John 8:31 – By Pastor/Elder Matt Leko
John 8:31 “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.”
These words Jesus spoke to Jews who “believed” in him, by the end of the conversation those same Jews would pick up stones to try to kill Jesus. VS 59 What’s the deal? What could make a person go from seemingly believing in Jesus to wanting to kill Him? The short answer is, the more Jesus revealed to them who they were; slaves of sin vs34, children of the devil vs44, and not hearing God because they are not of God vs47 liars vs55 And the more Jesus revealed to them who He is; the one who frees vs36, one who hears from God vs40, sinless vs46, not self-honoring but honored by the father vs54, the I AM vs58. The stronger the reaction. The more the Truth was revealed, the more visceral a response the crowd gave, they were utterly devoid of the love of the Truth.
When we read the verse at first, we need to ask a simple question. What does Jesus mean by “Truth”? We know from context and from other parts of John that Jesus defines Himself as “the Way the Truth and the Life.” Therefore it is plainly understood that Jesus is talking about Himself when referring to the “Truth”. That fact is a celebrated fact that a great many people will declare, and that should be celebrated, for the “Truth” is what sets us free from bondage to sin and the consequences thereof. But what is often overlooked is the very thing that Jesus refuses to separate from Himself (the incarnate Truth) that is “if you abide, continue, remain, stay, wait in my word, you are my disciples indeed.” That is being a Disciple of Jesus, to be meaningfully joined to Him, to be delivered from slavery to sin to a place of sonship has a requirement. That requirement is remaining in the very words that Jesus spoke. To remain does not mean to simply intellectually understand what Jesus said, but rather has the connotation of Psalm 1 meditating on His word day and night, to love His Word, to obey His word. The Word that Jesus spoke while on earth and the words that the Apostles (Jesus selected authoritative spokesperson’s) wrote about Jesus, are the words we are to abide in. It is by these words that we shall know the Truth and be made free. Do you delight to hear and obey the words of Christ?
It’s not enough to simply know about a Jesus called Christ, but we must know the Jesus that is the Christ, as He defines himself, with His own word. To miss this, that is to misidentify who Jesus is, is to hang by a rotten rope over the pit of eternal judgment, any hope put in a Jesus of our own or another’s imagination is a fool’s errand destined to end in devastation and perdition. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we give more diligent focus to what the Word of God has testified about Jesus (who he is, what He has accomplished and what He commands of us), not being bogged down with purposeful ambiguity and vagueness’ as if we cannot know what has been revealed, such is seen as “humility” in our current day and is even prevalent in the visible church, but with diligence and precision handling the Word of God with all seriousness and sobriety. For it has been delivered to us and all that will believe, that we may know the Truth and the Truth will set us free. Flee to the Lamp and the Light which is the Word of the Living God that will illuminate your path and will shine its’ light on Jesus, the Truth incarnate.
Looking to Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith Your brother in Christ Matt Leko