Devotional Reading: John 8: 33-47. Morning Psalm-22; Evening Psalm-105
Text: Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the Son does. (John34 & 35)
I’ve always felt awkward using the biblical metaphor of slavery. In the early days of my ministry I felt awkward because in my part of the world we do not have slaves, except for the kind that is underground that I never knew about until recently. More recently I felt awkward because none of my ancestors were slaves. They may have been indentured servants, but that is not the same thing. I believe that a better image is that of “being owned”, of having a Boss. Who’s your boss?
At this point in the gospel Jesus and the “rulers” are in an argument about just who Jesus is. When Jesus said that they were “slaves” they were indignant. They are nobodies slave. Nobody owned them. But, in truth, they were owned: by their traditions. Tradition blinded them to the presence of God in their midst. Tradition blinded them from recognizing the works of God in their very midst, the works of Jesus–the Son.
Like the rulers of Jesus’ day we, too are owned. Tradition was their Boss, not God. Their Boss lived in their position, money and status. Those same Bosses exert the same influence over us today. Christian Educator and seminary president C. Ellis Nelson once wrote that it takes the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God to from the chains our various Bosses. Jesus Christ is that in-breaking. Jesus Christ is the Boss.
Today and in the rest of the days of Lent look for God’s in-breaking in the day to day activities of your life. Carry a 3×5 card and write one or two down. Reflect upon the card as your day draws to a close.
Lord, give me a discerning heart so that I can see those things that are my “Boss”, that”own” me. Show me how to move from this temporal ownership to freedom in Christ. Amen.