Going Deeper 10-25-19

The Gospel reading for Reformation Sunday…

John 8:31-36   Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."  They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone.  What do you mean by saying, 'You will be made free'?"  Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever.  So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. "


As someone you know likes to say, dynamite comes in small packages.   There is so much powerful stuff in this short reading!


Jesus, whom John started off his Gospel describing as “The Word made flesh”, is guiding believers into the process of transformation which leads to becoming disciples.  The Word of God speaks the word of God.  Later in this same Gospel, Jesus self-identifies as “the Truth”, and here we hear that His spoken word is the truth that “will make you free.” 


How silly it seems that these Jewish believers would miss the point and say something so factually, historically untrue.  Sure, many of them had not been literal slaves to a slave-owner, but as a nation that had not been politically free since the reign of Solomon.  But Jesus clarifies for them—and for us—that we should all see ourselves as once being “a slave to sin.”  But take note of the incredible grace statement which follows.  Jesus, the Son who has “a permanent place in the household”, has set us free.  By grace are no longer slaves, but sons… and daughters.  And we, too, now are blessed with “a permanent place in the household.”


Continue in Jesus’ word.  Seek to be transformed from believer into disciple.  Believe that by grace you have been changed from slave to sin into child of God, and now spend the rest of your life learning what that means and how it changes everything.


With You in Him,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."