Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"My Witness Is True," said Jesus

13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, "You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."

14 Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I came from and where I am going.

15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.

16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.

17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.

18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."

19 Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?"
Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."

20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

21 Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come."

22 So the Jews said, "Will He kill Himself, because He says, 'Where I go you cannot come'?"

23 And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

24 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."

25 Then they said to Him, "Who are You?"
And Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.

26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him."

27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

28 Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.

29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."

30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. (bold emphasis mine)

John 8:13-30 NIV


I love to discuss this portion of Scripture. There is so much revelation in Jesus words. I will be back later today to post commentary and analysis of these verses. Meanwhile, feel free to post comments.

God bless...

Comments on verse 13 -
C.S. Lewis was famous for giving people (who might consider answering Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?") three choices when they are confronted with the reality of Jesus Christ. He said, "Either He is a liar, a lunatic, or Lord." The choice(s) that he was just a prophet, or a good teacher are not logical when making a personal decision about Jesus. He stated many times in Scripture that He is the Son of God. There can be no mistake about this. Therefore, the idea(s) that Jesus was only "just another prophet" or "just a good teacher" are not valid.

In John 8:12, Jesus reveals who he really is:

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."

To understand what Jesus meant when he called himself, "the light of the world," we must go back to John 1:4,5.

4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

"The darkness has not understood it" means the darkness of evil never has and never will overcome or extinguish God's light. Jesus Christ is the Creator of life, and his life brings light to mankind. In his light, we see ourselves as we really are (sinners in need of a Savior). When we follow Jesus, the true Light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. He lights the path ahead of us so we can see how to live. He removes the darkness of sin from our lives. The question is this. Have you allowed the light of Christ to shine into your life? When you let Christ guide your life, you'll never need to stumble in darkness.

The Pharisees challenged Christ because they probably either thought he was a liar or a lunatic. They would not even consider the third alternative that Jesus provided for them: He was telling them the truth. He was and is, their Messiah and Lord. These Pharisees refused to consider this and they never recognized him as Messiah and Lord.

Today, people often close their minds and refuse to seek to know who Jesus is. They shut the door on the possibility that he is who he said he is. It is only with an open mind that you will know the truth that he is Messiah and Lord.

The Pharisees found a way to reject Jesus. They argued that Jesus' claim was "legally" invalid because he had no other witnesses. I love the way Jesus responded! He said that his confirming witness was God himself! Jesus and the Father made two witnesses, the number required by the law (see Deuteronomy 19:15).

Comments on verse 21 -

Jesus tells the Pharisees that he is going away. He tells them that they will look for him. He tells them that they will die in their sin. Where he goes, they cannot come.

Belief in Jesus is essential to being forgiven for sin and resurrected to life eternal with God. There is no other way! People will die in their sins if they reject Christ, because they are rejecting the only way to be rescued from sin. It is truly so sad that many are all caught up in the material values of this world that they are blind to the priceless gift offered through Jesus Christ.

Comments on verse 23 -
When Jesus says that he is "not of this world," he is referring to the fallen nature of man and all that transpires as a result of it. His kingdom is elsewhere...far above the fray. As sinners, we are "from below" and stay there if we do not become born again in Christ and rescued from the consequences of our sin through Jesus' sacrificial death at the cross.

All will be resurrected. Those who reject Christ, will face judgment because their sins are still upon their souls. Those who repent of their sin and are thus covered by Christ, will be made righteous because of Jesus' substitutionary death for our sins at the cross. There is no inbetween! As Jesus stated, "you will die in your sin" if you do not believe that he is the one he claims to be.

Comments on verse 26 -
Jesus tells us that he has "much to say in judgment of you (Pharisees)." Just like the Pharisees of that day, the non-believers will also be judged because of their rejection of Jesus. There will be a future judgment. The righteousness of God demands it. God is a loving God, but He is also the Righteous Judge of the universe! Jesus goes on and tells us, "but he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world."

God is holy and in keeping with His Character, must judge sin. The penalty for sin and evil is death. We all die physically. That is the result of the Fall. But we don't have to die spiritually and be separated for all eternity from God because of Christ's victory over sin, evil and death at the cross and resurrection to life!

Comment on verse 28 -

Jesus tells his listeners that when "they have lifted up the Son of Man," it is then that they will know that he is the one he claims to be. (see also John 12:32) Jesus goes on and states that he speaks what the Father has taught him.

29 "The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him."
Jesus is the only one who could accomplish our reconciliation with God. He bridged the gap between sinful humankind and holy and righteous God.

The last verse reveals how powerful Jesus' words were to the listening audience.
30 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.
Remember, Jesus had not gone to the cross yet. These people believed without seeing. They put their trust in Jesus Christ because they realized, as it says in John 7:31 - "Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?" The most miraculous sign was not even completed yet - Jesus rising from the dead! Yet, many already put their faith in him.

The entire chapter of John 7 shows the many reactions people had toward Jesus. They called him a good man (7:12), a deceiver (7:12), a demon-possessed man (7:20), the Christ (7:26), and the Prophet (7:40). Each one of us has to make up our own minds about who Jesus is, knowing that whatever we decide will have eternal consequences.

Jesus asks you, today, "Who do you say that I am?

What is your answer?

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