"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free" - John 8:33
This week I watched the new version of the Lion King and as I reflected on it afterwards, I was struck by an important spiritual truth underlying the story line.
Simba ran away from his home, friends and family because of a lie. His wicked Uncle Scar (who wanted Mufasa and Simba out of the way so he could be king) told him he was responsible for his father’s, Mufasa’s, death. Simba believed the lie and, fearing what everyone would think of him if they “knew the truth” (in fact a lie), he ran away. As time went on he continued to believe the lie that he was a wicked son and murderer and didn’t deserve to be King. In fact, he believed the lie for so long he forgot who he was, hence the poignant question asked by Rafiki towards the climax of the film, “Who are you?”
Simba finally comes to his senses when he is shown his reflection in the water and told to look carefully. Simba sees the face of his Father and realises that his Father lives on in him and is always with him. Suddenly, he remembers his identity as a child of the King and rightful heir to the throne. Knowing his Father is still proud of him and is willing him on, Simba seizes the moment and heads back to Pride Rock to fight for homeland. When he comes face to face once again with Scar and is reminded of that fateful day in the valley of death, Simba momentarily falters, again admitting his guilt, even before his shocked family. But the turning point comes when Scar reveals the truth that HE killed Mufasa. Simba is finally freed from his guilt and the heavy burden is lifted BECAUSE HE FINALLY KNOWS THE TRUTH.
Do you see the biblical parallels? We are children of the King and, as children of the King, we are also heirs to the Kingdom. However, we have an arch enemy (satan) who is out to destroy us because he is jealous of our inheritance. He feeds us lies so that we run away from our destiny, we forget who we are in Christ and we turn our backs on the promises of God because we believe the lie that we aren’t worthy. How many children of God have been robbed of what is rightfully theirs simply because they lost sight of the truth and believed a lie?
We need to pray for revelation and understanding to know the truth and to know who we are in Christ – and we must never forget it. John 8:33 says
you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. How do we know the truth? According to John 8 we will know the truth if we hold on to Jesus’ teaching. We need to study the Word of God because when we know what the Bible says we can easily expose the lies of the world.
Simba spent years trapped, imprisoned by the past and his false beliefs but the moment he realised the truth he was free to rise up, defeat his enemy and take the crown. Not only was he free but he brought freedom back to the whole of the Pridelands and its inhabitants. Likewise, when we are truly free and take our rightful place as children of the King, not only do we experience victory personally over all our enemies but we are also able to help set other captives free.