John 8

Listen to John 8
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 1Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and 2he sat down and taught them.
3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst
4 they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
5 Now 3in the Law Moses commanded us 4to stone such women. So what do you say?"
6 This they said 5to test him, 6that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, 7"Let him who is without sin among you 8be the first to throw a stone at her."
8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.
9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
10 Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, 9"Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on 10sin no more."]]

I Am the Light of the World

12 11Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 12"I am the light of the world. Whoever 13follows me will not 14walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
13 So the Pharisees said to him, 15"You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true."
14 Jesus answered, "Even if I do bear witness about myself, 16my testimony is true, for I know 17where I came from and 18where I am going, but 19you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
15 20You judge according to the flesh; 21I judge no one.
16 Yet even if I do judge, 22my judgment is true, for 23it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father[a] who sent me.
17 24In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true.
18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and 25the Father who sent me bears witness about me."
19 They said to him therefore, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, 26"You know neither me nor my Father. 27If you knew me, you would know my Father also."
20 These words he spoke in 28the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but 29no one arrested him, because 30his hour had not yet come.
21 So he said to them again, 31"I am going away, and 32you will seek me, and 33you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come."
22 So the Jews said, 34"Will he kill himself, since he says, 'Where I am going, you cannot come'?"
23 He said to them, 35"You are from below; I am from above. 36You are of this world; 37I am not of this world.
24 I told you that you 38would die in your sins, for 39unless you believe that 40I am he you will die in your sins."
25 So they said to him, 41"Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.
26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but 42he who sent me is true, and I declare 43to the world 44what I have heard from him."
27 They did not understand that 45he had been speaking to them about the Father.
28 So Jesus said to them, "When you have 46lifted up the Son of Man, 47then you will know that 48I am he, and that 49I do nothing on my own authority, but 50speak just as the Father taught me.
29 And 51he who sent me is with me. 52He has not left me alone, for 53I always do the things that are pleasing to him."
30 As he was saying these things, 54many believed in him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, 55"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
32 and you will 56know the truth, and the truth 57will set you free."
33 They answered him, 58"We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"
34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, 59everyone who commits sin is a slave[b] to sin.
35 60The slave does not remain in the house forever; 61the son remains forever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet 62you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.
38 63I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard 64from your father."

You Are of Your Father the Devil

39 They answered him, 65"Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, 66"If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did,
40 but now 67you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth 68that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.
41 You are doing the works your father did." They said to him, 69"We were not born of sexual immorality. We have 70one Father--even God."
42 Jesus said to them, 71"If God were your Father, you would love me, for 72I came from God and 73I am here. 74I came not of my own accord, but 75he sent me.
43 76Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot 77bear to hear my word.
44 78You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. 79He was a murderer from the beginning, and 80has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. 81When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.
46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?
47 82Whoever is of God hears the words of God. 83The reason why you do not hear them is that 84you are not of God."

Before Abraham Was, I Am

48 The Jews answered him, "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and 85have a demon?"
49 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon, but 86I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.
50 Yet 87I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.
51 Truly, truly, 88I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never 89see death."
52 The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon! 90Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet 91you say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never 92taste death.'
53 93Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?"
54 Jesus answered, 94"If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. 95It is my Father who glorifies me, 96of whom you say, 'He is our God.'[c]
55 But 97you have not known him. 98I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be 99a liar 100like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.
56 101Your father Abraham 102rejoiced 103that he would see my day. 104He saw it and was glad."
57 So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"[d]
58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, 105I am."
59 So 106they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of 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.

Cross References 106

  • 1. [Luke 21:38]
  • 2. Matthew 5:1; Luke 4:20
  • 3. Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22
  • 4. Deuteronomy 22:24; Ezekiel 16:38, 40
  • 5. Matthew 16:1; Matthew 19:3; Matthew 22:18, 35; Mark 8:11; Mark 10:2; Mark 12:15; Luke Mark 10:25; Luke 11:16
  • 6. See Luke 11:54
  • 7. Romans 2:1, 22
  • 8. Deuteronomy 17:7
  • 9. ver. 15; [John 3:17; Luke 12:14]
  • 10. John 5:14
  • 11. John 7:37, 38
  • 12. [Psalms 36:9; Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6; Malachi 4:2]; See John 1:4, 9
  • 13. John 12:26; John 21:19
  • 14. See John 12:35
  • 15. John 5:31
  • 16. [Revelation 3:14]
  • 17. John 13:3; John 16:28
  • 18. ver. 21; John 7:33
  • 19. [John 7:28; John 9:29]
  • 20. John 7:24; 1 Samuel 16:7; [Job 10:4]
  • 21. John 12:47; [ver. 11]
  • 22. John 5:30
  • 23. ver. 29; John 16:32
  • 24. See Numbers 35:30
  • 25. John 5:37
  • 26. ver. 55; John 16:3
  • 27. John 14:7
  • 28. See Matthew 27:6
  • 29. John 7:30
  • 30. John 7:8
  • 31. John 14:28; [John 14:2, 3; John 16:7]
  • 32. See John 7:34
  • 33. ver. 24; Ezekiel 3:18; Ezekiel 33:8
  • 34. [John 7:35]
  • 35. [ver. 44; John 3:31]
  • 36. 1 John 4:5
  • 37. John 17:14, 16
  • 38. ver. 21
  • 39. John 16:9
  • 40. Mark 13:6; Luke 21:8
  • 41. [John 1:19]
  • 42. John 3:33; John 7:28; Romans 3:4
  • 43. [John 18:20]
  • 44. ver. 40; John 15:15; [John 3:32; Revelation 1:1]
  • 45. ver. 18, 26
  • 46. John 3:14; John 12:32, 34
  • 47. [John 16:8-11]
  • 48. See ver. 24
  • 49. See John 5:30
  • 50. See John 7:16
  • 51. ver. 16; John 16:32; Acts 10:38; See John 10:38
  • 52. ver. 16; John 16:32; Acts 10:38; See John 10:38
  • 53. John 4:34; John 5:30; John 6:38; [1 John 3:22]
  • 54. See John 7:31
  • 55. John 15:7, 8; 2 John 9
  • 56. 2 John 1
  • 57. ver. 36; Romans 6:18, 22; Romans 8:2; 1 Corinthians 7:22; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:1, 13; James 1:25; James 2:12; 1 Peter 2:16
  • 58. ver. 37, 39; Matthew 3:9; [Luke 19:9; Romans 9:7]
  • 59. Romans 6:16-20; Titus 3:3; 2 Peter 2:19
  • 60. Genesis 21:10; Galatians 4:30
  • 61. Luke 15:31
  • 62. ver. 40; See John 7:1
  • 63. John 3:32; John 5:19; John 6:46
  • 64. ver. 41, 44
  • 65. ver. 33, 56
  • 66. [Galatians 3:7, 9]
  • 67. ver. 37
  • 68. ver. 26
  • 69. [Hosea 2:4]
  • 70. Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8; [ver. 47]
  • 71. [1 John 5:1]
  • 72. 1 John 5:20; [Hebrews 10:9]
  • 73. John 16:28; John 17:8
  • 74. John 7:28
  • 75. See John 3:17
  • 76. John 7:17
  • 77. Jeremiah 6:10; [1 Corinthians 2:14]
  • 78. 1 John 3:8, 12; [ver. 23]; See Matthew 13:38
  • 79. Genesis 4:8, 9; 1 John 3:12, 15; [Romans 5:12]
  • 80. [1 John 2:4]
  • 81. Genesis 3:4; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9
  • 82. [John 18:37; 1 John 4:6]
  • 83. [John 10:26]
  • 84. [ver. 41]
  • 85. See John 7:20
  • 86. John 5:23; [John 7:18]
  • 87. ver. 54; John 5:41
  • 88. John 5:24; John 11:26
  • 89. See Luke 2:26
  • 90. [Zechariah 1:5]
  • 91. ver. 51
  • 92. Matthew 16:28; Hebrews 2:9
  • 93. [John 4:12]
  • 94. ver. 50
  • 95. John 13:32; John 17:1; Acts 3:13; Hebrews 5:5; 2 Peter 1:17
  • 96. ver. 41
  • 97. ver. 19; John 7:28
  • 98. John 7:29; See Matthew 11:27
  • 99. 1 John 1:6
  • 100. ver. 44
  • 101. ver. 39
  • 102. See Matthew 13:17
  • 103. Luke 17:22
  • 104. [Hebrews 11:13]
  • 105. See Exodus 3:14
  • 106. John 10:31

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Some manuscripts he
  • [b]. Greek bondservant; also verse 35
  • [c]. Some manuscripts your God
  • [d]. Some manuscripts has Abraham seen you?

John 8 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.