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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 8 - Verse 33

Verse 33. They answered him. Not those who believed on him, but some who stood by and heard him.

We be Abraham's seed. We are the children or descendants of Abraham. Abraham was not a slave, and they pretended that they were his real descendants, inheriting his freedom as well as his spirit. They meant that they were the direct descendants of Abraham by Isaac, his heir. Ishmael, also Abraham's son, was the son of a bond-woman (Ga 4:21-23), but they were descended in a direct line from the acknowledged heir of Abraham.

Were never in bondage to any man. This is a most remarkable declaration, and one evidently false. Their fathers had been slaves in Egypt; their nation had been enslaved in Babylon; it had repeatedly been subject to the Assyrians; it was enslaved by Herod the Great; and was, at the very time they spoke, groaning under the grievous and insupportable bondage of the Romans. But we see here,

1st. That Jesus was right when he said (Joh 8:44), "Ye are of your father the devil; he is a liar, and the father of it."

2nd. Men will say anything, however false or ridiculous, to avoid and oppose the truth.

3rd. Men groaning under the most oppressive bondage are often unwilling to acknowledge it in any manner, and are indignant at being charged with it. This is the case with all sinners.

4th. Sin, and the bondage to sin, produces passion, irritation, and a troubled soul; and a man under the influence of passion regards little what he says, and is often a liar.

5th. There is need of the gospel. That only can make men free, calm, collected, meek, and lovers of truth; and as every man is by nature the servant of sin, he should without delay seek an interest in that gospel which can alone make him free.

{d} "never in bondage" Le 25:42

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