Day 16 (Saturday, March 23, 2019)


John 8:31-32

31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”


In a world where we expect to get everything now, the idea of perseverance seems foreign. Yet this is the key to what Jesus is saying in these verses. He understood human nature. He knew how many people were attracted to him because of the miracles he performed or the unexpected words he uttered (so, John 8:30). But he also knew about human fickleness and how easily we shift our attention from one celebrity to another. It’s one thing to be infatuated with someone, but quite another to form a long-term relationship. And yet this is what Jesus wants: he wants us to form a relationship with him that holds firm through tough times as well as good times.

Notice that he wants us to continue in his word. We’ve already seen Jesus’ insistence on our need to know the truth – about who God is and what he expects of his followers. This truth is not just ‘head knowledge’. It is a knowledge that awakens, drives and frames our relationship with God, impacting our mind, conscience, will and heart. So, as with any relationship, we need to work at knowing God better – in this case through his special self-revelation in the Bible. Furthermore, as with any relationship, we need to persevere with it, even when things don’t seem to be going our way. Jesus is not asking us to join him in a one hundred yards sprint, but in the marathon of life. The extraordinary thing is that when we do this he frees us from our bondage to self-interest and sin and opens our lives up increasingly to enjoy life as we were meant to live.


Almighty God, give us grace so that we may cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came amongst us in great humility: so that on the last day, when he comes again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, Advent – adapted)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 8:31-59