Todays readings… 2 Chronicles 7, Ezekiel 42, John 8

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” [John 8 v.47].  Of course they were hearing what he said. The point was they could not see what he meant because their minds were so fixed on their own way of thinking; in that sense, they were not hearing.  Is it not the same today?

    Thankfully some listen who do want to believe and understand what Jesus says.  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 descendants 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 today, read)  and develop an understanding of his words. 

It maybe that some or many who listened would later hear Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost and who would abide (live)I with his words in their hearts because they “were cut to the heart” [Acts 2 v.37]. on that day.

   Their freedom was accomplished, they were honest with themselves, they accepted “the truth” – and were baptised!  They heard Peter quote 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 develop an understanding of what Jesus really meant and learn, in their hearts how to “abide in my word” and then be truly walking on the path of life.  Wonderful – for there is no third way.