John 8:31-59

day 21

The truth will make you free or it will make you furious!

Jesus speaks to those who have believed, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The light is shining and they are open but Jesus does not leave them with a warm happy glow. That would not be the truth. The proof of discipleship is “if you abide in my word” – cling to and live in my teaching rather than what you have always thought or heard. Embracing the truth will free you. Seems pretty encouraging to me…who wouldn’t want to be free?

Apparently the prideful! “We are children of Abraham and we have NEVER been slaves! It’s inviting Jesus, if you want to talk about yourself but you are crossing the line when you want to talk about me. You are messing with my identity and that is out of line.”

Jesus, of course is talking about being a slave to sin and, whether I like it or not, that is my identity. I’m grateful I don’t remember having to be told “you are of your father the devil” before my heart was fertile ground for the Good News. But this side of heaven there is this ongoing battle where I daily have to choose.

This debate gets loud and a lot confrontive…there is some name-calling and frankly it escalates off the page.

Basically Jesus says: How do I know you are slaves? Because my word has no place in you and your response to rejecting me is to kill me. That response is in keeping with the devil – who is a murderer, a liar and who also rejects the truth. You are acting just like him. You are Abraham’s and God’s in your own minds but it just doesn’t play out. I have to tell you the truth because I do know God and this is His message – embrace the truth.

The Jews were angry and defensive, for sure. They called him a traitor. They said He had a demon. And when it got really close to home they got violent.

Jesus says pretty plainly He is the “I AM”. His identity is bound to clash against any identity I have that is not of Him. I can relate to trying to hold on to the wrong thing and how it can escalate until my life seems out of control and I have become a slave to my own rage. It is not a pretty sight.

Thankfully and by His mercy my tantrums are no longer so close together. Little by little I have come to abide more, defend less and trust the Truth to keep me free.

About God?
God knows us better than we know ourselves.

About Me?
When prone to fear, the cure Jesus offers is to abide in Him.

About the World?
Embracing the Truth can be a violent separation from what we have known.

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