31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 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?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would[b] do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

Personal Reflection and Discussion

  1. How would you define the word disciple?  What does it mean to be a disciple?  How have these answers changed since the beginning of your journey through John?
  2. In your faith walk, are you more of a disciple, cheerleader, spectator, or fan?
  3. React to the following statements:
    1. “A disciple is someone who is learning from the Master:  learning to do what the Master does with the same heart, mind, and skill of the Master.”
    2. “Discipling is more like an apprenticeship than becoming a scholar.  It happens more on the job than in a classroom.”
    3. “Jesus is a God/man of mission on the mission field.  To be a disciple, a follower of Jesus, we must be people of mission on the mission field of life.”
  4. What is at the core of Jesus’ teaching (see Mt 22:37-40; Jn 13:34-37; Jn 14:6; Gal 6:2; 1 Jn 4:7-16)?
  5. Truth is another big theme in John’s Gospel (see 1:14-17, 3:21;4:23-24, 14:6, 17:17, 18:37-38).  How does Matthew 11:19; Colossians 2:6-8 help us understand John 8:31-34?


Jesus, if we stick it out, if we hold to Your truth, Your truth will vindicate itself and prove itself to be true.  I am fairly knowledgeable in regard to Your truth.  Help me, stir Your Spirit within me, in order that I might do a better job of not only knowing Your truth, but of “holding to Your truth” and demonstrating myself to be one of Your disciples.  

Greek Word of the Day

English Word: Offspring | Transliterated Word: sperma (sper-ma)

Something sown, seed; by implication, offspring, figuratively of the fertilized egg, the seed of conception.  Generally, seed in the sense of posterity.  Hence, Christians are referred to as “the seed of Abraham,” in that they are the spiritual children of Abraham, and by faith are heirs of the promises made to Him.

Family Engagement Activity

The more we hold on to the teachings of Jesus, the more we are able to show Him to others and the more we are capable of showing others that we are truly His disciples.  Conduct an endurance challenge.  Have your family be involved in a contest to see who can hold on to something the longest.  END this by letting them know that Jesus always holds on to us.  His love endures forever!  

Here are some options:

  • Have each person hold a pail of water for as long as possible with their arms stretched out to their sides.  You can adjust weights appropriately if they think they are stronger.  Maybe try multiple challenges with more and more water added.
  • Hold on to a plank position.
  • “Hold” a certain number of cups or books on their head.

Going Activities To Consider

Today, if you haven’t already encouraged someone to walk with you and to learn with you on a more regular basis, allow someone to know what Jesus has been telling you lately.