“We have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we will be set free?” (John 8:33). I don’t know if those who spoke those words were blind or forgetful. One or the other, though. I do know they were wrong. The Israelites had been slaves a number of times in their long, colorful history. In fact, they were slaves to the Romans, in a sense, when those words were uttered.
Jesus was less concerned with the reign of Rome than he was the reign of sin, though. You can tell because of what he accomplished. Dying on a Roman cross wasn’t intended to bring down an empire of men. Dying, then resurrecting was intended to defeat sin and death! The Roman Empire lasted for a while after Jesus rose. The dominion of sin came to an immediate end!
You can also tell which slavery Jesus was concerned about because of his response to their ridiculous claim: “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). Slavery to sin is worse than any national slavery can ever be. Slavery to sin lasts longer, and its effects are more devastating.
When the people in the American colonies began to feel enslaved because of taxation without representation, they signed a Declaration of Independence; and then fought and won a war for freedom. To this point in our brief history, we can say “We’ve never been slaves of anyone.” But let’s neither be blind nor forgetful. We have all sinned. We have all been slaves to sin. Guns can’t win our freedom from this reign of terror. The Son and His truth are the only way to being truly free. That’s Life at Work.