John 8

1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At sunrise he arrived in the temple courtyard again. All the people gathered around him there. He sat down to teach them.
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman. She had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in front of the group.
4 They said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught having sex with a man who was not her husband.
5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to kill such women by throwing stones at them. Now what do you say?"
6 They were trying to trap Jesus with that question. They wanted to have a reason to bring charges against him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
7 They kept asking him questions. So he stood up and said to them, "Has any one of you not sinned? Then you be the first to throw a stone at her."
8 He bent down again and wrote on the ground.
9 Those who heard what he had said began to go away. They left one at a time, the older ones first. Soon only Jesus was left. The woman was still standing there.
10 Jesus stood up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Hasn't anyone found you guilty?"
11 "No one, sir," she said. "Then I don't find you guilty either," Jesus said. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Jesus' Witness Is True

12 Jesus spoke to the people again. He said, "I am the light of the world. Those who follow me will never walk in darkness. They will have the light that leads to life."
13 The Pharisees argued with him. "Here you are," they said, "appearing as your own witness. But your witness does not count."
14 Jesus answered, "Even if I give witness about myself, my witness does count. I know where I came from. And I know where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.
15 You judge by human standards. I don't judge anyone.
16 "But if I do judge, what I decide is right. This is because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.
17 Your own Law says that the witness of two is what counts.
18 I give witness about myself. My other witness is the Father, who sent me."
19 Then they asked him, "Where is your father?" "You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also."
20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the temple area. He was near the place where the offerings were put. But no one arrested him. His time had not yet come.
21 Once more Jesus spoke to them. "I am going away," he said. "You will look for me, and you will die in your sin. You can't come where I am going."
22 This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'You can't come where I am going'?"
23 But Jesus said, "You are from below. I am from heaven. You are from this world. I am not from this world.
24 I told you that you would die in your sins. Do you believe that I am the one I claim to be? If you don't, you will certainly die in your sins."
25 "Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied.
26 "I have a lot to say that will judge you. But the One who sent me can be trusted. And I tell the world what I have heard from him."
27 They did not understand that Jesus was telling them about his Father.
28 So Jesus said, "You will lift up the Son of Man. Then you will know that I am the one I claim to be. You will also know that I do nothing on my own. I speak just what the Father has taught me.
29 The One who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him."
30 Even while Jesus was speaking, many people put their faith in him.

The Children of Abraham

31 Jesus spoke to the Jews who had believed him. "If you obey my teaching," he said, "you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth. And the truth will set you free."
33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's children. We have never been slaves of anyone. So how can you say that we will be set free?"
34 Jesus replied, "What I'm about to tell you is true. Everyone who sins is a slave of sin.
35 A slave has no lasting place in the family. But a son belongs to the family forever.
36 So if the Son of Man sets you free, you will really be free.
37 "I know you are Abraham's children. But you are ready to kill me. You have no room for my word.
38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. You do what you have heard from your father. "
39 "Abraham is our father," they answered. Jesus said, "Are you really Abraham's children? If you are, you will do the things Abraham did.
40 But you have decided to kill me. I am a man who has told you the truth I heard from God. Abraham didn't do the things you want to do.
41 You are doing the things your own father does." "We are not children of people who weren't married to each other," they objected. "The only Father we have is God himself."

The Children of the Devil

42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me. I came from God, and now I am here. I have not come on my own. He sent me.
43 "Why aren't my words clear to you? Because you can't really hear what I say.
44 You belong to your father, the devil. You want to obey your father's wishes. "From the beginning, the devil was a murderer. He has never obeyed the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his natural language. He does this because he is a liar. He is the father of lies.
45 "But because I tell the truth, you don't believe me!
46 Can any of you prove I am guilty of sinning? Am I not telling the truth? Then why don't you believe me?
47 "Everyone who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you don't hear is that you don't belong to God."

Jesus Makes Claims About Himself

48 The Jews answered Jesus, "Aren't we right when we say you are a Samaritan? Aren't you controlled by a demon?"
49 "I am not controlled by a demon," said Jesus. "I honor my Father. You do not honor me.
50 I am not seeking glory for myself. But there is One who brings glory to me. He is the judge.
51 What I'm about to tell you is true. Anyone who obeys my word will never die."
52 Then the Jews cried out, "Now we know you are controlled by a demon! Abraham died. So did the prophets. But you say that anyone who obeys your word will never die.
53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died. So did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"
54 Jesus replied, "If I bring glory to myself, my glory means nothing. You claim that my Father is your God. He is the one who brings glory to me.
55 You do not know him. But I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him. And I obey his word.
56 "Your father Abraham was filled with joy at the thought of seeing my day. He saw it and was glad."
57 "You are not even 50 years old," the Jews said to Jesus. "And you have seen Abraham?"
58 "What I'm about to tell you is true," Jesus answered. "Before Abraham was born, I am!"
59 When he said this, they picked up stones to kill him. But Jesus hid himself. He slipped away from the temple area.

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.

John 8 Commentaries