When I have to break up chapters like this it can seem like there is quite a distance of time but as we go into the end of chapter 8, we need to remember that Jesus had just handle the situation with the woman they were going to stone because of her sin. We need to always remember it breaks the Father’s heart when our relationship with him is either no existent or strained. His heart’s desire, why Jesus went to the cross was so we could live now and forever in relationship with Him knowing love joy peace grace kindness and success in life.

AS the earthly ministry of Jesus is winding down to his last 6 months I believe he is really trying to help those with the most difficulty reconciling who he is…do the religious leaders get him?

John 8: 21-24

Later Jesus said to them again, “I am going away. You will search for me but will die in your sin. You cannot come where I am going.”

22 The people asked, “Is he planning to commit suicide? What does he mean, ‘You cannot come where I am going’?”

23 Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. 24 That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”

Jesus seems cryptic here but he is actually trying to awaken them again as he tells them they can’t go where he is going he further explains if you don’t believe in me you are destined for hell, I am destined for heaven..

So they begin by asking a dumb question, one which Jesus had answered many times and will take time to answer again.

John 8: 25-30

Who are you?” they demanded.

Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be. 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful.” 27 But they still didn’t understand that he was talking about his Father.

28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him.

They asked the question who are you and Jesus answers again saying, “I AM” Jesus states that the Father has shown his hand on his life with all the wisdom in his teaching as even the guards reported they had never heard someone speak with such authority and so many seeing miracle after miracle. He is trying to help them understand when they see him crucified they should know he has spoken the truth but at his crucifixion the signs in the sky, in the temple, the dead raised (Matthew 27: 50-54) can you imagine all of that happening and still not believing in Jesus?    Many did because of what he said!

Then we come to one of the most misquoted verses from the Bible

John 8:31,32

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

It is more than just knowing the truth…the demons know Jesus and believe, but they will not be saved…It is about being a true disciple, follower of Jesus. If we are disciples, people who know and understand Jesus’ teaching, then we will be able to discern what is true versus what is false and understanding that sets us free from the darkness and bondage of sin and Jesus sets us free!

The pharisees say the most foolish thing in response to Jesus saying they need to be set free

John 8:33

But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”

The nation was born out of slavery in Egypt they went to Egypt as a family, grew to be a nation of slaves, then were set free, they were slaves to the Babylonians, Assyrians, Medes, and now the Romans…they are also presently slaves to a religious mindset that is keeping them from open relationship with Jesus…like always Jesus needs to explain the obvious

John 8:34-38

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. 37 Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. 38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”

Jesus is trying to stress to them as they live their lives apart from real relationship, they will find themselves insecure, not knowing where they belong and in sin. If they have real relationship with the Father through Jesus they are sons and no longer slaves….who does Jesus think is there father????

John 8:39-41

Our father is Abraham!” they declared.

“No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. 40 Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. 41 No, you are imitating your real father.”

They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”

Jesus is making it clear that the real children of Abraham are those who believe in Jesus…His challenge to them is to believe in God’s plan…They respond by saying both the positive and the negative “we are the true children not illegitimate children like you…..the rumor from Mary’s pregnancy was still floating around…

The gloves are off

John 8:42,43

Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. 43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!

All who know the Father would recognize Jesus as the son yet so many are simply confused because they can hear because they don’t want to hear…do you know people like that? They don’t want to hear they would rather live in their own world of denial than humble themselves to believe in Jesus…..so who does Jesus say their Father is???

John 8: 44-47

For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

You may be thinking how can people study God’s word and miss the truth about Jesus. There are hundreds of prophecies he fulfilled and will fulfill before his ascension but they still miss who he is seemingly by Jesus accusing them of submitting to the Father of lies, that they knew the prophecies saw them in Jesus but lied about who they believed he was.

Let’s put this into today’s thinking

53% of all Americans believe Jesus was a great teacher but not God

If that is not bad enough 44% of those in the church believe the same way

Lifeway research 2022

How can you read your Bible, listen to Jesus’ words, read the first-hand reports and not believe? 

The Father of lies is still alive and well today…we see it in the media, we see it on the internet and we see it in person situations where every time a brother or sister in Christ accuses another brother or sister in Christ of something they become the bearer of the accuser

Do you understand why our country is in the condition that it is in and why you knowing the truth are so important to our nations future

Let’s wrap chapter 8 up

John 8 48-59

The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?”49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. 51 I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”

52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”

57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” 59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.

The other big lie American’s believe is that Jesus is not eternal. John 1 and Colossians 1 both emphasize Jesus preexistence and always existence. Jesus, like the Father and Spirit has always existed. So Abraham met him and knew him and after his entrance to heaven knew of Jesus role in the redemption of mankind.

No matter what Jesus did, miracles he performed, wisdom and insight he shared the religious leaders still didn’t get him

He showed them he was full of mercy and meted out justice only through mercy

He showed them what real love looks like

He told them he came to bring them to freedom from the bondage of slavery of sin so they could walk in love joy and peace.

He showed them over and over again he was God and he loved them

He spoke the truth about their living in lies but that they could know what real truth is and always walk in the freedom that provides

Do you get Him today? If not, you can!