The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 8:31-59.
Obviously, just about everything that Jesus said, was and is profound but this particular dialogue that the Apostle John records, between Jesus and the Jews in the Temple, covers an awful lot of ground and Jesus clarifies a number of truths that we really need to pay attention to. In addition, there are Jesus’ words, that encompass and personify who He is and Whom Jesus speaks on behalf of. I would strongly recommend initially reading over this entire portion of Scripture in it’s entirety, and then proceed thereafter, with the commentary below.
It’s important to note that some of this dialogue is addressed to those Jews who had believed in Him. To those who believed in Him, Jesus gives truth that they can count on, have faith in and know for a certainty. Notice that Jesus says “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and the truth will make you free.” Jesus seldom tells us something without explaining specifically what it entails. Here Jesus talks about continuing in His word and the truth that is contained in His word will set them free. Keep that “if you continue in my Word” in the back of your mind, because we will be coming back to it later.
Right from the onset, the Jews who are also listening to Jesus and questioning who He is, take exception to the fact that Jesus tells them that they are enslaved. Considering that the Jews, in their past, had been in bondage to the Egyptians, Assyrians and Babylonians and where currently under the power of Rome, one would think that they would have identified with being set free, but not so. But Jesus breaks it down for them, He tells them that even though they are the descendants of Abraham, that whoever commits habitual sin, is in fact, a slave to sin. In other words, sin controls them.
Remember how I have indicated that whenever Jesus says “truly, truly” or “verily, verily” Jesus is talking about a reality that is of primary importance.
Also note that Jesus uses the familiarity of the position or standing of a slave, as compared to the position or standing of the son, of the master, as having the authority to set a slave free. And Jesus, being the Son of God, does indeed have the position, authority and power, to set us free from being habitually enslaved to sin.
Jesus acknowledges that the Jews are descendants of Abraham, but points out that His word has no place in them. That means that they do not recognize Him for who He is, nor do they take the truth that He speaks as originating from God the Father. Recognizing the source of what Jesus told us and following Jesus’ word is paramount with being a disciple of Christ. Jesus uses the contrast between what they say and what they do, along with the identification of the applicable source that it originates from.
They say they are of Abraham but they do not do what Abraham did. They did not respond to the truth of God by believing in and trusting in God, like Abraham did, their reliance was in their ancestral connection to Abraham and Jesus points out the shortsightedness of their thinking and indicates who their true father is.
Verse 8:41 where the Jews infer that they were not born of fornication, may indeed be an inference that Jesus had been born out of wedlock, definitely a slight, to say the least.
Jesus continually emphasizes that His words, actions and all that He does, are in accordance with and under the direction of, God the Father. Always.
It would have been pretty difficult for any of the non-believing Jews in this crowd, to have heard what Jesus had just previously said and not understand what He was saying about them.
The push back now begins in earnest.
They infer that He is a Samaritan and that He has a demon, neither of which is obviously intended to be complementary.
Jesus denies that He has a demon, states that He honours the Father and that they dishonour Him. Jesus also notes that the source of where honouring ultimately counts, is from God the Father.
And then we have another of those “truly, truly” statements of truth that Jesus gives us. “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.” Obviously this pertains to spiritual death because we know that everyone who lives in a physical body is subject to die once (Hebrews 9:27). Note that exclusion from spiritual death is associated with keeping the words of Jesus.
And 2 Peter 1:16-18 NASB:
“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”
Note that Jesus tells us to keep His word.
Note that Jesus keeps the Father’s word. (Told you we would be coming back to this).
And then we have the final words in this portion of Scripture:
So we know that Abraham was shown when Jesus, the promised Redeemer, would appear and that he saw it and was glad. This shouldn’t surprise us.
And then we have another “truly, truly” statement from Jesus that is breathtaking:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
It is no coincidence that the next word is “Therefore” because Jesus was clearly claiming His eternal existence and thus, claiming to be God Himself. They accordingly picked up stones to stone Jesus for blasphemy.
More to follow:
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!