Are you a slave to sin?
Kiara Clemonts is an intern in our Heroes Summer Internship program. She shares what she learned about God’s liberating truth in John chapter 8 at our morning devotion time.
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John 8 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
8 1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
An Adulteress Forgiven
2 At dawn he went to the temple again, and all the people were coming to him. He sat down and began to teach them.
3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. 4 “Teacher,” they said to him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 They asked this to trap him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse him.
Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger. 7 When they persisted in questioning him, he stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then he stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. 9 When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only he was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, he said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, Lord,” she answered.
“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
The Light of the World
12 Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying about yourself. Your testimony is not valid.”
14 “Even if I testify about myself,” Jesus replied, “My testimony is true, because I know where I came from and where I’m going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. 15 You judge by human standards. I judge no one. 16 And if I do judge, my judgment is true, because it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.17 Even in your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am the one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me.”
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your Father?”
“You know neither me nor my Father,” Jesus answered. “If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” 20 He spoke these words by the treasury, while teaching in the temple. But no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
Jesus Predicts His Departure
21 Then he said to them again, “I’m going away; you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I’m going, you cannot come.”
22 So the Jews said again, “He won’t kill himself, will he, since he says, ‘Where I’m going, you cannot come’?”
23 “You are from below,” he told them, “I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.”
25 “Who are you?” they questioned.
“Exactly what I’ve been telling you from the very beginning,” Jesus told them. 26 “I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the one who sent me is true, and what I have heard from him—these things I tell the world.”
27 They did not know he was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own. But just as the Father taught me, I say these things. 29 The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him.”
Truth and Freedom
30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 “We are descendants of Abraham,” they answered him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus responded, “Truly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. 37 I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill me because my word has no place among you. 38 I speak what I have seen in the presence of the Father; so then, you do what you have heard from your father.”
39 “Our father is Abraham,” they replied.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do what Abraham did. 40 But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You’re doing what your father does.”
“We weren’t born of sexual immorality,” they said. “We have one Father—God.”
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and I am here. For I didn’t come on my own, but he sent me. 43 Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Who among you can convict me of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 The one who is from God listens to God’s words. This is why you don’t listen, because you are not from God.”
Jesus and Abraham
48 The Jews responded to him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you’re a Samaritan and have a demon?”
49 “I do not have a demon,” Jesus answered. “On the contrary, I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and judges. 51 Truly I tell you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
52 Then the Jews said, “Now we know you have a demon. Abraham died and so did the prophets. You say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets died. Who do you claim to be?”
54 “If I glorify myself,” Jesus answered, “my glory is nothing. My Father—about whom you say, ‘He is our God’—he is the one who glorifies me.55 You do not know him, but I know him. If I were to say I don’t know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I keep his word.56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 The Jews replied, “You aren’t fifty years old yet, and you’ve seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.”
59 So they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple.