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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
John 8

 

 

Introduction

The Story of Forgiveness
- John Eight -

Recorded in John chapter eight is the story of the forgiveness of a woman taken in the very act of adultery. The angry mob wanted to stone her in the name of the Law of Moses. Sadly, their motives were evil. They brought her to Jesus tempting Him that they might have some charge to bring against Him. Jesus told them that the one who was without sin must cast the first stone at her. No one threw a stone. Jesus told the woman that she must go her way and sin no more. The only way things can ever get better in our life is if we leave the life of sin behind and lovingly obey God completely. Jesus said, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me." (John 8:15-16) We need to forgive sinners because we likewise need forgiveness. It is true that the law said, "And the man that committeth adultery with another man"s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour"s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." (Leviticus 20:10) The Pharisees seem to have conveniently forgotten the man that was involved. The law called for the same penalty for him as for the woman. Jesus knew and understood much more than the people could ever have imagined.

In the final part of John eight Jesus boldly made His claim of being the Messiah. He told the Jews that they would die in their sins if they did not believe in Him. As proof of His Messiahship Jesus said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad." (John 8:56) They claim that Abraham is their father and Jesus said Abraham rejoiced to see His days. The Jews replied, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" They must have been surprised when Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am." Jesus truthfully said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)


Verses 1-11

Go and sin no more -- John 8:1-11 : Jesus spent the night in Mount Olives. Early the next morning the people were waiting for Him in the Temple. He did not disappoint them. He came to the Temple, sat down and taught them. The Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by bring a woman who was taken in the act of adultery. The guilty man was not brought. The Law said, "If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel." (Deuteronomy 22:22) The fact that the man was not brought is proof that the people cared nothing for the Law but instead they wanted to trap Jesus. "Jesus simply bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger." Jesus finally said, "If any of you have never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her!" Then He again bent over and wrote on the ground. The people left one by one. Only Jesus and the woman were left. There was no one left to accuse the woman. He said to her, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." The advice could not be better, "Do not sin anymore."


Verses 12-20

Jesus Is the Light for the World -- John 8:12-20 : Those who live in sin are walking in darkness. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." The Pharisees had no idea of Jesus" true identify. They did not know where Jesus came from or where He was going. Jesus claimed to have been sent to this earth by the Father. He offered as proof of His Messiahship two witnesses, the Father and Himself. They tried to weaken His reasoning by asking, "Where is thy Father?" Jesus answered, "If you knew me, you would know my Father." Jesus said this while He was still teaching in the place where the Temple treasures were stored. This was a place where many people would both see and hear Jesus, but "no one arrested him, because His time had not yet come."


Verses 21-38

Jesus talked about the Father and His truth -- John 8:21-38 : Jesus told the people that He was going away and that they could not go where He was going. The reason that it was impossible for them to go where He was had to do with their personal sins. Those who die with sins unforgiven cannot go where Jesus has gone. If we do not have faith in the fact that Jesus is the Messiah we will die and our sins will not be forgiven. They asked Jesus "Who are you?" Jesus went on to say, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, you will know who I am. You will also know that I do not do anything on my own. I say only what my Father taught me." It was the goal of Jesus to always do what pleased God. When He spoke these truths many people believed on Him. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) When Jesus spoke of freedom they said "We are Abraham"s children! We have never been anyone"s slaves." They wondered how Jesus could set them free. Sadly, they had been salves (their forefathers) in Egypt and they were presently slaves to sin. Jesus pictured the Son as being able to set the slave free. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36) Jesus accused these Jews of being under the control of Satan instead of under God"s control.


Verses 39-59

Jesus and Abraham -- John 8:39-59 : Jesus said these people wanted to kill Him for telling them the truth that God had given Him. The Jews claimed God as their father but they refused to obey Him. If God was actually the Father of these people they would have loved Jesus and His message because He came from God. He did not come on His own or with His own message. Jesus told these people that their father was the Devil; that he was a murderer and a liar and there was no truth in him. He speaks lies because he is the father of lies. Jesus told them the truth and still they refused to believe in Him. Jesus told them they should be able to name His sin or that they should believe that He was telling them the truth. When they refused to hear God"s message it became obvious that they did not belong to God. Jesus told the Jews that He was not a demon possessed Samaritan, but that He was God"s Son and if they would obey His word they would never die. The people responded by saying that Abraham and the prophets died. They asked Jesus, "Who do you think you are?" Jesus said, "Your father Abraham was really glad to see me." The Jews responded, "You are not even fifty years old!" They said. "How could you have seen Abraham?" This led to one of the great Bible statements, "Before Abraham was, I am." The people tried to kill Jesus but He escaped.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on John 8:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/john-8.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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