December 15th, 2006
Truth seems to be a pretty complicated concept these days. How do you know if a truth is truly true? Jesus said, “If you remain faithful to my message, then you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” The people who heard this were offended, not by the claim that Jesus’s message was the truth, but by the suggestion that they weren’t already free. According to Jesus, slavery isn’t just something physical. It’s something psychological or spiritual as well. When you commit a sin you become a slave to sin. Freedom comes only through seeking and finding the truth which can set you free.
John’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 8
8:12 Jesus spoke again to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 8:13 The Pharisees said, “You testify about yourself. Your testimony is not valid.” 8:14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify about myself my testimony is true, because I know where I came from and where I am going. You don’t know where I came from, or where I am going. 8:15 You judge according to human standards. I judge no one. 8:16 Even if I do judge, my judgment is true, because I am not alone. I am with the Father who sent me. 8:17 It is written in your law that the testimony of two people is valid. 8:18 I am one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me.”
8:19 They asked him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You don’t know me or my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 8:20 Jesus said this in the treasury, as he was teaching in the temple. Still no one arrested him, because his time had not yet arrived. 8:21 Jesus said again to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sins. Where I go, you can’t come.” 8:22 The Jews asked, “Will he kill himself, if he’s saying, ‘Where I am going, you can’t come?'”
8:23 He said, “You are from beneath. I am from above. You belong to this world. I do not belong to this world. 8:24 I told you that you will die in your sins, because unless you believe that I am who I say I am, you will die in your sins.” 8:25 They asked him, “Who are you?” Jesus replied, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 8:26 I have many things to speak in judgement of you. But the one who sent me is true, and the things which I heard from him are the things I say to the world.”
8:27 They did not understand that he spoke to them about the Father. 8:28 Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am who I say I am, and I do nothing on my own behalf, but I say the things which my Father taught me. 8:29 The one who sent me is with me. The Father has not left me alone, because I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”
8:30 As he said this, many believed in him. 8:31 Jesus said to those Jews who believed him, “If you remain faithful to my message, then you really are my disciples. 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 8:33 They answered him, “We are from Abraham’s bloodline, and have never been in slavery to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free?'” 8:34 Jesus answered, “I can guarantee that everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 8:35 A slave doesn’t live in the house forever. A son stays forever. 8:36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 8:37 I know that you are from Abraham’s bloodline, but you want to kill me, because my message finds no place in you. 8:38 I talk about the things which I have seen with my Father, and you do the things which you have heard from your father.”
8:39 They answered him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would act like Abraham. 8:40 But now you want to kill me, someone who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham didn’t do this. 8:41 You act like your real father.” They said, “We are not illegitimate children. We have one Father, God.”
8:42 Jesus replied, “If God was your father you would love me, because I came from God. I haven’t come on my own behalf, but he sent me. 8:43 Why don’t you understand what I’m saying? Because you can’t hear my message. 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn’t stand for the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own. He is a liar, and the father of lies. 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you don’t believe me. 8:46 Who can prove me guilty of sin? If I tell the truth, why don’t you believe me? 8:47 Someone who belongs to God hears the words of God. This is why you don’t hear, because you don’t belong to God.”
8:48 Then the Jews answered, “Aren’t we right to say that you are a Samaritan, and have a demon?” 8:49 Jesus answered, “I don’t have a demon, but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. 8:50 I don’t seek my own glory. There is one who seeks and judges. 8:51 I can guarantee that people who keep my word will never see death.â€ 8:52 Then the Jews said, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets. Yet you say, ‘People who keep my word will never taste death.’ 8:53 Are you greater than our father, Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you make yourself out to be?”
8:54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is our God. 8:55 You have not known him, but I know him. If I said, ‘I don’t know him,’ I would be like you, a liar. But I know him, and keep his word. 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and was glad.”
8:57 The Jews said, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 8:58 Jesus said, “The truth is, before Abraham ever existed, I am.” 8:59 They picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus disappeared and left the temple.
Entry Filed under: Hope