John 8:33

They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” (ESV)




  1. Some people look at this verse and think the Jews had forgotten their history of being slaves. And they had a long history of being slaves. They had been slaves to the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians and many more and now they were essentially slaves to the Romans.

    I don’t think they were forgetting their history, I believe they understood that Jesus was talking about spiritual bondage because of their response and their reference to Abraham. Abraham was a reference to their spiritual heritage. Abraham was a reference to their connection and relationship with God.

    And the Jews took great pride in the fact that they were children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These men they viewed as men of faith, men of God. They believed their salvation was rooted in the fact that they were descendants of the patriarchs. That is where their hope was. If anyone challenged them whether they were going to heaven when they died, they would respond not by talking about their relationship with God but about their relationship to Abraham.

    Some people when they talk about their identity as a Christian they base it upon their parents’ relationship with God. Some people may even view their identity as a Christian based on the fact they are Americans. Some may even base it on the fact that they grew up in a certain denomination.

    And so if their salvation was ever questioned, they are going to use their parents or their country or their church membership as a defense—this is why I know I am a Christian.

    In John chapter 1, the author John writes, “But to all who receive him, who believe in His name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

    John is saying, your salvation is rooted in Jesus not rooted in your parents or your nationality or even someone’s desire that you are saved. Your salvation is rooted in the fact that you,personally have repented of your sins and that you are placing your hope and trust in the name of Jesus Christ.

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