I would like to string a few verses together and by doing so make something very plain.
Jesus said in John 8:32 “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
A verse like that sticks with you. It is one of those verses that doesn’t take a lot of effort to memorize. People who don’t claim to be Christians at all, who have little experience in the Bible usually have some knowledge of this verse. But what does Jesus mean?
The meaning is wrapped up in the word “truth.” What truth is Jesus referring to? If we know the truth that 2+2=4 will that set us free? If we know the truth that the sky is blue, will that set us free? What does Jesus mean by truth?
Jesus does not mean that a knowledge of any old truth will set you free. He isn’t being a Philosopher here. He isn’t saying that “truth” is the highest thing or that “knowledge” is salvation. He is referring to what His whole ministry is about: showing God as He really is.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Jesus said He was the Truth. So if we want to know the truth that will set us free we must know Jesus.
But what did Jesus mean in John 14:6 by saying He was the truth? Well John 14:7 is just as important. Jesus says, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.”
You see what Jesus means by saying He is the Truth? He is saying that He is the True representation of God. If you want to know God, you must know Jesus. If you see Jesus you see God, if you hear Jesus you hear God.
Let me ask you something. What do you think of God? How do you think He is? If you think God is mean, judgmental, angry, distant, unmoved, vengeful then you don’t know Him at all. Was Jesus those things? Would you describe Jesus as mean? Of course not! He was kind to all. Would you describe Jesus as judgmental? Remember one of His characteristic teachings was “Judge not that ye be not judged.”
Would you describe Jesus as angry? Well sometimes He did get angry but you know the funny thing is He only got angry with the Religious people and specifically with the Religious Leaders who were leading people to think wrongly about God. So was Jesus angry? Not toward the common man and woman. Not toward the prostitutes and tax collectors. Not toward the honest, only toward the self-righteous.
Was Jesus distant? Certainly not! He ate and drank and joined in parties! Was Jesus unmoved? Certainly not! He wept at the grave of His friend. Was Jesus vengeful? Does “Father forgive them, they know not what they do” sound vengeful?
So if God is exactly represented by Jesus, then God is kind, inviting, peaceful, friendly, concerned, and forgiving! That’s good news! Don’t you feel that news setting you free? When you think of God that way, when you see His Grace doesn’t it melt you?
Now let’s tie in one more thought. In Colossians 1:6 Paul says of the Gospel of Jesus that it “is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.”
Before we go any further, what does Paul mean by fruit? Remember once he said “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” A great many people try to manufacture these things for God and are never able to do it consistently. That’s because God doesn’t want us to manufacture these things for Him! God wants us to receive these things from Him as a free gift!
The Gospel, the good news about Jesus, is what brings forth fruit. And the way it brings forth fruit is by causing us to know the “grace of God in truth,” or to know the true God of Grace. Jesus came to show us God. When we learn who and how God really is, it sets us free! In order to see God as He is we must see Jesus. When we see God as He really is we are free and we begin to be radically transformed.
Are you free?