What makes someone free?
Jesus tells the religious leaders that if they don’t recognise who he is, then they don’t really know God. It’s quite a claim. You can’t be a Christian and ignore Jesus. He is at the centre of it all. If you don’t recognise him as that, you don’t really know God.
On the other hand, if you recognise Jesus, and you follow him, that means you’re a disciple. It’s a word that means a “learner” and they were normal around about Jesus’ time – the Rabbis would all have groupies hanging on to what they said and putting their words into action.
The thing that is different is the lifestyle Jesus brings. Freedom is at the centre of it all. Not in an anarchy sort of way that brings destruction all around but in a real way. Rather than being driven by sin and other desires and other people, Christians have freedom. We don’t have a set of rules to follow to climb higher and get closer to God – Jesus has already made it possible for us to be in relationship with him. When you know Jesus and follow him, you are free.
It’s easy to forget about being free and feel like a slave to things that are taking us away from God again, and away from his love for us. But that is like someone giving you a gift that you haven’t opened but stuck away on a shelf somewhere. We don’t need to be defined by anything other than Jesus and the freedom he brings.
Thank you Jesus for the freedom you bring. Help us to live in the light of that freedom today. We pray for all those who, for whatever reason, aren’t free today. Amen.
Have a listen to We are the free – Matt Redman and praise God because he brings us freedom.