Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Truth Will Set You Free

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up." Daniel 3:16-18

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32

FREE!  It is perhaps the most over-used word since NEW and IMP,ROVED were new and improved. Do you want TRUTH?  Will you accept the Consequences?  Jesus offers us freedom at a price. Are you prepared to humbly and obediently pick up your cross daily and follow him?  

Confrontations between secular law and God’s law continue unabated. Maybe the last week of Lent should be called the Week of Accusations as the clashes come to a head.  Susanna.  Moses.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Jesus is now in daily conflict with the people and authorities around him. This week, they will even try to stone him to death. On Thursday, we will read: So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area (John 8:59). Like in Luke 4, the time was not right.

When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away. (Luke 4:28-30)

The “truth” that Jesus is here to fulfill keeps setting Jesus free. Until it will no longer and the truth will require Jesus to suffer for our sins in a way that escaped Susanna and the three brothers.

Jesus’ statement about truth has nothing to do with classroom learning. In fact, John 8:32 speaks of a higher form of knowledge than is capable of being learned in a courtroom, classroom, or library.

The freedom Jesus offers is a spiritual freedom from the bondage of sin—that is, release from the lifestyle of habitual lawlessness. He continues with an analogy: “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever” (verse 35). The people would have understood Jesus to mean that they were not members of God’s family, despite their biological relationship to Abraham (verse 37), because they were slaves to sin. If they were to become disciples of Jesus, they would know the truth of their condition and the truth about Christ, and Jesus would set them free. Believers would be freed from their bondage and brought into the family of God.[i]

The truth delivered by faith in God set Susanna free. It also saved the three brothers. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light for us, too. Knowing Jesus will set us free from sin, free from condemnation, and free from death.

What we hear on television or read in newspapers, books or magazines isn’t always going to help us because it’s not always the truth. There are all kinds of consultants, gurus, and bloggers floating around these days. Everyone offers up their spin and propaganda.  We have to sort through all that to find out the nugget of truth.

We all want to be free.  Free from illness.  Free from poverty.  Free from power-less-ness.  However, the prescription offered by the latest experts won’t get us to freedom.  They have an agenda to pursue.  They have a product to sell.

In some ways, the Pharisees and Sanhedrin were the religious hucksters of ancient Palestine. Jesus was providing a merciful counterpoint to their demands. However, what God tells us is always going to be the truth. Jesus has no agenda.  Jesus has no propaganda.  Jesus is not just giving us another infomercial.  He is giving us an invitation. An invitation to trust him. An invitation to treasure him. He died and he rose again to make you free indeed.

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