“The truth will make 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 disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet 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 the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak 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 of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear 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 speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak 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 He 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 say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps 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 also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’ 53 Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? 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 keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You 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 went out of the temple.
In today’s text Jesus says: “The truth will make you free.” There is a bondage that comes with telling a lie. The one who lies must keep track of what it is that they say so that they do not contradict themselves. There is an old saying: Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. Telling a lie seldom ends with just one lie. It usually requires more lies to cover for and coordinate with the first. The bondage of and to the lie is that the one who tells it often becomes entangled in their own web of deceit. Telling and speaking the truth, on the other hand, makes us free. When we speak truth there is no need to remember and consider what we have said previously. If truth is both our method and our motive, then there is no hidden agenda, no manipulation of either facts or people. For myself, I have learned that I am not nearly clever enough to live a life built around lies. It is much easier to simply tell the truth and to have the freedom that the truth gives.
The text today though was not referring to speaking the truth, but rather Jesus is talking about the freedom that comes from and in knowing the truth. He says: “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… Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” In John 14:15;23-24) Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” It is not enough that we know the truth. We must continue in the truth. We must keep the commandments of Jesus to be free from the bondage of and to sin. James 1:14-15 describes in part the bondage of sin saying: Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Part of the bondage of sin is that it seems to satisfy our own lust. We may have no bondage to the sin that someone else has because it is not an area of our own lust. What is tempting to one may hold no temptation to another and vice versa. We should never judge anyone else by what it is that tempts them. We each have enough to deal with our own lust. In these verses, James really only touches on the root of the bondage of sin; that temptation is based in our own lust and then the result of sins bondage, which is death. Whether physical death, spiritual death, death in a relationship or in or to something or someone else, sin always results in death.
In today’s text, Jesus speaking of the devil, says: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” In truth, there is much more to the bondage of sin than only yielding to temptation resulting in death. Just like that tangled web of deceit we weave in telling lies, there is a complex and tangled web we become bound to and in when we believe the lies of the “father of lies.” Rick Joyner, in his book, “Overcoming Evil in the Last Days” writes: The attacks of the enemy usually come in a series of stings. The successive stings are meant to hit the very places where we have been weakened by the previous stings. In this way they build upon each other until the cumulative effect overwhelms the target. The stings of the enemy usually come in the following order: 1. Discouragement 2. Confusion 3. Depression 4. Loss of vision 5. Disorientation 6. Withdrawal 7. Despair 8. Defeat The tangled web of sin is difficult to escape because the successive series of entanglements come quickly. As soon as we have yielded to temptation, we begin to feel guilt and condemnation. These are not from God the Father, but rather they are more lies from the father of lies. In his book, Rick details the way out of the stings and entanglements of the enemy. It is a great truth to know and a recommended read. In short, the way out is Jesus.
In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief
does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” From the very beginning of His ministry here on earth
Jesus said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19) In John 14:6 Jesus says: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” To know the way out of the bondage of sin and deceit is to know Jesus. If we truly know Him, we will love Him and as He says, If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Jesus says: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” There can be no entanglement of sin if we are abiding with Jesus and the Father. Indeed: “The truth will make you free.”
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, the Way the Truth and the Life. Thank You Holy Spirit that You convict us of our sin and never condemn us. Thank You that never lead us to temptation but instead You guide us to the Father and the Son. Thank You for the truth and that I am free. Amen.