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)
People often quote the second verse, not knowing it’s Jesus. As always, it is worth paying attention to the context. To be a disciple meant following along after Jesus as he traveled. Jesus wanted to make sure it was matter not just of your feet, but your obedience. It’s not a fan club; it’s a whole life change. Active, not passive. Jesus makes two amazing claims. First: “holding to my teaching” is the path to “the truth”. To Jesus, truth was not a set of correct statements but a series of correct decisions and actions. You know truth by doing it, not thinking it. And second, “the truth will set you free.” We all know from life experience — personal and our close friends — that there is no worse bondage than commitment to a lie, because lies often require a squadron of other lies to protect them. Do you get what Jesus is saying? If you live the life Jesus wants you to live, your life will be full of both truth and freedom. So, do you accept or reject that offer today?
Lord, your way is the path to everything I really want and every step away from you has consequences. Today I really want to follow you and hold to what you have taught me so I can know the truth and be free. Amen.