Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Daily - 3/31/09

John 8:31-42 (Wednesday's Gospel)

31 Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33 They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, 'You will become free'?"

34 Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.

35 A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains.

36 So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free.

37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you.

38 I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence; then do what you have heard from the Father."

39 They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham.

40 But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this.

41 You are doing the works of your father!" (So) they said to him, "We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God."

42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.

This continues directly from the dialogue in yesterday's message.Clearly Jesus has their heads spinning. He's talked about being from a completely different world, he's identified himself as "I AM", and now he tells them that they do not know the truth, and they are not free.

Their reaction is along the lines of "How dare you!" They are the sons of Abraham, and the current leaders of Israel. How can he claim they aren't free? (Roman rule apparently notwithstanding ...)

Just like in the passage from yesterday ("You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world") Christ draws a distinction between the physical and spiritual worlds. Certainly the Pharisees are physical descendants of Abraham. However, every bit as certainly, they are not spiritual descendants of Abraham, because they aren't able to recognize Jesus for what he truly was.

Of course, this makes them even more mad. More on that tomorrow.

PS: I've discussed verses 31 and 32 before, so I left them them alone today. However, in my opinion they're important to understand to grow spiritually. Here's a refresher.