Wednesday, March 16th – Gilly Jaunet
Gospel: JN 8:31-42
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”
They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
Change is Hard, but the Truth is Worth It
When Jesus tells the people, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free,” the people pretend to not understand what he is saying. For every nugget of truth he gives them -- “you will be free if you follow the Father. . . I’m from the Father” -- they protest -- “we’re not slaves . . . we are children of Abraham” -- like children who don’t want to hear. Why don’t they understand? He couldn’t be more clear: He’s using words of one syllable!
But because we have to first SEE the truth and then KNOW it, we get scared and pretend what He’s saying probably doesn’t apply to us. The truth can be scary, especially when it contradicts what we think we know. To make a change, we have to move beyond the comfortable, the known, and into new territory. We might make mistakes. We might not be good at it.
As a parent and a writing teacher, I tend to see things through the lenses of my experience. So to me, learning to acknowledge the truth is like learning a new skill -- argumentative writing, for instance. We take what we already know and expand it, stretch it, and take a risk. Did I do it right? Is this what I was supposed to do? The directions are right in front of us, but we still worry. It’s much easier to keep doing what we’re used to doing. But once we stop protesting that we’re fine, thank you, no change needed here, wonderful things happen. We learn. We grow.
Jesus wants us to know Him. He’s the Truth. He’s the Way. So the lovely thing about knowing the truth is that we just need to know Jesus. Follow the directions He’s given us; stop protesting, and listen to the truth.
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