Jesus had been speaking for a while now. And some of the Jews were convinced he was the Messiah. They believed. Turning his attention to them, he said, “If you do what I’m teaching then you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They were confused by this.
Free? We’re already free. No shackles around our feet. No ropes around our wrists. No brick-making for a pharaoh. We’re slaves to no one.
“Why are you saying we will be set free?” they asked.
Jesus answered, “Listen closely to what I’m about to say. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. And a slave isn’t a permanent part of the family like a son is. If the Son of God sets you free from your slavery you will be really truly free.” (John 8:31-36)
No shackles on my ankles. No ropes. No persecution. No fear. Thankful for this freedom. But sobered today, aware that it’s merely surface-deep, temporary, stolen easily by the army with the greatest strategy and the most steel.
But there is more. Untakeable freedom. Emancipation by God’s Son from sin and death – deeply, through-and-through, everlastingly, really truly free!
Freedom. Granted by God to men and women gathered in air conditioned churches every Sunday morning on Main Street. Burning in the bones of two or more huddled in darkness whispering prayers behind the curtain of communist rule. Freed and enslaved made free indeed.