If you’ve been following me in our study of John chapter 8, you know we’ve spent many weeks moving slowly through this chapter. Today we are going to focus on verse thirty six, but since we are moving so slowly, now might be a good time to read starting from the beginning of the chapter and read down to our verse for today. This will refresh our memory and help us to keep the passage in context.
John 8: 34-36
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (NKJV)
Since there are “no throw away words” (I love that phrase so I stole it from my Pastor) in the Bible, it would be helpful to pay attention to the first word in verse thirty six. The word therefore is a little Greek word οὖν (oun), and is considered a logical inferential conjunction. The fact that it is a conjunction means it connects what is about to be said, with what was just said. The logical inferential part means it demonstrates that what is about to be said is a true conclusion because the previous sentence or phrase it is connected to is fact.
Let’s look at it this way. The word therefore could accurately be translated consequently. So let’s examine the first three facts as Jesus presented them to the Jews.
- Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
- A Slave does not abide in the house forever.
- A son abides in the house forever.
And now we come to the word therefore or consequently. Because the son mentioned is a son of the house, he has ownership of the house. His Father owns the house, but because he is a son of the owner, we say that it is the son’s house.
You may think we are getting lost in semantical details here, but what I’m attempting to demonstrate is we can miss something very important unless we slow down and examine this passage carefully. Once again, think about the setting of this conversation. Verse one tells us they are in the temple, which was considered to be the house of God. The Jews engaged in this conversation would have understood that Jesus is once again is proclaiming that He is the Son of God, and it is He that can set them free.
In verse thirtyseven, Jesus finally answers their statement made back in verse thirty three that they are Abraham’s descendants. Then Jesus exposes what’s in their hearts.
37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. (NKJV)
Not only will they not abide in His word (verse 31), but His word has no place in them at all. What a sad pronouncement on these Jews Jesus is making. He is telling them that He knows they will not come to Him, they will not believe in Him resulting in being set free. They are truly lost. Not only do they refuse to believe in Jesus, but they seek to kill Him.
38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” (NKJV)
In this chapter we see Jesus as the Son of man and the Son of God. Additionally, we see the unbelieving Jews as the sons of Abraham and yet the sons of the devil. Jesus honor His Father God by what He does, and unfortunately the unbelieving Jews honor their father the devil by what they do. Jesus seeks to rescue them, while they seek to destroy Jesus.
I keep thinking about the fact that these Jews were relying on being descendants of Abraham for their standing with God – their salvation. Thinking about the present, how many of us have heard (or maybe even said). I grew up Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, and so on? Are we trusting in our heritage instead of the Lord Jesus Christ? Religion doesn’t save! If it did Jesus died in vain. Placing your trust in Jesus is the only way to be set free.
Don’t get caught up in religious trappings! Put your faith in Jesus Christ.