This is a profound and potent statement found in the Gospel of John 8:36. Freedom is both the bedrock of Christian message and the petrol of the Christian messenger.
Certainty tags along those who are living in true liberty – the very presence of His glory. True freedom transcends all forms and shapes of bondage and restriction – ego death, separation, loss of autonomy, mutilation, and extinction. We can be persecuted like the apostles but still be free. The world around us can be collapsing and still be free. We can be locked up like apostle Paul and still be free.
In a tract entitled, “The Freedom of the Christian,” Martin Luther wrote, “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”
Inversely, as the time moves on, we find ourselves evicted from the orbit and exiled to the black holes; and from dithering to complete desperation. We laugh from outside but inside we are sad. Our laughter is synthetic and simplistic. Our happiness is man-made and mud-mended. Our systems are plastic and plastisols. We try hard to put on a bold front, but we are scared from the inside. We pretend that all is well, but our innards are withering. We become masters of dual personalities. We muster the art of pretence and pretext. We become as nervous as a leaf on a tree. We do not know when the sun will smite us dry. We do not know if it will rain again and turn us green, great and grandiose. We do not know if a caterpillar will take advantage of us. We do not know if a Marabou’s stork will shit on us. This is what describes us in the absence of real freedom.
The context of Jesus statement
Jesus made this comment during a conversation with some Jews who did not apprehend the contrast that Jesus was making between physical freedom and spiritual freedom.
In reply to Jesus’ claim that those who obeyed Him would know the truth, and that the truth would make His followers free, the Jews responded that they were already free, and had never been in thralldom (that is how humanity has responded, and still do, to the message of the Cross – living in denial). This claim, by itself, was misleading because they were, at that very moment, under Roman subjugation – not to mention previous examples of Jewish slavery, such as to the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, or the Medo-Persians.
However, Jesus was referring to the more critical matter: an eternal perspective. Jesus was addressing the slavery of every human being to sin, from which He was granting liberation from sin’s consequences (everlasting detachment from God) through His proclamation of Himself as the Son of God and, conclusively, by faith in His atoning death and consequent resurrection. That faith would result in receiving true and final freedom from sin, and eternal life in God’s presence, which was immeasurably more excellent than any physical freedom in this mundane life.
So much can be inferred from Jesus’ instruction. Generally speaking, Freedom in all its appearances is good.
A new week has set in, and it is time we decided to stop,
- Working hard to win peoples approval
- Dwelling on the past or being obsessed with the future to the point of not enjoying the present
- Worrying about everything that could go wrong, should have happened, would not occur
- Doubting our capabilities
- Competing with others and obsessed with ‘victories’.
- Comparing ourselves with others
- Breeding vain desires
- Asking ‘what if’s’ and instead take responsibilities
- Sticking with people and things which don’t suit us
Have a blessed week!