John: Abide

John 8:31-59

If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Part of this verse is one of the most quoted sayings of Jesus. But just part of it. Rarely does one hear the complete statement. Much less, in it’s context. If we have eyes to see, and pay attention, there’s four elements going on in this statement:

1) If you abide in my word

If. That’s the hinge word. The presence of if makes it the most important word. It shows us this is a conditional statement, which means, what immediately follows is crucial. Without that action, the following three actions don’t happen. Where there is no abiding, there is no discipleship, no knowing of truth, and no freedom. It starts with abiding.

Abide. This is the verb associated with if, which makes it the most important action. How do you abide? What does that look like? I don’t picture much movement to abide. It’s pretty much the anithesis to do something. I picture an overactive, ADHD middle-school kid being told to sit still. Or an energetic puppy being trained to heel. Abide. Sit still. Be. Be present. Abide in my word.

2) You are truly my disciples

A disciple, an apprentice, a student of Jesus, looks like somebody fully soaked, abiding, in the word of Jesus.

3) You will know the truth

This is what everybody wants. Everybody wants to know truth. Everybody wants a mind fully accepting of reality. But Jesus says it only comes to the person fully immersed, abiding, in his word. (And remember, this is the Jesus that John has described from the very beginning as The Word.)

4) The truth will set you free

Something, again, everybody wants. Freedom comes from knowing truth. But it gets deeper than that. Knowing truth comes from knowing Jesus. And knowing Jesus comes from soaking up his word.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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