Summary: We say we believe, but are those just empty words? It seems the Jewish believers Jesus is addressing in this Scripture believe with their lips but not their heart.
A group hunters from the lower 48 hire a float plane and fly out into the Alaska bush to go caribou hunting, just as they did the year before. During their hunt, they are successful, and take 6 large caribou. As the pilot returns to pick them up, he tells the men that only 4 caribou can come on the plane, due to weight restrictions. The men argue that they were allowed six last year, (who would have guessed these guys were from the lower 48) and eventually the pilot wanting to get going, gives in. They take off, and a few minutes later….the plane goes down, and they crash! As they climb out, one hunter asked “ Hey Bubba, do you know where we are?”. Bubba replies, “ Yeah, I think so…looks like the same place we crashed last year!
First I want to note as we get into our passage today is this: Sin is much more pervasive in our life than we want to let on. And I mean, as believers, we are held captive by sin – much more than we would like to admit. And worse we return to our sin, and are constantly surprised by the outcome.
Underneath everything that Jesus is saying this morning, lurks the sin in our lives and this sin holds us back. Jesus is very clear about this: 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
And then in verse 34, 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
Let’s take a poll: When you hear the words of Jesus - Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” How many think of this in the context of being said to unbelievers?
(I bet ya there will be a lot of hands up)
But did you notice, Jesus is speaking , not to unbelievers ---But to believers.
Open you bibles and look – verse 31, 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him…did you catch that? Why do we miss that? Jesus is talking to those who believe, not pagans, heathen. But church going, upright, trying to live for God believers, you know, just like us.
Here is a curious thing to note: If Jesus is speaking to believers than why does he say in verse 46, If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?
They are believers, who Jesus accuses of not believing. How can that be? And even more curious, he tells these believers that their father is the devil. And they sure don’t take that well…What in the world is Jesus trying to get across to these people? What is Jesus message for you and me this morning?
Last week we talked about how we get all wrapped up in the endless problems of life. How we, through our faith in Jesus, work with God to address life’s issues and by doing so we never get where Jesus wants us to be, because the next problem to be addressed comes up, and we need to deal with it.
Remember we asked – what are you hungry for? Spiritually that is. Jesus told us in chapter 6 of John, the work of God isn’t doing stuff. No, its Believing, just believe in me, says Jesus. But you know, you have to admit – Jesus was a little vague. Did you feel that way after the service last week? I hope so, because there is more to it.
What, in a practical way does Jesus mean, believe in me? I think today, in John 8 he addresses that question. Let’s look at what our Lord Jesus says about this….
Believers who are not free...again, we see in verse 31 that Jesus is speaking to believers. People who are following him as rabbi, teacher, even the Christ. Yet though they believe, these believer’s are enslaved. This is quite curious, because if we believe in Jesus we are set free…Well what does verse 32 say? 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus is saying that we need to believe in the truth here, but didn’t he say in John 6, believe in me? Which is it Jesus, do we believe in you, or in truth?
Sounds contradictory doesn’t it? But it is not. Why? Jesus is the Truth.
When Pilot asks the famous question what is truth? Remember Jesus stands before him and they have this conversation, John 18:37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?”