The Path of ObedienceLuke 6:46-49Theme: Profession and practice.This week’s lessons teach us how to both study and live God’s Word.
LessonSuppose we do pursue regular, personal Bible study and prayer? Suppose we do earnestly seek to know the mind of our Savior and obediently follow where he leads? What do we find then? Some would say that we discover a dull monotony of life or at best a list of rules to follow duly, but those who have actually followed Christ find something different. They find freedom from self which is an amazing form of liberty.
Jesus taught this in his day. He had been expounding on the source of his teachings, and many who listened had believed in him. Their belief must have been rudimentary since no one, not even the disciples, understood that he was eventually going to go to the cross to die and thus provide redemption for his people. Nevertheless, this was real faith, and Jesus wanted to encourage it. He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
This infuriated some of his listeners. They replied, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (v. 33). This was ridiculous, of course. For years the Jews had been slaves in Egypt. During the period of the judges there were at least seven occasions when the nation came under the domination of foreigners. There was the seventy-year-long Babylonian captivity. Even as they were talking to Jesus these people were watched by Roman soldiers and carried coins in their purses that showed Rome’s rule over Palestine. It was this that made them so sensitive and provoked the retort, “We…have never been slaves of anyone.”
But how did Jesus respond? He did not try to show that they were deluded in their thoughts about political freedom, although he might have done this. Instead, he spoke of bondage to sin and showed that true freedom consists in one’s escape from it through obedience to him. “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin…So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (vv. 34, 36). Freedom comes as we determine to follow Jesus, and that is the greatest freedom of all.
What liberty comes to those who study the Bible?
How does sin affect us?
Scripture MemoryMemorize John 8:31-32 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Key PointTrue freedom consists in one’s escape from sin through obedience to Christ.
PrayerOur Father, we thank you for this call to obey Jesus Christ. It’s not the sort of thing we would have written. It’s not the sort of marching orders we would have devised for ourselves. We think that we’d like to do our own thing and do it always, and without any sense of responsibility to anyone else. But, our Father, as we begin to live in this Christian life and discover how you operate, we discover things about ourselves and about you. And we recognize that to be called to account and to be required to obey really says that we matter to Christ, that what we do matters, and that he takes us seriously and really wants us to live in a way that becomes part of his program for this world. And so, our Father, we ask for eyes to see and hearts to respond to that, and wills to do it obediently for Jesus’ sake. Amen.