Read John 8
Focus on verse 31-32
As the campaigning for the coming election becomes more heated, the accuracy of statements being made by the candidates is often called into question. As a result it has become quite common to consult “fact checkers” who have made it their business of sifting through the words and phrases attempting to separate fact from fiction. The question that has come to my mind as I observe all this has been, “Who verifies the fact checking of the fact checkers?” How do we know that the fact checkers are being honest in their fact checking? If we follow this reasoning to its logical end, we find ourselves asking the question Pontus Pilot asked of Jesus prior to Jesus execution; “What exactly, is truth?”
In today’s reading Jesus has a knock down drag ‘em out debate with the Jewish political establishment about this very thing. At one point in the conversation they pretty much just come right out and accuse each other of being liars. In the midst of this Jesus has a word for those in the crowd who believe He is telling the truth.
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.” (v. 31-32)
On hearing this we might have the same question that the Jews responded with, that being; “free from what?” Apparently they were unaware that they were in bondage.
In the nation of America, freedom is highly prized. Americans are very proud of the freedoms that they believe they have as citizens of this nation. Yet there is a sense in which many of us are unaware, just as the Jews of Jesus day were, of our bondage to sin. Just a few verses later,
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. (v. 34)
In Romans 3:23 the Apostle Paul writes, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Apparently, Jesus was the only human to walk this earth without committing a sin. The fact that He did this is what makes Him the only one qualified to set us free from sin. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (v. 36)
His statement that “the truth will set you free” has a two-fold application. It is not only the understanding of what is truth and what is false that sets us free from deception, it is the understanding that Jesus IS the Truth that sets us free from the bondage that deception brings.
“I am the way, the TRUTH and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus reveals Himself not only as the bearer of the truth, but also as the embodiment of Truth itself, and it is only through believing in, and on, Him that we can truly know and experience the freedom we seek.