There’s a blog I enjoy reading that had a look at the lies particularly Christians believe. I gotta say a big thanks to Walter Bright for writing on The Whisper of Lies and thus inspiring this entry.
In the middle of a conversation with the Pharisees where Jesus once more reveals himself, he makes a remark right after saying something that met with the approval of some who it’s stated believed in him. Jesus turns to them and says,
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
(John 8:31-32 ESV)
Three things of importance he notes – abiding in his word; know truth; truth sets you free.
Key to truth is not just a set of statements to affirm, it’s a relationship that requires following. It’s a specific relationship with Jesus Christ. A relationship based on hearing what he says, knowing him through that and experiencing freedom as we do so.
The response of people to this is telling. They assert what they believe to be true – we have never been slaves – Jesus responds to uncover a truth they conveniently overlooked – if you make a practice of sin, you’re a slave to sin. A previous episode had already pointed out that those who claimed to have no sin could throw stones at those guilty of sin. That in essence placed everyone in the same boat. That boat was set to sink with everyone in it chained to it as they were enslaved to it.
Jesus revealing this truth was not to make people feel bad, it was to give people hope. When we recognise the truth of the situation we’re in, we are in a better position to do something about it, even if the only thing we can do is cry out for help. Jesus is in the position to do something about it, because of the truth of who he revealed himself to be through his ministry – signs, teaching, crucifixion and resurrection.
At times, however, I find myself in a similar position to those who quarrelled with Jesus. It’s as if I have bought into the lie that I have never been a slave to anything or anyone. I believe the lie that I am alright. I believe the lie until as ever the love of Christ shines a light that shows just how deluded I am.
It works with the other extreme too where I believe I can’t be redeemed from all the wrong I have done. When my morose road to despair suggests these things, the love of Christ shines through to point out the truth that no matter how low I have been and how bad things have got, if I believe him and take him at his word, he is far greater than any sin that seeks to keep me imprisoned and the knowledge of him sets me free.
Free to live in the light of the truth and free to live in disputing the darkness of the lies. Free because I am not what I think at my worst. Free because I am what he said I am in him and through him.
That’s the greatest truth to start from.