To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32
The English language can be confusing. Take the words: freedom from the truth. They can be understood in two completely different ways. One is the freedom which presumably comes because absolute truths are rejected. The other understanding is the freedom which comes because truths are accepted. Today, many people have adopted the first understanding. They feel they are free because their lives are not limited by someone else’s idea of the truth.
When I examine what Jesus said to those who were gathered to listen to him, I begin to see what is really true. When I reject the truth, I am no longer free. In fact, I have enslaved myself to lies, half-truths and deceptions. This is why Jesus’ words are so precious: “If you hold to my teaching, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus couldn’t make it any clearer. Knowing the truth he offers and putting one’s complete confidence in it is liberating.
What Jesus offers is freedom from the devil’s domination and deception. He also offers freedom from the guilt and shame which accompany my sinful disobedience. He even offers freedom from death and the grave with his promise of life in heaven.
What makes Jesus’ truth reliable is his ministry dedicated to validating this truth. His life, his death, his resurrection all provide the guarantee I need to be certain his truth is valid. It is also liberating. Because of what Jesus has done, I am free to live knowing I am at peace with God. I am also free to live knowing what love and joy are mine through faith.
Today, it is easy to be confused by the appeal of a truth of one’s own making. Where will it lead? What confidence can it offer? The only result of this kind of truth is disappointment and despair when I stand before the Judgment Throne of God. This is why I need to hold on to the truth Jesus went to great lengths to establish and offer me through faith. It is also why I want to make every effort to know and experience the freedom which comes from believing Jesus’ truth.
Prayer: O blessed Savior, I thank you for establishing the truth which sets me free. Through your Holy Spirit help me grow in my knowledge of that truth, and my confidence in it. In the end, let me enjoy the true and lasting freedom you alone can offer in this life and in the life to come. Amen.