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John 8:31-38, True Disciples

Thursday, March 1

Vulnerable and Frightening Truth

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Anyone who's really and truly been at rock bottom due to sin knows Jesus' words ring true. Being at rock bottom means losing or standing on the verge of losing everything you love. It means losing grip on your integrity and sense of whole self. It means hiding or fleeing, not only from people you hope never find out, but also from yourself as admitting it is just too painful. And, it means the sin has undeniably taken over your life, and there is no place to go but up.

If Jesus' words are real (and they are), the truth will make you free. Seems obvious, but sometimes facing the truth is harder than it sounds. It takes commitment, fearlessness, and a willingness to be excruciatingly vulnerable. Interestingly, it are these vulnerabilities and willingness to expose the things of our deepest shame that also make healing possible. We can find our the truth when we cling tightly to the strength Jesus gives in those vulnerable and scary moments. By admitting our sin to ourselves and others (appropriate, well-chosen others), we can begin to find freedom from our enslavement to our sin. The religious leaders of Jesus' day were either unwilling or incapable of looking at their own sin, and found themselves enslaved without even realizing it. Others heard Jesus' words, took a hard look at their sin, accepted Jesus' forgiveness, and found themselves free.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 8:31-38

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 for ever. 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."

Earlier Event: February 28
John 8:21-30, Jesus Foretells His Death
Later Event: March 2
John 8:39-59, Jesus and Abraham