Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Children of Abraham

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"

34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father."

39 "Abraham is our father," they answered.

"If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the things your own father does."
"We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."

Two things stick out here to me. First, the Jews, just like everyone I speak with, have no idea that they are slaves. They are walking around without the slightest idea of the consequence of their sin. People think they are in control and are making objective choices to live a life of sin. The truth is that their depraved heart and desires give them no other choice but to sin. They couldn't stop if they wanted to. And this sin is inching them ever closer to death where they will be punished eternally. The truth is that they need to follow Jesus and repent. Then the Holy Spirit will change their heart and give them new desires. Only then can they live a life pleasing to God. This is the Truth that will set them free.

Second, people think that by being Jewish (or Catholic, or insert your religion here) that they are Children of Abraham, a metaphor for God's chosen people. The truth is that those who follow Jesus are the children of God. Being born in a religion does no more to save you than being born in Taco Bell makes you a taco. The Good News is that anyone, Jew, or Greek, who repents and puts their faith in Jesus is born again, passing from death to life and is grafted onto the Vine, Christ Himself.

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