Study Notes

John 8:12-59


Last week, we looked at how Jesus dealt both with the woman caught in the act of adultery and her accusers. Today, we pick up in verse 12 of John chapter 8...

8:12 Walking In Darkness

In the beginning, God said, "Let there be light." Genesis 1:4 tells us,

Gen. 1:4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

From the very beginning, there has been a separation between light and darkness. Darkness is indeed the absence of light. Jesus said, "I'm the light of the world. If you follow me you won't walk in darkness." Peter told us,

1Pet. 2:9 ...(He) has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

John also writes...

1John 1:5-7 ...God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and {yet} walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

God has separated light and darkness. If you're following Jesus Christ, you're not walking in darkness. If you're walking in darkness, you're not following Him.

8:13-18 Bearing Witness

"So You're the light of the world, huh?" the Pharisees asked. "What good is Your word if You're the only one saying it?" The law stated that

Deut. 19:15 ...On the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.

But Jesus says, "I'm not the only one bearing witness of Me. The Father has also borne witness of Me.

How had He borne witness of Christ? How hadn't He? He had borne witness in their hearts. If they weren't so hard-hearted, they would have accepted Jesus Christ. Many of them had also been at the Jordan River when Jesus was baptized.

Luke 3:22 ...and a voice came out of heaven, "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased."

But the greatest testimony of Jesus Christ by the Father was right there in His Word. The Scriptures included over 300 prophecies that pointed to Jesus Christ. They were signposts pointing to the Messiah.

Have you ever wondered about the miracle of sending a letter? When we mail off an envelope with just a few lines written on it, somehow it gets to the exact person, out of billions of people on earth. You see, when you write the state on the envelope, it eliminates all who live outside of the state. When you write the city on it, you eliminate all who are outside the city. You write the street name, and narrow the search further. The address number focuses it down to one building, and the name confirms that matter entirely of who should receive this letter.

That is exactly how God bore witness of Jesus Christ - He gave over 300 lines of address so that the Israelites could recognize Him. He had to be of the seed of Abraham, from the tribe of Judah, born in Bethlehem to a virgin. That has already eliminated all others. But God made His Word so specific that anyone who was truly looking for the Messiah would have no difficulty finding Him.

So He said, "My Father HAS borne witness of Me." But their response was none too pleasant...

8:19-20 Where Is Your Father?

"Where IS your father?" they asked. Word had obviously gotten around regarding His mother's questionable pregnancy. You know the story,

Matt. 1:18-21 ...When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins."

But rather than recognizing that one prophecy of Messiah stated,

Isa. 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

...they chose to call Him illegitimate instead. Jesus responds to them, "You don't know Me or My Father."

8:21-29 You Shall Die In Your Sin

Jesus would be crucified within six months. He would be resurrected three days later, and ascend to heaven forty days after that. He tells them, "You cannot come where I am going. You're going to die in your sin." Why were they going to die in their sin?

John 8:24 "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am {He} , you shall die in your sins."

That word "He" has been added in by English translators for clarification. It is not in the original Greek. What Jesus really said was "unless you believe that I Am." What did He mean by that?

When Moses climbed up Mount Sinai to see the burning bush, God met Him and said, "Moses, I want you to go deliver My people out of bondage in Egypt." After many excuses about why he wasn't able to take the job, Moses finally conceded to go.

Exod. 3:13-14 Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

What is God's name? "I AM." Who did Jesus say He was? "I AM." What happens if you don't believe Jesus' claim that He is God Himself?

John 8:24 "...Unless you believe that I am, you shall die in your sins."

Why do I warn you so often against cults like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses? Because in asserting that Jesus is not God, they are condemning every one of their followers to eternity in hell.

8:30-32 Abide In My Word

Many people began to believe in Christ. And Jesus tells them, "My disciples abide in My Word. If you abide in My Word, you're My disciples. If you don't, you're not."

What does it mean, to "abide" in the Word? In Greek, the word is "MEN-o." It means to remain, not to depart, to continue in.

Let me ask you a difficult question this morning: Are you abiding in the Word? Have you continued in it? Have you remained in it? Jesus said,

John 8:31 ..."If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine"

What other requirements are there to being a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:27 "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:33 "So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

John 15:8 "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and {so} prove to be My disciples.

Jesus wasn't kidding around when He died for us. He wasn't taking it lightly when He called us. I hope and pray that we who have claimed to follow Christ are taking it as seriously as He has.

Maybe you're thinking, "I don't know how to even begin being a disciple of Jesus Christ." You start by abiding in the Word of God - reading it often devotionally, studying it through doctrinally, praying it in personally. If you're faithful to do that, you'll know the truth. And when you know the truth, no one can deceive you with a lie.

8:33-36 Slaves To Sin

Jesus had said, "You'll know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." But the hecklers in the crowd shout out, "We've never been enslaved to anyone!"

That's funny. As I've read the Bible, I've seen them enslaved numerous times: Slaves in Egypt, the Babylonian captivity, the Assyrian captivity, and even now they were under the rule of the Roman Empire!

But Jesus tells them, "If you commit sin, you're a slave to sin." Paul told Titus,

Titus 3:3-7 ...We also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and {His} love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to {the} hope of eternal life.

So you have a choice - be a slave to sin or a son of God. If you choose sonship, you will have eternity in the house of God. If you choose slavery, the day will come when you are put out of the house.

8:37-41 Born Of Fornication

Jesus tells them that although they are descendants of Abraham, they are not children of Abraham. Children of Abraham do the deeds of Abraham. What did Abraham do? He had faith. Galatians 3 says,

Gal. 3:6-9 Even so Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, {saying} , "ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU." So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

Unable to respond to Jesus' assertion that Abraham would've never tried to kill Jesus, they again attack His birth: "WE were not born of fornication!"

8:42-45 Your Father The Devil

Jesus tells them whom they are born from: the devil. All mankind has been separated into these two groups: children of God, and children of the devil. If you have not been born again, receiving Jesus Christ by faith, then you too are a child of the devil. Fortunately, God has offered to adopt you anytime you wish to be!

8:46-51 Unconditional Love

Again, the response is nasty: "Listen buddy, as far as we're concerned, you're a demon-possessed Samaritan!"

But still Jesus reaches out to them with the saving truth:

John 8:51 "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death."

In spite of all they had launched at Him, He still loves them and wants them to be saved.

8:52-59 I Am

Again, Jesus made claim to being God. It was so clear to everyone, that they were about to stone Him for blasphemy. Jesus Christ claimed to be God, proved Himself God, and said that unless you received Him as God, you would die in your sins.

But if you do receive Him, you will never see the second death. You will enter into heaven as a son of God.

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