“So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as he spoke, many believed in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:28-32
There’s a story in the Old Testament, that I always find amusing. Joseph, before he’s sold into slavery, which ultimately led to his becoming the prime minister for the country of Eygpt, which positioned him to save his entire family and ultimately the Nation of Israel from one of history’s worst famines-BEFORE ALL THAT, when he’s but a boy, dreams a dream. In his dream, he, the youngest (at that time) of his father’s sons, becomes a great ruler, who is bowed down to by his entire family. His willingness to share his dream (with a smile, I’m sure) earned him jeolously with his older brothers, and even a mild rebuke from his adoring mother and father (Gen 37-50)
Jesus, in today’s passage, is, to me, humerously, like Joseph! He continues His dialogue with His disciples, in the presence of the critical Pharisees (religious leaders), of course. They have riddled everything he’s said in this chapter so far, in they especially take issue to the “personalness” of how He describes His relationship with God the Father. He is very plain about this–how He and the Father are One and of How He never does anything out of the will and empowerment of the Father– and they reject this idea! So now, instead of backing away or changing the subject, He predicts that when He’s lifted up, in other words, “glorified” in the Greek language, that they will see that He was the Messiah all along. Furthermore, He says you’ll see that I did nothing on My own. Rather, “I did everything that the Father sent Me to do, and that everything that I do pleases Him” (vs 28-29)!
This statement hit them much like Joseph’s did his family-they can barely believe what they’re hearing!
Jesus pulls no punches-He says WHEN you see Me lifted up or GLORIFIED, not IF, WHEN!
Jesus spoke so powerfully that vs 30 says that, “Even as He spoke, many believed in Him”.
So Jesus contiues, talking now more to religious leaders who had become His followers by saying, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (vss 31-32)
These religious leaders were very bound to their traditions and rules and most of all with the overwhelming fear that they’d be excommunicated, which meant losing their families, jobs and communities. Jesus’ claim was that His word-His teaching would set them free!
How can Jesus, the One Who was and is glorified, set YOU free today? Well, what binds you? Are you bound by fear of what others think like the Pharesees were? Are you bound by religious traditions that are more aligned with people’s expectations, than with God’s? Are you bound by habits, addictions, debt or a job you hate? Whatever it is, Jesus, the Light of the World, the Giver of Truth wants to set you free today! Step one–COME TO HIM! Ask Him to be the Light of YOUR world. Ask Him to help you to know and embrace the TRUTH! Ask Him to set you free!
Think about it!