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.’ If you hold to my teachings. (John 8:31-32 31)
Abide. Live in accordance with. Are faithful. Adhere to my Teaching. Dwell within. – if you obey, if you live as you were intended to live… then you are my disciples. THEN you will know the truth… and then something happens. Freedom.
Jesus is not just inviting people to know some things in their heads – cognitive truth. Jesus is inviting us to be IN. To stay. TO remain. To give yourselves to. To live in such a way that our experience of the living God is freedom.
If you want to know truth, and if you want to be free, you have to begin to live in a certain way.
The first Christians were called the people of the way. The way that they lived produced a reputation. What is fascinating is when you read ancient historians and you read what was said of these people, they talk about not what they knew but the way they lived.
They were loving. Forgiving. Compassionate. Sacrificing. They were alive with joy. They were devoted to one another. There was A WAY in which they lived.
If you make the Christian faith about a set of beliefs… things that you just say ‘uh huh, I agree with that’… you are missing Jesus message. It was an invitation to live a certain way. According to Jesus, knowing comes from living in obedience to The Way. Then you will know that truth. You will experience things you can’t deny.
KNOW: from the greek word ginosko : to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel; Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman
According to Jesus, this intimate knowledge (a living as close as you can get which produces a freedom to be who you were made to be) comes from: holding to His teachings, abiding, living in accordance with, being faithful to, being obedient to His Way. That’s when you will know that truth. You will know, feel, learn, understand, perceive, have intimate, deeply personal, and wonderful experience with… things you can’t deny. Because they simply are TRUTH.
The truth is if you were to get all your questions answered, you still have to leap, you still have to jump. Because following Jesus is primarily an act of faith.
If you are a Christian, you are a jumper.
At some point you have to start living this way… or you are not really living. At some point you made a decision to believe/jump and you said He is who He said He is. What is interesting is if you are to remain healthy and growing as a Christian, you have to keep jumping. AND the jumps get bigger.
The world is full of things that force us to wrestle with questions. This life is not the denial of questions, it’s the realization that this life we have chosen to live is in the questions… you must jump in faith until the day that you do understand.
But let’s be clearer, part of the nature of being human is leaping. It’s jumping. Not following Jesus is a leap. If you are not following Jesus, you have taken a leap that believes that He is NOT who He said he was. Not following Jesus does not make you NOT a person of faith. You have just decided to to put your faith in other things.
Your life is a series of jumps. Of leaps. The question that must be answered is for whom are you leaping?
Following Jesus is a leap. Not following Jesus is a leap. The question is what have you jumped into? And if you have jumped into something, what are you jumping away from? So often we do this without intention. If you were going to be intentional and jump into the possibilities found in the Kingdom of God, that possibilities found in being human and made in the image of God, what would that jump look like?
From the message of Jonathan Heppner