A not uncommon quote is , ” The truth will set you free.” But did you know beloved that there is life in the verse right before it that explains that quote? Jesus was talking to the Jews who had already believed him. They had stepped out on a limb and decided to believe that He was the long awaited Messiah. Can you imagine all the doubts that might have assailed their hearts?
We have been waiting forever, why would he choose now to come?
Who am I to think He would come in my lifetime?
Isn’t this man from Nazareth?
I heard someone say his mother was pregnant before she married Joseph, I know the virgin birth was prophesied but do you think it’s true?
And scriptures tell us that Jesus said to these brave Jews who had believed Him, ” If you continue in My word, you really are My disciple. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
If you continue in My word, you are my disciple and you will know the truth!
Before we can be set free we must know his word. I am not saying that you need a doctoral degree or a bachelors degree. For we know that Peter, and John were ordinary and unschooled men. (Acts 4:13) I am talking about the word “know”. We know that the greek word for “know” in the NT was influenced by the Hebrew word used for “know” in the OT. It was the word yada. It encompassed so much more than our English word for know or knowledge of something. When the scriptures in Gen. 4 discuss Adam knowing Eve it is describing their intimacy with each other which produces a child. When we know the truth, we are not just reading it as knowledge and information. Rather we are accepting it as truth, acting on it as truth and responding to it as truth. We serve a God who desires intimacy with us. He desires to know and be known by you. ( Gal. 4:9) When we know God’s truth something beautiful is produced.
I love this whole passage in John 17, but I will just share a small portion because it feels a bit like a love letter when you read it. However, it is actually one of the last things Jesus said before He went into the garden and was betrayed and led to the cross. Jesus was praying to His Father and in that prayer He says this,
” I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you and they believed you sent me…. Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word.…Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world I am sending them into the world. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.
He was praying for us dear ones, for us! He wanted us to know the truth of His word, not to spout back in the form of correct answers on a pop quiz but to know deep down in our very spirit the truth. He wanted us to be full of joy so that we could go out into the world and share that truth and joy with others. He knew that this would not be easy, that life would not be easy but by knowing Him and His word He would make us holy so that even in the crushing circumstances we would only release the aroma of Christ. I love a quote by Amy Carmichael I read one time.
“A cup brimful of sweet water, cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”
We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world and I don’t get this right near enough but it is my desire to be so full of the truth of His word that when I am jolted that is what spills out.
His word is eternal.
It is for yesterday and today and tomorrow.
It is for you and for me and for all of creation.
His word brings life and it is the only truth that can truly set us free!