John 08:12-59 约翰福音 第八章 第十二至五十九节

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

OPPOSITION TO JESUS (Part 4)

John 8:12-59


I.    The Light of the World (8:12-30)


    A.    The Second “I Am” Saying of Jesus

1.    Verses 12-18 constitute Jesus’ fourth public discourse in John’s Gospel.  Here, the second of Jesus’ “I Am” statements occurs: “I am the light of the world” (v. 12).

2.    The relationship between Jesus and His Father is such that Jesus could say, “If you knew Me, you would know My Father also” (v. 19).  This statement of Jesus is one of the most striking in all the New Testament.  Jesus was speaking to some of the most educated, most religious people who had ever lived.  They were confident they knew God and understood His ways.  But their rejection of Jesus showed they did not really know God.  They knew only their own ideas about God.


    B.    Jesus is From Above

1.    Teaching about His identity and nature, Jesus revealed that He was from above and not of this world (v. 23).  

2.    Jesus made the further claim, “if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (v. 24).  This statement elicited a shocked, “Who are you?” (v. 25).  Jesus answered that He was who He had always claimed to be - the one sent from the Father, the Son of Man.


II.    Truth That Sets One Free (8:31-41)


    A.    The Importance of Holding to Jesus’ Teachings

1.    Jesus emphasized that holding to His teachings is essential in order to claim to be one of His disciples.  “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (vv. 31-32).  

2.    Further, His teachings should be accepted as absolute truth.  This truth, and no other, has the power to set a person free.  Many philosophies and ideologies claim to be based on truth, but all truth is God’s truth.  All claims to truth must be judged in light of God’s revealed truth and knowledge.  To adhere to a false view of reality is to be held captive by ignorance.  The truth of Jesus sets persons free from all such bondage (v. 34; see also, John 14:6).


    B.    The “If…Then” Condition

1.    Notice that Jesus’ promise that His disciples would know truth and find deliverance in truth is conditional.  It hinges on the words “if…then.”  The condition is that disciples must “continue in” His teachings (v. 31).

2.    There are basically three consequences and ensuing benefits of continuing in Jesus’ teachings:

a.    First consequence: being Jesus’ disciples.  Benefit: discipline and knowledge.

b.    Second consequence: Knowing the truth.  Benefit: discernment.

c.    Third consequence: being set free.  Benefit: deliverance.


    C.    The Pharisees’ Pride

1.    The Pharisees refused to listen to the truth of Jesus, insisting instead on clinging to their own understandings.  We read in Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”

2.    The idea of being free was too much for their pride: “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, “You will become free?” (v. 33).  Perhaps the most telling verse is when Jesus stated that they had “no place” or “no room” for Jesus’ word (v. 37).


III.    Who Is Your Father? (8:42-47)


    A.    The True Test

1.    Jesus indicated that the true test of whether the Pharisees truly had God as their Father was whether or not they loved Him: “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God” (v. 42).

2.    Jesus made clear that His origin was divine, His mission was God planned, and His purpose was God willed.


    B.    Satan is a Perverter of Truth

1.    People cannot hear what God has to say if they do not belong to God (v. 47; see also, 1 Cor. 2:14).  If people choose to listen to evil, then they close out the voice of God.

2.    The basic disposition of Satan is that of a liar, a perverter of truth, one who deceives everyone who allows him to direct their lives and thoughts.


IV.    The Eternal “I Am” (8:48-59)


    A.    The Jews’ Attempt to Discredit Jesus

1.    Desperate to discredit Jesus, the Jews accused Him of being a Samaritan as well as demon possessed (v. 48).  

2.    Jesus denied the charge and immediately resumed His charge that they were living apart from God (v. 49).  He added that if anyone kept His word, that person would “never see death” (v. 51).

3.    The Jews were outraged.  They saw Jesus as placing Himself above even Abraham.  With one voice they asked in indignation, “Who do you think you are?” (v. 53).



    B.    Jesus’ Ultimate Claim

1.    Jesus replied that God glorified Him, that He knew God, and that He kept God’s Word.  Further, Jesus said that Abraham “rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (v. 56).  This brought utter amazement to the crowd.  They challenged Him; for Jesus, a young man, was claiming to have seen Abraham.

2.    Jesus gave one of the most important answers to any question posed to Him in the entire Gospel of John: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (v. 58).

3.    The only other time the phrase “I am” was used to describe someone was in Exodus 3:14, where God claimed that name for Himself.  No identity statement could be clearer.  Jesus claimed to be God Himself in human form.  

4.    The Jews knew exactly what Jesus meant by this claim.  They did not respond with words but picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.  This is a vivid picture of a mob ready to kill Jesus, already beginning to do so.

5.    Jesus then hid and slipped away from the Temple grounds.  The timing of Jesus’ death was not for the crowd to decide.



REVIEW QUESTIONS


1.    In what sense is Jesus the “light of the world”?  What truths does this statement convey?

2.    Why are people who do not respond to the light condemned to hell?

3.    Jesus said the condition for one’s knowing the truth and being set free by it is “continuing in” His teaching.  What did He mean by this?

4.    What were the implications of Jesus’ claim to be the eternal “I AM”?

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