August 21, 2022
25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
As we’ve discussed, each Sunday after Trinity (Sunday), there are three selections of readings. Today’s selection has some powerful words and perhaps you should make time to read them all: John 8:25-36; Matt 23: 34-39; 2Cor 4: 7-18. Let me rephrase that – you should definitely take time to read them.
In the St. John reading, Jesus is again ‘about my Father’s business’. (Luke 2:49) We see verse 32 repeated in Morning Prayer in the Collect for Peace, “O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom;”.
I read the words carefully in verse 32 and I think to myself, there’s a reason Jesus said this in just this way – ‘the truth shall make you free’. He doesn’t say ‘set you free’, as in releasing a prisoner who carries with him always the fact that he was a prisoner, but ‘make free’ as in removing the baggage of the sins we’ve carried with us, making us ‘a new creature’: 2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. If something is new, it has no previous history.
If any man (which means any of us) be in Christ. It sort of takes one’s breath away, thinking about that. At my age, how can I be new? I am a new creature in Christ; that’s how. He has my eternal love and deepest gratitude.