When I was in college, my friends and I had a Sunday routine that last four years. It included going to church, getting something to eat, watching football all afternoon long, getting something to eat, doing homework for an hour, watching The
Simpsons, and getting something to eat. The pinnacle of the evening was when we’d all gather together to watch The X-Files. I loved the story, the mystery, and even some of the spirituality that was present in the show. It was Fringe before there was Fringe.
Moulder, played by David Duchovny, was assigned to a special task force within the FBI investigating strange and abnormal phenomena. He believed that aliens had abducted his sister, which has led him to the pursuit of the “truth” about what happened to his sister and to others. Each episode featured the words, “The Truth is Out There.”
In John 8:31-32, Jesus is speaking to the Jews who had believed him. He was teaching them what it means to be a true disciple. The reality is that Jesus doesn’t make this complicated. He has made discipleship as simple to understand as possible. He says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Jesus said that discipleship is holding onto, abiding in, or obeying Jesus’ teaching. True disciples will seek to love God and love their neighbors.
There is a positive consequence or reward for holding onto the teachings of Jesus. Jesus says that we will know the truth, and that the truth shall set us free. John records later in chapter 14 that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life…” When we follow Jesus’ commands; when we abide in his presence; when we hold onto Jesus’ teachings we encounter the Living Truth. We encounter the freedom from oppression and sin. The Truth shall set us free.
A true disciple of Jesus Christ is the person who commits to following the teachings of Jesus. In the midst of holding onto Jesus’ example and commands we encounter the Truth of who Jesus is- our Lord, our Savior, and our Redeemer.
This Lent- how are you holding onto the teachings of Jesus? Have you encountered the truth of Jesus Christ and the life that Jesus came to offer? Are you walking as a true disciple?
Steve LaMotte is pastor of Hope United Methodist Church and Chaplain at Wesley College- both in Dover, Delaware. Steve was introduced to Delanco Camp by his wife, Andrea, who attended as a teenager. Steve has been an evangelist, Bible study leader, and worship leader at camp. He sometimes blogs at www.stevenlamotte.me and can be followed on twitter at @steve_lamotte.