Today's Sermie


Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
-John 8:31-36

When Jesus first told his followers that they were free, they weren't all that excited.  He says, “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”  It was the best news ever!  But the people listening weren't impressed. 

Their attitude was something like, “Whatever.  Who cares, Jesus?!  Don’t you even know who we are?  We’re important.  We have important ancestors.  We’ve certainly never been slaves so what do we need YOUR freedom for?”  It was like Jesus offered them this amazing universal key – that would unlock all kinds of new possibilities for their lives.  But they didn’t want the key - because they didn't even know they were locked in such a small space. 

The people thought Jesus was only talking about physical freedom – freedom from slavery.  And since they weren’t slaves, they didn’t know what he meant.  Their understanding of freedom was very limited.  Jesus was talking about freedom in an expansive, broad way. 

When Jesus says to us that through him, we are free – he’s talking about freedom in the largest sense.  Freedom from fear, worry, sin, expectations, anxiety, regret, perfectionism, and isolation.  He doesn’t say these realities won’t be part of our lives.  They will.  But we don’t have to be defined by these parts of life.

Without Jesus – we spend our whole lives trying to measure up, trying to earn the love of God....Trying to earn the love of everyone around us.  With Jesus – we don’t have to measure up.  Through Jesus, we have the gift of God’s grace – the gift of God’s love for us, forever, regardless of anything else. It's a huge gift - and with it comes a whole different kind of freedom.

Real freedom.

Imagine a fish in a fish bowl.  He lives his whole life in that bowl, looking at the same scenery.  Swimming in the same, familiar waters.  He doesn’t know anything different.  Little does the fish know that there’s so much more.  There are so many waters out there.  There are rivers and ponds and oceans to explore.  There are other schools of fish to meet.  Other experiences to have.  There’s a whole different kind of freedom out there that the fish doesn’t even realize. 

Sometimes the same is true for us.  We get stuck in our own fish bowls in this life.  We get stuck in our own fears and worries.  We isolate ourselves.  We wear masks to hide who we really are.  We swallow our feelings.   We judge. We swim the same little space – because we’re afraid to go beyond the parameters of what feels safe.  Sometimes we miss out on a whole different kind of freedom that Jesus has in mind for our lives.  We live life like we're a little fish stuck in a small bowl - when really, we're offered a life of freedom...in the biggest, most beautiful sense of the word.  

Jesus says, “If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.”  Friends, we are free.  We are free, indeed.  We can live free – and live in community with one another.  Through Christ!

We all have something different that’s keeping us stuck in the fish bowl.  And you know what?  That fish bowl becomes a kind of prison.  Sometimes it’s an unhealthy friendship or relationship.  Sometimes it’s the past.  Sometimes it’s an idea we’ve had for years and years but never acted on.  Or perfectionism.  Or anger.  What's keeping you stuck in the tank?

Through Christ, we aren’t stuck in the tank!  We’re free to swim.  There are experiences God is calling you try!  Maybe they are opportunities within this church.  Maybe at work.  Maybe with your family. 

We’re free.  We have the freedom to share our lives – our time, talents, and treasures – in radical ways!   We don’t have to think and think and overthink everything.  We can just go for it.  Live.  Explore.  And even fail.  It's one of the greatest expressions of freedom that we have as people of faith!  The freedom to try new things, make mistakes, fall down, and get up again.

 Praise be to God that now and forever -  Jesus, the Son of God, makes us free.  Free indeed. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful Sermon - I enjoyed and got more our of this last week's service than I have in a long time. Thank you for all you do to help us worship and praise the Lord!