Continuing from things I learned Sunday in John 8, (things after the last post, Jesus’ Identity and Missing the Point).
Speaking to some of the people who believed on Him, Jesus told them to continue in His word, which shows that they are truly His disciples (John 8:31). If we keep following Jesus, choosing regularly and putting forth effort to do His will on purpose, we are His disciples, His followers, His learners. If we keep following Jesus and doing the things He tells us to do, both generally and specifically, we’re not just hearers of the Word, we are also doers of it (see also James 1:22). Jesus also told these believers that along with this following and discipleship they will also know the truth, and the truth will make them free.
When Jesus said this, some people (probably the religious leaders with which He’d been talking before) retorted that they were children of Abraham, they themselves were already free and had never been in bondage. Never mind that for a large portion of Jewish history these people had been in bondage to several peoples, and never mind that they were under Roman rule at the moment. But that still wasn’t the point. Once again, some of them were missing the point.
Jesus didn’t bother addressing the physical bondage, He went right to the spiritual. He let them know that if you commit sin (any sin at all), you are the servant of sin. The Greek word often translated as servant really means slave. So if you commit sin, you are its slave, you are in bondage to it (John 8:34). But Jesus, the Son of God, has the authority and ability to truly free you from it (John 8:35-36).
Being a believer in Jesus and being a disciple of Jesus are not meant to be separate things. You and I were meant to be free from sin as we follow Jesus. Believers in Jesus are supposed to be followers of Jesus, we cannot be slaves of sin.
Related: Being a Disciple