Reflection Questions: ‘You Will Know the Truth’ (John 8.32a)
by Pastor Gene
- Have you ever heard “the truth will set you free” misapplied? How? Jesus is promising this result to only a select group of people. Who are they? Do you know believers who are surely saved, but not set free? Explain (without naming names!). Why do you think he or she is still in bondage to the world or to sin?
- In sharp contrast to the “freedom” Jesus promises in John 8:32 is Colossians 2:8. Think about this verse. What does Paul warn can ‘take us captive’ in this verse? What does he mean by “philosophy … according to human tradition”? Can you think of any of these philosophies that are around today? What do you think Paul means by “the elemental spirits of the world” which are “not according to Christ”? Why does he connect these philosophies with the phrase “empty deceit? What is “empty deceit”?
- On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed to the Father about His followers: “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:14-17). Consider carefully all that Jesus is saying here. Why does He say His followers are hated (17:14)? Does this continue today? Why? Have you ever experienced it? Jesus does not ask the Father to take them out of the world (17:15a). Why Not? What does He ask the Father to do for them instead (17:15b)? What do you think this means practically? To “sanctify” something means to set it apart for special use (17:17). How does God use the “truth” set us apart today? What’s the significance of Jesus’ declaration that God’s Word IS truth? Why is knowing that important for us?
- Those who deny God’s existence are lying to them selves and are “without excuse.” Talk about why by considering Psalm 19:1-4a and Romans 1:18-21. What was the result of their lies about God (see Romans 1:24, 26, 28.)? Rather than humble themselves, how do these people respond to God’s judgment (Romans 1:32)? Do you see what Paul describes in these verses at play in in our culture today? Explain.
- Read Luke 24:18-32. In 24:18 (NKJV), why do you think the two believers reckoned Jesus a “stranger”? Why do you think their eyes were prevented from recognizing Jesus (24:16)? What did Jesus take the time to do for them (24:27). What was the significance of the men asking Jesus to “abide” with them (24:29). What caused their eyes to open and recognize Him (24:30-31)? Why do you think Jesus vanished as soon as they recognized Him? Look at 24:32: what are these men saying? Have you ever felt this way?
- In this context, consider 1 Corinthians 8:2. Disciples know the truth and continue to grow throughout their lives. But what great truth does this verse remind us of.
- How do you understand the “if you abide in my word” [ “you are truly my disciples” [ “you will know the truth” [ “the truth will set you free” progression? What “truth” do you think Jesus is promising that disciples will know? How will that “truth” set us free?
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