Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 8:46-55
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 8:46
v46: He asked, “Who among you brings to light a sin I’ve committed?” (literal). And then He challenged them, “If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?” (literal). In other words, “Which of you can point to an example where I did or taught something that disobeyed God’s divine law?” (paraphrase). This group of religious leaders had often criticized Him for violating the Sabbath by healing on that day. They had been furious when He encouraged a man to carry the mat he had been lying on before he was healed (Jn 5:10-16). They were shocked when He ministered to people they considered to be sinners (Lk 15:1-2). But apparently at that moment, no one had the courage to speak up and charge Him in front of that crowd. I think the sheer smallness and lovelessness of their accusations against Him were embarrassing to voice while so many were listening.

Monday: John 8:47
v47: If they had no concrete accusation to bring against Him, if there was nothing they could point to where His lifestyle was hypocritical or His teaching was in conflict with the Scriptures, then why didn’t they believe Him? He answered that question by saying, “The person who is [born] of God (Jn 1:13) is able to hear the words of God (Jn 3:3)” (paraphrase). He was saying to them, “The problem rests in the fact that you are unable to hear God when He speaks to you. A person who is [born] of God is able to hear the words of God. So the fact that you can’t hear Him when He speaks proves that you are not [born] of God” (paraphrase). In his introduction to this gospel John explained that it was to those who received Jesus, those who believed in His name, to whom God gave the right to become “children of God” (Jn 1:12). Had these men chosen to believe, they would have been able to hear, but by refusing to believe they were denied further revelation.

Tuesday: John 8:48
v48: Jesus challenged His opponents to point to specific sins He had committed or falsehoods He had taught, but His challenge went unanswered. No one was able to find fault with Him, so they defended themselves with baseless slander. By calling Him a “Samaritan” they meant His teaching, like that of the Samaritans (see comments: Jn 4:20-22), was a mixture of biblical truth and foreign religion. And by saying he had a “demon” they meant that the undeniable power with which He was ministering was from a demonic source rather than God. No one could deny Jesus was performing amazing miracles, so their only recourse was to claim that His source of power was the devil. And they probably also meant He was crazy.

Wednesday: John 8:49
v49: The “Samaritan” comment was so baseless, those in the crowd who knew their Bible would have recognized it for what it was, so Jesus didn’t bother addressing it. But the “demon” comment had come up before (Mt 12:24-28) and would come up again (Jn 10:19-21), so He refuted that one. He said bluntly, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me” (literal). Once again He defended Himself by stating that He was not the Source behind His words or actions (Jn 5:19-20; 6:38; 7:16; 8:26-29, 38, 42). He was only responding to the Father’s initiative. Such complete obedience on His part was an expression of the honor He held in His heart toward His Father. So by dishonoring Him they were actually dishonoring the Father who He was faithfully representing.

Thursday: John 8:50-51
v50: Then He warned them that the Father would not ignore the accusations they were making against Him. In that setting He would not defend Himself or seek to be honored, but in the future the Father would honor Him and judge anyone who didn’t. Actually as we learned earlier (Jn 5:22-23, 27), the Father will carry out this judgment by placing all judgment in the hands of His Son. v51: Their choice to dishonor Jesus would have terrible consequences. The Father had sent Him to earth to offer salvation. To refuse to believe would bring spiritual death; to believe and submit as a disciple meant that person would “by no means behold (look at, observe) death into the age” (literal). This is usually translated as “never see death,” but it doesn’t say that. It doesn’t say a believer will never see (experience) death; it says that person will no longer see it after this present age passes away and the next age (the Messianic Age) arrives. This is exactly the picture we are given in the New Testament writings: The dead in Christ, who have been with Him in heaven until He returns to earth (2Co 5:6, 8; Php 1:21, 23), will be physically resurrected and come back to earth with Him (1Th 4:14-17). Then they will assist Him in governing the earth as His representatives (Mt 19:28-29; 1Co 6:2-3; Rev 2:26-27; 20:14). All believers who die physically before that event takes place will “see” death (their bodies will die) until the new age arrives, but after that they will never see it again.

Friday: John 8:52
v52: His opponents misunderstood His words and even misquoted Him, and in doing so they exaggerated His promise until it became absurd. They quoted Him as saying, “If anyone keeps My word, he will by no means taste death into the age” (literal). By changing the word “behold” (v52) to “taste” (v52), they changed Jesus’ promise and made it say that believers would step into the new age without having physically died beforehand. They would never have even “tasted” the bitterness of death. For that to happen a person would have to step directly into the new age without having died at all. Building on that distortion of His meaning, they used it to prove that He must be crazy (demon-possessed). They pointed to the fact that Israel’s greatest spiritual leaders had all died and mentioned Abraham and the prophets as examples.

Saturday: John 8:53-55
vs53-54: They dared Him to compare Himself to the greatest names in Israel’s history. They mockingly asked, “You are not greater than our father Abraham who died; and the prophets [who also] died [are you]? Whom do you make yourself to be?” (literal). Jesus replied with the same defense He had been using all along. In effect He said, “These statements about who I am don’t come from Me. I’m declaring what the Father says about Me. If you really knew the Person you call your God, then you would recognize that what I am saying is true” (paraphrase). v55: (paraphrase continued): “You claim that God is your Father and that you are heirs of Abraham’s blessings (vs39, 41), but you have no genuine relationship with God. You don’t know Him, but I do. I know Him because I have come to earth from being in His presence in heaven, and I know Him because I walk with Him now in unbroken fellowship. If I were to agree with you and say that I didn’t know Him, if I were to agree with the charges you are making against Me, if I denied that God was the Source behind all I have been saying and doing, I would be lying. It would be as dishonest for Me to say that I do not know Him, as it is for you to say that you do know Him. The truth is: I know Him and obey Him.” 

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