Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Theological Education For the Confirmation of FaithJESUS: THE TRUTH THAT DELIVERS US
John 8: 31-41
World Health Organization (WHO) declared the use of the term “infodemic” during pandemic as “too much information including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during a disease outbreak. It causes confusion and risk-taking behaviours that can harm health. It also leads to mistrust in health authorities and undermines the public health response.” Likewise during Jesus’ times the hot topic that surfed among Jews which brought confusion was “who is Jesus?” People portrayed Jesus as a prophet-Messiah-descendant of David (Jn 7: 40-43). People spread about Jesus as they liked.
In this passage, Jesus teaches Jews how to become his true disciples. To answer that, in v31 Jesus used the Greek word ‘meinete’ which means to live in God’s word with determination (Obey), and that will lead the believer to know the ‘truth’ and the ‘truth will make you free.’ In other words, one who obeys the word of God knows what the truth is and the truth shall set the believer free.
What is this truth that Jesus is sharing? The truth Jesus is sharing is not an ordinary truth that just lies in information rather Jesus shares the truth that makes the foundation upon which we build ourselves as a faith community. The Jews hearing Jesus’ reply were confused and replied with a contradicting statement that they were descendants of Abraham who never experienced slavery. Have they forgotten that their ancestors have been slaves in Egypt and captured as well as exiled during all invasions? Their claim displays their hypocrisy or amnesia.
Another question that arises in the dialogue between Jesus and Jews is, “From what do they need to be free?” Jesus was talking about the truth that set them free from the slavery of sin and Jesus is the truth that they need to believe to have salvation (8:31). In John 14:6, Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life. In this I am saying, Jesus answers the fundamental question of existence in humans. Those who walk in Jesus will have the way to God, knows the truth and shall experience life.
Yet Jews tried to kill the truth that promises freedom from sin to those who believe and obeys (v37-40). Jesus exposes the hypocrisy they had for claiming their origin of faith to Abraham and yet they do what the opposite of Abraham did, which means disobeying the word of God.
The dialogue between Jesus and Jews certainly points to certain failures in the life of the people of God. We attach our identity to Christianity and yet failed to be followers of Christ. "I like your Christ, but not your Christianity." These words of Mahatma Gandhi, during an interview with a CRIMSON reporter effectively place the hypocrisy that still lives in our daily life.
Jesus conveyed the importance of obedience and truthfulness. Let us introspect in truth and ask ourselves, Are we truthfully living accordingly to the word of God? If not Jesus invites us again through this word to experience the real freedom that envisages in our life.
Let us meditate and pray in silence by asking this question to ourselves, “Am I truly living the life of a Christian?”
Dan Thomas George
Mar Thoma Theological Seminary,