Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed, John 8:34 – 36.
Those who believed in Jesus (verse 30) refused to acknowledge their slavery to sin. As Jesus pressed the issue they became more and more obstinate until their belief turned to attempted murder (verse 59). As noted in previous posts, their belief was not the belief of John 1:12 or 3:16.
Jesus’ words in verse 32 are among the most misquoted words of the Bible, misquoted because they are not fully quoted; the “truth” is found in relationship with Jesus (it is Jesus) and the freedom that Jesus speaks of is, in this context, freedom from sin. The theme of freedom and liberty in Jesus Christ is prominent in the Gospel; Paul writes that we are to stand fast in the liberty that we have in Christ (in this context freedom from the Law), and that: where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. In Christ we have been set free from sin, from the Law, and even from death; in order that we might joined to another Master, our Lord Jesus Christ.
The hope of freedom that Jesus held out to these people who were manifesting unconsummated belief in Him was rejected by them because of their self-righteousness, because of their refusal to acknowledge the fact of their slavery to sin. They claimed to be the children of Abraham, yet Abraham was justified not by what he did but by his faith in God; nor was Abraham justified because he was a descendant of Enoch, Noah, and Shem. The slave who does not recognize his slavery but maintains a fiction that he is a freeman will ever be a slave and not a son. The slaves in John Chapter 8 were going through the motions of freemen – yet remained slaves.
Those who see are blind and those who are blind see; those who separated themselves from the unwashed multitudes within Judea and Galilee, and from the Gentiles – those who considered themselves the proper judges of their fellow man – these were the ones whose belief turned to murder. Do I see myself?