May 21, 2019
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” (John 8:31-33 NLT)
“Who’s Your Old Man?”
The Stratford Festival has fired up and Susan and I have a nice schedule of plays to attend sprinkled over the next few months. I love live theatre and have envisioned this chapter from John’s gospel played out on a stage.
The debate that John describes from the 12th verse on makes Question Period look like a tea party. “Who’s your father?” “Are you calling us bastards?” “You agree you are demon possessed?” Just a sampling of the quality of discourse allows us to sense that the temperature is rising and the stakes are high.
The phrase “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” is the fuse that sets it all off. It gets repeated regularly in our society for a whole host of reasons that have nothing to do with its origins.
Jesus challenges slavery to heritage for our understanding of our world, of God and ourselves. In offering his loving call to justice and mercy, Jesus longed for his opponents to be freed from hidebound perspectives.
Our world is no different and our disagreements in the public square have become poisonous – and the poison comes from all sides. Hidebound commitment to our own perspective without listening to the “other” leaves us fractured. It ultimately led to Jesus death.
Loving God, you offered us the liberating truth in Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection. You call us to follow him, not down some particular political or social path but to live with his character regardless of the sides we are on. Grant us freedom to follow the real truth while trying to negotiate our way through the competing truths of our society. … For Jesus’ sake