Inscribed on the main building at the University of Texas are the words:
“Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.”
What does that phrase mean to you? Maybe you’ve heard the shorter version: The truth will set you free. The problem with that version is that the truth you don’t know will never set you free. History proves it. On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves; but, actual emancipation did not come until General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and issued a General Order on June 19, 1865 – almost two and a half years later. Why? Because news of the emancipation was suppressed by the slave owners! If they could keep the slaves ignorant of their freedom, they could keep them in slavery!
Sin and Satan do the same thing to us. They enslave us and try to keep us ignorant of the truth that sets us free! That’s why Jesus said to the Jews that believed on His name, “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.” (John 8:31b-32 KJV) It’s unfortunate that the inscription at UT leaves out verse 31. Jesus tells us in that verse where the revelation of truth comes from that liberates our lives from the slavery of hurts, habits, and hang ups. He says the revelation of truth comes from continuing in God’s Word.
If you’ve been on our journey with Jesus through the Gospels for the past 34 days, you’ve no doubt discovered many truths that have deepened your faith and enriched your relationship with Christ. The truth you know sets you free when you align your life to Christ who is the Truth. We do that daily by continuing in His Word. His Word is the only infallible source of truth given to man. Jesus said that the distinguishing characteristic of an authentic believer is one who continues in His Word. In a few short days, we will complete our 40 Day Journey with Jesus in the Gospels. But there is more – so much more – to experience in the drama of God’s Word for those who will continue the journey each day. What other book affords you 24/7 access to its author?
Jesus told His disciples that, when He left them, He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to instruct and guide them in all truth! You and I have the Word of God and the Spirit of God at our availability! How awesome is that? Today, you’ll read one of the most fascinating stories of a blind man that encountered the truth about his blindness, and his life became a living display of the glory of God! When he was exposed to the truth, he was set free! He received both physical eyesight and spiritual insight that changed his life. As you read, listen for the voice of God’s Spirit instructing you and guiding you into all truth. Claim the promises He says about you in each chapter. Let the chains, that once enslaved you, fall off for good! “(For) if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36)
Bible Reading: John 8:1-59 (NIV)
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.
15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.
16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.
17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid.
18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come.
21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”
22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.”
25 “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been claiming all along,” Jesus replied.
26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”
27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”
30 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
37 I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.
38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did.
40 As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.
41 You are doing the things your own father does.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.
43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?
47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”
49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me.
50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.
51 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
52 At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death.
53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.
55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
Bible Reading: John 9:1-41 (NIV)
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.
2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.
7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?”
9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they demanded.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind.
14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath.
15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?” So they were divided.
17 Finally they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents.
19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind.
21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.”
22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.
23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses!
29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.
31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will.
32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.
33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
Bible Reading: John 10:1-42 (NIV)
1 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.
3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.
8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life–only to take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
19 At these words the Jews were again divided.
20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
22 Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,
23 and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.
24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me,
26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him,
32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?
35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came–and the Scripture cannot be broken–
36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?
37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.
38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed
41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.”
42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.