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Book of John
Chapter 8

The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

John Chapter 8

(Words in red in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)

Verse 1. "But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives."

The Mount of Olives is about a mile long and was right next to the city of Jerusalem. Jesus was about to meet the people and He went to the Mount of Olives to pray before He met with them.

Verse 2.  Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them."

Jesus knew He was going to teach the people and He had just prayed, so that He would be ready for them. He then went to the temple and began to teach.

Verse 3. "The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,"

The scribes were men who wrote letters and kept accounts, and in Jerusalem, they told people what the Law of Moses meant. The Pharisees were a group of religious leaders. Some of them had caught a woman who had done something wrong, and they dragged her into the courtyard of the temple.

Verse 4. "they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act."

The Pharisees and scribes told Jesus they had caught this woman while she was committing a sin.

Verse 5. "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"

The leaders were right. In Leviticus 20:10, it is commanded that such a woman must be put to death. But it also says that the man with her in sin must be killed also. Where was the man?

Verse 6. "They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground."

The Pharisees and scribes did not care about the woman or about the truth. They just wanted to make Jesus look bad. But He did not answer them. He just leaned over and wrote something in the dust on the ground.

Verse 7 "But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’"

The Pharisees and scribes kept nagging at Jesus to answer them, and Jesus finally did answer them: "If you have not sinned yourselves, throw one of your stones at her."

Verse 8. "Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground."

Without saying anything more, Jesus leaned over and wrote with His finger in the dust on the ground again.

Verse 9. "When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court."

Probably Jesus wrote their names in the dust of the ground and also wrote their sins, for they were ashamed and began to leave, one man at a time. Finally, they were gone and the woman was unharmed.

Verse 10. "Straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’"

Jesus knew they were gone and He knew why it was they left, but He asked her, "Where are the men that wanted to kill you and condemn you to death?

Verse 11. "She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.’"

The woman looked around and saw what Jesus saw; that all of her accusers were gone. Jesus understands that we do the wrong things sometimes. And He tells us, just like He told her, "Go and sin no more."

Verse 12. "Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’"

Now that her accusers were gone and the woman was safe, Jesus turned to the people who had been watching this, and spoke to them. "By Light" He meant "understanding" – We begin to understand life if we receive Jesus into our hearts. To refuse Him is like being blind and in darkness.

Verse 13. "So the Pharisees said to Him, ‘You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.’"

Some of the Jewish leaders called "Pharisees" were there, and they spoke about a law in the Old Testament that TWO witnesses were necessary in order to convict someone in court. They were demanding, "We want another witness!"

Verse 14. "Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.’"

A difference between Jesus and the rest of us is that He really knew who He was. There are lots of 50-year old men who still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up! He knew He came from the God the Father, but they did not know – anything!

Verse 15. "You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone."

Jesus did not come to earth as a judge. In John 3:17, Jesus told Nicodemus, "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." Jesus wants to be your Savior; not your judge.

Verse 16. "But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me."

"Jesus will judge the living and the dead" in the future (2 Timothy 4:1), and He will be the only completely fair judge this world has ever known. God the Father judges with Him, and their judgment is never wrong.

Verse 17. "Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true."

In the Old Testament Law (Deuteronomy 17:6), "two or three witnesses" were needed in order to put someone to death.

Verse 18. "I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me."

Jesus was saying, "I tell about Myself and so does the Father tell about Me." At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father said, "This is My Son" (Matthew 3:17). One Witness plus One more Witness = Two witnesses! And that’s enough. Jesus is the Son of God.

Verse 19. "So they were saying to Him, ‘Where is Your Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.’"

Jesus’ step-father Joseph was probably dead by that time. But His real Father was and is God the Father. The "religious" men talking to him did not know God. If they did, they would have believed in Jesus.

Verse 20. "These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come."

They were in a public place in the temple called the "treasury" and Jesus was teaching the people. The religious leaders hated Him and you’d think they would have hurt Him, but God was in control, not them, and nothing could happen to Jesus until it was God’s time.

Verse 21. "Then He said again to them, ‘I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.’"

"I go away" means that Jesus was going to die for our sins and return to the Father. The men He spoke to could never go where He was going, UNLESS they had faith in Him. It’s the same for you and me – we must TRUST in Jesus Christ.

Verse 22. "So the Jews were saying, ‘Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, Where I am going, you cannot come?’"

These men did not know God and could not understand what Jesus was saying. Jesus would die in our place for our sins, but they thought He was talking about "killing" Himself. They were close but they really missed the point entirely.

Verse 23. "And He was saying to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.’"

The people He talked to seemed "religious" but they did not know God. We are people of earth and can know NOTHING of God, unless we trust in Jesus who is not of this world, though He lived here for a time.

Verse 24. "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

We have all done and thought bad things and are "sinners" who will die in our sins; UNLESS we believe Jesus is "He" (the Son of God). When we do, we can be with Him forever.

Verse 25. "So they were saying to Him, ‘Who are You?’ Jesus said to them, ‘What have I been saying to you from the beginning?’"

Jesus was telling them in many ways who He was (the Son of God), but they did not understand –anything– and asked Him, "Who are You?" Jesus had been telling them EXACTLY who He is, but they did not know the Father or the Son.

Verse 26. "I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world."

Jesus could have told those so-called "religious" people things that would have shocked them into believing in Him. But they needed to TRUST in God through Him, and all He told them was what He knew the Father wanted.

Verse 27. They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father."

You and I may have earthly fathers or we may not (mine is not alive). But we all can have God as our Father, IF we trust in Jesus Christ, God the Son. When we do, God will be our Father.

Verse 28. "So Jesus said, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me."

For many of them (and many of us), it would take the death of Jesus to wake them up and make them see their need. Jesus did and said everything the Holy Spirit told Him to do, and He would even die that we might live.

Verse 29. "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."

God the Father was with Jesus constantly, and God is with you and me. The difference is that Jesus continually KNEW that God was with Him, and that was because He always did that which pleased God. To sin (do bad things) is to be lonely.

Verse 30. "As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him."

Just like those people in the temple so long ago, we need to hear (read) Jesus’ words and believe (trust) in Him.

Verse 31. "So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;’"

Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14). The Bible (Old and New Testaments) is about Him and is the written Word of God. When we read the Bible, we "continue in (His) Word" and truly we are His disciples (students).

Verse 32. "and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

We talk a lot about "freedom" but when we know Jesus, we finally know the truth (Jesus is the truth - John 14:6): We can only be free when we trust in Him.

Verse 33. "They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, "You will become free?’"

This is silly. These Jewish men were telling Jesus they had "never yet been slaves." They had been slaves to Egypt and right at that moment, they were slaves to the Roman Empire. The Jews thought that because they had Abraham as a forefather, they were somehow not slaves.

Verse 34. "Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin."

This is real slavery – to be in sin. To do or even think bad things is to be a sinner and a sinner is a slave. We can only be free in Jesus Christ.

Verse 35. "The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever."

Sinners only live in the house (on this planet) for awhile. Those who are slaves to sin (verse 34) will eventually be thrown out of the house. But when we belong to Jesus Christ, we remain with God – forever!

Verse 36. "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."

How can you be free? Trust in Jesus and find out what it means to really be free like you have never known before.

Verse 37. ‘I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you."

Jesus knew that Abraham was their forefather. All the Jews had descended from him. Abraham loved the Lord and followed Him. And yet, these men secretly wanted Jesus to be killed, which proved they did not know God.

Verse 38. "I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father."

Everything that Jesus said and did, was just what God the Father wanted. The men Jesus spoke to wanted to kill Him, proving that Satan (the enemy) was their real father.

Verse 39. "They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham."

They shouted at Him, "Abraham is our father." Abraham had been a good man who had faith in God. Jesus told them, if you really have Abraham for a father, then trust in God like he did.

Verse 40. "But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do."

Abraham trusted in God and he did not seek to kill good men. Jesus was telling them the truth and they wanted to kill Him; something Abraham would NEVER do.

Verse 41 "’You are doing the deeds of your father.’ They said to Him, ‘We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.’"

Jesus was telling them they were in sin and Satan (the enemy) was their father. They denied what He said, questioned who HIS father was, and this time said "God" was their Father.

Verse 42. "Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me."

Jesus did not agree that God was their Father. If we love God, we will love people, and we CERTAINLY will love Jesus Christ. He came from the Father and it was not on His own – He was sent by God to you and me.

Verse 43. "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.’"

Jesus always said what the God the Holy Spirit told Him to say. The "religious" people listening to Him did not understand Him, which proved that they did not know God.

Verse 44. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

Jesus told them straight out that their true father was the devil (the enemy) and they were doing what he wanted. Satan (the devil) is a liar and a murderer and has no truth in him. He is the father of all lies. Those speaking to Jesus were lying about Him, because He really did come from God the Father.

Verse 45. "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me."

Jesus told them the truth (He IS the truth) but the supposedly "religious" people He spoke to did not believe Him.

Verse 46. "Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?"

Could any person on earth prove that Jesus did not tell the truth? The answer is "NO" – Jesus IS the truth and His words are the truth. The question is, why do some people not believe in Him?

Verse 47. "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

If we are of God, we will read the words of Jesus and believe in God through Him. The people Jesus spoke were not believing in Him because they did not know God.

Verse 48. "The Jews answered and said to Him, ‘Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?’"

The religious men who listened to Jesus (they happened to be Jews) were becoming very angry. They sneered at Jesus and first called Him a "Samaritan" (an insult) and then accused Him of having a "demon". They lied about Him.

Verse 49. "Jesus answered, ‘I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.’"

Jesus did not have "a demon." Jesus has the words we need to hear. His words honor God the Father, and we must honor His words (trust in Him).

Verse 50. "But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges."

Jesus did not glorify Himself. Everything He did and said gave the glory to God the Father – And the Father knew that Jesus is just Who He said He was – God the Son. God is the real Judge – not you and me.

Verse 51 "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death."

There are two kinds of death. At some point our bodies fall down and don’t get up again. That’s physical death. The much more important death is "spiritual death" – to not know God is to be spiritually dead. If we give ourselves to Jesus (trust in Him), we will never be spiritually dead, and God will raise us up from WHATEVER might happen.

Verse 52. "The Jews said to Him, ‘Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’"

These religious Jews did not know God and did not understand Jesus. They again accused Him of having a demon. They knew that everybody from the past (including Abraham) had died, and yet Jesus was saying if we trust in Him, we will never die. They did not know God and didn’t understand Jesus was talking about another kind of "death".

Verse 53. "Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?"

They thought Abraham was the greatest man who ever lived (and he was a great man). They did not understand that Jesus was not just a man – He was (and is) the Son of God. They were asking something like, "Who the heck do You think You are, anyway?" They were insulting the Son of God.

Verse 54. "Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, "He is our God;’"

The people who argued with Jesus did not know God, and yet they said, the Father is "our God." Jesus did not say bold things about Himself. He did not need to. God the Father knows Jesus is God the Son.

Verse 55. "and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word."

Jesus told those religious men: You’re liars and you don’t know God! Jesus did know God which simply is the truth. If He said something else, He would have been a liar like them. But Jesus did (and does) personally know God the Father and ALWAYS did what the Father wanted.

Verse 56. "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."

Jesus had personally met Abraham before Jesus was born into this world as a human child. Abraham had been very glad that Jesus was going to come to us and save us from our sins.

Verse 57. "So the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’"

Jesus actually was about 33-years old at that time. The Jews knew that Abraham had lived hundreds of years before. They sneered at Jesus because they did not believe Him. They did not understand that Jesus is the Son of God and He has lived – forever!

Verse 58. "Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’"

Jesus lived in eternity, a place that has existed forever and will exist forevermore. Before any people ever lived, Jesus already was. When there never was ANYTHING – Jesus had already lived – forever!

Verse 59. "Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple."

Jesus Christ was the Son of God and had told them so. They (the Jews) did not believe in Him and therefore did not know God. We see this because they picked up rocks and were going to throw them at Him. But although He was right in front of them, they did not see Him. It was not yet His time to die for our sins.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

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