On the day following the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus was

teaching a large crowd of people in the courtyard of the

temple at Jerusalem.  A large number of people in that crowd

professed to believe that He is the Christ.  Jesus, knew

that some of those who professed to believe did not really

believe to the point of trusting Him as Savior.  They were

caught up in the emotion of the occasion and had made a

profession of faith in Him, but it was not genuine.  Keep in

mind, that in all probability, many of them, perhaps most of

them, were genuinely saved, but some were not.

      Jesus had given them a test.  He told them that if they

continued in His word that would be a sign that they were

true disciples, but if they did not continue in His word,

that would be a sign that they were not true disciples.  He

also informed them that if they would believe it they would

be made free.


I.  A lack of understanding of what Jesus had said


      That statement disturbed them and somewhat offended

them.  V. 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?"  His listeners did not understand.

      Keep in mind that His listeners were made up of a few

people who were already genuine believers plus a goodly

number of new converts who were genuine believers plus a

sizable number who had merely made a profession of faith but

were still unsaved plus the Jewish leaders and others who

were His bitter enemies.  Saved and unsaved alike, they did

not understand what He meant by being made free.  They were

Israelites and proud of it.  They were proud that they had

descended from Abraham and they said so.  "We be Abraham's

seed."  That part was absolutely true.  They had descended

from Abraham and they were rightly proud of it.

      But they strained the point when they said, "...and were

never in bondage to any man..."  You see, they were not

talking about just themselves personally.  They were talking

about all of the Israelite people who had descended from

Abraham.  They had the idea, "You surely could not mean that

we need to be set free from bondage.  No member of God's

covenant nation which descended from Abraham has ever been

in bondage.  They never have been and they never will be in

bondage. No member of this covenant nation which descended

from Abraham could ever be in bondage." That was their

attitude.  They were talking about all the descendants of

Abraham including themselves.  They said, "We've never been

in bondage."

      Now they were sadly mistaken on that point.  The whole

tribe of Israel had gone down into Egypt and had spent 400

years there.  Most of those 400 years were in bondage to the

Egyptians.  Later the northern kingdom of Israel went into

captivity to the Assyrians, The southern kingdom were

carried into captivity to the Babylonians and remained there

in bondage for 70 years.  Furthermore, after some of them

returned from captivity to their homeland, they remained

under foreign dominion.  They had been in bondage to the

Babylonians, to the Medes and Persians, to the Greeks and

were still in bondage to the Romans during the time of


      But apparently those proud Jews never really

acknowledged that they or any of the covenant nation which

descended from Abraham had ever been in bondage to anybody.

      Jesus could have argued the point and pointed out their

long history of national bondage, but He didn't.  He never

said a word about their bondage to the Egyptians, the

Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks nor the

Romans.  What Jesus did talk to them about was their bondage

to sin.  V.  34, "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say

unto you, Whosoever

committeth sin is the servant of sin."

      There is a technical matter that I need to call to your

attention right here.  In the original Greek language in

which the New Testament was written, this expression

"committeth sin" carries a little different meaning than we

see after it was translated into English.  The Greek verb

here is continuous action.  It carries the idea of

habitually sinning.  It does not talk about one single act.

It talks about a lifestyle of sin.

      So Jesus is not talking about one whose lifestyle is

that of godly living, but does occasionally sin.  What Jesus

was saying is that one who habitually sins, one whose

constant lifestyle is that of sin is a servant to sin.  The

word, servant, here means slave, a bond slave.  Just like a

nation could be in bondage to another nation and just like

an individual could be sold into slavery to another person,

even so the person whose lifestyle is predominantly made up

of sin is a bond slave to sin.

      So Jesus did not argue the point and try to convince

them that their nation had been in bondage and was still in

bondage.  The point that Jesus wanted them to see was that

they themselves, as individuals, were in bondage to sin.

They were bond slaves to sin.  That is, those who were still

unsaved were bond slaves to sin.


II.  An illustration from Jewish family life


      At this point Jesus used an illustration that they could

surely relate to.  He used a family household as an

illustration.  V. 35, "And the servant abideth not in the

house for ever: but the Son abideth ever."  The word, son,

in this verse does not refer to Jesus, the Son of God even

though it was capitalized by the translators.  Rather, it

refers to a son in a household --- any household.

      Jesus pointed out that in any household, the servant was

not in this family on a permanent basis.  It was the son who

was in the family permanently.  The servant or slave would

not continue to abide in the house.  He is only there

temporarily.  A slave might be sold to another owner.  If

nothing else, in Israel if he was of Hebrew blood, at the

close of seven years he would go free or even sooner if the

year of jubilee came first.

      In contrast, a son would always remain in the family.

He would never be sold nor would he go out of the home at

the end of seven years not at jubilee.  He would stay in

that household as long as he lived.

      The point that Jesus was making was that the unsaved get

to enjoy the blessings of God which come on the Jewish

family as a result of God's covenants with Abraham, Isaac,

and Jacob as long as they live, but when they die they are

out.  They were in the family physically, but they were not

in God's family spiritually.  The time will come when they

will be cast out.


III.  A second illustration from the Jewish household


      Jesus used the Jewish household to illustrate something

else.  Not only was the son in the household a free man, but

he had the power to make a slave free.  As the heir in this

home, he could, with the consent of the father, of course,

set a slave free.  This action of the heir-son, which was

taken by consent of the father would then stand up in court.

It counted as a legal transaction.

      Jesus used this to illustrate what He, as the Son of

God, could do for lost sinners.  V. 36, "If the Son

therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

Jesus had been sent to the world by God the Father.  He was

sent here to set men free who had been slaves to sin.  He

understood before He left heaven that the Father would

approve of his actions.  Therefore, when any lost sinner

would repent of sin and call upon for salvation, He will set

that person free.  He will no longer be held in bondage, but

he will be free.  Just as a slave in an earthly household

could be set free by the son, even so, a man, woman, boy or

girl who is in slavery to sin can be set free by the Son of


      God the Father not only approved of the mission before

the Son left heaven, but God the Father endorsed His mission

and His ministry while He was here on earth.  God the Father

approves when one trusts in Jesus and Jesus sets him free.

God the Father will continue to approve of this action which

the Son of God has taken.  When that former slave to sin

stands before God in judgment, the action which Jesus took

in saving that soul and setting him free will stand.  God

the Father has already appointed God the Son to be the Judge

and when God the Son officially judges and officially that

former slave, He will officially appoint him to live in a

wonderful place in heaven.  He will do it with the full

approval of God the Father.


IV.  What this has to do with men today


      Let me tell you that we were all born into this world

slaves.  We were born slaves.  We all inherited the sin

nature from our forefather, Adam.  The Bible says that we

were all the children of wrath even as others.  We did not

have to chose to have a sinful nature, we were born with it.

We were born with it because we inherited it from our

fathers, who inherited it from Adam.

      This is why we cannot ever hope to work our way to

heaven.  We can never deserve to go to heaven because we

could never set ourselves free from sin.  We are already

guilty of committing sin many, many times and we know that

as long as we live in this world that our flesh nature will

continue to do so.  We were born in slavery and we will live

in slavery to sin unless the Son of God sets us free.

      The only way in this world that we could ever be set

free from our slavery is by repenting of our sin and

trusting in Jesus Christ the Son of God to save our soul.

We have the promise from Jesus Christ, Himself, that if we

will turn to Him and place our faith in Him, He will set us

free and we will be free indeed.  We will be free

permanently.  But He also told the people in that crowd that

unless they would believe in Him they would die in their

sin.  That same thing is true with us today.  If one fails

to put his faith in Jesus Christ to save His soul, he will

die in his sin and he will suffer for his sin forever.

      Here is a wonderful thing.  A lost sinner, one who is in

slavery to sin can choose whether he will be set free or

whether he will remain in slavery.  Those who were slaves in

that day did not have the privilege of making such a choice.

But God has given the lost sinner the opportunity to make

the choice that would set him free!

      Well, even with you, somebody else has to set you free,

but you do have the privilege of making the choice.  In

fact, you have the total responsibility of making the

choice.  Nobody else can make it for you.  If you would be

set free, then you must chose to turn to God and acknowledge

your guilt of sin to Him and call upon the Lord Jesus Christ

and ask Jesus to save your soul.




      Be aware that you are a sinner, a slave to sin and you

need to be set free.  Turn to God the Father and confess

your sin to Him.  Repent of your sin to Him.  Turn to Jesus

Christ, the Son of God and trust Him to save you from your

sin.  Will you come?