Wednesday, 28 March 2012

28th March 2012 John 8:31-42

Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus’ Opponents Are
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”.  Jesus replied, “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. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”  “Abraham is our father,” they answered.   “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did.  As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.”   “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”  Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.

There are such powerful images in this passage, from the fact that Jesus tells us our earthly fathers are nothing in comparison to Father God; to the fact that we are slaves to sin but can be freed by accepting the grace of God.

I read these words with joy and love and hope; yet when I read them to Mike, who doesn't have faith, he sees a dictator trying to change things.

Is Jesus a dictator?
No, absolutely not; because he does not force his will on anyone.  Instead Jesus is offering a way of joy that we can choose to live.

Jesus we thank you for setting us free in your love, help us share that more than the dictates which many from the outside hear.  Amen.

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