Today’s readings.. (2 Chronicles 7), (Ezekiel 42), (John 8)
Today’s long chapter (8) in John’s Gospel is most challenging. Jesus said, “Whoever is of God knows the words of God, the reason you do not hear them is that you are not of God” [v.47]. But of course they were hearing what he said, the point was that they could not make sense of his words, they could not see what he meant because their minds were so fixed in their way of thinking. Does not the same problem exist today?
There are some listening who are wanting to believe and understand what Jesus says and to them he says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” [v.32] This confuses them! Free from what? As descendents of Abraham, they say, we are not “enslaved to anyone, how is it that you say, ‘you will become free?’ ” [v.33]
Jesus then makes the point, “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin … if the Son sets you free. You will be free indeed.” [v.36] Most of his listeners fail to get the point – and in the end the essential point is whether they are “of God” – or not. If they are “of God” they will listen and seek to understand the words of God. It maybe that some or many of his listeners would later hear Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost and who “were cut to the heart” [Acts 2 v.37] and were ready to receive the truth and be made free.
Their freedom was accomplished that day, they accepted “the truth” – and were baptised! They had heard Peter quote from the Psalms, “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence” [v.28] There are the two paths – of life – or of death. All begin by walking on the path of death, but all have the opportunity to be set free from that path by seeing “the truth” that is revealed in God’s word, first through the men of God, the prophets of old – and later by Jesus and the apostles. And today? Well, all can read God’s word and search of what Jesus really meant and then decide whether to respond.