Then Jesus said to [those] who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:31-32
At breakfast the other day, I was watching a news show in which not only was the news being presented by the various newscasters, but there was also a continuous stream of headlines across the bottom of the screen. Ebola, governor election, taxes, war in Syria, kidnappings and murders. There are some who have their TV or internet tuned to news all day long. They continue to watch and dwell on these headlines hour after hour and day after day.
Jesus invites us to shift our attention to him. He invites us to let his word be the continual loop before our eyes and the constant message in our ears. He invites us to dwell in his word, to reflect on it, study it, and put it into action. He invites us to follow him.
In this way, Jesus says, we will know the truth and become free. The things we fear – death and all its causes, evil and its effects on our world, sin and its burdens on our lives – do not have the final say. They cannot overpower us in relation to God because Jesus has already conquered them. Yes, they may wreak havoc for a while – but not forever, not eternally.
When we shift our attention to Jesus, dwelling in his word, we come to know the power of his love for us demonstrated on the cross. We come to know the power of his resurrection as healing and strength for each day. And armed with the truth of Jesus, we can give sin, death, and the devil the raspberries. They cannot do eternal harm to us.
This is the Gospel we can share with those around us who are slaves to anxiety and fear. By being the messengers of faith and hope in Jesus Christ, we are lights in the darkness, just as Jesus is the Light of the World.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, turn us to your Word and draw us ever deeper into the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ. By your Spirit, grant us faith in him and the desire to follow him in truth, so that we enjoy the freedom you desire for us. Amen