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The dependence that sets us free

From the July 2024 issue of The Christian Science Journal

One of the most frequently quoted statements of Christ Jesus’ teachings is: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). It is preceded by this qualifying statement: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). The New English Bible gives this translation of these verses: “If you dwell within the revelation I have brought, you are indeed my disciples; you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” But what does knowing the truth really mean?

As a starting point, Jesus’ teachings were all based on the truth of perfect God and His perfect creation, including man. Knowing, or deeply perceiving, this fundamental truth inherently includes recognizing man’s total dependence on God. Jesus was modeling such reliance when, just before his statements above, he had said of God: “He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29).

The truth of our wholly dependent relation to God rests on God being our Father-Mother, our divine Parent, completely good, all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful, and certainly reliable. One reason understanding this relationship is so crucial is that it flies in the face of much of what the world sees as a typical parent-child relationship. A human parent rejoices over the first steps of a child. These first steps are symbolic of the hundreds of ways in which each of us gradually learns to be independent.  

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