John 8: True Disciples

By what means did religious leaders catch the woman in adultery? Why didn’t they bring the man?

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John 8:1–4 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn, Jesus entered the Temple’s outer court. After a crowd had gathered, he sat down and began to teach.
Pharisees and teachers of the Law brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. While she stood before the people, they said, “Teacher, this woman was found with a man who is not her husband. Her guilt is certain because she was taken in the act.”
King James
John 8:1–4 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Why did the religious leaders’ question seem to be an excellent trap?

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John 8:4–6 They said, “Teacher, this woman was found with a man who is not her husband. Her guilt is certain because she was taken in the act. In the Law, Moses says we are to stone to death such women. What do you say?” Their question was intended to trap him into saying something against either the Law or public opinion.
Instead of answering, Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with his finger.
King James
John 8:4–6 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not .

Why did Jesus write on the ground instead of answering their question? How persistent do you think the religious leaders were?

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John 8:6–7 Their question was intended to trap him into saying something against either the Law or public opinion.
Instead of answering, Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with his finger. They continued to ask until he stood and said, “Let the one among you who is without sin throw the first stone.”
King James
John 8:6–7 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not . So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

When Jesus finally did speak, what was convicting about his response? What did he write on the ground?

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John 8:7–9 They continued to ask until he stood and said, “Let the one among you who is without sin throw the first stone.”
Again, he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
After hearing what he said, they were convicted by their own conscience and slipped away, one at a time, from oldest to youngest, until only Jesus was left with the woman before him.
King James
John 8:7–9 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Why didn’t Jesus condemn the woman for her sin?

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John 8:10–11 Jesus stood. “Woman, where are your accusers? Is there no one here to condemn you?”
 “No one, sir.”
“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
King James
John 8:10–11 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

What gave Jesus the right to declare himself the light of the world?

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John 8:12–17 Later, Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. Those who follow me will never walk in darkness, because they have the light of life.”
The Pharisees said, “You cannot testify on your own behalf. Without verification, your words mean nothing.”
“Even though I speak for myself, my testimony is still true. You do not know where I came from or where I am going, but I know. You judge from a fleshly perspective, but I do not judge like you. My judgment is true because my decisions are made with the Father, who sent me. By your own Law, the testimony of two witnesses verifies the truth.”
King James
John 8:12–17 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.

How did the Father testify concerning the Son?

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John 8:18–19 “I testify on my own behalf, and the Father, who sent me, is the second witness.”
“Where is this father of yours who will testify?”
Jesus said, “If you do not know me, you cannot know my Father. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.”
King James
John 8:18–19 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

What factors or forces kept Jesus from being arrested?

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John 8:20–27 He said this while teaching in the area where offerings were given in the Temple, but no one arrested him because it was not yet time for him to be taken.
At another time, he said, “I am leaving. You will look for me but will die in your sins. You cannot come to where I am going.”
The Jewish authorities said, “Is he planning to commit suicide? Is that what he means by saying we cannot go where he is going?”
“You are from below,” Jesus said. “I am from above. You belong to this world. I do not. That is why I said you will die in your sins. If you do not believe I am who I am, you will surely die in your sins.”
“Who are you?”
“I am the one I have always claimed to be. Concerning you, there is much I could say and judge, but I will speak to the world only the truth that I hear from the one who sent me.”
They still did not realize he was talking about the Father.
King James
John 8:20–27 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

How can we be sure that Jesus never did anything of his own initiative?

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John 8:28–29 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know I am who I am. I do nothing on my own initiative. I say only what the Father instructs me to say. The one who sent me is with me. Because I always do what pleases him, he has never left me on my own.”
King James
John 8:28–29 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

What made Jesus’ words believable?

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John 8:30 As he said these things, many put their faith in him.
King James
John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

How can we distinguish believers from those who just say they believe?

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John 8:31–32 To those who believed, Jesus said, “If you keep following what I say, you really are my disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
King James
John 8:31–32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

How can a person be in bondage and not know it?

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John 8:32–33 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“We are Abraham’s descendants,” they said. “We have never been in bondage to anyone, so how can you say we will be free?”
King James
John 8:32–33 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

Why is sin a kind of slavery? What did Jesus do to set the enslaved free?

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John 8:34–36 “I tell you the absolute truth: everyone who sins is a slave to sin. A slave has no rights as part of the family, but a son belongs forever. So if the Son makes you free, you really are free.”
King James
John 8:34–36 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

How did Jesus’ definition of “children of Abraham” differ from the religious leaders’ definition?

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John 8:37–47 “I know you are Abraham’s descendants, but you want to kill me because my message has no place in your hearts. I declare what my Father has shown me, and you do what your father has shown you.”
“Our father is Abraham.”
“If you were Abraham’s children, you would act like him. Instead, you seek to kill me because I tell you the truth I heard from God. This is nothing like Abraham did. No, you are doing the works of your true father.”
“We are not bastards. God is our true Father.”
“If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from him. I did not decide to come, but he sent me. Why don’t you understand what I say? I will tell you why. You do not want to hear my message. You come from your father, the devil, and your desires are like his. From the beginning, he was a murderer and opposed the truth, because truth was not in his nature. When he lies, he speaks from his heart, because he is a liar and the father of lies. So it is only natural, when I speak the truth, that you do not believe me. Can any of you prove I have told even one lie? No one. Since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Those who belong to God hear his words. You do not hear because you are not his children.”
King James
John 8:37–47 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Why did Jewish leaders call Jesus a “Samaritan heretic”?

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John 8:48 The Jewish leaders said, “We were right all along in saying you were a Samaritan heretic, possessed by an evil spirit.”
King James
John 8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

How did the Son honor the Father? How does one honor or dishonor Jesus?

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John 8:49–50 “I do not have an evil spirit. I honor my Father, while you dishonor me. I am not trying to get honor for myself. But there is one who does honor me, and he is the true judge.”
King James
John 8:49–50 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

Why did the religious leaders think Jesus was crazy? What are the best arguments to prove he was not?

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John 8:51–53 “I assure you, whoever hears and follows my teachings will never die.”
“Now we know you have an evil spirit. Abraham and the prophets are all dead, and you say those who follow your teachings will never die. Are you greater than Abraham and the prophets who have died? Who do you think you are?”
King James
John 8:51–53 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?

How did Jesus’ knowledge of God differ from the religious leaders?

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John 8:54–55 Jesus said, “Honor means nothing if I give it to myself. My Father, the one you say is your God, is the one who honors me. You do not even know him, but I do. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I follow his instructions.”
King James
John 8:54–55 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

When and where might Abraham have seen Jesus?

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John 8:56 “Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. When he saw me, he was overjoyed.”
King James
John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Why did people pick up stones to kill Jesus?

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John 8:57–59 “You are not even fifty years old,” they said. “How can you say you have seen Abraham?”
“I assure you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
They picked up stones to kill him, but Jesus disappeared from their midst and left the Temple area.
King James
John 8:57–59 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.