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Gospel of John - Chapter Eight
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Pastor Ovid Need
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There is an interesting point to make here in v. 1. In 7:53, everyone went home, but the Creator of all of heaven and earth had no place to lay his head, Matt. 8:20.
1. The next day He returns to the temple. What does He do, v. 2?
a. What do the religious leaders (Scribes and Pharisees) do, v. 3?
2. They quote the law of Moses. Why did they do this, v. 6?
3. What did Christ do, v. 8?
a. What did these wicked men then do, v. 9?
b. What does the Lord say to the woman, v. 11?
What happened here? In Matt. 15:1-10, the Lord had publicly denounced these Scribes and Pharisees for neglecting the law of Moses in favor of traditions. These evil men, in order to save face before the people, now seek to place Christ in a position where He will not enforce the law any more than they do. The law required the death penalty (Lev. 20:10), yet if Christ enforced this here, the multitude would have turned against Him. If He failed to enforce this law, these wicked men could accuse Him of hypocrisy.
In doing what He did, Christ invoked the law of Nu. 5:11-31 into action. There a husband who suspected his wife of unfaithfulness could take her to the temple where the priest would mix some of the dust of the floor with water and make the wife drink it. If she was guilty, she would become sick. If she were innocent, she remained healthy. The traditional understanding of this requirement was that if the husband himself was guilty of adultery, the test would not work. Of course, if he was guilty of adultery, he would face death also.
These men knew Lev. 5:11-31. Thus when Christ wrote in the dust of the temple floor, His action placed her accusers on trial also. If they continue in pressing their charges, and they were guilty of the same sin, and stoning is enforced upon the woman, they would be in trouble. Evidently, they believe that Christ had some knowledge about their sinful activity because when He said, "The one who is not guilty of adultery, cast the first stone," they left. Remember, these were not moral men, they have been and are plotting Christ's murder, 8:59.
Christ did not condemn her either. He was not a witness to her sin, therefore, He could not take up the charges. The accusers, witnesses, withdrew their charges when they left. This left Him with no witness against her; thus no legal case. Like any judge, when there are no witnesses, the case is dismissed.
In all of this, Christ confirmed the law of Moses, even confirming the death penalty. All He is requiring here is a honest witness, Deut. 17:7. There were none.
How about the moral charge? Jn. 8:11 indicates that the woman was converted at this point, for she now calls Him Lord. Therefore, His forgiveness of sin and the warning, go and sin no more. Jn. 8:3-11 far from doing away with the law of Moses, reinforces it.
4. Verse 12. The Lord now addresses the crowd around Him. What do the Pharisees accuse Him, of, v. 13?
a. What did the law require, (Deut. 17:6), v. 17?
b. How many witnesses did Christ have as to who He was, v. 18?
Notice the connection. Verses 1-11 deals with the honest witnesses. Now they accuse Him of not being an honest witness.
V. 20, we see again the hostility of the religious leaders against Christ. Vv. 21-24, because they reject Him, they will die in their sins.
5. Whose words did Christ speak, vv. 26, 27?
a. Why couldn't these men understand His words, (this goes with lesson #6, natural man) v. 23?
V. 29. Notice His goal was to do always those things that please the Father. Do we? Is this our goal?
6. What makes a person a true disciple of Christ, v. 31?
7. Probably one of the greatest statements in Scriptures is found here. Where does true freedom come from, vv. 32, 36?
a. What did these Jews say, v. 33?
These people were in bondage to Rome, 11:48. They had been in bondage many times in the past. Bondage in Egypt, to Babylon, Greece, etc.. This statement in v. 33 is totally contrary to the facts as they seek to justify their rejection of Christ. How like sinful people, both saved and unsaved. When a person says, "We see; they are blind. It is when a person says, "We know we have problems," there is hope for them, Jn. 9:40, 41. They absolutely refuse to admit that they are in bondage. This principle is as true today as it was when Jesus confronted these men. When Christians refuses to admit they have problems, that is a bad sign that they are in bondage to those problems.
b. What is a person truly in bondage to, v. 34?
Of course, to the natural man, freedom is freedom to do your own thing, sin. Here we see that this "freedom" is bondage.
V. 37, again we see their hatred of Christ. We can expect this kind of hatred for Christ from the unsaved, v. 42.
8. V. 39, what were the works of Abraham (for salvation), Gen. 15:6; Gal. 3:6 (Jn. 6:29)?
a. What makes a person a true child of Abraham, Gal. 3:7?
b. What did Abraham see, v. 56? (See also, Gal. 3:8.)
9. These men were proud of their heritage to Abraham. Yet Christ tells them that they are not the true children of Abraham, or they would believe upon Him. Rather because of their unbelief, whose children were they, v. 44?
a. What kind of a person is their father, v. 44?
He has not changed. This is why the written word of God is so important.
10. This charge against Christ is not uncommon today. They accuse Him of not being a true Jew, but of having a Gentile father. What else did they accuse Him of, v. 48?
11. Christ concludes this confrontation with the fact that He is not only greater than Abraham (who they were so proud of), but what else, v. 58?
This chapter ends with the attempted murder of Christ. But His time had not come,and He departs. Sinful people today have the same response as they are confronted with the truth:"Get it away from us. We don't want to hear the truth. We want to believe the lie."
Also note v.48. This is blasphemy and the unpardonable sin. We will look at this in another lesson.
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