John 8

1 Jesus did not have a house to go to, so He spent the night on the Mount of Olives. This is the place where Jesus often prayed and taught His disciples. It was a quiet sanctuary for Him.
2 The feast was over, but many people remained. Many were interested in hearing more from Jesus, so they gathered around Him. Jesus taught the Scriptures, but His lessons were superior to what they had been taught by the religious leaders. He was also able to back up His authority with signs of great power.
5 This scenario was obviously a trap. Since the woman was caught "in the act," then the religious leaders knew who the adulterous man was. The Law of Moses required that both the adulterous man and woman be stoned. The man was most likely a religious leader who set the woman up for the sole purpose of putting Jesus to the test. The adulterous man may have been one of the very ones bringing the woman to Jesus for judgement.

They were asking Jesus to cooperate in an illegal trial. Ironically, they were trying to prove that they abided by the Law of Moses and that Jesus did not by breaking at least two of the Laws they claimed to follow.

6 Jesus had already hinted that He was the embodiment of Scripture. He had explicitly stated that He followed the Law in the correct manner while the religious leaders continually broke the Law even when it appeared they were meticulously following it. The religious leaders were going to try to prove that Jesus' teachings were indeed different from the teachings of Moses. They could then use this evidence against Him to persuade the people to discount His message or even assist them in executing Jesus.

At this time, the Romans had the only authority to execute anyone (John 18:31). This means that the Jews could not carry out this execution legally anyway. If Jesus pronounced judgement against her as they expected, then they could accuse Him of breaking a Roman law that would place Him in jeopardy of execution by the secular authorities.

Jesus ignores them at first. He does not continue teaching, but instead silently writes on the ground. Many have speculated about what Jesus wrote, but Scriptures do not state what it was. Jesus was not stalling, but He was seeing how persistent they were with their accusation. His final pronouncement would be so shocking to them that this persistent pestering would seem exceedingly foolish in retrospect.

7 This is an amazing answer. It shows that Jesus does follow the Law of Moses. In addition, it shows that God is compassionate, while these men were in no position to judge.

This answer also showed that God has a different system of righteousness and judgement than the religious leaders did. The religious leaders attempted to keep the letter of the law while ignoring the primary principles of God. This is condemned by God. The common sinner who turned to God became completely exonerated, even if he did not keep the letter of the Law.

This pronouncement can not be taken as a general dismissal of capital punishment as a punishment. This is still allowed to the governing authorities. It should be easy to see that this particular case was brought on by religious hypocrisy. Jesus could also see that the woman would repent and change her ways. As Christians, we should have compassion of people. We should recognize that we, too, are guilty of sins and be optimistic that others might repent and turn to God. However, we need to balance that compassion with the need for order and safety in society. This is one reason God establishes governments in the first place.

8 Jesus allowed the accusers time to contemplate what He said.
9 This left the religious leaders in a very awkward position. They were embarrassed to have to admit Jesus was right, but with the integrity they had, they could not claim to be sinless. Considering the circumstances of this trap, they all knew they were guilty of sin.

They had left the judgement up to Jesus, so they could not now execute the woman themselves. Of course, the point was not to execute the woman, but to gain an advantage over Jesus. Jesus, however, could not be trapped.

With age comes wisdom. Although this wisdom was corrupted in the religious leaders, they recognized they could not measure up to the standard that Jesus set for them. Younger men tend to act more out of zeal than wisdom, but even they eventually realized that they could not honestly say they had no sin. The religious leaders' plan had failed, so they would abandon it rather than pursue it further.

10 After a while it was just the woman and Jesus standing in front of the astonished crowd. The context of this and the previous verse indicates that Jesus saw "no one" of the accusers, while the woman stood in the "midst" of the people who had been listening to Jesus teach before He was interrupted.
11 When they left, the religious leaders essentially "dropped the charges" against the woman. Only Jesus was left. He was the only sinless one that was qualified to judge this woman. Instead of condemning her, He commands her to stop sinning. She had been a sinner -- there was no question about that -- but Jesus knew that she would change her ways once she was forgiven.

When we come to Christ, He commands us to stop sinning. This is not a suggestion to try to stop; it is a command. This does not mean that Christians can be perfect, but it does mean that one of our goals is to stop sinning since this interferes with our relationship with God. When we do sin we must confess it, make restitution if possible, and then determine how to avoid similar sins again. When we do this, we become free from the guilt and broken relationships that sins cause.

12 Jesus created physical light in the beginning (John 1:3). He is also the spiritual light of the world that helps people understand who God is. Those who know Jesus will no longer walk in the darkness of sin. Instead, they will walk in the light of righteousness and attain eternal life through Jesus.
13 In the Law of Moses, two witnesses were required to testify against the accused before he could be convicted (Deu 19:15). The Jews apply this principle to Jesus because He is making great claims about Himself. Jesus dealt with this issue earlier, but the leaders did not accept the other witnesses Jesus had presented (John 5:31-47).
14 Jesus points out the fallacy of their logic. Even if there was only a single witness to an event, it does not make his testimony false. It was a legal requirement of the Law, but it is not the ultimate test of reality.
15 The Jewish leaders were judging Jesus' spiritual testimony with laws designed to judge human matters. This is another fallacy.

During the time of His incarnation, Jesus had many harsh things to say about the hypocrisy and spiritual bankruptcy of the Jewish leaders. However, He did not condemn them at that time because they still had time to repent. The Jewish leaders were attempting to find a legal way to kill Jesus because they had already condemned His message in their hearts.

16 Jesus will judge the world on Judgement Day. His judgement will be perfect because God knows not only the actions, but also the hearts of men. God will not need to call witnesses to testify because He knows all things -- even those things that have no witnesses. The perfect justice of God (and Jesus) supersedes the Law of Moses.
18 If the Jewish leaders insisted on a second witness, the Father was willing to testify to them.
19 Jesus had already said that He was the Son of God (John 5:25), but the Jewish leaders did not believe this. The question appears to be sarcastic. Jesus spoke of "the" Father, while the question refers to "your" father. The Jews, of course, were probably referring to Joseph while not realizing that God the Father was indeed Jesus' natural Father. If they recognized that Jesus was speaking of God they did not really expect Him to testify, since no one can call God to testify. However, God already had testified to Jesus' claim (Mat 3:17). Now, if the Jews wanted to know the Father, they would have to believe in the Son first (John 14:6).
20 The Jewish leaders considered Jesus to be blaspheming, a capital offense. Although Jesus was speaking in what they considered one of the "holiest" places in the temple (Mat 23:16-17), they did not arrest Him. They did not want to cause a public scene in case Jesus' followers decided to defend Him. In addition, they could not prove that Jesus was blaspheming. In fact, Jesus works proved Jesus' claims, but the Jewish leaders simply chose not to believe the evidence.
21 Jesus is telling the Jewish leaders that He is about to go to heaven. Jesus is not condemning them here, but He already knows that these particular people will not repent or believe in Him. Thus, they will die guilty of their sins and on Judgement Day they will be condemned.
22 Jesus had not mentioned heaven explicitly, and the Jews could not think of any place that this "man" could go that they could not. Someone understood that Jesus was talking about death, and suicide seemed like the only route that the Jewish leaders definitely would not take.
23 Jesus points out that the leaders were thinking in a worldly, physical manner while Jesus was speaking of heavenly, spiritual things. When people do this, they often make grave errors in interpreting and applying what Jesus is saying.
24 When people do not understand who Jesus is or what He is saying they can not believe in Him. It is possible for every person to understand since God promises to give understanding to those who ask (Mat 7:7-8). Unfortunately, if a person does not make the effort to understand and believe Jesus then they are doomed. Jesus is the only cure for sin. No other faith or religious work will do.
25 This was probably asked as a challenge, not as an earnest question. For over two years, Jesus had taught many things about Himself. He was God's son (John 3:16) and endowed with God's authority. He was the Messiah (John 4:25-26), and had the proper authority to rule and judge the world. In this dialogue, He had explained that belief in Him was necessary to enter heaven.

Thus, to ask this question now simply meant that they had not been listening. Knowing that they would not listen if they heard the answer again, Jesus does not answer their question directly.

26 Jesus is restraining His condemnation for these people because it is not the Father's plan to do so at this time.
28 When Jesus is lifted up on the cross and then lifted into heaven, the people of the world would have the ultimate evidence that Jesus was everything He claimed to be.
29 Of course, Jesus and the Father are spiritually linked in the Godhead (John 10:30). Jesus never did anything to displease the Father (i.e., He never sinned). In fact, His constant obedience to the will of the Father pleased Him immensely.
30 Fortunately, not all the ears were deaf. Some in the crowd (and perhaps some of the leaders) recognized that Jesus had indeed lived in a manner that pleased God. Jesus' claims were supported by His actions, words, and power. They had seen the evidence, but did not make a decision until Jesus specifically challenged them to do so.
31 Jesus knew that some had come to believe in Him while He was speaking. He encourages them by letting them know that when they take up "permanent residence" in His teachings that they become His disciples.

Even today, Christians are Jesus' disciples. As such we trust, learn from, and obey Him. In return, He gives us abilities and power to carry out His ministry. On Judgement Day, we will receive the ultimate reward of eternal life with Him.

32 Those who do not know God are enslaved to sin. Their goals and purposes are shallow and their possessions will be left behind when they die. When we know the truth, when we establish a relationship with God, we are given a special freedom to live the way we were intended to live. The Christian's goal is to know God and to share that knowledge with others. Our purpose is to please God. Our possession is the heavenly place that God has promised us. With such freedom and hope, we can live fulfilling life, no matter what our earthly circumstances.
33 Again, the unbelieving members of the group interrupt Jesus. They are still thinking in worldly terms. Despite this claim, Israel had been enslaved and occupied many times (starting with Egypt). Even at the current time, the Jews were under Roman oppression. To claim that they had never been in bondage was to ignore reality. However, taking the question at face value, the questioner does not feel enslaved to anything, and thus has no reason to find the "freedom" that Jesus claims He can give them.
34 Jesus clarifies that He is not talking about physical enslavement, but spiritual enslavement.

When someone does something that displeases God, it is called sin. Sin started when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. Since then, all people have "inherited" sin. It seems natural for us to do those things that displease God. The problem is that sin cuts us off from God and places us under God's condemnation. The bad news is that we can not pay for our sins. The Good News is that Jesus can and will pay for the sins of everyone who believes in Him. When a person becomes a Christian, he is no longer condemned by God and has freedom from sin and its ultimate punishment.

35 A slave usually did not live in the master's house, and a slave might be resold at any time. However, the master's son would live in the house and later inherit it.

Jesus is making a parallel analogy that the person who is enslaved to sin will eventually be forever thrown out of God's presence. The Son, of course, will remain.

36 The Son has the power to free the slaves. Once a slave is free, he can not be re-enslaved. Thus, he is free forever. When we add John 1:12 to the analysis we find that when God frees us from the slavery of sin, He adopts us as His own children. As His children, we are allowed to live in His house forever.
37 Jesus knew that the Jews were physically descendents of Abraham, but they did not act as Abraham did. Abraham acted in faith when he heard the words of God. Many of his descendents did not act in faith, but rather responded in a hostile manner. They had a long history of executing those who preached God's word, and were now intent on killing the Messiah.
38 Jesus now turns the tables on them. Again, speaking in spiritual terms, He tells them that His Father (God) is not their Father. Jesus was righteous because He did everything the Father told Him to. The unbelievers were enslaved in sin under the guidance of the devil.
41 The Jews claimed that they were the blessed descendents of Abraham, but Jesus insisted that they had a different "father." They then apparently realized that Jesus was speaking in spiritual terms and so they claimed that God was their spiritual Father.
42 Jesus was the member of the Godhead that came to earth. If the Jewish leaders were really God's children by love and obedience, they would have loved Jesus.
43 Jesus could tell that they were baffled. However, throughout Jesus' ministry, the religious leaders in particular did not listen to Jesus or even try to understand what He was saying. It was not surprising that they still refused to listen.
44 Jesus now makes it crystal clear. They do not act like their physical ancestor, Abraham, nor do they follow the spiritual teachings of God. Thus, they are acting the way their "real" spiritual father, the devil, would have them act.

In a sense, this is true for all people. We are born into a sinful world that is (temporarily) ruled by the devil. We are born tainted with sin, and it is "natural" for us to do things that displease God. Since sinful activity originated with the devil, he is the spiritual father of all who continue in sinful activity.

The first sin seen in the Bible is the lie that Satan told to entice Eve into eating the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:1-5). When Adam joined her, they both accepted Satan as their spiritual father, and doomed their descendants to the suffering and physical death that results from enslavement to sin. In this sense, Satan is responsible for the physical death (murder) of all people.

45 Since they believe the lies of the devil, they will not believe the truth of God.

The devil has so misshapen the thought process of the world that many good things are considered evil, while many evil things are considered good (or at least acceptable under certain circumstances).

46 Jesus lived a perfect life. The Jewish leaders could not find one sin that would discredit Jesus' claims to be the Son of God and the Messiah. Jesus gave them evidence to His claim in word, action, and power, but they still would not believe His claims.
47 People tend to hear what they want to hear and everything passes through filters of experience. Many people who have a worldly, sinful mindset will not listen to the truth of God.
48 Obviously, the Jewish leaders were insulted by Jesus' accusation. However, they are at a loss as to how to refute Jesus' words, so they resort to name calling.

It is ironic that they would diagnose Jesus as demon possessed. Since they have trouble distinguishing between the works of God and the works of the devil, it is apparent that they have severe spiritual problems. Earlier, they could not find any sin within Jesus.

To prove that they have resorted to name calling rather than logic they accuse Jesus of being a Samaritan. They knew Jesus was Jewish, but perhaps they (ironically) thought that Jesus' teachings were apostate. That would put Him in the same class as the "hated" Samaritans.

49 Since Jesus honored the Father perfectly, He could not have a demon. The accusation is unfounded.

Jesus said many harsh things to the Jewish leaders, but they were true and could be documented. His intent was not merely to insult, but to break through their stubborn self-righteousness. One must overcome his own pride before he can establish a relationship with God.

50 Most people enjoy and seek the praise of others, but Jesus does not need this kind of external assurance because He knows He is doing what the Father wants. God does "seek" praise, not because He needs an ego boost, but because He deserves it as both Creator and Judge.
51 Jesus is not speaking of physical death, but the more serious spiritual death. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God and all He represents (love, joy, peace, etc.). The only way to eternal life with God is through Jesus.
53 The Jews accuse Jesus of ancestral blasphemy. This is rooted in the idea that the offspring can not be greater than their parents were. The greatest spiritual leaders of the past did not have the ability to escape death, but Jesus is offering this to all who believe in Him. The fact of the matter is that Abraham and God's prophets do have eternal life, and that life will be given to them through Jesus, the predicted Messiah.
54 It is not important how men try to honor one another. What is more important is God's honor system. Jesus does what the Father wants Him to and in return, the Father honors Jesus.

Here is another clear claim that Jesus is God's Son.

55 The Jews had God's word, but few of them attempted to know God in a personal way. Most of them were more concerned about laws and traditions, which can be done in an impersonal way out of duty rather than love.
56 Abraham may have been given a special vision of Jesus' day, but it is more likely, he "saw" it through the promises of God.
57 The Jews took this to mean that Jesus and Abraham saw each other. Abraham had died about 2000 years before this time, and it was "obvious" that Jesus was not that old. They felt they had caught Jesus in a lie.
58 As a member of the Godhead, Jesus was alive eternally before He created earth. He knew all of history, and knew all the people of the past great and small. To convey this point Jesus applies God's sacred name, "I AM," to Himself.
59 There was no doubt in the Jewish mind that Jesus just claimed that He was God. Since they saw Jesus as an ordinary man, they thought He had committed blasphemy. The discussion they had just had was so heated that they immediately picked up rocks to stone Jesus, although they did not have authority from the Romans to perform an execution. They were going to turn themselves into a lynch mob and murder a righteous man on the Temple grounds without a trial.

It was not time for Jesus to be executed yet. Stoning was not the method by which Jesus predicted He would be executed. It is implied that God supernaturally hid Jesus from notice as He calmly walked out of the Temple.

In a real sense they had expelled God from their religious practices and His Temple.