John 8:31-59- The Son of Freedom
Explanation- ‘If you abide in my words’. This is the call of the disciple. Are His words precious to us? Are they true? Are we willing to lay down our lives for them? And what, if we are to die, is not the gain wrought through His words of infinite value? It is the wisdom of Christ to test those who claim to believe. So, He does with the Jews in this account. He seeks to try their belief to see if it be true. Despite their professed belief, they are still holding to the traditions of men to save them. They believe themselves to be free, but Christ points out that the one who makes his practice of sin is in turn a slave to sin. He serves a poor, cruel master. They claim to be sons of Abraham and therefore heirs of Abraham’s promise, but Christ calls them out for what they really are. They are sons of the devil. They are ministers of lies, murder, and deceit of whom their father is the father. True freedom can only exist in Christ. He is the author of life and freedom and He offers this gift to all those who will believe. Unfortunately, the response of these men prove that their belief was in vain. They have believed the lies of their father and rejected the truth of life.
As this discourse progresses, the men go from a mode of defense to murderous rage. Christ identifies Himself as the one who existed before Abraham. At the people are skeptical and Christ proceeds to identify Himself by the sacred name. ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ Any Jew would understand this reference. Here Christ is proclaiming equality and synonymity with Yahweh. This is the name that God chose to reveal to Moses so long ago and God-fearing Jews will not even speak this name aloud, let alone identify with it. Yet Christ, knowing beforehand what their response would be, claims this title as His own. At this, the people are ready to kill. They pick up stones to throw, but because it was not yet Christ’s time, He left without harm.
Application- What great hope we have in the words of Christ; they are the words of eternal life! Christ has proclaimed His word and has not kept it hidden. He offers this truth to all who have ears to hear. As His disciples, His words our sustenance; they are the Bread of Life. It is by His word that He continually transforms us and conforms us to His own image. He is faithful entirely faithful and able to finish the work that He started and even in our times of fear and doubt, it is His words that see us through. There is great hope for the believer to preserve through this life and see it through to the celestial kingdom all because His words are true!