Posted September 28, 2015
If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
At the end of the day, don’t we all long for freedom? To be truly free? Here we read words spoken by Jesus to a group of Jews who had believed in Him about true freedom. Today, like in Jesus’ day, many claimed to be Jesus’ disciples. Who are the real disciples? Jesus tells us very clearly what his disciples are to be marked by and in turn, what that leads to.
Jesus said, “…if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples…” A sign, or a marker, of a true disciple of Jesus is that you would abide in His word. What does abide mean? It means to establish a home in and on His words, not simply a quick layover. The ESV Study Bible says, “To abide in Jesus’ word means to continue believing what Jesus has said and walking in obedience to him. This verse shows that continuing to trust Jesus and obey him is one test of who are truly my disciples.” The mark of abiding is one of belief (aka trust) accompanied by obedience. The opposite is true as well… A sign of a non-disciple is of one who does not abide in Jesus’ word. As you read on in verses 33-59, these Jews who “believed” in Him were exposed as fraudulent believers or disciples. They actually tried to kill Him because they didn’t like His words. Their lack of abiding (or obeying His word) was a sign that they were not true disciples.
As we abide in His word, it leads to a knowledge of this truth. This isn’t a static knowledge, but rather this knowledge of the truth sets us free. Isn’t that we ultimately desire? The truth is that every single one of us will be a disciple of something or someone; we will abide in and on something or someone’s words. However, there is only One whose word can set us free, and His name is Jesus. Our culture today teaches us that to be free we need to be true to ourselves, and that submitting ourselves to someone else’s word brings about captivity and oppression. Yet here Jesus teaches us that as we abide in His word, He leads us to truth and freedom. How is this possible? He is our Creator, and knows the way we were made. We were made to know God, to be in relationship with Him, and therefore learning from Him how it is we were made and how we are to relate to God is a roadmap to true freedom.
Devotional: Joel Limpic
Recording, Programming, Vocals, and Producing: Donald Zimmerman
Mixing: Michael Mumford
Guitar: Nick Lathe
BGV: Fancy Morales
Bass: Steven Sommer
Drums: David Sparks
Artwork: Jesse Owen