Everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin
John 8:34 How do you free yourself from being a slave to sin?
Image created by DALL-E 3
”Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.“
John 8:34 NASB1995
Today we’re looking at a single verse from the Gospel of John, chapter 8. This chapter covers the period of time just after the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), during which time Jesus made several public statements about His death and fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. This, of course, made Him really “popular” with the religious leaders (Sanhedrin), who had already reject Him as the Messiah and wanted to arrest Him for blasphemy — and put Him to death.
Other Jewish leaders of the time weren’t as close-minded. Some wondered if Jesus was the prophet promised in Deuteronomy 18:15 (“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him”, while others — after witnessing the signs and wonders performed by Jesus — were beginning to think that Jesus was the Messiah. It’s that latter group that Jesus talks to in this Part of John 8.
Jesus attempts to call them to a true belief in who He is and what His mission is. Many felt that the Messiah was going to be a political leader, freeing the Jewish people from Roman rule. Here, He tells them that He will free them from sin instead, and call them to discipleship.
Jesus confronting the Sanhedrin. Image created by DALL-E 3.
Earlier in John 8, Jesus has told this group of religious leaders that if they didn’t believe that He was the Messiah, they would die in their sins, so they had an idea of what He was talking about. They also had an idea that Jesus wasn’t talking about political freedom, but instead a spiritual freedom. Their problem with Jesus’s statement that they would have to abide in His word to be set free is that they didn’t think that they were in any sort of bondage. Sure, they lived under Roman rule, but they considered themselves as descendants of Abraham to be spiritually free.
So in today’s verse, Jesus points out to them that if you break any of God’s commands (including lying, stealing, have a false view of God, value something else more than God, and so on), you are committing a sin, and you are the slave of sin!
The Sanhedrin should have been aware of their sinfulness since they had a deep knowledge of God’s law, but they weren’t! Even those today who have been faithfully going to church since childhood can have the same blindness. I see some people who call themselves Christian and should recognize their sinfulness, but they don’t. Instead, they either ignore it, or compare themselves to other Christians they know and think “I’m fine; I sin less than that person.” Even worse, they can think that since they’re followers of Christ, personal sin isn’t an issue — as long as they are “good” more often that they are “bad”, God’s OK with them and they’ll be forgiven.
How do you free yourself from being a slave to sin? Through recognizing your sin, confessing it, repenting for it, and then trying as much as possible to never repeat that sin. We are human; we will stumble as we carry our personal cross. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit within us that we can begin to break the chains.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, each day I thank You for your grace and for choosing to redeem fallen humanity from slavery to sin through faith in Christ. Thank You that by studying Your Word, I am cognizant of my sin and can begin to release myself from its chains. Thank You that Your Son and my Savior Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin in full on the cross, and that that I have been set free through Him. I praise His holy name, AMEN.