Who is a true disciple?
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples.” — John 8:3
Jesus answers the question, “Who is a true disciple?” There is really only one answer: a disciple remains in Jesus’ word.
How do we do that? We no longer have Jesus speaking publicly, like he did when he encouraged and warned the people that he was speaking to. This section of John records the face-to-face confrontations that the Jews had with Jesus.
They prided themselves on being the children of Abraham. The implication was, that by their heritage alone, they were God’s people. But Jesus pointed out to them their need to repent and that being a child of God was a heritage. In this way, Jesus was pointing out that it is a matter of their hearts. Jesus saw to it that this Word was recorded. The Bible is God’s Word. When we read the Bible, we are remaining in accordance with his Word.
What does it mean to remain in his Word? Verse 32 supplies the rest of the quote. “You will also know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” In Jesus’ day, the Jews considered this their birthright as they were the children of Abraham. But they still needed to hear the truth. They were sinners in need of forgiveness and restoration. That is the saving truth.
The truth remains: we have sinned and continue to fall short of the perfection that God requires. So then what to do?
• Apply that Word of Jesus to your hearts and lives.
• Read the Word and reflect it in everything you say and do. Your life depends on it.
• Rejoice in the victory that Word gives.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for bringing the Father’s will to this world and fulfilling that will. Continue to send the Holy Spirit into our hearts, enabling us not only to read that Word, but remain true to it and apply it to our lives. Amen.