“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (NLT)
If you are like me, you have heard this passage of scripture quoted hundreds, if not thousands, of times over the years. It’s one of those verses that migrate outside the sermon zone and into everyday conversation – even among those that are not Christian. Unfortunately, the real truth of what Jesus said is often lost in the sound bite.
One of the best sermons I have heard on this verse equates Jesus as the Truth. It argues that if you know Jesus, you know the truth. This is an excellent point, but it is also important to realize that it is not enough to know Jesus; you must really KNOW Jesus – Intimately! To clarify, let’s take a look at the scripture in context, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31b-32 NASB)
So how do we learn, experience and know the truth? We must become Disciples of Christ and remain faithful to His teachings. The Greek work used for “continue” here (transliterated menô) means to abide, remain, and stay. It is not superficial or cordial. It is not an on-again, off-again relationship. It denotes serious commitment and an on-going and maturing bond. It is the same word used in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” (NASB). The word for “know” here (transliterated ginôskô) means “come to know.” The truth is not something that is attained in a moment, but rather is progressively revealed day-by-day as we are in an abiding and lasting relationship with Him.
Heavenly Father, You alone are truth! Your grace is beyond comprehension, that You would allow us to be in relationship with you and learn the innermost secrets of Your Heart. I pray that you mold each reader into an abiding relationship with You. May they know the truth and may it truly set them free. Bless each one and continue to reveal Yourself to and through them. In Jesus Name, Amen!