To the Jewish people who had believed Jesus, he said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36
About 20 years ago or so, truth became subjective in our society. My truth is not your truth and your truth is not my truth. Everyone is entitled to have their own “truths.”
There doesn’t seem to be an absolute truth everyone can agree on.
Yet, from the distant past Jesus says, “…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
What is Jesus talking about?!?
He is stating three truths at once.
- We all mess up. None of us are perfect, nor will we ever be flawless in this life. No one can dispute that. It is true. We all make mistakes and hurt other people. Either intentionally or unintentionally.
- Only Jesus can free us from the hurt we cause to ourselves and others. Jesus is willing and able to free us from chains of hurt and regret. This is only true if we dare to trust in Jesus’ love and resurrection power!
- The last truth is often obscured by lies and misinformation. Jesus wants to be in relationship with you to free you from the idea that God demands perfection or face eternal damnation.
Our relationship with Jesus is not based upon our ability to be good or even do the right thing. There are no steps to Jesus. He comes to us in our weakness and wants to show us a better way to live but he never demands our obedience, and he never threatens.
Jesus wants to draw close to us and set us free from the misguided notion of “performative theology.” That we can earn or even prove to God we are good or at the very least, good enough. We aren’t good. God already knows that!
Jesus wants to free us from the sin that hinders us and reveal to us that God is not a divine Santa Claus that is keeping a lists of all the naughty and nice children (us). No, Jesus wants to set us free from our worst selves and then show us that God desires to be our friend and not a cosmic law enforcement agency.