Read John 8:12-30
In John 8:1-11, we read how Jesus exercised truth and grace in dealing with the woman (and her accusers) who was caught in the act of adultery. From the context, it is safe to assume Jesus was writing the sins of her accusers in the sand as a witness against them for their actions and abuse-use of the law. When she alone was left with Jesus, he offered her grace and forgiveness, in this it is evident she had a repentant heart, and Jesus ended his conversation with an admonishment to "go and sin no more."
With many gathered around because of this scene, Jesus continued to speak to those who remained. It was as if he was reaffirming his position as the son of God and all that John the Baptist had spoken of him in earlier days. In calling himself the Light of the world, the Pharisees were quick to try and create doubt in those who were present.
Again, he joined himself with the Father and spoke strong words to the pharisees, these in great contrast to the gentle words to the woman caught in adultery. This is the first of many times we will see how Jesus spoke in a different tone with the religious leaders, than he did with the common people;those who did not profess to know the law, nor condemn others with it.
The religious leaders were boastful in their knowledge of God, and this is why Jesus challenged them with his next statement:
"...You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:23 - 24)
Twice he made the statement, "I am He" and again made it very clear that "the Father" was his Father and that he was teaching and doing all that his Father had sent Him to do.
Many of those who were present believed him and believed in Him. As we move forward we will see that the Pharisees did not appreciate his statements because what Jesus was doing was claiming that not only was he one with the Father, he was stating that it was only through believing that He was indeed God in the flesh, would be spared death (spiritual). But because they (and all) who did not/ do not believe this, would die in their sin. Once again, confirming that salvation and forgiveness only comes from believing that Jesus is the Christ - the Son of God.
This truth applies to all of mankind, there are those who would say that Jesus was a good man, but not the Son of God, and that Jesus never made himself to be one with God the Father. Yet the book of John records this fact repeatedly. Jesus will continue to build his case by making another statement in the next few verses; "before Abraham was, I AM." This being the same statement in Exodus when Moses asked God what his name was. He said, "I AM"
We have only one of two choices - do we believe that Jesus is who he said he was, or is Jesus a liar? Depending on our choice, we will reap a reward of eternal life with God, or will will reap the consequence of dying in sin, and eternal separation from God in the Lake of fire.
Some say a loving God would not send any one to Hell. This is true, we send ourselves there. Because He is love, he makes himself known to us through his word. When we face him, we will not be able to say we didn't know.
Grace and Truth - this is Jesus our Lord.
Join us in the discussion questions to follow shortly where we will explore the truth of Jesus' "I AM" statement.
In the meantime, please share your thoughts.
(C) Teresa Ortiz - Book of John study 2011/2012 - All rights reserved.