Image: Scene from I-64 West, Central Virginia, March 2018
Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 8:21-32.
And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
What is the truth? Christ is the truth (see John 14:6). And you shall know the Lord Jesus Christ and the Lord Jesus Christ shall make you free.
Christ brings freedom! Here is a great irony: Unbelievers think that becoming a believer brings restrictions, but, in truth, faith brings liberty. One is free from the fear of dying in his sins. One is free to know and obey and serve the Lord.
The language here would have had a very deep impact on the hearers of the first century who lived in a society in which slavery was common.
I recently read a book describing the first century Roman ceremony for freeing a slave, a solemn event that was held before the magistrate (see William Stearns Davis, A Day in Old Rome, p. 140).
An official would come forward and tap the slave on the head lightly with a rod and say, “I declare that this man is free!”
The slave’s master would then turn and say, “I desire that this man should be free!”
Finally, the magistrate would declare: “And I adjudge that this man is free.”
And with that he was manumitted and became a libertinus, a free man.
When I read John 8:32 I thought of that description and of Christ playing all those roles. I hear him saying:
I declare that this man is free!
I desire that this man should be free!
And, I adjudge (declare) that this man is free!
Meditate on the freedom one can have in Christ. Who is your master? Who has the key to your life and your heart? Is it something or someone in this life, or is it Christ?
The Lord Jesus Christ holds out this promise to those who believe in him: You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free!
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle