Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him,
“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
The saying “the truth will set your free” is well-known, but too few know where it is found, and even fewer have contemplated what it might mean. Jesus is challenging his disciples to follow his teachings and to find freedom in him.
Elsewhere in John, Jesus identifies himself as “the truth.” It is Jesus, and following his way, that can set you free. You can be set free from any sin, any hindrance, any pretension. You can learn to serve others, be a voice for the voiceless, stand for justice. You can make joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control your way of life. You can learn from Jesus the way of generosity and humility and speech-that-builds-up.
In order to learn these things, you’ll have to be set free from hatred, despair, restlessness, impatience, anger, pridefulness, and sloth. These sins will not die an easy death. But as John Wesley wrote, in Christ “sin remains, but does not reign.” Jesus has claimed the victory over sin and death, and works by the Spirit to transform you into a new creature.
Let him set you free.
God, freedom is found in you.
May I see and know your truth,
that I might leave behind all that hinders me,
and experience the freedom found in your grace. Amen.