Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31,32
Jesus had been teaching in the Jerusalem temple. As usual, the Pharisees and others objected to most everything he said. They challenged his authority and questioned his origins. But some believed.
So Jesus said these words to those Jews who believed In Him: “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed.” The important word is “abide.” Abide means to continue, to keep on. Abiding in Jesus’ word means staying with it and continuing in it. Many people eagerly listened to Jesus’ words and believed for a day. But they did not continue listening, contemplating, using, following his words. Jesus’ words quickly disappeared from their hearts and minds. True disciples of Jesus abide in his word. They continue to listen to preaching and teaching. They continue to read and study and take it to heart. They are eager to hear their Lord every day.
There are a grand result and reward to abiding in Jesus’ words. “And you will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” What is the great truth that they will know? The great truth is Jesus Christ himself: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
The truth concerns Jesus’ identity. Though mostly unknown and unbelieved by his generation, Jesus was and is the very Son of God, God in the flesh. He has existed as God from the beginning, and nothing was created except through him (John 1).
The truth is that Jesus is the one and only Savior of the World. Only through him does anyone have access to the Father and to the Father’s presence in heaven. Buddha will not get you to heaven. Allah cannot grant you access to the Father. The Hindu gods will introduce you only to confusion and myth. Only Jesus is the way.
Only Jesus reveals and explains the truth. Our world has come to a point where it tolerates infinite numbers of “truths.” “That’s your truth. I live by my truth.” That is the theology of the day. The fact is that truth is objective, it is set, it is immovable, it is eternal. It is the truth of God contained and explained in the Bible- the written Word of God. The Scriptures remain the sole measure of every other claim to truth.
Only Jesus grants life. Real, fulfilled life in this world, and life in the world to come. Jesus is the Lord of Life because he died on the cross only to come back to life on the third day. He conquered death. Life in him was stronger than death and the grave. Jesus promises that all who trust in him will rise from the tomb as he did.
And knowing all this will set you free. Free from fear of judgment. Free from fear of guilt and sin- all is forgiven in Christ. Free from fear of the future- your future is secure in Christ.
Make time in your life to truly Abide in Jesus’ Word. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.