“If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
When Jesus uses the word “free” in this verse He means, not in bondage to anything. At another time Jesus said: “Whoever sins is a slave to sin.” Peter put it this way: “A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” Both of those statements paint a picture of a person who is unable to untangle himself from the clutches of ungodly or unhelpful things. But Jesus holds out the possibility that people CAN be set free. He, “the Son of God,” can set them free; and when He does, the bondage ends. The person is no longer powerless over his hurts. He is no longer tormented by his hang-ups. He is no longer chained to his habits or addictions. He is FREE! This is a recovery that lasts!
Of course Jesus started His statement with the word if. “If” is a conditional term. Friends, we all try lots of things to make our lives better. Some things help. Some things help a lot. But nothing works completely except the grace and the power of Jesus Christ.
Listen, when Jesus said “truly free” He meant “not temporarily free,” and “not partially free.” When we turn our problems over to Jesus He takes them. They are no longer “our problems.” Oh, we can take them back, and a lot of people do, but we don’t have to. But let’s be honest, if we take our troubles back, in truth we never gave them to the Lord in the first place! To be truly free we have to let Jesus do the work in us.
And that brings us to the last and most important word. The source of true freedom is the Son. True freedom doesn’t come through the exercise of our will power or our good intentions. It is Jesus alone who has the power and the desire to free us from whatever holds us back, ties us down, and makes us less that God intended us to be. Only when the Son sets you free are you truly free!
Pastor Keith Andrews