John 8

1 And Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Early in the morning he returned to the temple. All the people gathered around him, and he sat down and taught them.
3 The legal experts and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. Placing her in the center of the group,
4 they said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery.
5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone women like this. What do you say?"
6 They said this to test him, because they wanted a reason to bring an accusation against him. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger.
7 They continued to question him, so he stood up and replied, "Whoever hasn't sinned should throw the first stone."
8 Bending down again, he wrote on the ground.
9 Those who heard him went away, one by one, beginning with the elders. Finally, only Jesus and the woman were left in the middle of the crowd.
10 Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Is there no one to condemn you?"
11 She said, "No one, sir." Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, don't sin anymore."

Jesus continues to teach in the temple

12 Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, " I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won't walk in darkness but will have the light of life."
13 Then the Pharisees said to him, "Because you are testifying about yourself, your testimony isn't valid."
14 Jesus replied, " Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, since I know where I came from and where I'm going. You don't know where I come from or where I'm going.
15 You judge according to human standards, but I judge no one.
16 Even if I do judge, my judgment is truthful, because I'm not alone. My judgments come from me and from the Father who sent me.
17 In your Law it is written that the witness of two people is true.
18 I am one witness concerning myself, and the Father who sent me is the other."
19 They asked him, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, " You don't know me and you don't know my Father. If you knew me, you would also know my Father."
20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the temple area known as the treasury. No one arrested him, because his time hadn't yet come.
21 Jesus continued, " I'm going away. You will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I'm going, you can't come."
22 The Jewish leaders said, "He isn't going to kill himself, is he? Is that why he said, ‘Where I'm going, you can't come'?"
23 He said to them, " You are from below; I'm from above. You are from this world; I'm not from this world.
24 This is why I told you that you would die in your sins. If you don't believe that I Am, you will die in your sins."
25 "Who are you?" they asked. Jesus replied, " I'm exactly who I have claimed to be from the beginning.
26 I have many things to say in judgment concerning you. The one who sent me is true, and what I have heard from him I tell the world."
27 They didn't know he was speaking about his Father.
28 So Jesus said to them, " When the Human One is lifted up, then you will know that I Am. Then you will know that I do nothing on my own, but I say just what the Father has taught me.
29 He who sent me is with me. He doesn't leave me by myself, because I always do what makes him happy."
30 While Jesus was saying these things, many people came to believe in him.

Children of Abraham

31 Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, " You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
33 They responded, "We are Abraham's children; we've never been anyone's slaves. How can you say that we will be set free?"
34 Jesus answered, " I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35 A slave isn't a permanent member of the household, but a son is.
36 Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you really will be free.
37 I know that you are Abraham's children, yet you want to kill me because you don't welcome my teaching.
38 I'm telling you what I've seen when I am with the Father, but you are doing what you've heard from your father."
39 They replied, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus responded, " If you were Abraham's children, you would do Abraham's works.
40 Instead, you want to kill me, though I am the one who has spoken the truth I heard from God. Abraham didn't do this.
41 You are doing your father's works." They said, "Our ancestry isn't in question! The only Father we have is God!"
42 Jesus replied, " If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God. Here I am. I haven't come on my own. God sent me.
43 Why don't you understand what I'm saying? It's because you can't really hear my words.
44 Your father is the devil. You are his children, and you want to do what your father wants. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has never stood for the truth, because there's no truth in him. Whenever that liar speaks, he speaks according to his own nature, because he's a liar and the father of liars.
45 Because I speak the truth, you don't believe me.
46 Who among you can show I'm guilty of sin? Since I speak the truth, why don't you believe me?
47 God's children listen to God's words. You don't listen to me because you aren't God's children."
48 The Jewish opposition answered, "We were right to say that you are a Samaritan and have a demon, weren't we?"
49 " I don't have a demon," Jesus replied. " But I honor my Father and you dishonor me.
50 I'm not trying to bring glory to myself. There's one who is seeking to glorify me, and he's the judge.
51 I assure you that whoever keeps my word will never die."

Abraham and Jesus

52 The Jewish opposition said to Jesus, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham and the prophets died, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never die.'
53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died and the prophets died, so who do you make yourself out to be?"
54 Jesus answered, " If I glorify myself, my glory is meaningless. My Father, who you say is your God, is the one who glorifies me.
55 You don't know him, but I do. If I said I didn't know him, I would be like you, a liar. But I do know him, and I keep his word.
56 Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see my day. He saw it and was happy."
57 "You aren't even 50 years old!" the Jewish opposition replied. "How can you say that you have seen Abraham?"
58 " I assure you," Jesus replied, " before Abraham was, I Am."
59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and left the temple.

Images for John 8

John 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

The Pharisees and the adulteress. (1-11) Christ's discourse with the Pharisees. (12-59)

Verses 1-11 Christ neither found fault with the law, nor excused the prisoner's guilt; nor did he countenance the pretended zeal of the Pharisees. Those are self-condemned who judge others, and yet do the same thing. All who are any way called to blame the faults of others, are especially concerned to look to themselves, and keep themselves pure. In this matter Christ attended to the great work about which he came into the world, that was, to bring sinners to repentance; not to destroy, but to save. He aimed to bring, not only the accused to repentance, by showing her his mercy, but the prosecutors also, by showing them their sins; they thought to insnare him, he sought to convince and convert them. He declined to meddle with the magistrate's office. Many crimes merit far more severe punishment than they meet with; but we should not leave our own work, to take that upon ourselves to which we are not called. When Christ sent her away, it was with this caution, Go, and sin no more. Those who help to save the life of a criminal, should help to save the soul with the same caution. Those are truly happy, whom Christ does not condemn. Christ's favour to us in the forgiveness of past sins should prevail with us, Go then, and sin no more.

Verses 12-16 Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, and Christ is the image of the invisible God. One sun enlightens the whole world; so does one Christ, and there needs no more. What a dark dungeon would the world be without the sun! So would it be without Jesus, by whom light came into the world. Those who follow Christ shall not walk in darkness. They shall not be left without the truths which are necessary to keep them from destroying error, and the directions in the way of duty, necessary to keep them from condemning sin.

Verses 17-20 If we knew Christ better, we should know the Father better. Those become vain in their imaginations concerning God, who will not learn of Christ. Those who know not his glory and grace, know not the Father that sent him. The time of our departure out of the world, depends upon God. Our enemies cannot hasten it any sooner, nor can our friends delay it any longer, than the time appointed of the Father. Every true believer can look up and say with pleasure, My times are in thy hand, and better there than in my own. To all God's purposes there is a time.

Verses 21-29 Those that live in unbelief, are for ever undone, if they die in unbelief. The Jews belonged to this present evil world, but Jesus was of a heavenly and Divine nature, so that his doctrine, kingdom, and blessings, would not suit their taste. But the curse of the law is done away to all that submit to the grace of the gospel. Nothing but the doctrine of Christ's grace will be an argument powerful enough, and none but the Spirit of Christ's grace will be an agent powerful enough, to turn us from sin to God; and that Spirit is given, and that doctrine is given, to work upon those only who believe in Christ. Some say, Who is this Jesus? They allow him to have been a Prophet, an excellent Teacher, and even more than a creature; but cannot acknowledge him as over all, God blessed for evermore. Will not this suffice? Jesus here answers the question. Is this to honour him as the Father? Does this admit his being the Light of the world, and the Life of men, one with the Father? All shall know by their conversion, or in their condemnation, that he always spake and did what pleased the Father, even when he claimed the highest honours to himself.

Verses 30-36 Such power attended our Lord's words, that many were convinced, and professed to believe in him. He encouraged them to attend his teaching, rely on his promises, and obey his commands, notwithstanding all temptations to evil. Thus doing, they would be his disciples truly; and by the teaching of his word and Spirit, they would learn where their hope and strength lay. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts feel no other grievances than those that molest the body, and distress their worldly affairs. Talk to them of their liberty and property, tell them of waste committed upon their lands, or damage done to their houses, and they understand you very well; but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and liberty by Christ; tell of wrong done to their precious souls, and the hazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange things to their ears. Jesus plainly reminded them, that the man who practised any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which was the case with most of them. Christ in the gospel offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. But often we see persons disputing about liberty of every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.

Verses 37-40 Our Lord opposed the proud and vain confidence of these Jews, showing that their descent from Abraham could not profit those of a contrary spirit to him. Where the word of God has no place, no good is to be expected; room is left there for all wickedness. A sick person who turns from his physician, and will take neither remedies nor food, is past hope of recovery. The truth both heals and nourishes the hearts of those who receive it. The truth taught by philosophers has not this power and effect, but only the truth of God. Those who claim the privileges of Abraham, must do Abraham's works; must be strangers and sojourners in this world; keep up the worship of God in their families, and always walk before God.

Verses 41-47 Satan prompts men to excesses by which they murder themselves and others, while what he puts into the mind tends to ruin men's souls. He is the great promoter of falsehood of every kind. He is a liar, all his temptations are carried on by his calling evil good, and good evil, and promising freedom in sin. He is the author of all lies; whom liars resemble and obey, with whom all liars shall have their portion for ever. The special lusts of the devil are spiritual wickedness, the lusts of the mind, and corrupt reasonings, pride and envy, wrath and malice, enmity to good, and enticing others to evil. By the truth, here understand the revealed will of God as to the salvation of men by Jesus Christ, the truth Christ was now preaching, and which the Jews opposed.

Verses 48-53 Observe Christ's disregard of the applause of men. those who are dead to the praises of men can bear their contempt. God will seek the honour of all who do not seek their own. In these verses we have the doctrine of the everlasting happiness of believers. We have the character of a believer; he is one that keeps the sayings of the Lord Jesus. And the privilege of a believer; he shall by no means see death for ever. Though now they cannot avoid seeing death, and tasting it also, yet they shall shortly be where it will be no more forever, ( Exodus 14:13 ) .

Verses 54-59 Christ and all that are his, depend upon God for honour. Men may be able to dispute about God, yet may not know him. Such as know not God, and obey not the gospel of Christ, are put ( 2 Thessalonians. 1:8 ) earnestly desire to know more of him. Those who discern the dawn of the light of the Sun of Righteousness, wish to see his rising. "Before Abraham was, I AM." This speaks Abraham a creature, and our Lord the Creator; well, therefore, might he make himself greater than Abraham. I AM, is the name of God, Ex. 3:14 ; it speaks his self-existence; he is the First and the Last, ever the same, ( Revelation 1:8 ) . Thus he was not only before Abraham, but before all worlds, ( Proverbs 8:23 , John 1:1 ) . As Mediator, he was the appointed Messiah, long before Abraham; the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, ( Revelation 13:8 ) . The Lord Jesus was made of God Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, to Adam, and Abel, and all that lived and died by faith in him, before Abraham. The Jews were about to stone Jesus for blasphemy, but he withdrew; by his miraculous power he passed through them unhurt. Let us stedfastly profess what we know and believe concerning God; and if heirs of Abraham's faith, we shall rejoice in looking forward to that day when the Saviour shall appear in glory, to the confusion of his enemies, and to complete the salvation of all who believe in him.

Footnotes 5

John 8 Commentaries