As was so often the case when the people, whether disciples or enemies, couldn’t understand what Jesus was telling them, they were taking what he said literally when he was talking figuratively. Firstly he said that only through remaining faithful to his teachings is it possible to be a disciple. Secondly he said that only then will you know the truth. Thirdly he said that only when you know the truth can you be set free by it. The people were so far behind Jesus in their understanding that they were left asking what it was they needed to be set free from. After all they were not slaves. Jesus points out that all men are slaves to Sin. Once you know and accept your slavery to sin you have begun your journey towards knowing the truth. Once you know the truth, you will be set free. It is a step by step promise which is available to anybody. But the first step on the journey to the truth, is to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus. Faith comes first, freedom follows.
John 8:31-37 NLT
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realise that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message.
Is there any room in your heart for Jesus’s message? That is the basic question. It is also one of the reasons I worry less and less these days, about how to convince people of the Good News of the Gospel. Some people just don’t have room in their hearts to hear it. There is nothing any one of us can do to increase the room in anyone else’s heart. So I focus on my own heart. My goal is make sure I always have room in my heart for Jesus. My hope is, that at least then I’ll have enough of Jesus in my heart, at any given time, to share with another who finds they have made room but don’t know how to fill the new space.
1 Samuel 18:5-19:29, John 8:31-59, Psalms 112:1-10, Proverbs 15:12-14