Jesus said in John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In order to know the full meaning of these words of Christ, one must know what is meant by the word, truth and what is meant by the word, free. First, let us look at the meaning of the word, truth, as used in our text verse.
Jesus is the truth personified. In John 14:6 Jesus said; “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” When Jesus said, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” He was speaking to the Jews that believed on Him. Verse 31 explains this: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” A prerequisite of knowing the truth is abiding in His word. Jesus gave more weight to this divine truth when He was being tried by Pilate. He said to Pilate, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”
To simplify this it boils down to the fact that to know the truth we must be a disciple or believer in Christ. By virtue of his sinful nature the sinner cannot fully know or understand about spiritual truth. This is substantiated in 1 Corinthians 2:14 ‘But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
To clarify and re-emphasize what Jesus said to Pilate, all who are of the truth, true disciples that is, will hear the voice of Christ. The word “heareth” here means to obey (to take action). This means that all who are disobedient to the divine Word of God as spoken by Christ are not followers of Him. Then we must conclude that to know the truth (which is Jesus Christ) we must also obey Him. Not obeying Christ means that we are not children of the Truth and if we do not follow after the Truth we are in error. To be in error is the same as being lost.
Did not Jesus say that many would come before the judgment on that great day of reckoning and say “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” Jesus’ reply to them will be: “ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
It is as Jesus said: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Jesus went on to say: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matt. 7:21-27).
Dear friend, are you hearing the voice of Christ? Are you free in Him? Are you building on the rock or on the sand? This is a question that only your heart will be able to deal with.
Next week we will talk about being free as stated in our opening text verse. May God bless you with a spiritual understanding and enlightenment of His precious Word.