“Marinating in the Truth”

On the Journey -Daily Devotional Meditation:

“30 As he spake these things, many believed on him.31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, if ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; 32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:31, American Standard Version)

I have read this verse numerous times and what I have emphasized do often is the verse, “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The phrase that Jesus uses is “if ye abide in my word” which Greek scholars call a causative phrase because it sets up a cause and effect. When one abides in His word then one is a disciple and the truth will set one free. The word that John uses for abide is “meinate” which comes from the verb root “”meno.”[1] It translates “to remain to continue, or to permanently abide in one place.”[2] Jesus is exhorting them to continuously abide in His word. The context of this verse is Jesus is speaking to Jews who had the Old Testament Scriptures and he is now redacting their whole notion of God as it relates to him being one with the Father. It is also important to understand that there was no New Testament canon of scripture at this time but the language of the text places emphasis on the person of Christ. Jesus is not just appealing to their cognitive, intellectual understanding of His Word but he is also speaking to their hearts that they would continuously press into a personal relationship of intimacy with He “Who is the Living Word.” This concept in the New Testament is consistent with the use of the word “know” in the New Testament in which there is an objective knowledge (ginosko), and there is a knowledge that is based on experience borne out of relationship (epiginosko).
In this verse Jesus is asking them to continuously engage and to remain with Him and those things that He speaks – the Bible that we have today. This is a call to intimacy not distant learning.
Application for the Journey:
Growing up as a child some of my fondest memories are of my grandmother who would make a soup that she started on Monday. Every day she would add ingredients and the aroma would begin to fill the whole house. On Friday she would place her ham bone into the pot and at that point all I wanted to do was have a taste of that soup. When Sunday would come there would be ten to twenty members of the Soto clan who were ready for the Sunday meal and for Grandma’s soup. The meat in the pot would marinate to the point that the meat was broken down and so mixed with the broth you could not distinguish between the meat and the ingredients.
In the same manner this is what Jesus is saying in this verse that as one marinates in His Word it begins to break down those old attachments in our life. Dallas Willard calls this process the “Revolution of Jesus” which is the continuous transformation of the human heart or spirit[3] that does not come from that which external but rather from that which is internal. This is a revolution of character, which proceeds by changing people from the inside through ongoing personal relationship to God in Christ and to one another.[4] When Jesus says that abiding in Him makes you one of His he is taking about being set free to experience a change at the deepest level of one’s ideas, beliefs, feelings, and habits of choice, as well as one’s bodily tendencies and social relations.[5]
To marinate in His word is to be set free to be the presence of the kingdom and it’s King into every corner of human life simply by fully living in the kingdom with him.
In order to begin this process, like the Jews whom Jesus was addressing in the passage we must be willing to surrender our old attachments and beliefs concerning what we think is good for us. Most of what we embrace is on the outside of our hearts where we think we have control. To abide is to reflectively look at the inside of our hearts and allow Jesus to give us a tour of what must change.
Yours on the Journey with you,
Al Soto

[1] Fritz Reinecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguidtic Key to the Greek New Testament.(Michigan: Grand Rapids, Zondervan,
1976) p 239. In this verse it is aorist which means a choice that was made in the past but continuous. Thus,
“Continuously Abide.”
[2] Rick Renner, Sparkling Gems from the Greek. p 578.
[3] Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart. p 15.
[4] Dallas Willard, p 15.
[5] Dallas Willard, p 15.

About PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”
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