Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
That’s from the gospel of John, chapter 8, verse 32. It’s a verse I see around a lot that makes Christians feel all happy and glowy (it’s a word*) inside.
What’s the first word of that verse again? Then. Oh yeah… but that’s not important, right?
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
If you hold to His teaching, the truth will set you free. What is Jesus’s teaching? How do you really become His disciples?
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.” (Luke 6:35a)
“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” (Matt. 5:39)
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34b)
Does it sound impossible? Difficult to do? It should. Following Jesus is not easy. It’s hard to not “mouth off” to someone who seems to deserve it. It’s hard to deny your own desires for someone else.
Is it worth it?
A thousand times yes. When you hold to His teaching and really become a disciple, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Jesus Himself is the truth. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6a) He sets you free.
It may not sound like freedom at first, but it is! The freedom to have joy in the darkest of places, to be at peace during a normally stressful time, and to have power over difficult choices is like nothing else. Followers have the freedom to not be afraid, to not obey the fears. We have the freedom to not let the need to be accepted control us because Jesus accepts us.
And I’m only scratching the surface.
What do you think? Are there other verses you’d like to see shared in context?
*The word “glowy” is not in the dictionary. 😦