The Gospel of John

"I AM The Truth"

"The Truth Will Set You Free"

J. Deering,

The Truth Will Make You Free

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

John continues on his theme of “the Jews who had believed Him.” Matthew and Luke both tell Jesus’ words concerning those who come to Jesus with an insincere faith – and what the consequences can be. In Jesus’ narrative the story is told of a man who had an unclean spirit who, presumably through a faith attempt, was removed from him.


Matthew 12:43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

Now that’s exactly what we see in John’s telling of the story of “The Jews who had believed Him.”

Jesus tells them that they would be His disciples – if they continued in His word, but they had not. He clearly states for those who may be in a similar place in their lives, that continuing in His word would result in knowing the truth – and that truth would make them [and you] free.

The Jews who had believed Him tell Jesus lie #1
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

Because of the principle Jesus outlined earlier, that by their rejection of the truth, they are shown to be full of wickedness. Their egos are filled with “We alone are the ‘Chosen People of God,’ ‘We’re the descendants of Abraham,’ and they have hid the truth about who they have become. The Jews, up until that day, had been conquered and enslaved by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, The Persians, The Egyptians, and the now the Romans.

The Jews missed the more important question of “where were they standing spiritually before God?” He was the God who chose them, protected them, fought for them, but they had left Him and instead worshiped their idol – the law.

Speaking to these Jews, He’s saying that relying upon a physical descendancy from Abraham does not make them members of God’s family. In the Old Testament, as well as the New, only a BELIEVING Spiritual relationship provides salvation or membership in God’s family. They needed to be born from above, born again.

The dominion and government of sin
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Calvin notes, “[Jesus] does not argue what evil men bring on themselves, but what is the condition of human nature.”1

Jesus points out that “committing sin” is the result of being in slavery to sin. “Sin slavery” is the demonstration of the power of sin. This world is under the dominance of the devil. All are born in sin and through that all are held in bondage to sin. Only the power of Christ can liberate you from that bondage. For the believer the penalty of that sin has been paid by Christ – even while we yet sin. However, that power of Christ makes us no longer slaves to that payment – and we are free from it.

Jesus says the slave does not remain in the house forever. He’s saying that the slave/servant in a household is not a member of the family. When there is no longer a need for the slave they are released or sold. However, a son is family, he belongs, he is not released or sold. Jesus is saying that unbelief keeps them (the unrepentant Jew) from being a “son.” Having a believing Spiritual relationship to God changes one’s POSITION before God from being a non-member of His family to being an adopted member of His family. So if God’s Son makes you free, “You will be free indeed!”

Those without Christ have a different Father
37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.

Jesus makes a clear differentiation between a physical descendant and a “spiritual” descendant. He’ll clarify the details as we go along. Right now He’s pointing out that these Jews are indeed Abraham’s physical descendantsyet they are seeking to kill the very Son of God, Jesus their long awaited Messiah. Therefore physical descendancy from Abraham has brought with it no guarantee of righteousness. In fact Jesus is pointing out something much more sinister. First He says that He speaks the things which He has seen with His Father (The Lord God Almighty). And their actions and intentions demonstrate they have a very different father. Both they and Jesus have a common physical descendancy to Abraham, but their actions tell of a different spiritual fatherhood.

The Jews who had believed Him tell Jesus lie #2
39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If [since] you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.”

These Jews call upon Abraham for their authority, however Jesus reminds them that they are seeking to kill Him – who has told the truth which He heard from God – Abraham would not do that!! Abraham believed God. Jesus then intimates that they must have a different father – one who lies and would kill a man for speaking truth he heard from God.

The Son’s origin proceeds from God
They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.

They are incensed, even outraged, that Jesus would say that their father must be someone other than Abraham. “We’re not born of fornication,” like you Jesus – as a supposed Samaritan (the former Northern nation of Israel – largely populated by Jewish men marrying non-Jewish women during the 400 years of captivity. Some commentators see Jesus’ physical birth with no father other than the rumored post pregnancy marriage to Joseph. But that doesn’t make sense, for throughout recent chapters Jesus’ birth to Mary in Bethlehem is an unknown to these Jews.

Jesus tells them the truth again: “If God were your Father…” “I proceeded forth and have come from God … He sent Me.!”

The Father of those who persecute Christ is the devil himself, the “Father of lies,” there is no truth in him
43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

It make easier English if we turn some of Jesus’ sentences around. “You don’t understand what I am saying because you cannot hear My word.” “Those who have ears – let them hear, Those who have eyes – let them see.” (Psalm 115:6; 135:17; Isaiah 42:20; 43:8; Jeremiah 5:21; 6:10; Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27) and especially:


Ezekiel 12:2, “Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house.”


Jesus goes on to state that their father is the devil and they wish to serve him, they want his desires.

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Jesus speaks the truth – they are not of God
45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

Jesus speaks profound truth, [1] “BUT because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” [2] “He who is of God hears the words of God.” [3] “You do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

It’s surprising that the Jews did not immediately take Him out to be stoned for His statements. Instead….

The Jews who had believed Him accuse Him of having a demon
48 The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges.

The Jews ask two questions and Jesus only answers one of them. They ask of His birthplace desiring the answer to be Samaria. If Jesus was born in Samaria He would not qualify to be the Messiah – Prophecy demands He be born in Bethlehem [Micah 5:1-2]. These Jews are unaware that He was born in Bethlehem – and He’s not telling them!

“You have a demon?” Jesus does answer with a definite “No!” And He moves on immediately, “I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.” Then he closes these remarks with, “There is One who seeks and judges,” a reference to Himself, for it is Jesus who seeks the lost to search their hearts, and Jesus to whom The Father has handed all judgment.

The Jews ask the important question
51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’ 53 Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?”

The Jew’s answer clearly demonstrates what they believe. Abraham died – and he was the greatest – and he died anyway! All the great prophets died too. Surly YOU are not greater than these! In today's English they queried, “Just who do you think you are anyway?”

This question tells us of their complete failure to HEAR God Himself. Jesus continues to tell them the truth, and their unbelieving hearts continue to refuse to listen and understand.

Jesus answers the important question
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

Consider the ramifications of Jesus statement, “before Abraham was born, I AM.”

Exodus 3:14 “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM….”
Genesis 15:7 “I AM the Lord….”
Genesis 17:1 “I AM God Almighty….”
Genesis 26:24 “I AM the God of your father Abraham….”
Genesis 28:13 “I AM the Lord….”
Genesis 35:11 “I AM God Almighty….”

John 5:35 “I AM the bread of life….”
John 5:41 “I AM the bread that came down out of heaven”
John 8:12 “I AM the Light of the World….”
John 8:23 “I AM from above….”
John 8:28 “When you life up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM He….”
John 9:5 “I AM the Light of the world….”
John 10:7 “I AM the door of the sheep….”
John 10:9 “I AM the door….”
John 10:11 “I AM the good shepherd....”
John 10:36 “…I AM the Son of God?”
John 11:25 “I AM the resurrection and the life….”
John 14:6 “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life….”
John 15:5 “I AM the vine….”
John 18:5 “I AM He….”

The Jews who had believed Him react to who He says He is
59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

[1] Calvin, John – Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, John 8:34, Public Domain
“…here Christ maintains, that all who are not delivered by Him are in a state of slavery, and that all who derive the contagion of sin from corrupted nature are slaves from their birth. We must attend to the comparison between grace and nature, on which Christ here dwells; from which it may be easily seen that men are destitute of freedom, unless they [gain it from Christ].”