So what does it mean to hold to Jesus' teachings, and to be one of Jesus' disciples? What does Jesus mean when he says, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free?"
Jesus was consistently teaching about love, about forgiveness, about helping those who are marginalized, about feeding the hungry, about losing our life to have our life. He taught about a God of love and mercy instead of a God of punishment and revenge. He taught that He came to set us free from the grips of sin and be restored to our true union with God. To me, to hold to Jesus' teachings means to honor them, to live them, and to model them.
So I ask myself, am I able to believe in Jesus, to believe that his teachings are real for me? Am I willing to be receptive to God's love and mercy for me and for others? Am I able to truly say, "Let it be done unto me according to your Word?" Am I willing to truly say "Yes!" to being His disciple with all that this may mean in how I live my life?
Here in these few lines Jesus is saying that discipleship is the path to knowing truth, and truth leads to freedom, freedom from fear, freedom to be all that we are meant to be. Truth is life as it really is, not as I want it to be. Truth is seeing through all the illusions, and the wishful thinking, and facing reality, what really is. And it is when we receive the truth, love it, hold on to its teaching, and walk in it, even when it is difficult, that we are genuine disciples of Christ.
As we abide in the words of Jesus, and see life through the eyes of Christ, we begin to see ourselves and other people differently, with more compassion and more love.
The truth that will set us free is that God is a God of mercy who wants us to live in union with Him. He loves us as we are. He forgives us. It is up to us to say, "Yes!" to His love and His mercy.
Believe. Abide. Know. And Experience Freedom.