Lent Devotional Day 20

Day 20
Monday, March 13th

John 8:31-59

31 Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They responded, “We are Abraham’s children; we’ve never been anyone’s slaves. How can you say that we will be set free?”

34 Jesus answered, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 A slave isn’t a permanent member of the household, but a son is. 36 Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you really will be free. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s children, yet you want to kill me because you don’t welcome my teaching. 38 I’m telling you what I’ve seen when I am with the Father, but you are doing what you’ve heard from your father.” 39 They replied, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus responded, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do Abraham’s works. 40 Instead, you want to kill me, though I am the one who has spoken the truth I heard from God. Abraham didn’t do this. 41 You are doing your father’s works.” They said, “Our ancestry isn’t in question! The only Father we have is God!”

42 Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God. Here I am. I haven’t come on my own. God sent me. 43 Why don’t you understand what I’m saying? It’s because you can’t really hear my words. 44 Your father is the devil. You are his children, and you want to do what your father wants. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has never stood for the truth, because there’s no truth in him. Whenever that liar speaks, he speaks according to his own nature, because he’s a liar and the father of liars. 45 Because I speak the truth, you don’t believe me. 46 Who among you can show I’m guilty of sin? Since I speak the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 God’s children listen to God’s words. You don’t listen to me because you aren’t God’s children.”

48 The Jewish opposition answered, “We were right to say that you are a Samaritan and have a demon, weren’t we?” 49 “I don’t have a demon,” Jesus replied. “But I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I’m not trying to bring glory to myself. There’s one who is seeking to glorify me, and he’s the judge. 51 I assure you that whoever keeps my word will never die.”

52 The Jewish opposition said to Jesus, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham and the prophets died, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never die.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died and the prophets died, so who do you make yourself out to be?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is meaningless. My Father, who you say is your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 You don’t know him, but I do. If I said I didn’t know him, I would be like you, a liar. But I do know him, and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see my day. He saw it and was happy.” 57 “You aren’t even 50 years old!” the Jewish opposition replied. “How can you say that you have seen Abraham?” 58 “I assure you,” Jesus replied, “before Abraham was, I Am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and left the temple.

Can we handle the truth? When the Jewish people heard Jesus say this they were appalled and exclaimed that they have never been anyone’s slaves. Therefore, how can Jesus say that they will be set free? Sometimes in our own lives we respond in the same fashion. But here is the truth: we are slaves. We, at times, are slaves to ourselves.

For me, I have been a slave to my own selfish desires, my guilts, my shames, and the very things that separate myself from God and the love of Christ Jesus. I bound myself in the chains of ego, but during that time of suffering and self-imposed separation I was never alone. While lamenting in my chains of shame and separateness, it was not until I quieted down, physically and mentally, in prayer and meditation that I could feel Jesus say, “My son, I am here. I have never left you. I gave you the keys to freedom before you even asked.” I knew I could not continue on my own, but I would not be a slave anymore. Through quieting down in prayer and meditation I could listen gladly to the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”  Before we ever were, Jesus loved us and in his love we are free. That is the perfect truth. The freedom that Jesus provides is the same freedom that permits birds to spread their wings in an azure sky, that compels flowers to bloom and turn towards the sun, and that allows the waves to wash upon the shore only to invite them to return to their source. This Lenten season may we return to our source, Jesus the Christ, in loving awareness and praise. May we be free.

My sweet Lord, thank you so much for allowing us to read and contemplate your word today. You are wholly good and wholly worthy of all praise. May we know that it is your breath that fills our lungs and may we use that breath to offer you praise in thanksgiving. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to live and die for us so that we may be free. I pray that we seek his comfort and his peace for I know he awaits us with love. May all that we do be in your name and for your benefit. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

By Zach Adams
Posted in
Posted in ,

No Comments