“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8, 32) these are the words of Jesus written in the Gospel of John. What does this affirmation mean? In the New Testament, the word “truth” is repeated more than 98 times as when Jesus speaks to us about the Spirit of truth: “... he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13). It is therefore important to ask what truth is according to the word of God. Let’s discover more thanks to the study of this biblical passage!
“Even as he spoke, many believed in him.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:30-36)
Jesus addresses the Jews who believed in him. Indeed, Jesus testified to all those who listened to him when he said that he was the Son of God, sent to the world to save sinners and grant them eternal life. Jesus assures those who believed in him that the truth would liberate them, but on one condition.
The condition for obtaining the freedom that Jesus speaks of is to know the truth. The Greek word used in the original version is “ginosko” translated as “knowing”. It is an idiom that Jews used to talk about sexual relations between a man and a woman. Thus, when Jesus speaks of “knowing the truth”, he intends to go in depth, to have a personal experience of the word of God, to let himself penetrate through it. The apostle James expressed this in these words: “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:22)
After this affirmation from Jesus, the Jews immediately retorted that they were not slaves and that they had never been. To this, “Jesus replied, very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8, 34) thus, Jesus gives us the solution to be free from sin: To know the truth! When we realize that sin leads us to death, but God loved us so much that he gave his only son so that we could have life, this truth has the power to make us free. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, let us seek to know him because he told us: “apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)