31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

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30-31 Then many of the Jewish leaders who heard him say these things began believing him to be the Messiah.

Jesus said to them, “You are truly my disciples if you live as I tell you to, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said, “and have never been slaves to any man on earth! What do you mean, ‘set free’?”

34 Jesus replied, “You are slaves of sin, every one of you. 35 And slaves don’t have rights, but the Son has every right there is!

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The Son Gives Freedom

31 Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “When you continue to embrace all that I teach, you prove that you are my true followers. 32 For if you embrace the truth, it will release more freedom into your lives.”[a]

33 Surprised by this, they said, “But we’re the descendants of Abraham and we’re already free. We’ve never been in bondage[b] to anyone. How could you say that we will be released into more freedom?”[c]

34 “I speak eternal truth,” Jesus said. “When you sin you are not free. You’ve become a slave in bondage to your sin. 35 And slaves have no permanent standing in a family, like a son does, for a son is a part of the family forever.

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Footnotes

  1. John 8:32 The truth Jesus gives us releases us from the bondage of our past, the bondage of our sins, and the bondage of religion. Jesus is speaking these words to those who were not fully free from man’s traditions. Truth must be embraced and worked out through the divine process of spiritual maturity. The Greek word for “truth” is reality. To embrace the reality of Christ brings more freedom into your life. See the book of Galatians for a clear explanation of the freedom Jesus refers to here.
  2. John 8:33 The Greek is translated “slavery.” However, the Aramaic word used here (abdota) refers not to slavery but to paying off debts (indentured servants). The Jews were not forgetting their slavery in Egypt, but rather saying that they were not in bondage to serve anyone as free sons of Abraham. Jesus reminds them that ancestral lineage does not guarantee spiritual freedom.
  3. John 8:33 The Aramaic is translated “released as children of freedom.”

The Truth Will Make You Free

31 So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone. [a]What do You mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?”

34 Jesus answered, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, everyone who practices sin habitually is a slave of sin. 35 Now the slave does not remain in a household forever; the son [of the master] does remain forever.

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Footnotes

  1. John 8:33 The Jews did not grasp the difference between being enslaved physically and being enslaved spiritually because of sin.

If the Son Sets You Free

31-32 Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”

33 Surprised, they said, “But we’re descendants of Abraham. We’ve never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, ‘The truth will free you’?”

34-38 Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. But I also know that you are trying to kill me because my message hasn’t yet penetrated your thick skulls. I’m talking about things I have seen while keeping company with the Father, and you just go on doing what you have heard from your father.”

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