Jesus speaks a lot with the Jews in this chapter. In each of the interactions, the Jews will always fall back to their ancestors, namely Moses and Abraham. Jesus proves to them that they cannot keep hiding behind their great ancestors.
The Woman Caught in Adultery
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They told Jesus that in the Law, Moses commanded them to stone such a woman. And they asked Jesus what He says.
Of course, this was to test Jesus.
In true Jesus fashion, He responds with the most epic comeback:
Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.John 8:7
Wow, that is such a powerful response!
Jesus reminds them that they are sinners too, for not a single person threw a stone at the woman.
The lesson: unless we live a blameless life, we do not have the right to judge.
The Truth Will Set You Free
If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.John 8:31-32
The Jews answered, we are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.
There it is again. Hiding behind the ancestors. Using pedigree.
Jesus reminds them that everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. Yes, that includes the offspring of Abraham.
We are all slaves to sin before we know Jesus.
You Are of Your Father the Devil
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.John 8:44
Again, the Jews try to use Abraham as an excuse to justify what they’re doing: killing Jesus. They are trying to find any reason possible to prove Jesus guilty, but have yet to find one.
Jesus demonstrates to them how far removed they are from Abraham.
If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.John 8:39-40
Before Abraham Was, I Am
The Jews ask him if Jesus is greater than their father Abraham. Jesus responds:
Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.John 8:58
That was the final straw for the Jews. For they took so much pride in being offspring of Abraham that anyone who appeared to insult Abraham was an enemy.
Then they started to pick up stones to throw at Jesus.
If I’m being honest here, this almost feels like a sick joke. Jesus likely knew that the Jews wouldn’t be able to see that He is who He says He is. But He continues to provoke them anyway.
However, everything that Jesus said is fully true.
I suppose that while we are slaves to sin and have the devil as our father, we become so twisted in our sin and evil that Jesus makes no sense.
Key Takeaway: Own Your Faith
Every single time that Jesus had a conversation with the Jews, the Jews chose to namedrop Moses or Abraham. They used their ancestors’ names to justify their actions, even evil ones.
I bet Moses and Abraham were sad that their names were being misused. It’s almost as bad as using the Lord’s name in vain, just less extreme.
One key the Jews lack was owning their own faith. The Jews used their pedigree so much that their faith was no longer their own. They became robotic and were simply blindly following the Law.
This applies to us as well in present-day. We must take ownership of our own faith. Our ancestors owned their faith and were rewarded for it.
Maybe our parents raised us to be of faith; maybe they didn’t. Either way, we need to choose for ourselves.
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