John Chapter 8

March 29, 2010

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of John. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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John Chapter 8 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

John 8:1-59 (NIV)
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” ————————–
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and 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 pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18 I am one who testifies for 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 teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come. 21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” 22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?” 23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.” 25 “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been claiming all along,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” 27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him. 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, 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 descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” 39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the things your own father does.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” 48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” 49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” 54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

Last week we talked about light and darkness and how the Pharisees morality was about rules and regulations (darkness) but the morality that is found in Jesus is based on grace and truth (light). Jesus exhorted us to stop judging on mere appearances but to make a right judgment. In chapter 8 we will see this morality of grace displayed in the ministry of Jesus.

John 8:1-11

These verses are not included in the earliest manuscripts. They paint an interesting picture of darkness versus light in the morality discussion. Since the Pharisees were unable to arrest Jesus, they try and destroy His ministry by forcing Him to a situation where He would lose favor with the crowd. The Pharisees and teachers of the Law brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus, and they challenged Him. “In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do You say?” Jesus plays a little tic-tac-toe in the sand and then says, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
One by one the Jewish rulers, condemned by their own consciences, slipped away. The legalistic morality demonstrated by the Pharisees is impersonal. The Pharisees do not care at all about the woman. Jesus cares about her, and despite the fact that she was guilty He would not condemn her. The legalistic morality is selective. Where was the man caught in adultery? Jesus raises the idea of universal guilt. All of us have sinned. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Everyone there was guilty of sin. That is the basis of a grace filled morality. Everyone is guilty, but the Judge withholds condemnation in an effort to offer life. “Go and leave your life of sin”. The Legalistic morality of the Pharisees is about punishment, not about encouraging right action. Their motives are vengeful, not righteous. Jesus, however has different motives. Jesus affirmed the Law’s penalty for sin, but demanded sinlessness from anyone who would execute it! Christ Himself judged the sin wrong, but rather than condemn the sinner, Jesus withheld the penalty so that she might go and sin no more!

John 8:12

Jesus then talks about being the light of the world. This light is based in the grace morality which Jesus just demonstrated. This grace morality cares about people. It causes us to realize that we are just like the sinner, not somehow superior to them, and it should cause us not to be condemning but to look for ways to extend the way the truth and the life of Jesus.

John 8:13-20

Jesus begins to clarify who He is as the light of the world. He talks about the fact that even though He is withholding judgment, if He were to judge it would be by the divine standards of the living God, not by the sin warped standards of man.

John 8:21-30

He than says that his actions and teachings are from above, based on the heart of God, while the Pharisees understanding is rooted in the broken and sin filled world.

John 8:31-38

We see that real life is experienced in relationship with Jesus and by following His teachings, and that in Him we might know truth (and not just know Him in an intellectual way, but to experience Him in relationship)

John 8:39-47

This grace morality loves people that God loves. Who does God love? The Pharisees were filled with contempt and hatred. When you see contempt and hatred as the outcome of a faith community, something is wrong.

John 8:48-59

Jesus then dealt with the accusations that the things He was doing had a demonic origin. This dialogue concludes with Jesus statement that He existed long before Abraham. When Jesus says “Before Abraham was born, I am,” the Pharisees recognized that Jesus was identifying Himself with the I AM (Yahweh) of the Old Testament. And they were right to do so, but their response was very wrong.

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