“How can you say that we shall be set free?” the Jews asked with a combination of disgust and bewilderment. “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone!” When Jesus told them that they would be set free by the truth, the Jews clearly took offense. However, their disapproving statement clearly contradicted their history with a total disregard of their Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian and Syrian overlords – including their Roman overlords of the time. They had a false sense of freedom in both past and present.
We are lucky to live in a free nation. We can choose what we want to do for a living. We can have opinions. You can make all the memes you want about the President where people in other countries could face charges of treason. In every sense of the word, we are free.
We are free to make our own choices, but the funny thing is, we can be imprisoned by those very choices. Jesus explains in John 8: 34 34 “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”
We are all free to make any choice we could ever want to make, but even with that freedom, all too often we revert to the same habits and turn to the same vices. I like the way Casting Crowns puts it in their song “All You’ve Ever Wanted” – “I’m living free inside a prison cell.” We are free to make our own choices, but sinful nature makes us slaves to those very choices. So ironic to be enslaved by the very thing that makes us free.
But Jesus gives us hope! We do not have to be a slave to our impulses. 35 “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Free indeed! I want to be free! I want my next sunrise to be a new day, not just a deja vu of past mistakes. That is the very promise Jesus makes to us. To experience true freedom, we must become slaves to God. Turning ourselves and our choices over to God and experiencing his life-changing power will free us from the chains of self. 1 Peter 2:16 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
As we celebrate our freedom as a nation on July 4th next week, let us ponder how we can draw near to Christ so that we can abandon the appearance of freedom and be free indeed!