Read John 8:31-47
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’
Out of the four Gospels, the account of John is the one that is obsessed with truth. From the beginning in which he describes Jesus as “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 To the end of Jesus’ life when the Roman governor Pilate scoffs. “What is truth?” John 18:38
And here Jesus is saying that the truth will set people free.
“Truth isn’t something you get out of a test tube, or a mathematical formula. We don’t have truth in our pockets. Philosophers and judges don’t own it. It is a gift, a strange quality that, like Jesus’ kingdom in fact, comes from elsewhere but is meant to take up residence in this world. Jesus has come to give evidence about this truth. He is himself the truth”. NT Wight
How about a bit of Hebrew thinking… In Hebrew thought truth, when used of people and things, is all about reliability and truthsworthiness. So in the OT, God is described as the God of truth: the God who can be trusted. The faithful one. The reliable one. The one who is able to act and whose care for his people is sure. Truth in the OT is emeth and is often linked with chesed, which is God’s loyalty in fulfilling his promises and his covenant. In the 1st chapter of John we have the only place in the NT where the equivalents of chesed and emeth occur: “The Word becomes flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Grace and Truth stand for chesed and emeth. To John the greek word for truth aléthia is the OT emeth. The covenant love (chesed) and steadfastness (emeth) that God displayed through the history of the OT have now come into fullness in the person of Jesus. God is faithful (emeth) true. He keeps his promises. He does what He’ll say he’ll do. He made a promise to Abraham to bless ALL people through him. He has a plan, to bring humans beings back into relationship with himself. That is his will, and his effective will is His Kingdom, what he wants done: A worldwide moral revolution. Jesus embodied and revealed the truth of God’ plan to redeem the world. His entire mission was to tell people about the truth.
To know the truth means to come to know God’s saving purpose as shown in Jesus. And the freedom promised is the freedom that the revolution of God brings; freedom from sin through Jesus. The truth that Jesus speaks is not only the truth of who God is but also the truth of God’s plan to rid the world of evil.
Today, How will you live be set free by the truth of who Jesus is?
How will you be someone who speaks truth (in love) and pursues truth? How will you join Him in His worldwide moral revolution? How will you live in light of the truth that Jesus has set you free from the power of sin?