John 8:31-36 (NIV)
Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus’ Opponents Are
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
The Power of Family
The Pharisees were teachers of the law. They saw Jesus’ claim to be The Son of GOD as heresy against GOD and the Jewish nation. They were so sure of their identity as sons of Abraham that they had no hesitation in questioning Jesus, who was in reality the Son of GOD come to save them from their sins.
As Jesus taught them, many believed His witness. Yet they also clung to the teachings they had heard all of their lives. It is hard to convince someone of a truth who thinks that they already know what the truth is all about. They had been waiting for The Messiah with preconceived ideas of His identity and purpose. They were not willing to receive what they were told because it did not fit their expectations.
“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD: Look to the Rock from which you were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.” Isaiah 51: 1&2 NIV
This scripture passage gives us an indicator of where the Jews conviction regarding Abraham as father arose. Abraham was in reality the father of the Jews, but what was not a reality to them was Abraham’s commitment to his Father, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were so blinded by their own concept of who GOD was that they did not recognize Him when he appeared before them. The Jews were looking for a warrior King, someone to fight their battles against the Roman tyranny. There were previous times in Hebrew history where they sought a Redeemer after repeated warnings from GOD that they needed to turn from their sins and repent. In our present age, this applies to the entire population of the earth, because Christ came to save us all.
Isaiah 53 (NIV)
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Family Works Together
In the natural order of things, family pulls together to ensure existence, to produce offspring, and to pass on values. If we are made in the image of Christ, we are a part of His family, therefore we seek His existence, we are His offspring, and we possess His values.We also possess His power.
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