“The Truth Will Set You Free”
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” So declared Jesus as he was teaching the multitudes in the temple in Jerusalem. (John 8:32) Jesus’ apostles could readily identify Jesus’ teachings as the truth. They had seen abundant evidence of their teacher’s divine origin.
TODAY, however, some may find it difficult to identify the truth Jesus spoke about. As in the days of the prophet Isaiah, today there are “those who are saying that good is bad and bad is good, those who are putting darkness for light and light for darkness, those who are putting bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20) With numerous opinions, philosophies, and life-styles being promoted nowadays, many people feel that everything is relative and that there is no such thing as truth.
When Jesus said to his audience that the truth would set them free, they responded by saying: “We are Abraham’s offspring and never have we been slaves to anybody. How is it you say, ‘You will become free’?” (John 8:33) They did not feel a need for anyone or anything to set them free. But then Jesus explained: “Most truly I say to you, Every doer of sin is a slave of sin.” (John 8:34) The truth that Jesus was talking about can open the way to freedom from sin. Jesus said: “If the Son sets you free, you will be actually free.” (John 8:36) So the truth that frees people is truth about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is only by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus’ perfect human life that anyone can be freed from sin and death.
On another occasion Jesus said: “Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) The word of God as expressed in the Bible is the truth that can bring freedom from superstition and false worship. The Bible contains the truth about Jesus Christ, which leads people to put faith in him and opens the way to a bright hope for the future. It is a splendid thing to come to know the truth of God’s Word!
How vital is it to know the truth? Many religions today, while claiming to follow the Bible, are largely influenced by human philosophies and traditions. Often, religious leaders seem not as concerned with the accuracy of their message as they are with its acceptance by the masses. Some feel that God is satisfied with any form of worship, as long as it is sincere. But Jesus Christ explained: “The hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him.”—John 4:23.
If we want to worship God acceptably, we must know the truth. This is an important issue. Our eternal happiness depends on it. Therefore, everyone should ask himself: ‘Is my way of worship acceptable to God? Am I genuinely interested in learning the truth of God’s Word? Or am I afraid of what a careful investigation might reveal?’