“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone on earth. What do you mean, ‘set free’?” Jesus replied, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.”
I begin by suggesting that there are two kinds of slavery. External slavery is that condition when a person is forced into and kept in a situation against his or her will. Here we think of tyrannical governments and human trafficking networks. Internal slavery is that condition when a person invites into his or her life a power that soon overtakes one’s will and wreaks havoc. Here we think of all manner of addictions and ill-committed affections.
Jesus declares that there is a fundamental freedom that can address both slaveries above. The secret: one’s identity as a true child of the living God. The metaphor of sonship/daughtership suggests the idea that a child actually possesses the irrevocable privilege of forever bearing the family name with all of its resources and responsibilities. This rooted identity is a true source of life and power with which to face a dangerous world.
If a son or daughter of God should fall into external slavery, the vital link to an always-present Father Who is at work redeeming the evil world is a life line that can feed persevering courage, hope, and strength. When facing the world’s alluring temptations, this vital link to a Father in heaven Who loves us and Who promises to meet our needs is powerful armor against the pull of the silver-tongued idols. Should ever a son or daughter of the living God fall into the trap of addiction, they are sons and daughters still and their Father will not forget or abandon them. And although He will not make their choices for them, He will move heaven and earth to respond to their humble surrender.
Jesus shares His Sonship with us, making us free indeed!
Jesus, Son of God, to You alone I turn to secure my forever adoption!
Dialog discuss: Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens. J. R. R. Tolkien
What are your experiences of faithfulness and friendships? Where do you have regrets, thankfulness? What will you do today?