Bountiful Spirit - March 24, 2021
Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, “You will be made free”?’
Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.
They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.’ They said to him, ‘We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself. Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.
Reflection by Gail Schuman
What is the truth? The truth is what I believe not what you believe – a cause of dissension and a prevention of understanding, and both sides are wrong – and neither will recognize the real Truth. Here is Jesus, trying to get through to those who say they believe in him and are his followers, and yet he knows they will lead to his inevitable death. He is trying to explain that the way to freedom, in this case from sin and a lack of compassion and understanding towards one another (both within the Jewish community and those outside of it), is through him, the real Truth. Only with him and by following his teachings will they have a home and a place in the household of God. They cannot grasp what he is saying because they get stuck on the words “free” and “slave” in a different context, and it is as if they stopped listening. Nothing is as simple and easy as they (and we) would like because they struggle with following his teachings that take them out of their comfort zone. We all have trouble with His path but know that Jesus is always there to help guide us back. He is always there when we don’t even know it, to help us get back on track with how we can truly be free from all that weighs us down. Be open to finding him and hearing His message.