Monday, December 23, 2019

Standing in the truth: John 8:44

One day, Jesus was rebuking those who claimed to be the dependents of Abraham while, at the same time, seeking to kill him, one who spoke truth to them, something which “Abraham did not do.” (John 8:40) Instead of having Abraham as their father, Jesus said that they were of their “father the devil.” (John 8:44) Jesus goes on to describe the devil as being one who “does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.” (John 8:44) Here, what Jesus did not say is just as important as what he did say. Jesus did not say that the devil did not know the truth, nor that he did not believe the truth, but that he did not stand in the truth. In fact, Jesus uses the imperfect tense of the verb that refers to a past continuous action. Literally, Jesus said that the devil “was not standing in the truth.”

We sometimes hear people saying that they are “standing on the truth,” referring to some promise that they are trusting in. However, to stand in the truth is more than merely hoping for some promise to be fulfilled. It involves ordering our lives according to the truth, making the truth the foundation of our lives, and the wellspring of our every thought and action. We are not to stand upon the truth, rather, we are to stand in the truth. This represents a continuous and consistent standing in, and acting upon, the truth of God. To those who are willing to do so, to stand in the truth, Jesus promises, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

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