So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” John 8:31-47.
This is a sobering reminder that not everyone who starts out following Jesus remains. Here, Jesus was talking to people who HAD followed Him. Yet, they had already begun to turn on Him. They may have become disenchanted because they hoped He would be an earthly king who would restore Israel back to its former glory. Jesus actively dodged temporal power, pointing instead to a kingdom in the heavenly realm. For them, a gospel that only saved them from sin but not the Romans was a disappointment. More than that, it was a betrayal of their hope for freedom.
Jesus preached a transcendent freedom that you could possess even under a tyrannical regime. After all, what good is your earthly freedom if you are still a slave to sin? And what good is it to be Abraham’s physical descendants if your spiritual father is the devil? I am not making this up. It is right there in the text, coming out of the mouth of Jesus.
What is the freedom for which you are fighting? Is it manifested by a time of patriotism and prosperity and sinning discreetly? Or is it a social justice paradise where everyone has the same portion of the pie, and has the same thoughts? Both of those can be had without Jesus. That makes them traitors to the Son of God and children of the devil.