Jesus, The Light of the World, Part II, John 8:19-28
In our first lesson in this series Jesus declared himself to be the Light of the World.
By stating this, it is of course inferred that without Jesus Christ the world lies in darkness.
To the Pharisees and scribes this of course is an astounding announcement for to them only God could say such a thing and of course to us, upon hearing any man saying such a thing, we would also think it to be a blasphemous thing to hear.
But we know by faith that when Jesus says He is the Light of the World it is great comfort to us for we know that Jesus is the Son of God sent to light the Way to the Father.
Upon this declaration he is challenged by the religious hierarchy of Israel whereby Jesus brings in the law to validate this truth.
He remarks that the law requires the testimony of two to establish what is true and declares himself to be one witness and the Father the second.
Here are the two most credible witnesses and yet the Jews reject this truth!
For it is impossible for unbelief to accept the truth.
A person cannot be convinced into the kingdom, for God has so ordained that intellect will not bring light.
Ye must be born again by the Spirit of God.
It must be a supernatural transaction for faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
But the Pharisees hear not for they are without faith, knowing the scriptures only to the point of what validates their religion so they therefore challenge Jesus and in:
John 8:19, ……. 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.
They do not ask this question "Where is thy Father?" to learn of the Father, but they ask it scornfully.
They were not interested in truth!
Jesus again reminds us that to know the Father is only possible by knowing Jesus Christ.
And Jesus Christ is only known to those to whom he reveals himself.
You do not choose to know the Son, the Son chooses to know you, otherwise you would never know the Father.
For by grace are ye saved!
As Jesus said in: Mat 11:27, All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
So John reports in John 8:20,21, 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.
The treasury was in the courtyard of the women.
This was the place of thirteen bronze chests, nine for the legal payment (temple taxes) of the worshippers and four for the free-will offerings of the people.
This was the place where women could come and it fits, that the woman taken in adultery would have been brought there.
John again intimates that the Jews tried to take Jesus on this occasion but John says that his hour had not yet come.
By this phrase used repetitively by John, God wants us to know the principle of God's timing as it governs the affairs of men.
The passages in John that show that Jesus' time had not yet come demonstrate that God is the complete master of all and he will not let men carry out their evil deeds until he allows them to do so.
It is interesting to note here that Jesus Christ says that he may be sought by men, but that seeking will be in vain.
Men may have religious feelings, men may weep because of sickness, fear of death, great financial loss, loss of comforts or jobs.
Under a little pressure men and women may say their prayers, read the Bible, come forward in a highly charged evangelistic meeting, become active in church work, profess to seek Christ, and outwardly look like a different character,
but often it is only a reformation of the flesh, and not a transformation of the spirit.
Let the sickness disappear, let the finances return, the new job come, and the emotional professor returns to his old ways.
Jesus knows his listeners.
He knows that they are of the flesh.
He knows that they will die in their sins.
He knows that they will not seek him with all their heart as we are told in Jer. 29:13, And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
The key word in this verse is the word "me" referring to Jesus Christ.
We are to seek him, not some improved health, or wealth or comfort or position or some gain.
And then he tells them they cannot come where he goes.
He says he goes his way.
They cannot come because they do not know him, they refuse to know him and without knowing him who is the Way it is impossible to go where Jesus goes.
That is why he says they cannot, they do not have the ability to come.
Any attempt to come by their own efforts is hopeless
He is the only way to the Father and without following him, there is no other way to the Father.
Without Jesus Christ we are corrupt and vile even though we think otherwise, without Jesus Christ we are not holy, without Jesus Christ we are not righteous, without Jesus Christ we continue to have a fallen nature not suited to the place where Jesus Christ goes.
Therefore Jesus Christ said: ye shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
John 8:22, Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
So with ridicule and with the understanding of blind men they joke that he will kill himself and go to Hell, where of course it is unthinkable that they would follow him.
So He continues in John 8:23, And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
But they have things backwards, he tells them.
You are from beneath, I am not from beneath, but from above.
We are from two different worlds, two separate spheres, two different realms.
Only those who follow him are of his world because he is the only way between the worlds.
For there is an infinite gulf between the worlds.
One that cannot be breeched by human means or human efforts.
They were from the lower realm, he was from the higher realm.
He was not of their world, they were not of his world.
They were born of flesh and not of spirit.
And he indicates here that they will never be of his world for they are flesh.
He says in: John 8:24, 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.
This is clear and unequivocal.
Christ does not hesitate to present this awful truth.
And we ought not either!
The result of unbelief is to die in your sins, unpardoned, unprepared for heaven, and unprepared to meet God.
In order not to die in your sins you have to believe, you have to trust, in the only way that God provides, in his only begotten Son.
Christ is God's only remedy for sin.
Only Christ provides a passport to heaven.
Only those who have been washed in his blood, only those who have been clothed in his righteousness can enter God's domain.
God will not allow sin to corrupt his palaces like it has corrupted this world.
He only allows a prepared people to come to his house.
Only belief in Christ opens the door to heaven.
There are no grays here, just blacks or whites, yeses or noes, yeas or nays!
You are either for Jesus Christ or you are against him.
Believe or perish, Jesus says to the Jews!
And it is no different today.
God has the same plan in 2015 and it will be the same in 2115 unless the Lord returns sooner!
John 8:25, Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
This phrase, "Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning," indicates that Jesus Christ is saying to these unbelievers, "How can your question be answered?"
It indicates that Jesus Christ was saying, "Why should I speak to you at all?"
I don't need to answer that question.
Look at my life!
The fact that they asked such a question as "Who art thou?" indicated to him their unbelief.
Who art thou? could have been said, What are your credentials?
What group are you with? Who is backing you?
We need to know who endorses you before we can judge whether to accept you, to believe you.
Are you one of us?
Do you think like us?
Make it easy for us.
We don't want to think.
If we know someone that we like, likes you, then we will know what to think.
We will know if we should like you.
But Jesus does not indulge their unbelief.
They had seen his works, they had seen his countless miracles, they had seen his cleansing of the lepers, they had seen his feeding of the multitudes, and his raising of the dead.
They had heard him speak with authority as no man had ever before spoken.
By the words, "Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning," He means:
I am exactly what I say. My words match my actions.
My words and my life are the same.
You want to know who I am.
I am my testimony.
I am my actions.
You see what I do, you see me!
My theory is my practice!
There is no difference!
You are good at judging by appearance!
If you truly judge me by appearance you will come to the right conclusion because I am exactly what my actions show me to be.
They match perfectly. There is no hypocrisy!
No division in what you see and what really is.
I am altogether that which I speak unto you.
There is no schism between what I am and what you see.
Jesus Christ truly lives out Hebrews 13:8 which declares: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Shouldn't this be a mark of a Christian?
Aren't you a new creation in Christ Jesus?
Are you not predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son?
Shouldn't you and the outworking of you, that is what people see of you, be the same?
It was perfectly that way with Jesus.
John 8:26,27, 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.
One writer has paraphrased this verse in this way:
Your incredulity is very reprehensible, and your insulting sneers deserve the severest censure, but I forbear.
Christ delays his judgment of these unbelieving critics.
He has many things to say to them and someday he will pass sentence upon them.
But instead of censuring them he again affirms that the one who sent him is true and that which he speaks is the exact message of the Father, the one who sent him.
But they understood not because they were in darkness and without the illumination of the Spirit of God they would forever stay in the darkness.
They did not want the light, otherwise Jesus Christ would have given them light.
They were natural men and they wanted to remain natural men.
But as we know from 1 Cor. 2:14, ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.