True Freedom

John 8: 31-42
Dn 3:14-20,91-92,95 / Dn 3

“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
(John 8:31-32)

How can one say that he is free
When he is bound by the chains of sin?
Only God’s Word can make us see
True freedom lies in self-discipline.

Jesus said to those who believed in Him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples. 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, “I tell you the truth, 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 you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready 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 do 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 the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined 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.” They protested, “We are not illegitimate children. 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.” (John 8:31-42)


The Jews thought Jesus was talking about political freedom, such as liberation from the Romans, because Israel was then under the dominion of Rome. But Jesus was speaking about spiritual freedom, the freedom from sin, and alienation from God. Much like the error of the Jews in Jesus’ time, many people today think freedom means being independent, having the power of choice to do whatever we wish to do as we please. This is the kind of liberation that our consumerist society is selling today, and certainly not the kind of freedom that Jesus was talking about, because this freedom only leads us away from the truth. It is a harmful license that has only resulted in the spread of drug addiction, promiscuity, abortion, alcoholism, and all the evils of a permissive society. In the end, it is not freedom at all, but a millstone that the prince of lies ties around the sinner’s neck, which will eventually drown him in the depths of despair.

On the other hand, what our Lord is teaching us in today’s Gospel is the freedom from the very bondage of sin, from which only the truth in the Gospel can liberate us. Jesus is teaching us that if we abide by His Word, the Holy Spirit will empower and guide us to live our lives according to God’s will. It is only by knowing our Savior fully, through the Holy Scriptures, and establishing a personal relationship with Him that we can experience genuine liberation. “His truth will set us free.”

This much is true: we cannot pursue the world’s pleasures and remain in God’s Word at the same time. For “no man can serve two masters.” In this season of Lent, let us spend more time reading God’s Word in the Bible, rather than indulging in worldly activities that only enslave us, and distract us from our true purpose in life.

Thank you, Jesus, for Your Word, which has freed us from the bondage of sin and ignorance, and has become our sword and armor in our struggle to be free. Amen.

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