The truth will only set you free if you believe it. Many of us fight the truth. The religious leaders of Jesus’ time said, ‘we have never been slaves of anyone.’ They objected to the idea of not being free in the first place. Sound familiar?
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you 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?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
The first step is admitting that we have a problem. Yet we are not good at admitting. We are good at defending and covering ourselves from looking bad. And so to admit that I am not free is me admitting I am needy and not able to fix it on my own.
The Hebrew nation had, indeed, been enslaved. More than once. Egypt is the obvious example, and the times Israel was in captivity to other nations fits this description also. They have not been free, yet they conveniently forget those moments. So do we…
What slavery do you cover up? Everyone who sins is a slave to sin, Jesus says. And many of us are slaves to very specific sins, aren’t we? I confess that I bailed on Lent, which means that what I gave up was more important to me that who gave his life for me. Not proud of that.
The thing to which we are enslaved can be more important to us than the One who gave us freedom. We cannot get freedom, however, as long as we a) don’t admit we are enslaved, and b) don’t hold to the teaching of Jesus. That’s the path of freedom.
Many things of our world today have a hold on us. Jesus can set us free. Will we embrace his teaching?
The one the Son sets free is free indeed.