We invite you, on the occasion of Lent 2022, on a 7 week-journey of biblical meditations until Easter to discover or rediscover the foundations of our ministry of spiritual care.
When we meet new people, we are often brought to introduce ourselves, and sometimes in the conversation we mention who our parents are. In the Gospel of John 8:31-47, Jesus invites His interlocutors to reflect on their spiritual heritage.
To understand where Jesus wanted to go, let’s go back to the account of Creation in the first chapters of Genesis. There, our holy God three-in-one—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is presented as the Creator. We see His perfect plan: creation and Man, made in His image and likeness. We discover the perfect relationship between God, creation and Man and the model of God’s perfect love that lets Man live freely in the garden. We recognize the Truth, God Himself.
Unfortunately, Satan, in the form of the serpent, invites himself into this perfect plan and spoils it by introducing lies. According to the dictionary, lying is the act of disguising the truth. That’s what the serpent does in Genesis 3. He misleads Adam and Eve about who God is and what He said and he brings a seed of doubt to both Adam and Eve. Several other lies follow that cause Eve to choose to obey the lie rather than the truth.
The lies of the serpent are the root of man’s downfall. Sin is introduced and God’s plan is changed forever. Sin is anything we do, say, or think that is not pleasing to God. Sin enslaves. The Man who was free in the garden has become a slave to sin and death. The father of Man from now on, is no longer God but the devil.
When Jesus introduces the subject of Truth to the Jews who have believed in Him, He is teaching them the mark of a true disciple. "If you stay true to my words, you will truly be my disciples." He confronts them with this choice between the Truth and lies. He leads them to ask themselves the question, who is their father by the way they live, behave and think.
A child of God receives Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. He is a disciple who stays true to His words. He walks in righteousness and truth. He is free from the bondage of sin and death.
Jesus’ discourse is not moralizing or condemnatory, but liberating. Unfortunately, the pride and ego of this audience prevent them from understanding, seeing and knowing the Truth in Jesus Himself! Jesus came to restore their identity and authority as children of God. Jesus came from the Father to free them from the bondage of sin and death.
Like many today, they cannot accept the truth. Many believe that there is no absolute truth and that all truth is relative. Nowadays, it is difficult for certain people to accept Jesus, to accept the Truth.
As a Christian, we must be aware that God is the only true God. He speaks to us through His Word which is Truth. We must remember that out of love God sent His Son, Jesus Christ. Through Him the serpent’s lie is destroyed and God’s original plan restored. Through Him we are reconciled to God and have access to the Father. Through him we are freed from the lies that bind us to sin and death. We must be aware that a battle is fought in our words, deeds and thoughts and we must always be guided by the Truth.
What lies do we believe about God and about ourselves? What lies still enslave us? This week, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to read the Bible with fresh eyes and lead us to know the Truth that will set us free.
#praytogetherFather, we give you thanks for your perfect plan and love in Jesus Christ. Through Him, you bring us back to the Truth and we then become Your children. Tear down one by one, Lord, these lies that separate us from You. Open our hearts to know You better and teach us daily to know and recognize the Truth. That by this truth we live freely in the plan You have for our lives. We thank You for this liberation! Amen.