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 8:31-36 NIV
What is Freedom?
The concept of “freedom” affects different people in different ways. I believe the reason for the varied instances freedom impacts us is because we each define freedom in ways that are meaningful to us. For some, “freedom” is the ability to leave a corporate job in favor of entrepreneurial pursuits. For others, freedom means being able to stay at home and raise their children. For still others, freedom can mean having an hour of downtime to use for taking a nap!
So, what does freedom mean to you? Is something in your life making you say, “If only . . .” If you can think of a response to finish that sentence, more than likely your response represents an area in which you desire freedom – whether it’s freedom to do, freedom to stop doing; freedom to be or freedom not to be. Now, reflect on your response and answer this question: What says “freedom” to you? Do you desire financial freedom? Or maybe you need freedom from worry and fear? Do you need freedom from a habit – or a sin – that keeps bringing you down?
The Jewish leaders in Jesus’ day had a warped view of freedom. By virtue of their connection to Abraham, these unbelieving critics claimed they had known freedom since birth and had never been enslaved. Sadly, the truth was not only had they known physical slavery, they were also slaves to sin. Their hatred and rejection of Jesus caused them to reject the truth concerning the reality of Him being God’s Son and the promised Messiah. This rejection kept them enslaved to sin and enslaved to error – the antithesis of freedom.
Regardless of your area of need, the good news is that Jesus is the purveyor of true freedom! We don’t have to be slaves to fear, doubt and unbelief. We don’t have to mimic the behavior of the Pharisees and Sadducees and reject the Son of God. We can believe the gospel and receive the Lord’s life-giving salvation – and thus experience the ultimate freedom. Thanks be to God, when we are born again, we are born free! Be Blessed.