Soon Forget

Jesus of Nazareth had many discussions with His fellow Jews. Let's just say that they didn't exactly see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, no doubt as a result of their unbelief that He is YHWH incarnate.

During one particular discussion, which the apostle John recorded for posterity the following exchange takes place:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have
never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" (John 8:31-33)

I must admit I'm no scholar of Jewish history but weren't the Jewish people slaves in the land of Egypt? I won't even bring up the servitude they endured under the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, and at the time of Jesus, the Romans. This is why it is astounding to me how the Jews responded to Jesus' promise of freedom.

What is said about those who forget history? They are bound to repeat it or something like that. After being delivered by YHWH from the clutches of Egypt, He gave His chosen people, the Jews, some warnings, here's one of them:

Be careful that you do not forget the YHWH your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the YHWH your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 8:11-14)

So what did they do? Over a span of almost 1000 years, the Jewish people forgot this warning and as a result they were taken to Babylon in exile around 583 B.C. their temple destroyed. Taken in chains, to Babylon. Why because they grew proud and forgot about God, and thus rejected His plan for them.

Fast forward to the dialogue between Jesus and his contemporaries. He offers them freedom if they will just know the truth, that is Him, for He claimed to be THE TRUTH (Jn 14:6). They rejected it on the grounds that they were free because they were "Abraham's descendants", and thus never been slaves to anyone. They had forgotten their past and the consequences of their past rebellion against YHWH.

The result was a repetition of their history. Only this time, they rejected YHWH incarnate by telling Him that they were free and they didn't need Him to offer them any freedom, because after all they were Abraham's descendants. Never mind the fact that it was YHWH Himself who Abraham worshipped and trusted in. Let us pray that we don't fall into this same pattern of obstinacy.


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