John 8

The Adulterous Woman

1 But Jesus went to 1the Mount of Olives.
2 Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and 2He sat down and began to teach them.
3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,
4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
5 "Now in the Law 3Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"
6 They were saying this, 4testing Him, 5so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.
7 But when they persisted in asking Him, 6He straightened up, and said to them, "7He who is without sin among you, let him be the 8first to throw a stone at her."
8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.
10 9Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"
11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "10I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on 11sin no more."]

Jesus Is the Light of the World

12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "12I am the Light of the world; 13he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
13 So the Pharisees said to Him, "14You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true."
14 Jesus answered and said to them, "15Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know 16where I came from and where I am going; but 17you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
15 "18You judge according to the flesh; 19I am not judging anyone.
16 "But even 20if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.
17 "Even in 21your law it has been written that the testimony of 22two men is true.
18 "I am He who testifies about Myself, and 23the Father who sent Me testifies about Me."
19 So they were saying to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father; 24if you knew Me, you would know My Father also."
20 These words He spoke in 25the treasury, as 26He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because 27His hour had not yet come.
21 Then He said again to them, "I go away, and 28you will seek Me, and 29will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot * come."
22 So 30the Jews were saying, "Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, '31Where I am going, you cannot * come '?"
23 And He was saying to them, "32You are from below, I am from above; 33you are of this world, 34I am not of this world.
24 "Therefore I said to you that you 35will die in your sins; for unless * you believe that 36I am He, 37you will die in your sins."
25 So they were saying to Him, "Who are You?" Jesus said to them, "What * have I been saying to you from the beginning?
26 "I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but 38He who sent Me is true; and 39the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world."
27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.
28 So Jesus said, "When you 40lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that 41I am He, and 42I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
29 "And He who sent Me is with Me; 43He has not left Me alone, for 44I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."
30 As He spoke these things, 45many came to believe in Him.

The Truth Will Make You Free

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "46If you continue in My word, then you are truly 47disciples of Mine;
32 and 48you will know the truth, and 49the truth will make you free."
33 They answered Him, "50We are Abraham's descendants and have never * yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free '?"
34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, 51everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
35 "52The slave does not remain in the house forever; 53the son does remain forever.
36 "So if the Son 54makes you free, you will be free indeed.
37 "I know that you are 55Abraham's descendants; yet 56you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.
38 "I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from 57your father."
39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is 58our father." Jesus said to them, "59If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham.
40 "But as it is, 60you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has 61told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.
41 "You are doing the deeds of 62your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; 63we have one Father: God."
42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, 64you would love Me, 65for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have 66not even come on My own initiative, but 67He sent Me.
43 "Why * do you not understand 68what I am saying? It is because you cannot * 69hear My word.
44 "70You are of 71your father the devil, and 72you want to do the desires of your father. 73He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because 74there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he 75speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
45 "But because 76I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
46 "Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If 77I speak truth, why * do you not believe Me?
47 "78He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."
48 79The Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a 80Samaritan and 81have a demon?"
49 Jesus answered, "I do not 82have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.
50 "But 83I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges.
51 "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone 84keeps My word he will never * 85see death."
52 86The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You 87have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, 'If anyone 88keeps My word, he will never * 89taste of death.'
53 "Surely You 90are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?"
54 Jesus answered, "91If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; 92it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God ';
55 and 93you have not come to know Him, 94but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be 95a liar like you, 96but I do know Him and 97keep His word.
56 "98Your father Abraham 99rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."
57 100So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"
58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, 101I am."
59 Therefore they 102picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus 103hid 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 103

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

Footnotes 18

John 8 Commentaries

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.