One of the most famous quotes of Jesus is this, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NIV) It is often quoted in reference to some abstract concept of truth. As if knowing any truth, historical, philosophical or scientific, liberates us. But Jesus actually used it in a narrow sense. John 8:31-32 reads, ‘To the Jews who had believed him, 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.”’ (NIV)
Jesus said his followers hold to his teaching. His teaching on morality and spiritual things is the truth that liberates. We see this in the conversation with the believing Jews in the following verses. ‘They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”’ (John 8:33-36 NIV)
If we want to follow Jesus, we must hold to his teaching. We don’t pick and choose what we want to believe, as if Jesus offers some buffet of advice. We hold, grasp, grip all of his teaching, even when the culture mocks, cancels and persecutes. This is the path to freedom.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.