Christ Teaching in Jerusalem.
SUMMARY.--The Woman Taken in Adultery.
The Light of the World.
The Father's Witness.
Freedom by the Truth.
The Son of Man before Abraham.
1. Went unto the mount of Olives. For the night, as he was wont
to do the last week of his life.
3. The scribes and Pharisees. The scribes were theologians. They
brought this woman to Jesus
for trial to see what he would decide, and to criticise him. They
wished grounds for charges
5. Moses . . . commanded. See
6. Jesus stooped down, and . . . wrote. As though to say he
understood their purposes and would pay no attention to them. This is
the only time in the New Testament that our Lord is described as
7-9. He that is without sin among you. When they persisted,
saying, What sayest thou? he said what was an awful
rebuke. They knew that he knew their lives, that they were as guilty as
the woman they had brought. They forgot the demand of Moses
that the witnesses should cast the first stone, and his answer was like
a bolt of lightning. Covered with shame, when he stooped and wrote
again, they went out one by one.
11. Neither do I condemn thee. Here is mercy.
Go, and sin no more. Here is admonition; the condition of her
final pardon. He is very merciful, but does not excuse sin.
12. I am the light of the world. He then began his discourse to
the people assembled. See notes on
13, 14. My record is true. The Pharisees disputed this. Ordinarily
the testimony of a man that he
is sent from God is insufficient. He may be deceived, or a deceiver.
But Jesus could not be deceived, for he knew all things; nor a
deceiver, for he was Truth. Besides, he had other testimony
15. Ye judge after the flesh. According to appearances.
I judge no man. He lets their lives and consciences judge
17. It is written in your law.
Observe Jesus says not our, but your law.
18. The Father . . . beareth witness. By the prophets, by the
works that Jesus does, by his voice at the baptism, and by John the
19. Where is thy Father? Asked in scorn, because he said "the
Father beareth witness of me."
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father. The
knowledge of Christ leads to a knowledge of the Father. See
20. These words spake Jesus in the treasury. Of the temple. See
Mark 12:41 and
21. Whither I go, ye cannot come. Because they shall die in
their sins, and he will return to heaven, where the sinner cannot
22. Will he kill himself? They understood that he referred to
his death, but parried the thought that he would die at their hands.
Their words were partly mockery.
23, 24. I am from above. He shows more clearly that he returns
to heaven, where they never can enter on account of their sins. This
leads them to ask:
25. Who art thou? No doubt asked with a sneer; hence, he only
refers them to his past words.
28. When ye have lifted up the Son of man. Lifted him up on the
cross. His "lifting up" would be the means of breaking down unbelief.
We can see how this was verified. In fifty days after he was lifted up
three thousand believed in a single day,
and the work of faith went on until the civilized world acknowledged
him as King.
29. The Father hath not left me alone. The Father was with him.
He was with him and in him. He was "the brightness of the Father's
He did those things that please him, and God was with him.
30. Many believed. That he was a divine teacher.
31. If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed.
They "believed on him," but their faith was not yet made perfect by
obedience. Hence he adds the condition of discipleship. Their belief
must move them to accept his word and obey it. There is a condition,
continue in my word; a promise, shall be my
32. And ye shall know the truth. Disciples are learners. Their
object is to know the truth. The way to know the truth is to obey the
The truth shall make you free. The Gospel obeyed,
frees--frees from the yoke of Satan, from spiritual
task-masters, from fear, fills the soul with hope and the free spirit
of a son who serves the Father from love.
33. We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage. They
trusted in their blood, rather than in obedience to the God of Abraham.
Their proud language was false. Their nation had been in bondage for
over six hundred years to Babylon, to Persia, to Macedon, to Syria, to
Rome. They were also in bondage to sin.
34. Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. According to
his custom, Christ makes no direct argument in reply, but states a
truth and leaves them to apply it. The sinner is the slave of sin. See
35. The servant abideth not in the house for ever. The servant
has no claim to remain
continually in the same family, but may be changed at will. The son can
remain because he is a son. The Jews, servants of sin, would soon be
expelled from the Lord's house.
36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free
indeed. If you would be free indeed you must have the freedom that
the Son bestows, and become children. In order to fully comprehend the
37. I know that ye are Abraham's seed. According to the flesh,
but not according to the spirit. Abraham had no such spirit as
38. I speak that which I have seen with my Father. Jesus was the
Son; he had dwelt in the Father's house. They had the spirit of Satan,
and hence were, spiritually, his children.
41. Ye do the deeds of your father. Satan.
42. If God were your Father, ye would love me. They made this
Their hatred of the Son was proof that they were not God's
43. Ye cannot hear my word. Cannot receive it because Satan has
your hearts, and is your father.
44. Ye are of your father, the devil. There are two households:
that of God, composed of his children; and that of the devil, composed
of his children. All who hear the voice of Christ become God's children
and all who refuse to hear him, do so because they belong to the
devil's household and hear his voice. They "will do the lusts of their
He was a murderer
from the beginning. He caused the first murder, moves those who
do murder, and those who seek to kill Christ are of his spirit.
46. Which of you convinceth me of sin? He points to his sinless
character as a proof that there can be no falsehood in his words.
48. Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? They resort to the
language of passion and vituperation. Of all men they hated the
Samaritans most, and hence this charge. They next accuse him, not of
having a devil, but of being possessed with a demon, or evil
49. I honour my Father. He passes by in silence their first
charge; the second he shows cannot be true, for he honors his Father,
which a demon could not do; and yet the Jews dishonored him, while he
honored the Father.
50. I seek not mine own glory. He cared little therefore for
their abuse, and sought not to defend himself.
51. If a man keep my word, he shall never see death. Here again
is a condition and a promise. Notice (1) Its universal character. If
any one, Jew or Gentile, male or female, bond or free. (2) The
condition: Keep my words. By obedience we are not only freed,
but enter into life. (3)
Shall not see death. Death of the body is not reckoned death,
but merely the gate through which the believer enters upon a more
perfect life. The real death is that of the soul.
53. Art thou greater than our father Abraham? Their argument is:
They that heard the word of God are dead, and shall they who have heard
thee not die? Their question is asked in scorn. Compare
54. If I honour myself, my honour is nothing. They had just
asked: Whom makest thou thyself?
The Father, who honoreth him, will settle that question by his
resurrection from the dead and exaltation.
56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day . . . and was
glad.. Saw it in promise by prophetic vision; whether or not
"Abraham was greater,"
he rejoiced in the hope of the revelation of Christ.
57. Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen
Abraham? It had been about 2,000 years since the time of
Abraham. Jesus did not say he had seen Abraham, but they pervert his
58. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. A
solemn and official declaration, preceded by "Verily, verily."
The utterance is a remarkable one. It does not merely assert that he
was before Abraham, but before Abraham was, I
AM. It identifies with the I
AM of the Old Testament. Divinity has no past
tense, no future tense, but always the present.
59. They took up stones to cast at him. They regarded his
language blasphemy. If he had been only a man it would have been.