The Truth Will Set You Free
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)
Jesus, the one who frees the captive. Jesus, the great liberator, sets us free from bondage–bondage to sin, bondage to self, bondage to death and destruction. Jesus breaks the strong chains of sin that blind and bind us. When we are not yoked to Jesus we will find ourselves yoked to the things of this world. We are either bound to Him or we are bound to sin. That is why Jesus issues the following call to all to “come” and “learn.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Isaiah had prophesized regarding this particular aspect of our Savior’s job description. Indeed, Jesus Himself read from Isaiah’s scroll at the advent of His ministry (Matthew 5:11) claiming to be the freer of the prisoner and the preacher of the very good news:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)
Jesus’ half brother James gives us an even broader dimension to our verses for today. He echoes and emphasizes Jesus’ words regarding our knowing and demonstrating and continuing on in the truth.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)
It is one thing to begin to follow our Savior and quite another to persevere–holding firmly to the end. Not considering the cost beforehand, sadly, many of Jesus’ disciples fell away when His teaching got tough … and still do today. We must remember heaven is our home, not earth, and our path to heaven is not always easy.
Take It to Heart
Christ came to give us freedom, liberty, privilege–the state in which one can act and move without restriction or hindrance. Believers in Christ are free when we hold to and follow His leading and teaching.
-1 Corinthians 10:13