These days truth is very subjective and relative to what someone's personal preference, feelings or opinions are. When Jesus was talking He was talking about the Truth. There was no quabbling about what He meant. He was speaking about the Truth as set forth in the Bible and according to God's will. He was speaking about an eternal Truth that no man's opinion or theory could discount.
Jesus was speaking to those who had decided to lay all aside and to follow Him. He said that they would be His disciples if they continued in His word. That word 'disciples' in the Greek means one who is a learner or pupil. Or one who wants to learn, increase their knowledge, be informed and learn by use and practice. So to be a disciple would be a lifelong aspiration. It was not just going through the preschool of Christianity and discipleship; it was entering into a lifelong journey of matriculation in the school of seeking God with your whole heart.
Jesus told them that they would be His disciples if they continue in His word...that word was 'logos' and in the Strong's concordance it gives a special meaning to that word used in John. It didn't just mean the sayings of God or His moral precepts. Here is the definition that they give..."In John, denotes the essential Word of God - Jesus Christ, the personal wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world's life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man's salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah, the second person in the Godhead, and shone forth conspicuously from His words and deeds." So what Jesus was saying was to continue in His word, not just spoken words, but living words, Jesus the living word. These are not just words to be read and forgotten, but these words are that spoke all creation into existence. These are not just words spoken quickly, without weight or merit. These words are alive and living. He is the Word. We are to continue in Him. It is so easy these days with all that is going on, the busyness of life, all the things that distract us to lay Jesus aside. We don't do it intentionally, but it happens nonetheless. He is saying here that we have to continue to seek Him, daily, hourly, by the minute. That is a sign of being His disciple. He says if we do that, if we continue in Him, we are then His disciples and then we will know the truth.
That 'truth' in the Greek is not just the truth as taught in Christianity to do with God and the completion of His purposes through Christ and respecting our duties as His followers, it also has to do with a love for that truth. We can speak the truth and not love it. We can speak it out of duty, we can speak it by rote memorization, we can speak it because we think it is what should be said, but if we have no love of it, it does not truly become alive in us. His truth is not some sterile thing. It is vibrant and vigorous. Dynamically at work in us. It changes us from the inside out. If we seek the truth and love it, if we become steeped in it, it does the incomprehensible in us...it makes us more like Him. It softens the rough edges, it brings wisdom. It brings about a metamorphosis that is impossible to fabricate on our own. We begin to know the truth about who He is and about who we are in Him. We come to not just recognize the truth, but to know it. We experience it. We live it. And by knowing that truth, by continuing in His word we become true disciples, not just fair weather friends of the Saviour.
...And the truth will set us free. What a beautiful concept. The thing is, it is not just a concept, or abstract idea. It is real and alive and available to us. As we come to know the truth, about Him and about all He did for us, provide for us, we get freedom. Today we think of freedom mostly as an idea of being able to do what we want when we want it. That is not what Jesus is talking about here. He is talking about being truly free, or as it says in the Greek, to set at liberty from the dominion of sin. And He knows about that. He voluntarily gave His life on the cross so that sin would no longer have power over us. Again, we get the concept, but to many of us it is still an abstract thing. No, in the Bible it says that when He died He went into hell and took the keys of death and hell (Rev. 1:18). He suffered all that was set before us so that we would never have to. He did all that so that we could receive salvation when we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour. We not only don't have to worry about going to hell, we don't have to worry about sin having any power over us at all. As we know that truth, the truth that we are children of God, the truth that we have the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us, the truth that as it says in Luke 10:19, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.",' as we know that truth we begin to walk in victory. We begin to live a triumphant life, overcoming all that is thrown at us, by the power of the Word that lives in us. Remember it is not us, it is the Word in us. The next verse in Luke, verse 20 says, "Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven". We rejoice because the Truth lives in us, we rejoice because one day we will see Him face to face. We rejoice because we are truly free.
So, instead of living defeated lives, instead of being beaten up by circumstances, instead of falling prey to every temptation that comes against us or being overcome by every trial that comes our way we are to be victorious through Him. We ARE victorious, triumphant, blessed, favored, joyful, thriving overcomers!
Now that's the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
All Greek definitions come from Strong's concordance, all scripture is King James.