That is the Truth

John 8:31-38

31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. 38 I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.” 

Again, I am going away from the selected texts for today and pulling in another one. I figure I can take this liberty as this is devotion number 200! Since the end of March, I have written 200 devotions and shared them with you. Thank you for joining me in this journey. I have no intention of ending these any time soon. But I may go off the selected readings every now and then. I hope you don’t mind.


This passage from John is often used on Reformation Sunday, and the focus is on the TRUTH that will make you free.


Tell the truth! That is what Mom said over and over again. When none of my brothers and me would confess that one of us was the culprit who ate the last of the cookies, she questioned each of us individually until one of us broke! I can still remember over 50 years later how upset she was.


But how well do WE do as parents at always telling the truth?


My grandmother’s college roommate lived near us in Michigan, and every now and then, she would call just to talk. And when Grace wanted to talk, it was going to be a LONG phone call. Once when she called (I imagine it was around the same time as the cookie incident), Mom was trying to get off the phone. She finally said, “Grace, it is great to hear from you, but I have to go to the grocery store.”


When Mom hung up the phone, she noticed me standing behind her, and a panicked look came over her. You see, Dad had driven to work that day and had the car. I KNEW Mom was NOT going to the store. And she knew that I knew.


Mom thought for a moment and said, “Honey, sometimes it’s okay to tell a little white lie.”


Another story – neighbors who lived across the street from my in-laws told their young daughter that the truck that came down the street playing music was the MUSIC truck. And if you run TOWARD the music truck, the music will stop. So it is best to sit on the porch and listen to the music when the truck comes down the road. This was before she could read the sign on the side of the truck that read, “ICE CREAM!”


So when is a little white lie okay? When is the truth not the best answer? Is it when “you can’t handle the truth?” I will let you ponder that on your own.


Jesus offers a word, THE word of truth – Jesus is the Word that sets us free. We are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. The wages of sin is death. Jesus is the way, the TRUTH and the life. In Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. The tomb is empty and God has the final word, which is life.


That is the truth.


Let us pray:

Dear God, forgive us for our self-justification of things that are not true, big and small. May we cling to your truth. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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