Why do you suppose Jesus tells the believing Jews to “dwell in” His Word? After all, the Word was given to their people first, many years before Jesus’ physical birth. These Jews may argue this point; some do.
Jesus informs them that He is the great “I Am,”(v. 24) “the Beginning, or the first of all thing, the which and I speak to you.” (v. 25) Some Jews listening to Jesus reject this claim, but many believe.
“Therefore Jesus said to the Jews, that believed in him, If ye dwell in my word, verily ye shall be my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
They believe. Aren’t they already free? Why do they have to “dwell in [His] Word?” They believe. Why don’t they already “know the truth?”
They’ve just heard, just now. They process this awesome good news. They aren’t sure; they need time. They need to sit down at His feet, so to speak, and hear more.
Dwell in His Word. Learn of His yoke; feel how light the burden. These Jews carry a heavy load, the heavy load of the Law of Moses, a task-master and instructor that has finally guided them to the Messiah, who stands before them claiming to be One with God. Jesus’ Word is overwhelming.
Learn the Truth; the truth sets you free.
Interesting how the Bible refers to God at the beginning as “the word.” “God was the word,” says John. God was a voice speaking in the emptiness surrounding the word. As God spoke, things came into existence so that we recognize that God’s spoken word is all powerful and the creative force inside as well as outside the universe as we know it. The Big Bang may very well have been the voice of God speaking – for something can not be made from nothing. Of course, the particle sparking the mighty explosion that began our universe must have been God’s word.
The Bible also tells us – through John – that God’s word at the beginning was God’s Son so that we understand God’s creative force, the word, is “the glory of the one begotten Son of the Father.”
Later, inside time and space, this word “is made flesh, or man” so as to live among us. In this way, “we have seen the glory of him, the glory as of the one begotten of the Father, the Son full of grace and truth.”
Therefore, grace and truth created the universe. “The word was at God.”
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word. [In the beginning was the word, that is, God’s Son, and the word was at God, and God was the word.] This was in the beginning at God. And the word was made man, and dwelled among us, and we have seen the glory of him, as the glory of the one begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and of truth. [And the word, that is, God’s Son, is made flesh, or man, and hath dwelled in us, and we have seen the glory of him, the glory as of the one begotten of the Father, the Son full of grace and truth.]”
“The Lord’s Word has stood the test; He is the shield of all who take refuge in Him.”
John writes, “When all things began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was. The Word, then, was with God at the beginning, and through Him all things came to be; no single thing was created without Him.” (John 1: 1 – 3)
The test of the Word was His life here on earth, and His death on the cross of Calvary. He “stood the test;” and by dying and coming back to life, became “the shield of all who take refuge in Him.”
The Word “makes my way blameless.” (Psalm 18: 32) He “gives me the shield of [His] salvation, [His] hand sustains me, [His] providence makes me great.” (Psalm 18: 35)
Righteousness pursued “as if it is based on works” does not result in the attainment of that righteousness, says Paul.
A zeal for God is not enough. The cornerstone, who is Jesus Christ, makes those who seek God under their own power, stumble.
“For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they do not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10: 3 – 4)
We do not bring Jesus down nor do we rise up to Him; instead His “Word is near [us], in [our] mouths and in [our] hearts.” (Romans 10: 8)
Our righteousness is based on faith alone.