John 7:53-8:30 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus, the Light of the World
Comments for Study 10

John 7:53-8:30
Key verse: 8:12


I. Jesus Saves a Condemned Woman (8:1-11)

>1. After participating in the last and greatest day of the Feast and hearing Jesus' testimony that he is the streams of living water, where did the people go?

* John 7:45-53 "Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?" "No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared. "You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. "Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them." Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, "Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?" They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee." Then each went to his own home."

* Jesus' first coming was believed to be the Messiah's only coming by many in Jesus' time. Although some religious leaders knew that there seemed to be two types of missions that the Messiah would carry out (suffering Messiah and conquering Messiah) they did not realize that there would be two comings also. In fact many religious leaders and teachers had differing opinions concerning specifics the Messiah while most believe in core issues concerning the Messiah's coming. This caused great confusion amongst the average person. Today the confusion caused by several teachings concerning Jesus' second coming is the same as the confusion of his first coming. Some have predicted incorrect dates and there are several conflicting time lines. Just as in Jesus' first coming, today the average person is confused and more and more mock those who believe in his second coming because all the date setting and conflicting time lines.

* "this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them" -The religious leaders had no love for these that God had entrusted to their care. As the authors of the gospels wrote, they were like sheep without a shepherd.

* "there is a curse on them" -They were stating that Jesus' teaching was putting a curse on those he spoke to. How often has religious leaders made this claim, especially today?

* "Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No!" -The rejection of Jesus as the Messiah by the leaders was the reasons that his reigning as King of Israel on the earth was postponed. Jesus' offer to be king was and is real. But he will not force the kingdom of Israel. They must truly want it and ask it in repentance, fear, and love. The humble requests must come from all of Israel and Judah, especially the leaders. Just because some of Israel and Judah accept him does not mean that he will come again as King of king and Lord of lords. All, especially the leaders must call upon Jesus as Savior and Lord.

>Where did Jesus go, and how did he probably spend the night?

* John 8:1 "But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives."

* Jesus usually prayed.

* The apostles were with him always with the exception being when he sent them on a mission. The same will be in the kingdom of God.

>2. When did Jesus return to the temple courts and who was there?

* John 8:2 "At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them."

* "all the people" -The amount must have been large, not only because of this word but also because the Pharisees called them a mob which also implies a large size. Jesus was the star teacher which infuriated the religious leaders more than anything else. Jesus pointed out how they loved the high opinion of others.

>What did Jesus do?

* "he sat down to teach them" -the main work of the Messiah was and is teaching. Jesus performed miracles too. However, they were always accompanied with teaching. Teaching the word of God is very important in the kingdom of God.

>3. Who interrupted his teaching and how?

* John 8:3 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group "

* "a woman caught in adultery" -Where was the man? Why didn't they bring him? Many have speculated that it was one of their peers or a political leader..

* Leviticus 20:10 "'If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

* "made her stand before the group" -They had not love for the woman. They used her for their own gain.

>What did they tell him about the woman?

* John 8:4 "and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery."

* "caught" -Just how does a person get caught doing this? I don't think they walked around Jerusalem peeking in doors and windows.

>What question did they ask Jesus?

* John 8:5 "In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?""

* "In the Law Moses" -Law is Torah in Hebrew and almost always refers to the first five books of the Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible or more accurately God told him what to write. (Ex. 24:4, 33:7-11, 34:28; Num. 7:89; Duet. 31:9) So the Law was from God, not Moses. Moses only recorded what the Lord told him.

* They knew that Jesus was a man of compassion and love. He spoke of the kingdom of God and love. They also knew that he often quoted the law and used it to answer their questions/traps.

* Why did God give the Israelites such a final sentence to this sin? The Canaanites and the slave Israelites were very promiscuous in their sex lives. In fact, almost all societies and cultures does not keep sex within marriage vows. Such attitudes and life styles destroys a marriage, a family, a society. a nation and more importantly our relationship with God. Marriage vows is a reflection of the commitment that God has with his people. He called Israel his bride and he calls the church his bride. He wants us to learn and know of the commitment he has for us by keeping a marriage vows that we have with our spouse.

>How was this a trap?

* John 8:6a "They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him."

* If Jesus replied that she should not be stoned then he would go against the word of God and thus be a false prophet.

* If Jesus replied that she should be stoned then he would go against his teachings (i.e. "turn the other cheek, etc.)

* If Jesus were to start stoning her than he would be in violation of Roman law by acting as judge and executioner. They could then take him to Pilate or Herod and have him put to death.

>4. What did Jesus do?

* John 8:6b "But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger."

* Was what Jesus wrote significant? I heard some say he wrote the names of their mistresses. The gospel writers never said what Jesus wrote. So all that can be done is speculate. Saying he wrote their mistresses names may be humorous, but is not beneficial to understanding and learning. The writers did not tell us what Jesus wrote because it is not important. His actions and words that are recorded are important to examine.

>Why did he wait before answering?

* Most likely Jesus was getting the attention of the people, the disciples, and especially the women. People would have time to access what was going on.

* Jesus' actions:
    1) He bent down
    2) He started writing
    3) He let them keep questioning him without saying anything
    4) He straightened up
    5) He replied to those who brought her
    6) He stooped down and wrote on the ground
    7) He did not talk to the women, the people, nor his disciples until they left

* Just reading about his actions glorifies Jesus. His control, wisdom and love is honored and revealed. Many times I wish I was as wise as Jesus.

>What did he say?

* John 8:7-8 "When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground."

* I can imagine the noise they were making as they kept questioning him and the quieting after he spoke. Amazing.

>How did his words expose their hypocrisy?

* They were no better than her.

* Jesus did not say, "If anyone of you has not committed adultery." He included all and any sin. Any sin committed is the same as breaking only one.

* We can not judge someone because we are sinful too.

>What did they do and why?

* John 8:9 "At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there."

* If they stoned her everyone would know that they were hypocrites.

* They feared the people's opinion of them.

>5. How might this woman have come to live a life like that?

* Most likely she was not married for if she was her husband would have been able to supply food, unless of course he was unable too. Most likely she had been married because Jews are betrothed by their parents at a young age and then must have been divorced. Perhaps one of those accusing her had been her husband and was spying on her. A unmarried, widowed, or divorced women would have no means of income. She had to eat and decided this was an accepted way to earn a living. But that is only speculation.

* More than the need for food she had an inner need. Gen. 3 women were cursed with, "And your desire will be for your husband, but he will rule over you."

>What did Jesus say to her?

* John 8:10 "Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?""

* She still had time to repent and be saved.

>Why did he not condemn her?

* John 8:11a ""No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared."

* He came to save the world, to help the lost come back to God. He came to give life to the full. He came to bless.

>How did he save her and help her begin a new life?

* John 8:11b "Go now and leave your life of sin."

* He gave her good words, life direction.

* He didn't ask her any questions or details.

* He saved her from a violent death.

>What does this show about Jesus? (3:17; Romans. 8:1)

* John 3:17 "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

* Romans 8:1 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,"

* Jesus didn't condemn the men who brought this women to him either.

II. "I am the Light of the World" (12-30)

>6. What did Jesus teach about himself? (12)

* John 8:12 "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.""

* John stated chapter 1 by explaining Jesus is the light. John 1:4-5 "In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." And John 1:9 says, "The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." Light and life are interchangeable in John's gospel. The symbolism of light and darkness is often used in the gospel of John. Other examples are 3:2 and 13:30.

* "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." (Heb. 1:3)

* Jesus is the light of God in the Old Testament.

>What promise does he give to those who follow him?

* Jesus is the source of all life.

* Jesus gives both physical and spiritual eternal life. Animals and materials do not have spiritual nor eternal life.

>What does it mean to walk in darkness?

* Walk in sin. The nature includes:
    1) Power of Satan, which is fear of death and condemnation.
    2) Sinful nature of fallen man.
    3) Man powerless nature before evil.
    4) Man's ignorance of God and self.

* In the dark one can not find his way around, he does not know were he is and what the reality of his surroundings are. But when a light shines he can see clearly so that he can get around, always knows where he is at and the reality of his surroundings. This is true spiritual when Jesus, the light, shines.

* Darkness represents evil and sin in sinful man. It represents life without Jesus, the light.

* Light and darkness are completely opposite.

* "Now the earth was < Or possibly became> formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." (Gen. 1:2)

>Why do the woman and the Pharisees both need this message?

* Both are trapped by their sin.

>7. Why did the Pharisees not accept his claim about himself? (13, 33)

* John 8:13 "The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.""

* John 8:33 "They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?""

* They would not accept that he is the Messiah and repent of their pride and self reliance.

>8. In what respects is Jesus the light of the world? (14b, 14:6)

* John 8:14b "But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going."

* John 14:6 "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

* He reveals God to fallen sinful men who live in darkness.

>Where is Jesus going? (21-23)

* John 8:21-24 "Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?" But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.""

* He was going to be killed, go to Hades for one day, then rise from the death, and then go to his Father in heaven.

>9. What does it mean that the Son of Man will be lifted up? (26; 12:32-33)

* John 8:25-26 "Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied."I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.""

* John 12:32-33 "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die."

* Jesus was lifted up when he was crucified.

>How does Jesus the light of the world take away our sin and condemnation and open the way to the Father? (11, 15b, 24, 28, Gal. 3:13)

* John 8:11b "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin.""

* John 8:15 "I pass judgment on no one."

* John 8:24 "I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.""

* John 8:28 "So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me."

* Galatians 3:13 "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

* Sin is disobedience. Disobedience can not dwell with God. Disobedience must be punished. Jesus took my sins upon himself and was crucified, cut off from God, and died; the punishment God proclaimed to Adam, "You shall surely die." Thus my sins have been dealt with, taken away, the punishment was executed.

>10. How does Jesus' life and teachings make him the light of the world? (26b, 28-29)

* John 8:26-30 "I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world." They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him."

* He reveals God to fallen sinful men who live in darkness.

>What can we learn from him?

* To forgive.

* To not condemn.

* To do God's will.

* To teach the truth in love, revealing God to people living in darkness.