John 8:31-36 - So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered Him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
Have you ever thought about the retirement plan for slaves? Weird question, I know. Yet this was actually something people thought about in Jesus' day, if not quite in those words. A good master was one who actually kept his slaves when they became old or disabled; a bad master would sell them for whatever he could get, or even "set them free"—in other words, basically kick them out to die when they could no longer care for themselves. Slaves did not remain in the household forever. They had no security, no future, no peace.
That's the background Jesus is thinking of when he talks about being a slave to sin. Sin has no retirement plan—unless you count hell as retirement! Evil is a powerful master, but it is not a good one. It warps and ruins its slaves without pity. Then, when they are used up, sin moves on to new victims—leaving its old ones to perish.
That's not the life Jesus wants for us. That's not the future He offers us. Instead, Jesus offers us a future and a hope—the real freedom that comes with belonging to the Son of God.
Jesus starts by pointing out one basic difference between the sons of a household and slaves. The sons belong to the household forever. They cannot be sold or exchanged or dropped off on a corner somewhere. They have freedom and permanency. As adults, they also have power—even the power to set slaves free.
As the Son of God, that is what Jesus is offering us—freedom and permanency. It's not the freedom to suffer and be destroyed, but the freedom and joy that belongs to the children of God—to those God has taken to be His own permanently, through faith in Jesus. As our Savior, Jesus has died and risen for our sake; and for us who trust in Him, the words of John 1:12 have come true: " But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God."
We will never be homeless or enslaved or unwanted again.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for setting me free and making me Your own in love. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What is the worst part of being a slave, in your opinion?
2. How is being a sinner similar to being a slave?
3. What does it mean to you, that Jesus has set you free?
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