Sunday, March 24, 2024

John 8:31-58

American Christians have much to be thankful for, and we tend to take our rights and liberties very seriously. However, the biblical concept of freedom differs from the sovereign individualism America’s founding political thinkers espoused. The very highest form of freedom is realized in recognizing the Lordship of Jesus and being obedient to his teaching.

Starting Out:
1. How do you define freedom? How is your understanding similar or different from our culture’s understanding of freedom?

Read John 8:31-38:
2. What does it mean to abide in Jesus’s word?
3. When Jesus says, “the truth will set you free” what truth is he referring to?
4. The Jews who believed in Jesus rested on their lineal connection to Abraham as their source of spiritual freedom. Why was that a comfort to them, and why might that be a hard thing to let go of?

Read John 8:39-47:
5. How are the Jews’ actions and attitudes inconsistent with their claim to be descendants of Abraham?
6. Why is the truth of Jesus incomprehensible to the people he’s addressing?
7. Jesus accuses his critics of being sons of the devil. What evidence supports his claim?

Read John 8:48-59:
8. Why do you think Jesus responded as he did to the insults regarding his ethnicity and spiritual state in verse 48?
9. How does Jesus’ claim in verse 51 rhyme with his claim in verse 31?
10. Jesus pokes his audience in two ways in verse 58. What does he say that provokes the following murderous outrage in verse 59?

Taking it Home:
11. Jesus’ audience believed the lies of religious legalism which kept them from recognizing his truth. What lies have you believed that have kept you from embracing the truth of the Gospel?
12. How do you live out the freedom you have in Christ? How is your freed self different from the way you were before you accepted Jesus?

Other Scriptures to engage with this week:
Psalm 26, Romans 6:15-23, 1 John 5:1-5