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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
John 8

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Verse 1

Joh 8:1

John 8:1

But Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.—This is the earliest mention of the Mount of Olives with the visits of Jesus. The mount is situated on the east side of Jerusalem, its ascent beginning just on the suburbs of the city. From its top the city can be overlooked. It was from this mount that Jesus overlooked the city on his last visit to Jerusalem and wept over its coming ruin and desolation in terms of such tender pathos and sorrow. On its eastern slope the villages of Bethany and Bethphage are situated. The former was the home of Martha and Mary and Lazarus, the strong per­sonal friends of Jesus, whose house seems to have been the chief stopping place of Jesus when in Jerusalem. He had strong personal friends in Bethphage as well as Bethany. He was now when in Jerusalem likely spending his nights with this family as he did during the last week of his sojourn on earth.

Verses 1-11

Joh 8:1-11

A Woman Caught in Adultery - John 8:1-11

Open It

1. *What sins do most people think they are incapable of committing?

2. What activities or behavior do you consider to be immoral?

3. What do you think is the biggest challenge to marriages today?

Explore It

4. Where did Jesus go? (John 8:1)

5. What did Jesus sit down to do in the temple courts? (John 8:2)

6. Whom did the Pharisees bring before Jesus? (John 8:3-4)

7. *What did the Law of Moses say should happen to the woman caught in adultery? (John 8:5)

8. Why did the Pharisees bring the woman before Jesus? (John 8:6)

9. How did Jesus answer the Pharisees’ question? (John 8:6-8)

10. *Why did Jesus issue a challenge to the Pharisees? (John 8:7)

11. How did the Pharisees respond to Jesus’ challenge? (John 8:9)

12. What did Jesus ask the woman? (John 8:10)

13. *What did Jesus tell the woman to do? (John 8:11)

Get It

14. *Which sins do we tend to categorize as "big" sins (those that are worse than all others)?

15. Why do we rush to point out other people’s sin?

16. Which sins do you think God classifies as "big" sins?

17. How do we treat people who have fallen into one of the so-called "big" sins?

18. *How should we treat people who have sinned?

19. About what do you tend to be self-righteous?

20. What should we do when we’ve sinned?

Apply It

21. How can you challenge a friend or family member caught in sin to sin no more?

22. Away from what bad habit or tendency do you need to take the first step today?

23. *What self-righteous attitude will you ask God to change in your prayers this week?

Verse 2

Joh 8:2

John 8:2

And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.—Spending his nights at Olivet, he returned early in the morning to teach in the temple.

Verse 3

Joh 8:3

John 8:3

And the scribes and the Pharisees bring a woman taken in adultery; and having set her in the midst,—In some of the early manuscripts this account of the woman is wanting. Some conclude that it is not genuine. But it seems to have the divine stamp upon it by the spirit and wisdom in which it was treated.

Verse 4

Joh 8:4

John 8:4

they say unto him, Teacher, this woman hath been taken in adultery, in the very act.—The case was brought before Jesus by his enemies in the effort to find ground for accus­ing him.

Verse 5

Joh 8:5

John 8:5

Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such: what then sayest thou of her?—The law of Moses required that one guilty of adultery should be stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 22:23). The law had fallen into disuse at this time. The Roman government forbade the Jews inflicting capital pun­ishment without the sanction of the Roman ruler. The Romans did not hold adultery a ground for capital punish­ment, and would not sanction the death of one for this offense. Then the character and temper of Jesus made it certain that he would not have ordered her executed if he had the power. So they imagined they could force him to set aside the law of Moses and give ground for accusing and condemning him before the people.

Verse 6

Joh 8:6

John 8:6

And this they said, trying him, that they might have whereof to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.—Jesus was not quick to an­swer. He allowed them to press the point and fully commit themselves. He knew they all had been guilty of the same sin at some time in their lives. [The dilemma they wished to get him in was somewhat like that of the tribute money. To affirm the binding validity and force of the law of Moses would be to advise a course of action contrary to the Roman law. On the other hand, if he set aside this law it would make him liable to the charge of breaking this law which would be an aid in killing his influence with the Jews. In one case they would accuse him to the Romans and place him under civil authority; in the other they could denounce him as setting aside the law of Moses. This is the only re­corded instance where Jesus ever wrote a line. What he wrote at this time no one knows for the reason it is not re­corded.]

Verse 7

Joh 8:7

John 8:7

But when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.—The law of Moses required the witness to cast the first stone. “The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee.” (Deuteronomy 17:7). The simplicity and ease with which he caught those in the trap set for him marks the record as genuine. [They were determined to succeed so kept pressing the question, “What then sayest thou?” His answer was like a bolt of lightning. It affirmed nothing, set them back on their own hearts and bade them thus decide. It was as if he had said to them “Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practise the same things.”]

Verse 8

Joh 8:8

John 8:8

And again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.—He stooped again to write doubtless to give them opportunity to do what they desired free from restraint of observation.

Verse 9

Joh 8:9

John 8:9

And they, when they heard it, went out one by one, be­ginning from the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst.—Jesus, called into activity their own consciences and then left the conscience to direct their course. He decided according to the law and threw the responsibility of executing the law upon them. They slipped out one by one and left him and the woman alone.

Verse 10

Joh 8:10

John 8:10

And Jesus lifted up himself, and said unto her, Woman, where are they? did no man condemn thee?—[Is there no one to prove you guilty?]

Verse 11

Joh 8:11

John 8:11

And she said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn thee: go thy way; from henceforth sin no more.—With none to execute the law, he showed the mercy of God and told her to sin no more. To condemn her was to execute like sentence upon her. This he did not do; but in kindness condemned the sin, warned to sin no more and let the woman go. [“Go” and "sin no more” is a strong implied rebuke of the woman’s past life, and charge to repent and lead a different life. It also implies an opening of the door of hope if she complied with the conditions. The Chris­tian’s mercy ought to be like that of Jesus—sorrow for the sinner but indignation for sin. It should lead him to seek to save men from sin and to open the door of hope to the fallen.]

Verse 12

Joh 8:12

John 8:12

Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:—Jesus lays stress on the truth, that he came to give light to the world, both intellectual, scientific, and real light on all subjects. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4). He shed light when the world saw the example set in his life and actions as well as in the precepts he delivered. To follow his precepts and ex­amples is to receive and appropriate the light he gives. [Light was considered as an accompaniment of the presence of God. Moses saw the burning bush in Horeb. When he returned from the presence of the Lord on Sinai his face was shining with heavenly radiance. The pillar of fire that lighted Israel on their journey was the emblem of the presence of God. Now Christ, in the presence of both friends and foe, makes a more stupendous claim and affirms that “I am the light of the world,” not to the Jews only, but to all nations that will embrace his claims.]

he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.—[As the pillar of fire lighted and guided the children of Israel on their journey toward the promised land, so shall his followers be lighted by him, and shall have not only light, but “the light of life” which is the gospel. He fills the life with light in the reception of the word of God.]

Verses 12-30

Joh 8:12-30

The Validity of Jesus’ Testimony - John 8:12-30

Open It

1. What kind of credentials are valued most by the people you work with?

2. *When was a time you were able to verify someone else’s testimony?

Explore It

3. Who did Jesus say that He was? (John 8:12)

4. What did Jesus say would be the result of following Him? (John 8:12)

5. How did the Pharisees challenge Jesus? (John 8:13)

6. *Why did Jesus say His own testimony was valid? (John 8:14)

7. Why did Jesus say His decisions were right? (John 8:15-16)

8. *What two witnesses did Jesus claim testified on His behalf? (John 8:17-18)

9. Why did Jesus say that the Pharisees didn’t know His Father? (John 8:19)

10. Why didn’t anyone seize Jesus? (John 8:20)

11. How did the Jews respond to Jesus’ words? (John 8:21-22)

12. What did Jesus say would be the consequence of not believing in Him? (John 8:23-24)

13. What question did the Jews ask Jesus? (John 8:25)

14. How did Jesus answer the Jews’ question? (John 8:25-26)

15. *At what point did Jesus say that the people would know who He was? (John 8:27-28)

16. Whom did Jesus say He pleased? (John 8:29)

17. How did the people respond to Jesus’ words? (John 8:30)

Get It

18. How do you know God the Father?

19. In what way is Jesus a "light"?

20. How is Jesus the light in your world?

21. How were you in darkness before you believed in Jesus?

22. *Why is Jesus’ testimony credible to you?

23. Why are people today confused about Jesus’ identity?

24. How is Jesus’ relationship with God an example for our relationship with God?

25. In what way has God been reliable in your life?

26. *What would people say about the validity of your testimony?

Apply It

27. How can you seek to please God with what you do today?

28. *In what way can you testify on behalf of Jesus this week?

Verse 13

Joh 8:13

John 8:13

The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest witness of thyself; thy witness is not true.—The law of Moses was that a man was not to be convicted upon the testi­mony of one witness. Speaking of this, it was sometimes said the witness of one man was not true. It only meant that the truth could not be established by the testimony of one witness. Again, a man must have other testimony than his own to establish his claim to a high position. This was spoken of as if a man has no witness for himself save his or his testimony is not true. The Pharisees spoke to Jesus as to his claims to be the Son of God.

Verse 14

Joh 8:14

John 8:14

Jesus answered and said unto them, Even if I bear wit­ness of myself, my witness is true; for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye know not whence I come, or whither I go.—Jesus shows that even in this case his testimony could be relied on, as he knew whence he came and others did not, and they had no knowledge whence he came or whither he went.

Verse 15

Joh 8:15

John 8:15

Ye judge after the flesh;—They judged after the out­ward appearance. [They were fleshly—of the world and looked upon outward appearances, material forms and, like the world, judged accordingly. To such characters he is a riddle; to the “Jews a stumblingblock, and unto Gentiles fool­ishness.”]

I judge no man.—He judged no man on such grounds. His was a righteous judgment, knowing the full truth concerning himself. [He knows the hearts of men—the most profound secret—but he lets their own works judge them. This will be true in the final judgment.]

Verse 16

Joh 8:16

John 8:16

Yea and if I judge, my judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.—But if he should judge his judgment would be correct since God was with him and guided him in his judgment. [His mission into the world was not to judge it, but to save it. He does not refrain from judging it because of incompetence of passing just judgment, for his Father would judge in him and all hearts are “naked and laid open” unto him.]

Verse 17

Joh 8:17

John 8:17

Yea and in your law it is written, that the witness of two men is true.—“One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three wit­nesses, shall a matter be established.” (Deuteronomy 19:15). This law was carried into the New Testament. (Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1). [The Jews- accepted this law as from God. Note, that Jesus did not say our law, but “your law.” Strange, but nevertheless true, he never classes himself with the Jews.]

Verse 18

Joh 8:18

John 8:18

I am he that beareth witness of myself,—[In addition to his own testimony that he came from the Father, there were his mighty works bearing the same testimony. “We know,” said Nicodemus, “that thou art a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him.]

and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.—He gave the two witnesses in behalf of his claims. His could be accepted inasmuch as the Father wrought through him.

[The witness of the Father is found in all the prophets who spoke of Christ, and also given at his baptism by testimony from heaven. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17).]

Verse 19

Joh 8:19

John 8:19

They said therefore unto him, Where is thy Father?—[This question shows on its face that it is full of a scornful spirit, and therefore not asked for information. Because they could not see the Father they, therefore, disputed his word.]

Jesus answered, Ye know neither me, nor my Father:—His claim was that God was his Father and that they did not know God, although they claimed to be his people. [The Pharisees clearly demonstrated that they knew not God by rejecting his Son.]

if ye knew me, ye would know my Father also.—If they knew Jesus as the Messiah who came from God they would know his Father. [Men who reject Christ prove by that act that they know not God, for “in him dwelleth all the ful­ness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9).]

Verse 20

Joh 8:20

John 8:20

These words spake he in the treasury,—The treasury was one of the apartments of the temple. [It was located in the court of the women, probably the most public part of the temple. (Mark 12:41; Luke 21:1). The location of his teaching shows his boldness.]

as he taught in the temple:—[The Sanhedrin held its ses­sions usually in the hall Gazith, which was located between the court of women and the inner court. Jesus was there­fore teaching within hearing of the headquarters of his worst enemies, from whence came the orders shortly before (John 7:32-33) for his arrest.]

and no man took him; because his hour was not yet come.—[“Until the Passover, six months in the future that the plans of his enemies should all fail, and his hour should not come, was clearly known to the Lord.”]

Verse 21

Joh 8:21

John 8:21

He said therefore again unto them, I go away, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sin:—He turns to the same thought presented in John 7:34. When distressed, and espe­cially when they come to meet God and the judgment, they would seek to come where he is and would not be able to come. [Jesus will depart and return to heaven, and they shall seek him when it is too late and shall not find him, but die in their sins.]

whither I go, ye cannot come.—[The results of rejecting the Savior are that they shall die in their sins and therefore cannot go to heaven where he is. This, together with the next three verses, opposes the doctrine of universal salvation.]

Verse 22

Joh 8:22

John 8:22

The Jews therefore said, Will he kill himself, that he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come?—They had previously asked: Will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles to teach? Now they ask: Will he kill himself? [The Jews were slow to comprehend the purpose of Jesus, but surely not so dull as their question implies. Probably the question is asked in scorn. Since he had told them that he was going where they could not come, they probably meant that he was going to Gehenna, where all suicides go, rather than to heaven, where all Pharisees expect to go. They held that the darkest regions of the underworld were reserved for those who were guilty of suicide.]

Verse 23

Joh 8:23

John 8:23

And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above:—In answer to the question of killing himself, he tells them that he is from heaven and will after his death return there. [They had referred to the underworld in their ques­tion to each other so Jesus in his reply to them states where each are from and that when he departs he will go to the place from whence he came.]

ye are of this world; I am not of this world.—They will tend downward in the world to come. [They will go to the place for which they are prepared, while he goes to his Father.]

Verse 24

Joh 8:24

John 8:24

I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.—Because of their earthly or fleshly nature, they would die in their sins and could not come to him. [The only way to escape from the doom of the wicked, either for these Jews or any one else, is here stated by the Lord. Unbelief will damn the world. A living, active faith in Christ is the only thing that leads to heaven. While they were unsaved, yet there was one ray of hope for escape, namely, believing in Christ. He who dies in unbelief dies in sin and therefore dies with­out hope.]

Verse 25

Joh 8:25

John 8:25

They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? Jesus said unto them, Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning.—The statement that they would die in their sins and never be able to come where he will be stirred their indignation and they ask, “Who art thou?” Jesus had claimed from the beginning to be of his Father God.

Verse 26

Joh 8:26

John 8:26

I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you: howbeit he that sent me is true; and the things which I heard from him, these speak I unto the world.—Jesus had come to make known the will of God to the world. He at all times held out that what he taught was not from himself, but was the will of God, and God was true.

Verse 27

Joh 8:27

John 8:27

They perceived not that he spake to them of the Father.—They did not recognize that their God was his Father. [Their minds were so full of earthly things that they did not care to heed spiritual things.]

Verse 28

Joh 8:28

John 8:28

Jesus therefore said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man,—He was to be lifted up on the cross. This foretold the manner of his death [and proved his divinity. No one but a divine being could foretell the future.]

then shall ye know that I am he,—After he was crucified they would know by the signs following that he is the Son of God, and that the Father was with and in him. Even those who failed to believe on him owned his divine power. [His resurrection would be the grounds of an increase in discipleship. Fifty days after his crucifixion about three thou­sand in one day obeyed the gospel and became his followers. A few weeks later other thousands did likewise. The very act that his enemies hoped would blot his name from history was the means of filling the world with obedient believers. Jesus on the cross became a badge of honor instead of a symbol of shame. It is the central act and foundation of the Christian religion. It gives spiritual life to man.]

and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things.—[He was his Father’s agent and did nothing not authorized by him.]

Verse 29

Joh 8:29

John 8:29

And he that sent me is with me; he hath not left me alone; for I do always the things that are pleasing to him.—The ground for the Father’s presence with Jesus is that he always did the will of his Father. God is with all who do his will.

Verse 30

Joh 8:30

John 8:30

As he spake these things, many believed on him.—[Their faith was produced by the testimony presented by him.]

Verse 31

Joh 8:31

John 8:31

Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples;—The continuance in his will is the only test of true discipleship. This shows that to accept the truth and not follow it up by continuing to obey it will not save. One act of obedience does not free from sin, but a continuance in the words of God alone can free from sin and its direful results. It is a great mistake to think that one act frees us from sin. When we show our faith in God by compliance with his prescribed conditions of forgiveness he remits the penalties of past sins and places us in a condition to go forward in his service and thus secure freedom from the dominion and effects of sin; but it is only the persistent walk in keeping the words of Jesus that can free us from the bondage and condemnation of sin and fit us for companionship with God and his children in his own blessed home. Without this there can be no sal­vation with God. It is the continuance in the words of Jesus Christ that fits for salvation.

Verses 31-41

Joh 8:31-41

The Children of Abraham - John 8:31-41

Open It

1. *To what sort of things do people today become enslaved?

2. What does it mean to you to be free? What doesn’t it mean?

Explore It

3. What did Jesus say to the Jews who had believed in Him? (John 8:31)

4. *What did Jesus say the truth would do for those who knew it? (John 8:32)

5. How did the Jews respond to Jesus’ statement about freedom? (John 8:33)

6. *Who did Jesus say is a slave to sin? (John 8:34)

7. How does Jesus distinguish a slave from a son? (John 8:35)

8. *What is the result of being freed by the Son? (John 8:36)

9. What did Jesus say the Jews were ready to do? (John 8:37)

10. Who did the Jews say was their father? (8:39)

11. In what way were the Jews mistaken about Abraham? (John 8:39)

12. What did Abraham not do? (John 8:40)

13. What claim did Jesus’ accusers make? (John 8:41)

Get It

14. How are you like your mother or father?

15. To what sin are you a slave?

16. *From what sin have you been set free?

17. *How does truth set someone free?

18. How has the Son set you free?

19. In what way are we like God our Father?

20. When do we act like illegitimate children?

Apply It

21. *How can you better enjoy your freedom in the Son?

22. From what enslaving sin will you ask God to set you free?

23. What action will you take in order to act more like a child of God?

Verse 32

Joh 8:32

John 8:32

and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.—To continue in the word of God is more than to obey the positive precept that brings into Christ, and now and then to attend upon the services of the Lord’s house. To continue in the word of God is to take that word into our hearts, to take the spirit inspired and that dwells in that word, into our hearts and let that spirit infuse itself into our souls, so that the Spirit of Christ will dwell in us, will lead us, will be our Spirit and will inspire our feelings, will control our thoughts, mold our actions, and guide our lives in all things so that our bodies will become the temples of the Spirit of God and our lives will bear the fruits of the Spirit of God dwelling within us. To continue in his word is to make that word the supreme law of our daily lives that it may convert our souls, so that we may breathe continually an atmosphere

impregnated with the Spirit of God in our hearts that our souls may delight, find their joy and happiness in doing God’s law.

Verse 33

Joh 8:33

John 8:33

They answered unto him,—[Probably not the believing, but the unbelieving Jews.]

We are Abraham’s seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?—They did not understand to what the freedom applied, and insisted that since they were the seed of Abraham they were never in bondage to any man so did not need to be made free. It is just as important that we continue as Abraham did to walk in his service as it is that we enter his service; it is just as important that we follow on in faithful obedience to the will of God as it is that we believe in him. Importance is given to faith because faith leads to a continued walk in the words of God. A faith that does not lead to this is a dead faith that brings no good to man. It brings evil because it in­volves a degree of knowledge of God and his will. He that knows his Master’s will and does it not shall be beaten with added stripes because of this knowledge. One who thinks he is helped by faith, when that faith does not lead to a con­tinued life walk in the words of Jesus Christ, is deceived. The purpose and end of that walk is the training and school­ing of the spirit of man into a oneness with the Spirit of God.

Verse 34

Joh 8:34

John 8:34

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin.—This is the most cruel slavery. They were slow to understand his meeting, and he plainly declares it. [He who continues in sin is in slavery to Satan.]

Verse 35

Joh 8:35

John 8:35

And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever: the son abideth for ever.—A slave is not personally connected with the family. The son is the heir and permanent member of the family.

Verse 36

Joh 8:36

John 8:36

If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.—The son, the heir, could give lasting freedom, but the servant could not make free.

Verse 37

Joh 8:37

John 8:37

I know that ye are Abraham’s seed;—-He knew they were Abraham’s seed after the flesh but their spirit was not like Abraham’s. [The civil register probably represented a genuine descent in the flesh, but there is something far more important than this, without which this is nothing.]

yet ye seek to kill me, because my word hath not free course in you.—[His word had penetrated their hearts and made them for the time being believers, but it had no further develop­ment; it had made no advance. On the contrary, they had, after believing for a time, again gone back. The implied con­clusion "is that they were not Abraham’s seed in the best sense.]

Verse 38

Joh 8:38

John 8:38

I speak the things which I have seen with my Father: and ye also do the things which ye heard from your father.—Both Jesus and the Jews followed the spirit of their fathers. Jesus spoke the words of God. [He is drawing a sharp con­trast between the source of their conduct and his. The devil was their father (John 8:44) and seeking to kill Jesus was evidence that they were doing their father’s bidding.]

Verse 39

Joh 8:39

John 8:39

They answered and said unto him, Our father is Abra­ham.—They refused to own that they had any father save Abraham. Jesus was speaking of spiritual relations, and they did not receive the spirit of Abraham.

Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.—[They were the offspring of Abraham according to the flesh, but spiritually they had another father whom they served. (John 8:44).]

Verse 40

Joh 8:40

John 8:40

But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I heard from God: this did not Abraham.—If they were Abraham’s children after the flesh, they were not after the spirit. Jesus had come into the world to elevate the spiritual man above the fleshly, and the spiritual relations above the fleshly. [Note the uncompromising assertion of Jesus as a messenger from God.]

Verse 41

Joh 8:41

John 8:41

Ye do the works of your father.—They showed the spirit of the devil so were his spiritual children.

They said unto him, We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.—As they were the children of Abraham after the flesh and Abraham was a child of God, they insisted that God was their original Father. [They seem now to get a glimpse of the moral sense in which Jesus takes the notion of Sonship, and proceed to assert that they whose lineage on both sides is unimpeachable in the flesh cannot be successfully impeached in the Spirit.]

Verse 42

Joh 8:42

John 8:42

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me.—Jesus kept the spiritual relation before them. If God were your Father you would not oppose me.

Verses 42-47

Joh 8:42-47

The Children of the Devil - John 8:42-47

Open It

1. What languages other than English have you learned or would you like to learn?

2. *What makes mastering a second language so difficult?

Explore It

3. What did Jesus say the Jews would do if God were their Father? (John 8:42)

4. Who sent Jesus? (John 8:42)

5. *Why did Jesus say that His language was unclear to His audience? (John 8:43)

6. What shocking fact did Jesus reveal about His audience? (John 8:44)

7. What did Jesus say was not in the devil? (John 8:44)

8. *What is the devil’s native language? (John 8:44)

9. Of what did Jesus say the devil was the father? (John 8:44)

10. Why did Jesus’ audience not believe Him? (John 8:45)

11. What did Jesus ask His audience to prove? (John 8:46)

12.*What did Jesus say that the person who belonged to God heard? (John 8:47)

13. What reason did Jesus give for these people’s lack of hearing? (John 8:47)

Get It

14. In what way are you like your parents?

15. What points to the fact that you belong to God?

16. How does a person show love for Jesus?

17. *What truths do you have a difficult time accepting?

18. How is our love for God reflected in our love for Christ?

19. *What does your speech reveal about you?

20. What is your native language: truth, lies, or another language?

21. How can we learn a new language?

Apply It

22. What truth that is difficult for you to face will you ask God to help you confront today?

23. What change in your speech can you make this week to reflect your status as a child of God?

Verse 43

Joh 8:43

John 8:43

Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word.—Their failure to understand him was because of their fleshly, sensual nature that was cher­ished among them.

Verse 44

Joh 8:44

John 8:44

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do.—The devil inspired their course. He is the author of all evil. The devil was their father be­cause they desired to do his will, and while desiring to do his will they could not understand the teachings of Jesus. No man can understand or serve God who desires to follow the devil. Those who desire to do the lust of the devil are the children of the devil.

He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth,—He delights in the corruption and ruin of souls as God delights in their salvation. This implies that the devil was once in the truth, was in heaven, even the atmos­phere of heaven; but he loved falsehood better than truth, was cast out of heaven and was carried down to hell. “For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” (2 Peter 2:4). "And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Judges 1:6). "And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.” (Revelation 12:9).

because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.—In lying, falsehood, and deception he was speaking of his own nature and led others with him into ruin.

Verse 45

Joh 8:45

John 8:45

But because I say the truth, ye believe me not.—They being children of the devil, after the spirit like him, refuse to hear Jesus because he was of the truth and spoke the truth.

Verse 46

Joh 8:46

John 8:46

Which of you convicteth me of sin? If I say truth, why do ye not believe me?—His works were the ground of his claim to be the Son of God, and he challenges them to convict him of any falsehood or wrong. And if they cannot convict him, why do they not believe me?

Verse 47

Joh 8:47

John 8:47

He that is of God heareth the words of God: for this cause ye hear them not, because ye are not of God.—Those who did not honor God in their hearts would not hear God’s word. They would hence not listen to or accept his teaching.

Verse 48

Joh 8:48

John 8:48

The Jews answered and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a demon?—The Samari­tans were worse than the Gentiles in the eyes of the Jews. They were a mongrel race that claimed the privileges of the Jews, and the Jews charged that they were all possessed of demons.

Verses 48-59

Joh 8:48-59

The Claims of Jesus About Himself - John 8:48-59

Open It

1. Over what area of your life do you feel you have the least amount of control?

2. *How would you respond if you were falsely accused of doing something you hadn’t done?

Explore It

3. *Of what did the Jews accuse Jesus? (John 8:48)

4. How did Jesus respond to the accusation against Him? (John 8:49)

5. What did Jesus say He wasn’t seeking? (John 8:50)

6. What did Jesus say would be the result of keeping His word? (John 8:51)

7. How did the Jews respond to Jesus’ claim? (John 8:52)

8. What question did the Jews ask Jesus? (John 8:53)

9. Who glorifies Jesus? (John 8:54)

10. *Whom did Jesus claim to know? (John 8:55)

11. What made Abraham rejoice? (John 8:56)

12. *Why were the Jews so astonished by what Jesus said? (John 8:57)

13. Before whom did Jesus claim He had existed? (John 8:58)

14. What did the Jews attempt to do to Jesus? Why? (John 8:58-59)

Get It

15. How do you usually respond to things you don’t understand or can’t explain?

16. How do you respond to situations that you can’t control?

17. *How do you respond when your authority is being challenged?

18. To what authorities in life do you appeal for truth?

19. Whose glory do you seek?

20. *How can you honor God with your life?

21. How does a person keep Jesus’ word?

22. How well do you keep Jesus’ word?

23. How do you know that you know God?

Apply It

24. What is one way that you can honor God with your life today?

25. *How can you seek God’s glory rather than your own in your work this week?

26. What do you need to do in order to keep Jesus’ word?

Verse 49

Joh 8:49

John 8:49

Jesus answered, I have not a demon; but I honor my Father, and ye dishonor me.—Jesus insisted that he honored the Father by doing his will, and that they dishonored him by the charges brought against him.

Verse 50

Joh 8:50

John 8:50

But I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.—As an evidence of his righteousness, he was not sent to seek honor for himself, but for another. God seeks and will judge.

Verse 51

Joh 8:51

John 8:51

Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my word, he shall never see death.—He makes these strong statements to draw their minds to the spiritual nature of his meaning. On account of their sensual nature, these Jews could not take in his meaning, so he made this strong statement referring to spiritual death.

Verse 52

Joh 8:52

John 8:52

The Jews said unto him, Now we know that thou hast a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my word, he shall never taste of death.—They, refusing to see his meaning, feel sure that he has a demon to claim exemption for those who believed in him from the death that came to Abraham and the inspired men of old time.

Verse 53

Joh 8:53

John 8:53

Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who died? and the prophets died: whom makest thou thyself?—In their minds it was blasphemous to claim higher honor than those ancient worthies received. [Their contention is that Abraham and the prophets heard the word of God and are dead, and shall they, who hear thee, not die?]

Verse 54

Joh 8:54

John 8:54

Jesus answered, If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing: it is my Father that glorifieth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God;—To honor himself was selfish and human. But Jesus relied on him whom they claimed as their God to honor him.

Verse 55

Joh 8:55

John 8:55

and ye have not known him: but I know him; and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be like unto you, a liar: but I know him, and keep his word.—They were liars on claiming to know him, while refusing him whom God hath sent, and he having come from God and having been sent by him would be a liar to say he did not know God.

Verse 56

Joh 8:56

John 8:56

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.—Abraham received the promise that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed and by faith he looked forward to the coming of Jesus and rejoiced in the promise. [Abraham saw it in promise by prophetic vision and rejoiced in the hope of the revelation of Christ.]

Verse 57

Joh 8:57

John 8:57

The Jews therefore said unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?—The Jews persisted in applying this language to Abraham in the flesh who had been dead two thousand years. How could one who had been dead two thousand years see him now living? [They do not give the age of Jesus, but a round period that will cover it. He did not say he had seen Abraham.]

Verse 58

Joh 8:58

John 8:58

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Be­fore Abraham was born, I am.—Jesus was the Word that was with God in the beginning, was coexistent with God, and was the Creator of all things in the beginning. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus existed long before Abra­ham did, and still exists after Abraham has died and passed away, hence he speaks of himself as existing at the present, so “Before Abraham was, I am.” [Jesus does not merely assert that he was before Abraham, but before Abraham was “I am.” He identifies himself with the “I am” of the Old Testament.]

Verse 59

Joh 8:59

John 8:59

They took up stones therefore to cast at him:—[They considered him a blasphemer. Had he been only a man, he would have been. Stoning was the penalty of blasphemy, so they, without waiting for a trial and a legal verdict, sought to inflict the punishment by mob violence.]

but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.—[Disap­peared in the crowd and left the temple. As Jesus and no inspired man ever worked a miracle for their own benefit, we therefore could not attribute his disappearance to a miracle.]

Questions on John Chapter Eight

E.M. Zerr

1. To what place did Jesus go?

2. Where did he go in the morning?

3. What did he do here?

4. Tell what classes approached him.

5. Whom were they bringing unto him?

6. Of what did they accuse her?

7. Why could they have brought the man also?

8. Tell what law they cite.

9. What was their question?

10. Describe Jesus’ action.

11. Repeat his demand.

12. Which of them responded?

13. Tell what they did.

14. Did Jesus justify the woman?

15. Repeat his instruction to her.

16. State the effect of following Jesus.

17. Of what did the Pharisees accuse him now?

18. What part of it was not true?

19. Why was Jesus not alone in his testimony?

20. Of what ignorance did Jesus accuse them?

21. On what basis did they pass judgment?

22. What confirmed the judgment of Jesus?

23. What did their law say about testimony?

24. Tell what they asked Jesus.

25. What claim called forth this question?

26. Repeat the answer.

27. In what part of the temple was he?

28. Why were hands not laid on him here?

29. Where was he to go?

30. What about following him?

31. In what state would his opposers die?

32. How did they inierpret his statement?

33. Contrast their origin with his.

34. This had caused Jesus to say what?

35. Of what unbelief did he accuse them?

36. What did they next ask him?

37. State his answer.

38. What further warning did he make?

39. State the source of Jesus’ sayings.

40. Did they understand of whom he spake?

41. What act of theirs did Jesus predict?

42. Then what would they know?

43. Who was working with Jesus now?

44. Why was he always with him?

45. How did his speech now affect many?

46. What encouragement did Jesus give them then?

47. Tell what he said about freedom.

48. In what way did they resent this?

49. What form of servitude did they have in mind?

50. How did Jesus mean it?

51. Show advantage of a son over a servant.

52. What favor can a son bestow on others?

53. Tell what the Jews sought to do to Jesus.

54. What was the reason?

55. What things did Jesus speak?

56. And what things did the Jews do?

57. What fatherhood did they claim?

58. Tell what Jesus reasoned from this.

59. What would Abraham not have done?

60. Tell what fatherhood Jesus ascribed to them.

61. State their reply.

62. This contradicted what other claim?

63. Why should they have loved Jesus?

64. Why did they not understand Jesus’ speech?

65. Tell the name of their father.

66. What was his character?

67. Why did he not abide in the truth?

68. Describe his offspring.

69. Why did the Jews disbelieve Jesus

70. Which of them convicted Jesus of sin?

71. What proves one to be God?

72. How did this show up these Jews?

73. Of what did they now accuse Jesus?

74. What glory did Jesus seek?

75. Who shall never see death?

76. How did they interpret this?

77. What gave weight to the honor of Jesus?

78. What would now have made him a liar?

79. In what did Abraham rejoice?

80. How did the Jews interpret this?

81. Which lived first, Jesus or Abraham?

82. At this what did the Jews attempt to do?

83. How was it prevented?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on John 8". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/john-8.html.
 
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