Sunday Bible Study Notes - John 8
Purpose: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:31).
Purpose of this section: This is one of Jesus’ I AM statements referring to the burning bush from where He spoke to Moses. But also, Jesus is the light in the dark world. With the light turned on you see the gift - life.
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Feast of Tabernacles is over. The crowd has dispersed. The plot to kill Jesus did not happen but there are many angry at Jesus. They are still plotting. Jesus is continuing to teach from the temple area. He repeats His, “I AM the light of the world” meaning He and He alone. Light and life go together (1:4) just as darkness and death go together. The light does the work. It draws us to Jesus who gives His life for us. Notice how this light is both for all the world but also to the individual person as well. No one trusts the darkness at least after the light is turned on. But light is trustworthy. We can see what is in the light. So, Jesus is the light and this light is always linked with life. Later, Jesus will also say I AM the...Life.
13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
The Pharisees don’t listen to what Jesus is saying. Rather, they raise a formal objection as in a court of law. You cannot bear witness about yourself. Someone needs to see or hear what you said. Otherwise there is no reason to listen. Anyway, they are like blind men in the dark. They see no Father.
14 Jesus answered and said unto them (John 1:48), Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Jesus is not contradicting Himself. Even though He said something different in 5:31 - If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: In John 5 He goes on to say that John the Baptist gave witness but says there is another witness - His Father - who is not a man.
19 Then said the Pharisees unto Jesus, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. There is an ancient little saying that Christian teachers have often applied - the faith comes before understanding. Without faith even a person fully knowing all the Holy Scripture will not understand the gift given. With faith, many who don’t know
the Scriptures very well still receive the gift.
20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. The main reason to mention the treasury is that Jesus is teaching in public; in view and earshot of the authorities. The conflict is over. The plot to arrest Jesus does not go forward again.
21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. A sharper clash starts. Jesus gives a strong warning to the same people in the first clash. He restates what He said is 7:33-34 - 33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. A few changes are made. He leaves out “a little while I am with you” because no police are coming to arrest Him, which was the earlier intent. Also, Jesus emphasizes strongly that “I go my way”. The warning is that if the Jews keep going their own way, their unbelief will end in death.
22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
The Jews catch that Jesus is going to do something of His own will. However, they think it might be suicide. They are still trying to catch Jesus in His words as well.
23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he (more plainly that I Am the I AM of the burning bush), ye shall die in your sins.
25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? This is much less a question than a sneer. Who do you think you are? You come to this holy place and make such blasphemous claims about yourself.
And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said (solemnly proclaimed) unto you from the beginning... The Jews are sneering while Jesus is happy to answer again. Jesus then continues. 26 I have many things to say (solemnly proclaim) and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. Jesus not only tells them something about Himself but also something about themselves. He tells them of their darkness for which a judgment is coming.
27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. What they did not understand is that Jesus’ words are the Father’s words. The Jews are intellectually following what Jesus is saying. However, they don’t trust what Jesus says in verse 26 is even possible.
28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man (crucifixion), then shall ye know that I am he (the I AM of Exodus), and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. Wow! Amid all the hostility, many trusted Jesus.