On the subject of true disciples, Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” ~John 8:31b-32 (NRSV).
Everyone, it would seem, is motivated to achieve the abundant life—so far as their understanding permits their entrance. Not everyone, therefore, understands what the abundant life is, and therefore how to get there. (Likewise, many wouldn’t want it if they knew what it entailed.) The abundant life is transformation. And only those interested in the truth will be adept at getting it.
More of the Abundant Life
Truth is the hinge. If we cannot abide in the truth, surrendering ourselves to it, we cannot be transformed. If we’re not transformed the abundant life goes begging.
This is a philosophical, logistical, and moralistic Catch-22. We can have one only with the other: truth, then transformation; then, equally, the abundant life.
God, it’s revealed, has an inordinate sense of humour grounded eternally in justice. We can only have the keys to the kingdom—the true kingdom resplendent of the abundant life—when we place the truth, which is the wisdom and Word of God, at the forefront of thinking, speech, decision-making, and action.
Knowledge and the Will To Make Happen
What Jesus is saying, above, is the Word, and therefore the wisdom, of God is disclosed only to those true disciples with the right eye and ear for truth. Only they will know the truth as it is expounded through the Scriptures. Only they will know the truth as it is displayed in ordinary life.
Yet, just about everybody else, also, knows such truth—the repugnance of injustice, for instance. Therefore they, too, know the indelible din of truth. But they don’t consider it highly enough.
Only those fervently in the Word of God—valuing it as their Holy Grail—will grasp the subliminal message of truth as it prevails over their hearts and minds, blessing their understanding to go in transformation.
Knowledge is the fundamental key—but this is not a self-willed knowledge of study. It is, rather, the knowledge of God via inspiration and revelation—the Spirit-sense for truth. Again, only the true disciple is blessed with such knowledge which comes from God alone.
Transformation has a catch; we can only truly be transformed if we know the truth and we allow it to change us. Transformation, we see, is actually repentance—that which is gift-wrapped, presented for positive display. Repentance: the will to turn back to God.
Here, emphasised, is the fact of God within. The Word of God is a double-edged sword, dividing soul and spirit, bone and marrow (Hebrews 4:12). It searches us and it is the key to growth—if we will allow it to germinate, afresh, and thrive within us.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.