And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. And the slave does not abide in the house forever, but the Son abides forever. Therefore, if the son shall make you free, you shal be free indeed. Joh 8:32,35, 36

Imagine now a slave before experiencing freedom so as to have a better and more present picture of his  reality after freedom.

Maybe, the previous owner has made some holes on his ears so as to put rings of identification on him; maybe he has the memories with the marks the chains have done to his wrists, legs and feet; maybe his mind suffered torture, his beliefs suffered a great deal, he forgot just how it is to live without that sinful owner – or he might have never experienced it so at all.

Now comes a King, a powerful King, whose lifestyle, whose ways are to have people decide and have people obey and do without the sound of the whip from behind. You will agree there is a huge difference both in the performance as well as in experiencing of tasks. You see, most preachers today experience and preach Christianity from a slave’s point of view and find doctrines to stick thereby at any cost, from dancing with chains on, to be able to ignore them as never to get hurt by them when clapping hands. But, seldom do they go back to the written, unknown point of view concerning real freedom at last. This is why Jesus used the word INDEED when stating about the kind of freedom He grants for ever. For that reason, they go on studying according to their own bright thinking, guessing it is not possible to have the Lord teach you the Bible personally as he sees it Himself alone (which is the solemn and only real promise of this New Testament in God and us - Jer.31: 30-34). God put some chaff around it, so as to make it easier for them to get started – yet, with the command to stop nowhere between real freedom and chain opening. A free slave has to learn to apply and live by the new, unknown rules of freedom - something which he never learned to do; it makes it, therefore, to be more of an inner struggle now than of an outward one. The problem is his own, unadapting, deceived heart, now, and not his owner any longer - not the old one, nor the New one.

I see a great difficulty from a slave’s point of view to hear and fully obey this Lord for a great deal of specific reasons. This slave learned to fear not to have his food, not to be good at doing things for his own sake and for fear of hunger because if would do the wrong thing he would be beaten up, perhaps chastised or even chastised to a certain death. So, he never learned to do things unless done for and towards himself; I mean, that he would obey to gain alone, then. But, in a life of love where there is no fear to live by and with, we must realize the style to obey is quite different.

People may preach, then, from a slave's point of view being free (or even bound still), just as much as they can preach from a free man's point of view being still enslaved.

Now will slaves come, maybe a few free ones even, to disregard obedience because the new owner is goodness itself. You see, if he does not obey the rules of freedom out of fear, he knows not how do it any other way at all, desires not to do things which mean nothing to him from a selfish point of view since all he desired after was the freedom he now experiences and not the life it brings about still. A lsave who learned to obey unwillingly, learned, also, never to obey willingly. He cannot work for others unless obliged to, for he has never done so. And because the king is goodness itself now, the slave, not knowing how to live but for himself, feels terribly tempted to misjudge all touching this new King of his, touching his own new life style and misjudging it above all other things. Ths is why you easily find young woman getting slack with God once God has already granted them the ideal husband, a child or even a conforting lifestyle.

So, it is unconceivable for a slave to carry things out for any other reason besides his freedom. Now comes freedom, and what do you believe will be his natural reaction once he accepts and lives with the fact of having a good master? His first reaction will be to be slack, because he does not yet know what the word GOOD might mean in practical terms, and to find ways never to do as much effort as he might have done in former worldly ways of unholy fear and selfish movements.

You see, there is a reason Jesus told us about this in these words: “Luke 5:38  But new wine must be put into new wineskins… 39  Also no one having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, The old is better”. Here we find former slaves thinking and believing they should do willingly whatever they have done by force previously - and it is a lie, certanily.

Here we find the old slave having the old marks of holes in his ears and nostrils as a reminder of something painful linked to obedience, the remembrance of the pain inflicted on them still fresh in his mind because of disobedience. To resume this, he never learned to live with freedom before, he does not know how it may be or feel like to be free and to what purpose he has been made free at last. He does not believe such freedom to be possible at all (which makes him a slave to the desire to be bound again and rather); in fact, many do not wish to be set free at all, not because it is not appealing, but because it goes straight against their own-mindedness and beliefs. I heard of many cases in South Africa where people would go back to stealing just so they might get back into prison where these did never have to work for their daily food. If freedom means something else, if it means a life to carry out still, people do not desire after it that way. All they are after is to be free to be a slave owner themselves, chraging on God to do, on people to be disposed according to his needs and own disposition. I wish I could say more about a slave's way of thinking and that it is the kind of people they are which needs to change after becoming free and not the kind of master they may have. Amen.

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José Mateus