Let’s read John 8:31-32, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus is addressing those who had professed to believe in Him but He knew that this belief could be superficial. In John 2:23 we see that “many believed in His name when they saw the miracles which He did,” yet in verses 24-25 it says, “But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man.” They had “professed” to believe in Him, but Jesus knew their faith was based solely on the miracles He performed, and not on the fact that He was the Son of God. Later in John 12:42-43 we read, “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” Here too it sounds promising, for it says “many believed on Him,” yet they failed the acid test by refusing to confess Him before men. A true believer WILL CONFESS JESUS AS LORD, as we see in Romans 10:9-10, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Because of man’s tendency to make a mere profession without true faith, the Lord Jesus tests their profession in John 8:31 by declaring that a TRUE DISCIPLE will “continue in My word.”  One who has really believed on Christ as their Savior will not only confess Him before men; they WILL CONTINUE IN HIS WORD. This is a mark of genuine faith. In John 6 we have the Lord Jesus teaching His disciples that He came down from heaven to give His life for them, and in verse 60 we learn, “Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it.” They couldn’t understand His word and in verse 66 we are told, “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” Their defection proved they weren’t true disciples, for had they really believed on Christ as their Lord and Savior they would have continued to follow Him and His word.

Jesus also knew that some who professed to believe on Him were “disciples indeed” and to them He gives a most blessed promise, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” What did Jesus mean when He said, “the truth shall make you free?” Verses 34 and 36 provide the answer, “Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sinSo if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (NASB). He teaches them the solemn truth that men are in bondage to sin and are, in fact, “the slave of sin.” But He came to SET THEM FREE FROM SIN, thus all who are “disciples indeed” will be “free indeed.” Praise God for sending His Son to liberate us from the tyranny of sin! The Apostle Paul praises God for this truth in Romans 6:17-18, “But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (NASB).

We can’t end this meditation without asking, “Are you a “disciple indeed?” Have you obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ by believing that Jesus, the Savior of sinners, died for you and rose again? If so, “the truth shall make you free” and through the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, you shall be “free indeed.”  (184.4)  (DO)