Disciples Find Freedom
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 69:19-28 | 1 Samuel 18:5-19:24 |John 8:31-59 | Proverbs 15:12-14
Today’s Scripture Focus: John 8:31-59
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
“Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:31b-32; 34-36 TNIV).
What is a disciple? Elsewhere Jesus tells us that a disciple is a student who becomes like his or her teacher. His teaching here amplifies that by suggesting a disciple is one who becomes like Christ by the discipline of hearing and obeying his commands. He further shows that the disciple, who is a “son” by rights and relationship, is able to find freedom from sin.
But how does he find freedom? Such freedom is found in relationship. Jesus spoke of his own relationship with God the Father this way: “I do know him and obey his word” (55). Knowing God—entering into a relationship with him—is that which brings us from the domain of the “Father of Lies” to the kingdom of God. It is that which sets us free from our slavery to sin. We are no longer slaves, but children of God.
The freedom is also found in the discipline of hearing and obeying God’s word. Because we are God’s children freed from the realm of sin, we are enabled to hear God’s word. We are no longer captive to the “Father of Lies.” By his grace and power, we are also enabled to obey it. To truly hear God’s word is to obey it. This discipline of hearing and obeying brings freedom.
God’s word is given to set us free as we hear it and as we obey it in his strength and power. As we train (discipline) ourselves unto godliness, we become like our teacher more and more. True freedom requires discipline. It requires hearing and obeying God’s word. It requires the muscles of faith to be built up in the gym of hearing and obeying God’s word daily.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (36).
Jesus, I want to be like you. You are the master teacher and I am your disciple. Help me to follow. Help me to hear and obey. Amen.