Posted by: randydunning | January 8, 2008

Day 8 | John 8

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Text: John 8

Key Verse: 31, 32
“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'”

Reflection:
John 8:32 is a commonly quoted Bible verse. In their hearts people hunger for truth and desire freedom. Therefore, v. 32 is quite compelling. But it is often misquoted or improperly used because it is invoked apart from v. 31. The conjunction is usually dropped and it is a dangerous omission. Because if the promise of knowing the truth and being made free is disconnected from continuing in the words of Jesus, the foundation for truth is removed and the keys to freedom are lost. Then truth and freedom take on different definitions than the ones Jesus would give them.

This is evidenced by the Jews’ response to his statement and the ensuing debate about Abraham. The Jews there argued that since Abraham was their “father” they were positionally free already. They had all the truth they needed. Indeed, the Jews were the purveyors of truth. They were the chosen of God. This mentality led to hearts closed to the words of Jesus who’s message was initially intended for them.

Once we believe that we embody truth and have a complete handle on it we will become disinclined to continue in the words of Christ. After all, what more is there to learn if you’ve got it all figured out?

Certainly this was the position of the pharisees. They fancied themselves as keepers of truth and no longer seekers of truth. And Jesus noted that Satan was their father, not Abraham and certainly not God.

For when we believe we have become the keepers of truth, we become a God unto ourselves. Then we will no longer continue in the words of Jesus, we will lose sight of the the truth and eventually forfeit our freedom.

Prayer:
Lord, I am grateful for this 21-Day Challenge and that it is causing me to continue daily in Your Word. Shake from me any complacency and pride that would lead me to believe I have it all figured out. May I come humbly to You everyday seeking truth that can be directly applied to my life that I might walk in greater freedom.

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Responses

  1. I think this passage speaks to anyone who has ridden or is riding on someone else’s faith, i.e. their parents, their grandfather, their pastor, thier best friend. I was doing the exact same thing until college, but didn’t even realize I was doing it. It had just become a part of me and it took someone else to point it out to me, just as Jesus pointed it out to the people listening here.

  2. Randy, that is an excellent point. I think that on some level it is so easy to subtly think that we have it all figured out, and that is such a dangerous way to think. It seems that whenever I begin to be confident in what I am doing, something comes crashing in around me. God wants to keep us humble enough to depend upon Him, and to “continue in Him.”

    V. 32 is so true: the truth shall set us free. But if we continue to live in Him, we shall live a life of continued freedom, not a solitary moment of feigned freedom. Jesus came to give us life, and life abundantly. This means eternal, constant freedom. Later in this chapter, in verse 35, Jesus says that a son belongs to the family forever. That is what Jesus longs to give us, eternal belonging and eternal freedom.

    Will we “continue” to live in Him?


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