So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
As believers, we can say that the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. The words that were written in it have surpassed all critics and are ascertained to be truthful and trustworthy. Scholars of the Bible have substantiated the veracity of it throughout the years and are worthy to note that it’s not just a work of literature created by different authors. It is real indeed a demonstration of God writing history in the affairs of humanity.
Yet even though we have this kind of understanding concerning the truths stated above, most of us are still left out as victims in life. We tend to stand out and defend the truths we have heard and agreed from God’s Word but when reality strikes against us, we begin to doubt about it, negating the capacity of that truth to stand and defend for us.
Thoughts of uncertainty begin to creep in our heads. Frustration starts to diminish the truth we believe in. Anxiety and worry becomes so invasive. But good thing, we can glean simple points in a famous verse in the Word about Truth that can bring enlightenment to us as it is being presented in a simple yet relevant idea.
We can see three points about how we can discover truth and how to let such truth be retained in the inner depths of our whole being in John 8:31-32. Let’s go to the first point.
And the truth shall make you free. – The essence of what truth can do in our lives is absolutely liberating. Truth cannot make you incarcerated by those thoughts of discouragement and disappointment. When you hold on to something that is true, no one can deceive you, mislead you or play tricks on you. The truth that you uphold can give you the courage and confidence to stand for it and fight for it when extreme situations arise. Jesus, as he was challenged by the Pharisees never yielded by their demeaning inquiries about him. He knows a validated source of truth where He can get the things that He’s saying about himself which the Pharisees didn’t knew. Well, He knew that truth alone cannot make someone free. What you should do about the truth you hold is important, which leads us to our second point.
And you shall know the truth. – Truth is defined as something that is real and actual. It is something that has been proven. It is something that we have encountered and most of all, experienced. You cannot prove something to be true unless you have experienced it. It will make you a fool. The word “know” stated in this verse in the Greek term defines: the recognition of truth by personal experience; to perceive, realize, understand, gain knowledge; come to know; the knowledge that has an inception, a progress and an attainment. In respect to the vocabularies presented here, Jesus is addressing something. Knowing the truth is an unending discovery, it is a process that we cannot afford to skip. It is a conscious effort, a wilful choice to search, strive and prove it in ourselves so that such truth will be alive and embedded in our hearts as we go through life. The knowing, entertaining and believing of this truth does actually makes us free from prejudices, mistakes and false notions that enslaves and entangles our soul. And when we have proved that the truth that we’re learning out is validated by the results that are produced, it cannot be contested. That truth will remain in our lives. Jesus is the only one who knew that great experience with the Father. He cannot deny it. The Pharisees can’t nullify it. That knowing is the basis of his truth. Jesus wants to point out the power of truth by knowing it can make someone free.
The essence of what truth is has been understood. The process to gain it is already explained. Now the question is, where and how can we gain truth in our lives? This leads us to our last point.
If you abide in my word, you are my disciples. – When he spoke this, he didn’t make it accidentally for the sake of the crowd that was persuaded by the authority of His words during that time as He was discussing with the Pharisees. He was trying to conceal something about these nine words that the Pharisees will never get. “Disciples” from the Greek term implies: to learn, thought with effort put forth. Far from the term “follower” that sometimes shoots up in our minds when we hear that word today. Jesus saw the relevance of this statement to us as present-day believers. He was expressing a certain event that happens when a disciple follows a teacher. He’s not just a follower. A disciple is a learner as well, that whatever he gets; he learns it and applies it in his everyday affairs. Jesus was so smart to hide this rich treasure behind these words. He knew that his earthly human presence will be transient, but His word which he has left for us will be permanent throughout the ages. And through His Word, with the power of the Holy Spirit, as we abide on it, we can grasp certain truths that we can lean and rely on and apply in life’s different aspects. He wants to convey this idea from the context to us as if he was saying, if you abide in my word, you will learn indeed. And as you abide in my word, you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. His word is a great source of truth that we can claim freely, believe fully and receive unquestionably. Abiding on His Word will always introduce us to the greatest truths that we ourselves are entitled to receive through Christ.
What’s fascinating about it, a shift happens after six chapters from this story. The truth that Jesus is telling about the word that he invites us to abide is He himself. But that’s another story. We’ll just stop here.
That makes us become victors in life. When we realize to understand His Word and its powerful truth behind, we begin to break barriers and limitations in our lives and never live the same, normal life again.
The verse in its totality leaves us an encouragement (as we identify with Him being His disciples) and a condition which entails a factual result; a result that is manifested when we abide in His Word always. And the verse is presented as well in the right way when we take it contextually. We began to discover truth at its finest.
— Written By: Aaron Teodosio