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.” John 8:31-32 NIV
Jimbob and Wally stories. I’ve been telling children’s stories with a grown up message for over 2 decades. When I worked at Moody Radio, I had the privilege to share some of them with my co-host John Rogers live and on air. I would like to offer you the privilege to drop in on one of our sessions. The Snickers Won’t Set You Free based on John 8:32.
Most of my memorization and meditation of John 8:32 has been as a stand alone verse. Today, however I noticed the connecting word, “then” other translations use the word “and”. So we have to drop back one verse to get the full revelation of knowing the truth.
In John 8:31 Jesus is talking to the Jews who believed in Him. He tells them that they are to hold, continue, follow His words. The greek word “hold” is meno’ which is the same word used in John 15 “to abide”.
John 15 could be the expanded definition of the John 8 passage. NIV chooses the word remain, I am using New King James Version to capture the number of times “Abide” is used. I have added the bold in John 15:4-10
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you[b] will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. John 15:4-10 NKJV
If repetition is important, I think Jesus was serious about us learning how to abide, remain, and continue in Him. Verse 10 captures the essence of freedom and truth found in John 8:31-32. Those who abide in Jesus experience His love in keeping commandments.
Question: Can you truly experience the freedom that Christ desires for you, while continuing to live in opposition to His plain instruction for holy living? Too many of us are deceived in thinking that Jesus somehow gives us a pass for our trampling upon His grace. Grace to forgive us of our sinfulness makes room for us at the table set for the joy of obedient fellowship, not for the playground of lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or the pride of life.
It’s not perfection that He is after, Jesus paid the price for that. He desires that your heart remain open and honest to Him to confess your faults. His cleansing is freedom that comes with honesty resting in your abiding.
Freedom, obedience, and confession are all related in Abiding with Jesus. May you experience the joy of freedom…and that is the truth.
Blessings Love y’all