are using their perception of their reality as the basis for their truth, we are not in bondage and do not need to be set free. Remember their history they had come out of slavery, they already were physically set free so they forget that spiritual speaking they are in a worse bondage.

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Your master is sin. It rules over your life because you have not been purchased from this slave master to a life of spiritual freedom, because you do not believe in the Truth and therefore have no received sonship John 8:34-36).

35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So, until you receive the ransom price for your redemption, or the grace through faith, you do not belong to God’s family because you have rejected the Son.

36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I love this statement so much. It is subtle- if the Old Testament Law was full of conditional statements but there is one only one condition for your spiritual freedom. All of the other if’s of the Old Testament Law were fulfilled on your behalf and only one if remains. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.

The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” This is also evident in what Paul wrote to the Romans: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God Romans 10:17. John identifies Jesus as the Word of God (John 1) the Word of God is speaking to the Jews but why is there no faith to be found? They do not hear. Akouō: to understand, perceive the sense of what is said. They cannot even perceive or comprehend that the Messiah is before them offering them what they need, spiritual freedom from the slavemasters of sin and death.

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