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. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.
As I read the conversation here between Jesus and some of his contemporaries, it strikes me that this could easily be reinterpreted in a modern day context.
It might sound something like this…
Jesus: If you follow my teaching, then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free
Post-modernist: Free? I don’t need to be set free – I’m a slave to no man.
Jesus: Well actually, everyone is a slave to sin, whether you know it or not. I’m offering you true and lasting freedom if you will follow me.
Post-modernist: How very narrow – how dare you call me a sinner! I’m a good person.
Jesus: I understand that you don’t like the sound of what I’m saying, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Me: Good point. I think if we are honest, we would all admit that none of us like to be told that we are flawed and slaves to sin.
For this “good girl”, this is an uncomfortable truth, but one that I’ve had to come to terms with. I’ve recently discovered that the more I’ve acknowledged my sinfulness, the more free I have truly become.
Thank you Jesus that the truth of who I really am – a sinner saved by grace – has truly set (and continues to) set me free.
Written by Shelley Witt