Saturday, 26 May 2012

The truth shall make you fret....

No, you didn't read it wrongly - it's a quote from a Terry Pratchett book, when a team setting up a new printing press for daily newspaper are trying to find some appropriate platitude to frame the front page.  It changes regularly as they apparently struggle with their spelling, this is probably my favourite :)

John 8 hols the 'truth shall set you free' verse (v32) that most people will know.  'You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free'.  Whilst I have nothing but admiration for the great people who have taken time to translate the Bible into our language, there are occasions when we rely on their choice of words so much that we don't take the time to read a little deeper.  When we look at this verse in the context of the entire chapter, it comes clear that this 'truth' is not a simple noun, it is a proper noun - in other words, it should be written 'Truth'.  Jesus is talking about Himself:

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know me, and I will set you free."

Three steps - live in a way that demonstrates you are obeying what I have taught you, and you will get to know me.  In all this, I will set you free.  And Jesus wonderfully, graciously, doesn't get specific on the freedom on offer.  You will simply be free.  Whatever it is that is binding you up, pulling you down, holding you back, there is freedom.  Jesus said so.

How often have we heard this phrase, said this phrase, and turned it into a simple platitude?  The problem with platitudes, is that they sound lovely but mean very little.  It's all a bit 'raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens' - fanciful and dreamy, but without any real significance.  And as a result, we miss the whole point.  Freedom is not something beyond our grasp, it's not a nice-to-have but probably unlikely this side of heaven.  It is part of God's original plan - the garden of Eden, a place of freedom if we accepted that what God said to us was the truth.  We didn't, and ended up with more ties and binds around ourselves than we could escape from. But this verse is a promise - we trust him, follow him, and he gives us freedom.  No tricks.  No deals.  We simply have to believe that he means what he says.

Today's declaration is simple:

I will hold onto Your teachings.  I will love You above all others.  And therefore I am expecting You to reveal more of Yourself to me today, so that I will walk in ever-increasing freedom.

No comments:

Post a Comment