We have just celebrated the birthdays of two great countries that share a border and consider themselves to be not only neighbours, but friends. Canada Day (July 1) and the Fourth of July (America’s Independence Day) often elicit thoughts of freedom and gratitude for the country that we live in. Both countries have paid a high price for their freedom, and are still paying for it with the lives of their young men and women.
What does it really mean to be free? From John 8:31-32 come the words that the truth will set you free. These days there are many differing opinions about what truth is, including that each person has their own truth; what’s true for me might not be true for you, and your truth might not be my truth. Therefore one has to wonder what truth will set us free? This saying has been repeated so often it has become a cliché, but if we look at the whole context for it, we will gain the insight we need to find freedom.
Jesus had just been speaking to the people at the temple. He had been telling them that He was the light of the world, (John 8:12) and that if they knew Him they would also know His Father. The Pharisees questioned Him and argued with Him. Many of the Jews at that time depended on religious rituals and ceremonies for their hope of salvation, and they did not understand what Jesus was saying, but many of them professed to believe in Him.
Jesus knew that for some that profession was superficial, and He responded to them with these words, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” What then must we do? We must spend time studying the word of God, and spend time in prayer asking the Lord for understanding. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) The more we get to know Jesus, the more we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free.