Today's Bible Reading: John 8
Selected Biblical Text
Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."
"You are not yet fifty years old," they said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
"Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:54-58 NIV)
Reflecting and Thinking
Glory, life, light, truth! What exalted concepts! To think that Jesus is all of these! In this chapter, Jesus confronts the Jews. The Jews were depending on legalistically following their traditions and their heritage as descendants of Abraham. They were too little interested in God's purpose and too much interested in fulfilling the letter of the law while missing the spirit. They claimed to know God but did not. They pretended to be obedient but were not.
Their attitude -- being all wrapped up in themselves and their little, narrow understanding of God and his Word -- kept them from experiencing God's ultimate desire for his human creation. They were so busy interpreting laws, defining boundaries, and describing the "thou shalts" and the "thou shalt nots" that they fell short -- they lacked integrity, they had missed any meaningful relationship with God, they were inadvertently buying into Satan's agenda. Perhaps worst of all -- rather than finding true freedom, they were returning to slavery, a slavery worse than that from which God had delivered them in Egypt.
God wants us to be free. God desires our freedom. Freedom comes from knowing the truth. The verb "to know" is rich and broad -- not mere intellectual knowledge so that we know about the Word, but personal experience that shows that we truly know God.
Are you genuinely free in Christ? Jesus says freedom comes from obedience, from knowing and honoring God's word and dealing with sin in our lives. Freedom is possible because of who Jesus is. Seeing Jesus clearly will generate greater faith -- faith that will bring the freedom God provides.
Dearest heavenly Father, we praise you for your wisdom and for your desire and your ability to deliver us from the power of Satan, from our own misunderstandings, from our weaknesses, and from our hard hearts. Bring us into the glorious light of your freedom. Help us use freedom not for license but to fulfill your purpose in our lives. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.