Free At Last! Freedom In Jesus’ Footsteps (John 8:30–32) -- By: John H. Niemelä

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 31:61 (Autumn 2018)
Article: Free At Last! Freedom In Jesus’ Footsteps (John 8:30–32)
Author: John H. Niemelä


Free At Last!1
Freedom In Jesus’ Footsteps (John 8:30–32)

John H. Niemelä

President
Message of Life Ministries

I. Introduction

As Jesus taught, some retorted in John 8:33 with their own question:

They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free?’”2 (NKJV)

Knowing who asked this question is vital. Did the new believers of vv 30–32 turn against Jesus? The answer to this matter affects both the meaning of John 8:30–32 and the believer’s security.

II. Jesus Teaching In The Temple

Before identifying the speakers in John 8:33, one must consider its context. Where was Jesus? What was He doing? Was the crowd that listened to Him unified or composed of opposing groups?

While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts (see John 8:20), He spoke the words of 8:14–18 to counter a false testimony charge leveled against Him in v 13. This is the first of a series of questions by

hecklers interrupting Jesus as He taught receptive crowds at the same time. John 8:33 is the fifth of ten disruptions (8:13, 19a, 22, 25a, 33, 39a, 41b, 48, 52–53, and 57).

The verb teach (v 20) always takes two (explicit or implicit) objects. One teaches (1) someone and (2) something. For example, “I teach (1) seminarians (2) Greek.” Jesus encountered heckling while He was teaching receptive crowds. But at the same time, He taught content.

Perhaps a modern example will clarify the circumstances. Marriage seminars are teachi...

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