36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
The “therefore” here draws an implication from the previous verse, showing that the “son” of verse 35 is none other than Jesus.
if the Son makes you free,
Jesus is the genuine Son of God. He is the only one who can free us from the price of sin. Freedom here is deliverance from the penalty of sin.
you shall be free indeed [in reality].
Freedom comes by faith in Christ (Ga 3:26). Those who Jesus liberates are truly free. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the law of sin and death (Ro 8:2).
“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants,
Jesus granted to the Jews that they were indeed Abraham’s seed. The Jews were the physical descendants of Abraham, but this was not a sufficient means of salvation.
but you seek to kill Me,
Ironically, the very descendants of Abraham, who looked for the coming of the Messiah, were planning to kill Jesus the Messiah. True people of God do not seek to kill Jesus. Their claim to believe in Abraham was completely inconsistent with their actions. It was patently clear that they were not spiritually Abraham’s seed or truly born-again people.
because My word has no place in you.
The desire of the Jews to kill Jesus showed that they were not genuine believers. This was obvious because Jesus’ “word” never engaged with their souls. They completely rejected it.
I speak what I [emphatic] have seen with My Father,
Jesus offered another test of whether the Jews had a genuine faith or not—a test of parentage. Jesus’ words were the same as His Father’s. The Greek indicates that Jesus had a long-standing understanding with the Father (perfect indicative). This is a reference to the Father’s divine counsel. Jesus took that counsel and put it into His teaching. What Jesus taught was not human viewpoint but divine viewpoint.
and you do what you have seen with your father.”
“Your father” refers to the Jews’ father, the devil (v. 44). They falsely assumed their relation to Abraham was the source of their salvation. There was an infinite gulf between the Jews’ father and Jesus’ Father.
What Jesus taught was is keeping with His Father, and what the Jews believed was in keeping with their father, the devil. Jesus referred here to His consistent message and His opponent’s constant belief system.
People are characterized by their spiritual parentage.
Jesus had an inexpressible and eternal union with His Father. He delighted in doing the Father’s will. His truth came from the absolute God. Unbelievers, because of their sinful state and willful rejection of Christ, show characteristics of their father the devil (Jn 8:44). What they believe comes from a source other than God.
True spiritual freedom can come only from Christ. Only He can redeem us from the slavery of our sinful condition. He did that by paying for our sins with His death on the cross (Eph 1:7).