We begin this week’s reading in John with chapter eight where we hear Jesus speak these famous words:
If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
How many times have we heard this phrase? Or at least how often do we hear part of it? The truth shall set you free. That’s at least what I am most familiar with.
In a time in which the meaning of truth is ever changing, it is extremely helpful for us that Jesus said these words in context. The truth that sets us free is known when we abide in his word. It isn’t truth in the abstract. It is truth that is found in Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
What sort of freedom is it that we receive? The hearers of Jesus in John 8 have the initial problem of thinking that they are not slaves nor have they ever been. They, like us, have trouble seeing the ways in which we are slaves to sin, therefore they have difficulty seeing what need they have for someone to free them, to liberate them from the bondage in which they live. Christ has no problem in shining his light on our sin, revealing to us the darkness that surrounds us. His freedom overcomes the power of sin and is a freedom we could not procure for ourselves.
Only Christ can do this work and the amazing promise of Jesus is that he can and will set us free. “If the Son sets you free you will be freed indeed.” Christ wants to move us all out of slavery and be brought into his household, no longer as slaves but as children of God. When he does this we are freed from sin and we are freed to obey Christ’s word. Seeing both sides of the freedom is key in recognizing how great a gift freedom is that is found in Christ.
Find rest in that promise as you do spend time abiding in God’s Word. May we abide in it as we read it and as we seek to live it out moment by moment.