“…the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
It’s a safe bet, we have all heard these words quoted many times – in many different contexts. The general idea, that most people accept, is that truth brings freedom – that liberty comes from the acceptance and adoption of truth, in our lives. That to know truth is to know freedom…
But this just isn’t so. Truth does not bring freedom at all.
At least, not without truly understanding the proper framework of these words.
The Person Who said, “the truth will set you free,” is Jesus. And He was speaking to “the Jews who had believed in Him.” (John 8:31) In context, Jesus is speaking with members of “the scribes and the Pharisees” (8:3); the same bunch that had brought Him the woman caught in adultery… “to test Him.” (8:6) Through the course of that test, and in response to Jesus’ wisdom – and, more importantly, through Jesus’ confession to being the Messiah (8:23-29), many of the “Jews” who once opposed Him, now “believed in Him.” (8:30)
It is within the framework of believing in Jesus, and in fully committing one’s entire life to believing in Jesus, that Jesus spoke these famous words: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (see 8:31-32)
The truth is: Truth cannot liberate us until we have committed our lives to the Liberator. We simply cannot disconnect the truth from the Person Who is True. We just cannot know the truth until we know the One Who is the Source of all truth.
The focus of anyone, who really wants to know the truth, cannot be upon truth itself. We cannot learn our way to freedom. Knowledge about the truth is not the same as knowing Him Who is truth (John 14:6). We must commit our hearts to the Source of all truth – the One Who was “God with us.”
I’m pretty sure that is why the enemy of God works so hard to keep people from focusing upon Jesus. Make it a battle of ideas. Make it a search for personal definition and identity. Make it all about religion. Make it a matter of right vs. wrong. In the end, all those tireless pursuits tend to lead us away from what makes truth so essential, powerful, and liberating, in our lives.
That is WHY, in Jesus’ time among us, the “scribes and the Pharisees” so stubbornly resisted Jesus. They were so committed to “truth” that their hearts had so little room for the Source of Truth, right in front of them.
Truth is a Person. And the only way to really know the truth (and have the truth set us free) is to commit our lives to knowing and loving Jesus.
That is not my opinion – that is what Jesus said.
Every other way that we try to seek and know truth, will always lead us astray…
Prayer focus: Jesus, I commit my heart to knowing and loving You… completely.