“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.’” (John 8:31-32, ESV)
It seems that every time that Jesus spoke with the religious leaders of the Jews, He antagonized them. Here He told them that no one can be saved by the Law for all people are enslaved to sin. True freedom is not found in following the Mosaic Law, but in becoming His disciple, that is, believing Him to be our salvation and following His teachings.
The leaders of the Jews did not like to hear what Jesus said. He spoke words of authority and truth which ran contrary to the rules of the bureaucratic Jewish religious system. They could not accept these truths because they felt that Jesus not only broke the Mosaic Law (which He came to fulfill) but also because they felt that He challenged their authority and power. Consequently He was someone to be eliminated. Rightly did Jesus call them children of the devil for though they claimed to know God and to be His followers, they did not walk in obedience to Him.
The same words That Jesus spoke that angered the Jews fill us with peace, hope and comfort. Yet many today still refuse to accept this truth and take it out of context. The truth that sets men free is that Jesus is our salvation who frees us from the power of sin and death. Many today would rather see Jesus as just a man on a par with Moses, Buddha, Mohammed and L. Ron Hubbard. No one can be saved without Him for all people are enslaved to sin. But Jesus does not give us this option for He is infinitely superior to all men: He is God incarnate and faith in Him is the only true faith there is.