John 8:31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’
This is an often-quoted but deceptively simple verse. We would do well to ask, as Pilate does ten chapters later in this same gospel, “What is truth?”
We often start in the wrong place as we think about truth, which means we end up in the wrong place as well. As Jesus uses the word, truth is not correct information, and the opposite of truth is not misinformation. Nor is truth correct doctrine or belief. It doesn’t have to do with information or doctrine at all. It’s a matter of knowing who you are and who God is—and, by extension, who Jesus is. In today’s reading, those opposing Jesus defined themselves ethnically or nationally—they were descendants of Abraham. That won’t do, Jesus says. It’s a worldly distinction and it doesn’t mean you know who you are and who God is.
By what worldly standards do you tend to define yourself? If we are to be people of truth, and if the truth is to make us free, how must we rethink who we are and who God is? What will be different in our lives?
Lectionary Readings: AM Psalm 25; PM Psalm 9, 15
Job 12:1-6,13-25; Acts 11:19-30; John 8:21-32