After speaking at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus again goes to the temple and teaches. The Pharisees, who have been conspiring, have used this opportunity to test Jesus. After Jesus’ reply He teaches the Pharisees. At the end of this chapter, the opposition to Jesus seems to increase exponentially.
II. Words, Phrases, Concepts
A. Witness, Testimony – verses 13,14,17,18
B. Truth –verses 26,32,40,44,45,46,55
C. Judge – verses 15,16,26,50
D. Die in your sins – verses 21,24,34,46
E. Sent – verses 16,18,29,42
Chapter 8 is about witnesses of Christ. John is showing how there is great evidence for Christ which ought to be recognized, especially by the religious rulers. This chapter shows Jesus confronting the Pharisees. There is a strong emphasis on Jesus being “sent”, implied at times that He has “seen and heard”…
III. John 8:1-11, Woman caught in adultery
Most scholars agree that this was a “set-up”, accomplished by the Pharisees for the express purpose of trapping and condemning Jesus. The woman is “caught” but the man is not (again, a set-up). The Old Testament required BOTH parties to be “caught” and tried.
The Pharisees are “testing” Jesus. The words used here are “peradzo” and “katagoroe” for “subjecting to trail with the hoped result of being able to speak against in a hostile manner.
A. Law of stoning an adulterer
1. Leviticus 20:10
2. The Pharisees wanted to be able to accuse Jesus of breaking the Law of Moses
3. The Pharisees viewed themselves as judges, see verse 6.
B. Jesus gives His answer
1. Does not deny the Law
2. Mercy and Grace are from God
a. No excuses for committing sin
b. Jesus is going to pay the price for this, and all, sin at His crucifixion
3. Condemnation and Freedom are also from God alone
IV. John 8:12-59, Conflict with the Pharisee
A. Jesus’ witness
In this passage, jesus uses the Law against the Pharisees. They want to be judge and jury, as well as executioner. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees in judicial terms now, something they understand and cannot avoid.
1. Light of the world – this refers to John 1:4,5.
a. Light exposes darkness
b. Light reveal the path in which to walk (how to live)
The Law exposes but cannot make one righteous, cannot give life.
2. True witness – see 5:30
a. Jesus knows where He came from and where He is going – see Hebrews 12;1,2
b. He is fully justified by God His Father
c. The cannot understand because they only judge by human reason. Compare John 5:39-47. The Word of God, Old and New testaments, testify to the Lord Jesus Christ. The religious leaders did not understand that.
Knowing God’s Word does not make someone automatically a good judge.
B. Jesus’ Mission
1. “Do not know” – do not favor because what Jesus says and is does not meet with their understanding of the Law, or their human reason, or their priorities.
2. “Die in your sins”
a. A somber warning to all
b. Jesus will go to the cross, be resurrected, and return from where He came. To this place the religious leaders have no ability to go.
3. Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ means believing in His mission
a. He came to be crucified and resurrected
b. Sin is personal, accountability is real, payment is required
Q- Who will “die in their sins?” Once dead, how can sins be forgiven? Do those around you need forgiveness, eternal life?
c. “Believe” is conditional in verse 24.
4. Do not understand Jesus’ words
a. “Who are you?” they ask. Is this a genuine question or a subtle accusation?
b. Jesus has been telling them all along
c. Jesus has already judged righteously, in Truth because of His Father.
d. The crucifixion will explain Jesus’ mission and will condemn those who choose not to believe.
Notice how Jesus is making a clear division, distinction between human reasoning and real truth. The religious rulers do not understand the Scripture, and so the people do not understand it either. Jesus teaches the true meaning of the Old Testament.
Great care must be exercised by those who claim to teach the Bible, and by those who listen to the teaching. Not everyone is a true Bible teacher, CONTEXT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE.
5. Many believe after hearing Jesus’ words
a. “Believed” – here in the Greek “perfect” tense, referring to a completed condition. They do not know everything they need to know, but they have believed what they have heard. Therefore, God has forgiven them and they are now in possession of eternal life.
b. There is a condition attached for assurance: “if” you truly did believe, it will be clear and you will be set free by continuing in the Truth, not merely being a “fan” for the moment.
“Disciples Indeed” – imitators of the Lord Jesus, continuing in the Word as Jesus always does.
6. “Know the truth…be set free”
Q- What do people need to be set free from? Why can only the Truth do this?
a. Will be acquainted with the Truth and live it out. This is a growing process.
b. Only this will set you free – free from slavery to sin.
Without “dwelling” in the Word of God there is no freedom. Relationship cannot be maintained by feeling only, but must be from abiding in the Word of God, which reveals Jesus Christ. This is the meaning of DISCIPLESHIP. A disciple is continually learning by study and practice. Freedom is not license, it is spiritual liberty to refrain from evil and to do that which is True and Righteous – see Romans 6:11-20.
C. Misunderstanding of the Religious Rulers
The remainder of this chapter refers to what takes place in verse 30-32. The distinction is exposed by Jesus’ teaching in the following verses.
1. Actions are the result of belief, spiritual ancestry
a. Salves to sin
b. Accomplish the deeds of their father
2. Very direct, harsh words of Truth
a. God is not your father
b. You act like your true father, the devil
c. You exercise the will of your father
d. You are not of God (verses 45-47)
In verse 47, they can do nothing else “because” – this is a word marking out the cause or reason – “this is the only possible conclusion based on the evidence”
Imagine jesus speaking to people like this today. Would He be accepted in most circles? Would Jesus be accepted in most churches today if He spoke the Truth like this?
The evidence for Jesus’ nature as God is also the only possible conclusion. He and the religious rulers are on the opposite side.
e. Dishonor Jesus and the Father
f. “Seeking their own glory, seeking to be judges
3. “You are liars” – verse 55 – why?
a. “You say that he is your God”
b. “You do not keep His Word”, compare verse 40.
D. Jesus is God
1. “Abraham saw my day and rejoiced”
a. Abraham believed God’s Word – Genesis 15:1-6
b. Abraham understood the crucifixion and resurrection – Genesis 22:1-19
2. “I AM”
a. Grammatically incorrect statement. However, it is the literal
b. Refers to Exodus 3:14 – Jesus is the “self-existent One”
c. Jesus is above Abraham and Moses whom the rulers claim to follow.
d. Jesus is the God whom they say is their Father.
The rulers understood exactly what Jesus was saying now, and they tried to kill Him for claiming to be God.
V. Truths Presented
A. Jesus keeps the Law perfectly and explains its proper use and meaning
B. “Knowing” = doing, doing reflects belief.
1. The deeds of one’s father
2. Disciples, or liars
C. Jesus is THE JUDGE
1. Able to show mercy
2. Is completely righteous
3. Gives true freedom