The Freedom of Truth
by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: John 8:30-59
I. Many began to believe on Jesus - John 8:30-31
A. Jesus said that if they would live in the words of Jesus, then they would truly be his disciples - John 8:32
1. Obedience to his teaching would cause them to know the truth.
2. Obedience leads to greater retention of knowledge - James 1:21-25
3. Knowing the truth would bring them freedom
B. What is freedom? R. L. Whiteside gave some good illustrations
1. A machine freely runs when all its parts move as the designer intended
2. A living creature is free when it moves unhampered in the environs God intended for it to live.
a. A fish in water and not in a net or aquarium is free
b. A fish out of the water is not free, even if it is not restricted in any way
C. From what would a person be freed? What is holding us in captivity?
1. Man’s natural environ is righteousness - Ecclesiastes 7:29
2. Satan holds people captive through sin - II Timothy 2:25-26
3. Christ’s law has set us free from the law of sin and death - Romans 8:2
4. Paul said sin would not longer be our master - Romans 6:14, 17-18, 22
5. Freedom is not doing as we please. Why? Because our desires will lead us right back into sin.
6. The Jews had thought that serving God was a captivity and saw the wicked as free - Malachi 3:14-15
a. In some ways they were correct - Romans 6:20
b. They are not bound by the rules of God. They can make up their own rules of morality.
c. Yet, men aren’t the final judge. It is God who determines our destiny
7. Freedom requires doing God’s will - James 1:25
D. Jesus’ listeners took offense at this idea of needing to be freed. They believed themselves to already be free - John 8:33
1. The confusion again comes from thinking in physical terms and not spiritual.
2. Notice their statement is wrong. We are Abraham’s offspring and never been enslaved.
a. They forgot about their captivity in Egypt.
b. They forgot about their captivity in Babylon.
E. Jesus explains the type of freedom offered in detail - John 8:34-36
1. Sin enslaves a person.
2. In these days, slavery was a temporary status. An Israelite normally did not remain a slave for more than 7 years.
3. The Jews were in God’s house on a temporary status. Jesus, as God’s son, would remain in God’s house forever.
4. Therefore, if the owner’s son frees someone from slavery, it is permanent.
F. Jesus proves they are captives of sin, because of their attitude towards him - John 8:37-38
1. They are seeking to kill him because they do not like his teachings.
2. Just as Jesus was obedient to God, the Father, the Jews were obeying the instructions of their father, Satan.
II. The Jews protested this idea. Their father, their ancestor, was Abraham - John 8:39-40
A. Jesus said if that was true, then they should act as Abraham did.
1. Abraham believed God and repeatedly showed his belief
2. Jesus is bringing God’s word, but these people are attempting to kill him, something Abraham would not have done.
3. Instead, Jesus is saying that they show themselves to have a different father - John 8:41
B. Again, they protest – God is our father!
1. Notice the change in their story from declaring Abraham as their father.
2. It is typical of a person losing ground to shift to what they think is a better argument
3. Notice that twice Jesus accuses them of plotting to kill him and they have not protested the accusation
C. Jesus points out that since he is from God, they should have welcomed him with love and not hatred - John 8:42
D. These people did not understand Jesus’ teaching because they were so use to listening to lies, that when someone came telling the truth, they reject the truth - John 8:43
1. Satan is the father of lies. He has always lied. Lies are his language - John 8:44
2. Satan is a murderer. He murdered from the beginning (he brought death into the world through his lies).
3. Jesus proves his point by showing that they reject him, but not because he has sinned - John 8:45-46
4. Since Jesus is from God, then their rejection must be because they are not of God - John 8:47
a. Therefore, the claim that they were God’s children could not be true
III. The audience retaliates.
A. They accuse him of being a Samaritan (half-Jew) and having a demon (out of his mind, speaking nonsense) - John 8:48
1. These people know that Jesus is a full- Jew from Galilee.
2. These people know that Jesus is speaking rationally.
3. The reason they are accusing him is because they could not meet his arguments.
4. This is often the case with people. If they cannot meet a rational argument, they will accuse the messenger of irrational things.
B. Since Jesus is speaking the words of God, Jesus points out that they are dishonoring God by calling his words the irrational words of a demon - John 8:49-51
1. Jesus is not here to gain their approval but to glorify God and have God’s approval.
2. If they are to have eternal life, they must accept Jesus’ teaching.
C. Now they believe they caught Jesus mis-speaking. If accepting God’s word brings eternal life, then why did the prophets of the past die? - John 8:52-53
1. “Who,” they ask, “do you think you are offering something that was never offered before?”
D. Jesus again states that he is not seeking personal glory - John 8:54-55
1. God has glorified Jesus (“This is my son, in whom I am well-pleased”).
2. They claim to follow this same God, but they reject the one God stated He was pleased with.
3. If Jesus claimed not to know God he would be a liar just like them.
IV. Jesus states boldly that Abraham looked forward to Jesus’ day - John 8:56
A. This was met with derision. How could Abraham look forward to the day of a mere man born thousands of years after Abraham lived? - John 8:57
B. “How,” they asked, “do you know so much about what Abraham thought?”
C. Jesus said that he lived before Abraham was born. - John 8:58
1. In fact, he called himself “I AM.” The name of the eternal God - Exodus 3:14
2. This is one of many places that Jesus tells us he is God.
D. The Jews understood this. They accepted Jesus’ statement as blasphemy and sought to stone him - John 8:59
E. However, Jesus disappeared in the confusion and left the temple.
V. In going through this event, it is easy to overlook what is stated at the beginning
A. Jesus was addressing the Jews who believed on him - John 8:30-31
B. Yet these same people are accused of
1. Being slaves of sin
2. Serving Satan
3. Rejecting the truth
4. Wanting to kill Jesus
C. These are the same people who accused Jesus of
1. Being a half-Jew
2. Being possessed by a demon
3. Being no greater than other men of the past
D. Don’t people claim that all a person needs is to believe that Jesus is your personal Savior?
1. But belief is not enough.
2. What was missing?
a. Notice what Jesus said at the start - John 8:31-32
b. Obedience was missing! They weren’t putting Jesus’ teachings into practice!
c. They were no different than what James said - James 2:14-24
E. Are you among those who claim belief or those who show belief by the life you live?