Know the truth
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.”
- from John 8:31-32
True discipleship always leads to knowledge of the truth. But what truth is Jesus talking about in today’s passage?
Later in John 8 we see that Jesus is talking about three truths: the truth about ourselves, the truth about the world around us, and the truth about God.
Tim Keller once said: “You’re more sinful than you ever thought you were. And you are more loved than you ever thought you could be.” That’s the truth about you and the truth about me. Ignoring the truth about ourselves – our brokenness and the radical acceptance God offers us through Jesus – has tremendous consequences.
Do you think you can tease out a few of these consequences? Give it a try.
As for the truth about the world around us, followers of Jesus discover that we live in God-filled, contested space. The kingdom of God comes to life in every corner we go looking for it. And yet forces of evil resist God’s reign at every turn. Following Jesus gives us a unique, front-line perspective on the truth about the world, a perspective that shapes the way we live in this world.
What do you differently because you live in God-filled, contested space? How does that shape your life?
Finally, knowing the truth always circles us back around to God. John Billington loves to say that truth is not just a set of propositions and ideas. Ultimately, truth is personal. Truth is a person. In John 14:6, Jesus claims to be the Truth. In John 8, Jesus lays the ground for that claim. And the truth about God that we learn when we know the truth is that the Truth wants to be known. That’s why Jesus came in the first place, so we could know the Truth.
Why do you think God wants us to know him personally? What difference does it make that we know him, rather than just knowing facts about him?