Jesus is the truth who will make you free

Jesus is the truth who will make you free

"The Truth Will Make You Free"
For those of you who will be at our Reformation Sunday services you will hear, or will have all ready heard, some of this. However, I wanted to expand on this idea a little more than what I am able to do during the sermon.

This phrase “The Truth Will Make You Free” is pretty well distributed in our culture and in our world. The problem is that most people don’t know that this phrase comes from the mouth of and that this slogan doesn’t exist by itself. What Jesus says is”If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31-32)NRSV

When you see the phrase in context it becomes pretty clear that the truth that we are talking about is Jesus Christ. That by continuing and abiding in his word we will be following him, we will know him, and by knowing him, Jesus, we will know the truth, and he THE TRUTH/JESUS will set us free. This passage is not some blanket charge for us to head out into the world looking for some unknown truth, this passage is Jesus telling us to turn to him and know that he is the only truth that will set us free and save us.

But this is in no way how the world deals with this phrase is it? “The Truth Will Make You Free” can be found on Libraries seeming to exclaim that if you read and learn enough you will then know the truth and will somehow be set free. Our scientific inquiry is built on the idea that if we simply are able to think enough and learn enough we will be able to probe the secrets of the universe and know the Truth of that which holds the foundations of the world together. If you remember the show ‘THE X FILES’ we were told that “The Truth is Out There”.

My point being that the way that the world usually looks at this passage, “The Truth will Make you Free” is that if we humans just work hard enough, think hard enough, are clever enough, that somehow we will discover a truth which will make us able to be the masters of our world. We hear this and we think that it means that nothing is beyond our grasp if we simply work at it and find the “truth” of the matter.

Here is the problem though. As we pointed out earlier, that is not what Jesus Christ is talking about. Jesus is saying that if you want to know what truth is – here I am. If you want to know what things are all about – look to me. If you want to know what will set you free and make you what God intends for you – I am it. This statement is not about people simply going out there on their own and rolling up their sleeves and ‘by-gum’ finding out what the truth is. The truth is right in front of them.

The problem is that the way people usually think about this passage is that it is completely opposite to what our Lord is saying. Because if I tell you to go out there and find the truth and that is what will make you free and happy, well then there you go on your own and good luck. If we take this phrase as most in the world do then we have no need for others and no need for God – because the answer is that I simply have to work things out by myself. If I just figure it all out – then I am good.

The problem is humans will never figure it out by themselves. We never will understand the truths of our salvation and our life with God. And we can also remember that since all of this world is passing away, and that since our God is the only one who is eternal – then to probe the truths of this crumbling reality can be helpful but in the end may not be as important as we believe them to be. Or to say it another way, the ‘truths’ that we find are not going to be as truthful as the TRUTH which Christ offers.

When you boil it all down humans beings love to believe that we are the masters of the world and that we can by our own power and knowledge control this world. What I would offer to you is that in the third chapter of Genesis, Adam and Eve believed that if they just at the forbidden fruit then they would know all the things that God knew, they would have all the truth of God, and they would be like God. And I would remind you that that didn’t go well for them, because there is only one God and you and I are not him.

So what I am proposing is this. That we always remember that God has given us all great gifts and abilities. God has given us inquisitive minds and the ability to explore the questions of this world. Yet that does not make us God. That does not mean that we will one day have a truth that is other than the one who is all truth.

What will happen (and maybe we might argue has begun to happen) is that as the seekers and thinkers of this world continue to climb the mountain of discovery, they will finally reach a plateau where they find the great thinkers and mystics of the church who have been waiting for them all along. Because there is only one TRUTH – and as radical as this may seem to this world. The TRUE TRUTH is really Jesus. We just have to wait for the world to figure that out.

Amen and God Bless You
Pastor Mike

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