The truth will set you free
John 8:31-59 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 Now the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you are seeking to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak of the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”
39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born as a result of sexual immorality; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came forth from God and am here; for I have not even come on My own, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I say the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 The one who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”
48 The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not rightly say that You are a Samaritan, and You have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; on the contrary, I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 But I am not seeking My glory; there is One who seeks it, and judges. 51 Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone follows My word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets as well; and yet You say, ‘If anyone follows My word, he will never taste of death.’ 53 You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died, are You? The prophets died too. Whom do You make Yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you; but I do know Him, and I follow His word. 56 Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see My day, and he saw it and rejoiced.” 57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and left the temple grounds.
In our culture and society today, there is a move toward rewriting history. Removing truth, what is and what was does not change the truth. Cancel culture wants to eliminate anything and everything that it finds offensive, but that doesn’t change the truth. In today’s text Jesus says: “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Truth is offensive to some people. It has become popular to say follow the science, but many only choose to follow what supports their own agenda and ideology. They choose to disregard the truth that biology, that science recognizes only two genders. They disregard the science and the truth that an unborn baby is in fact alive and a life. The truth often offends people. It is said that truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth.
Those who are in opposition to God’s truth, say that they have their rights. In reality though, it is not their rights that they are concerned with, but their motive is to control and eliminate the rights of those who think differently than they do. When you disregard or deviate from the truth, you become enslaved to a lie. The only way to sustain a lie is to continue to lie. A lie does not become truth because it is repeated or even because it is accepted. God’s word is truth and truth does not change. Truth does not evolve with or adapt to the whims of the society and culture. Many people are offended by the truth of scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16 says: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. Those who are enslaved by lies, those who are offended by the reproof of God’s word want to cancel both the Bible and God Himself. While they may remove God and His word from the culture and society, they cannot cancel what is eternal. In today’s text Jesus says: “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” In Revelation 1:8 He says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
John 3:16 tells us the truth about God: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” In the following verses, John 17-21, Jesus tells the rest of the truth: “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” Cancel culture cannot cancel the judgment of God against evil and darkness. It can only lie and say what is evil is good and what is darkness is light. God says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Each one can choose for themselves, either the freedom and eternal life that comes from believing the truth, or enslavement to the lie that says evil is good and good is evil.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, thank You for the freedom You give us to choose. Thank You for the freedom that You give us when we choose truth. Thank You that I am free in Christ, because of Your great love. Amen.