“If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples, you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free.” [Jn 8-31]
These much quoted words echo in these last days of the desert walk. And yet, we remain ofttimes unsure of their meaning.
Do we, like the Jews listening to Jesus immediately exclaim, “We are the descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone, . . .” or do we sense as Jesus suggests that this is not the kind of freedom he is talking about?
When Jesus, by way of example, says that sin is slavery, most of us stop there. “Oh,” we say, “this means that we are to try to be as sinless as possible in our lives.”
Well, yes that is true. But too often that simply means to many, that they follow the dictates of their church teachings. Be good orthodox Catholics or Methodists.
I think this is not at all what Jesus was getting at. Notice he uses the phrase, “make my word your home,” and if we do so, “you will learn the truth. In other words, internalize what I have been saying to you, stop trying to be “good” religious folk, instead love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
This internalization is what we call “putting on the mind of Christ’ and is nothing less than a total immersion in God, until the false ego gives way to the Spiritual Self united to God eternally. When we can do that, we will learn the truth. We will learn the truth from the Father, and Jesus makes that clear in verse 40, “[truth]. . .as I have learnt it from God.”
Where we err is, I think, in looking for some “interpretation” of truth. Another blogger pointed this out. Wherever we go, to theologians, biblical scholars, faith creeds across Christendom, we find different opinions. There is no unanimity as to “what Scripture means” and we look to scripture to determine “what God wants.”
We are looking in the wrong place. Scripture is a guide. It reflects work already done in reflecting on who God is and what God wants. But it is not definitive. It attempts to give us the “words of Christ” but only through the lens of what the writer is trying to get across. We must take all such things “with a grain of salt” therefore. They help in not having to redo work already done, and they serve as a guide to “The Way.”
Can there be any doubt that if we dwell within, loving God, loving neighbor, that truth will emerge? Love is the truth, and until we embrace that love into every fiber of our being, we will not know the truth that Jesus received from the God, that we too can receive from God by following as his disciple.
The freedom offered by Jesus, is the freedom to live life in utter freedom, freedom from fear, from want, from any desire no in keeping with the good of all creation. It is the freedom to be fully human, secure that we are united with all of creation and with the Creator, eternally. That freedom is the ultimate freedom.
Come, follow me!