“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””
(John 8:31–32 HCSB)
I don’t know that there is a verse in the Bible that is more taken out of context than John 8.32: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” I once saw Marion Barry, ex-mayor of Washington, D.C. and incarcerated for drug use, quoting the verse when he was released from prison. Judging from the context, this use is not what Jesus had in mind here.
How about we just let the context and other scriptures speak for the meaning of “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”?
- “Jesus responded, “I assure you: Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever.Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.” [emphasis added] (John 8:34–36 HCSB)
- “and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.”
(Romans 6:18 HCSB) [Same Greek word as “the Son sets you free].”
- “But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the end is eternal life!”
(Romans 6:22 HCSB)
- “because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:2 HCSB)
From what then, dear reader, have we been set free by the Son of God/Christ? From being incarcerated by the powers that be? From the lies and untruths of a particular political party? From Washington, D.C.?
I think not.