- A Woman caught in Adultery: The Law vs. the Light of Life (8:1-11)
- Jesus Presented & Rejected as the True Light of the World (8:12-20)
- Unwillingness to Receive Jesus as God: The “I AM” & “The Truth” (8:21-29)
- Knowledge of The Truth is Freedom: Rejection of it is Bondage (8:30-36)
- The Jews Identified as Satan’s Children by Rejecting His Word (8:37-47)
- Glory and Honor: The Motives of the Jews and Jesus Exposed (8:48-59)
A Woman caught in Adultery: The Law vs. the Light of Life (8:1-11)
An Adulterous Woman brought in by the Sanhedrin (vv.3-6a)
The Lord Deals with the Trap (vv.6b-9)
The Lord Deals with the Woman (vv.10-11)
Light is shown in scripture to acts in two ways. Negatively, the light exposes man’s true condition (John 1:9; 3:20-21). This is what is meant in John 1:9, that He (the Son), "coming into the world, lightens" or illuminates "every man". His life of perfect righteousness and grace here is this world exposed the evil hearts of men. This is pictured in John 8, where Jesus declared "I am the light of the world", after He exposed the true moral state of the Jewish leaders who brought to Him the woman taken in adultery. But the light acts in another way too. Positively, the light gives us the knowledge of God’s character revealed in the Person of the Son (John 1:5; 2 Cor. 4:6). This is pictured in John 9, where Jesus again declared "I am the light of the world", and proceeded to open a man's physical and spiritual eyesight. It is a type of spiritual illumination through new birth. Unless a man is born again (John 3:5), he cannot see the kingdom of God. In that sense, the Divine life in Christ was "the light of men" (John 1:5).
Jesus Presented & Rejected as the True Light of the World (8:12-20)
- You are lying (v.13)
- You cannot produce a second witness (v.19)
- You are suicidal (v.22)
- You are born of fornication (v.41)
- You are from a bad section of town (v.48)
- You are possessed by a demon (vv.48, 52)
- You are nobody compared to the prophets (v.53)
- You are inexperienced because of age (v.57)
Jesus as the Light of World & the Results of Following Him (v.12)
The Credibility of the Son’s Witness (vv.13-15)
The Added Witness of the Father (vv.16-18)
The Father’s witness ‘Unlocked’ by knowing the Son (vv.19-20)
Unwillingness to Receive Jesus as God: The “I AM” & “The Truth” (8:21-29)
His Return to the Father and Israel’s Vain Search (vv.21-22)
His Heavenly Origin and Identity as Jehovah (“I AM”) (vv.23-24)
His Perfect Consistency in Testimony (“The Truth”) (vv.25-27)
The Death of the Son of Man as the Final Proof of His Deity (v.28)
- Rejected as sufferer on behalf of man, rejected by all.
- Exalted as heir of all that God destines for man (see Heb. 2:6-8, and 1 Cor. 15:27).
The Father’s Full Complacency in His Perfect Servant (v.29)
Knowledge of The Truth is Freedom: Rejection of it is Bondage (8:30-36)
Two Things that Mark a “Disciple Indeed” (vv.30-32)
- Faithfulness: To abide in His word (v.31). Only those who are truly Christ’s disciples will continue in His Word. Immediately he tests their profession of faith (v.30). Others may display a great deal of interest, but they soon grow tired of the Word, and turn after other pursuits. But a “disciple indeed” will cling to the word of God.
- Freedom: as a result of knowing the truth (v.32). If we continue in His Word we will progressively know the truth. The word “shall“ is future, it is a process, specifically it would come to pass when the Spirit came, who makes the truth good to us. We will be set “free“ from every type of bondage (Gal. 5:1). This is something the law could never do.
Christian liberty is an important subject in the New Testament. The basic principle is this: the Christian has been set completely free from every kind of bondage in order to do the will of God. The believer has been set free from the tyranny of indwelling sin (Rom. 6:7). Those who were once idol-worshiping Pagans have been set free from their bondage to Satan (Gal. 4:8). Those who were once Jews under law are no longer in bondage to law but are under grace (Romans 6:14). As those who are under grace, we have been liberated from the requirements of the Law, and every other "yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1). Having been set free in grace, there is liberty for the indwelling Spirit to act in our lives; "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25). When we are enjoying the liberty we have been brought into, our communion with God and our service for Him will be completely unhindered! In the whole wide world, the only people who are truly free, are the genuine disciples of Christ; "If ye abide in my word, ye are truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:31-32).Read more…
Two Things that Mark the Natural Man (v.33)
- Ignorance: as to their condition of bondage. “We be Abraham’s seed“, but natural descent from Abraham did not make them free. Only The Truth can do that. Man thinks he has a free will, but he really doesn’t. He is a slave, and his actions prove it (v.34). Had they forgotten their bondage in Egypt? How about to the Babylonians? And at this very time it was the Romans who had dominion over them. But in a greater way, they were in bondage to sin and to the law.
- Hatred: for the grace of God. “How sayest thou“… they scoffed at His offer for deliverance. “For every one that does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light that his works may not be shewn as they are” (John 3:20).
The True Nature of Bondage and Freedom (vv.34-36)
The Jews Identified as Satan’s Children by Rejecting His Word (8:37-47)
- The Jews were not Abraham’s Children… proved by their learned behavior (vv.37-40)
- The Jews were not God’s Children………. proved by their lack of family sentiment (vv.41-43)
- The Jews were the Devil’s children………. proved by their inherited nature (vv.44-47)
The Jews were not Abraham’s Children (Learned Behavior) (vv.37-40)
The Jews were not God’s Children (Family Sentiment) (vv.41-43)
The Jews were the Devil’s Children (Inherited Nature) (vv.44-47)
- A murderer. This was the Devil’s condition “from the beginning” – not from the time of his creation, but the time when “iniquity was found in him” (Ezek. 28:15). He displayed this murderous spirit when he stirred up Cain to kill his brother Abel. See Acts 7:52.
- A liar. Also, the Devil did not stand in the truth, but showed his true character by lying to Eve. “He speaks of what is his own” – falsehood stems from looking to self. Truth stems from being fully devoted to God.
- Holiness. He declares Himself to be not only the truth, but the Holy One of God. He was in Himself the very opposite of these religious hypocrites. There was not one shred of evidence that could identify Him with sin.
- Faith in the Word of God. All those who have God’s nature (His children) believe His Word. They were refusing God’s Word as declared by Jesus, and it proved that they were not God’s children (“of God”).
Glory and Honor: The Motives of the Jews and Jesus Exposed (8:48-59)
- Accusation that Jesus was unclean socially & spiritually (vv.48-51)
- Accusation that Jesus was insignificant (vv.52-56)
- Accusation that Jesus was inexperienced (vv.57-59)
Accusation that Jesus was Unclean Socially & Spiritually (vv.48-51)
Accusation that Jesus was Insignificant (vv.52-56)
By Misinterpreting His Words, the Jews Insult His Greatness (vv.52-53)
The highest form of hypocrisy exposed (vv.54-55)
Accusation that Jesus was Inexperienced (vv.57-59)
- Manuscripts that retain the passage are: Codex Bezae, Codex Boreeli, Codex Harleianus, Codex Cyprius, Codex Petropolitanus, Codex Nanianus, and Codex Tischendorfianus. Manuscripts that note the passage as doubtful are: Codex Basileensis, Codex Campianus, Codex Vaticanus 354, Codex Oxoiensis, and Codex Petropolitanus. Manuscripts that omit the passage are: Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Vaticanus 1209, Codex Ephraemi, Codex Sangallensis, Codex Regius, Codex Borgianus, and Codex Monacensis.
- …Mature as well as minute consideration of [the evidence] fails to raise the slightest doubt in my own mind, and therefore to me it seems so much the more a duty to defend it… — Kelly, William. Introductory Lectures on the Gospel of John.
- Kelly, William. Criticism on the Text of the New Testament. Bible Treasury, 2nd Edition, Volume 1, November 1857.
- Kelly, William. Introductory Lectures on the Gospel of John.
- Choose for me in all Scripture a preface of fact so suited to the doctrine of the chapter that follows. The whole chapter, from first to last, beams with light — the light of God and of His word in the person of Jesus. Is not this undeniably what comes out in the opening incident? Does not Christ present Himself in discourse just after as the light of the world (so continually in John), as God’s light by His word in Himself, infinitely superior even to law, and yet at the same time giving the law its fullest authority? Only a divine person could thus put and keep everything in its due place; only a divine person could act in perfect grace, but at the same time maintain immaculate holiness, and so much the more because it was in One full of grace. This is just what the Lord does. — Kelly, William. Introductory Lectures on the Gospel of John.