John 8

Today’s reading is John 8.
Open your Bible or journal and mark some observations:
 
+ Read through John 8 and mark every time Jesus is asked a question.
+ After each question, sum up Jesus’ response in one sentence.
Have you ever tried to convince someone that something is true? For example, if I were to say Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time, this is a true statement no matter how you feel about Lebron James. Or if I were to say, Joe DiMaggio’s hit streak is the greatest individual record in the history of sports, but never mind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game or Julio Cesar Chavez’ 87 boxing decisions in a row. We have a tendency to go through all of the arguments, such as ‘Don’t take my word for it, look at the data.’, or ‘I can’t believe you don’t see it.’ And, if you are like me, slowly throughout the conversation become more and more irritated that this person isn’t understanding you or believing your story or whatever it is you are trying to convince them of. You snap, and become defensive that just leaves them either convinced or angry at you, typically the latter.
 
If you have experienced this kind of situation, you are in good company…with Jesus! John 8 is a series of events where Jesus is trying to convince folks who he is and where he came from and it’s not like he went looking for a fight, because they came to him; they started questioning him. The first round (v.12-20) had to deal with his own story about who he was, and Jesus’ response was ‘you don’t know me. The second time they come at him with an attack on his family, an attack on his ‘real’ father, calling him an illegitimate child. The final accusation was demon possession, basically discrediting Jesus as demon possessed.
 
The whole time Jesus is quietly revealing himself to them. He is not defending himself; he didn’t need to defend himself; he is the Son of God. Jesus wants to reveal himself to the folks who hate him, mistreat him, and make false accusations against him. Jesus was revealing that he and God were one in purpose and substance. We know this because of all the explanations Jesus gave to their accusations. One ended up in them picking up stones to kill him, when he said ‘…before Abraham was born, I am.’ The verb ‘I am’ is the name of God, we pronounce it Yahweh. It literally means ‘to be’. The word that God claims as his name is the very word for existence, and we see here in John 8 that Jesus also claims this word, Yahweh, for himself.
 
Jesus was not confused about his purpose, function or role. He was not confused about why he came and what he came to do. Throughout the Scriptures, God is revealing himself, his character and his purpose, and the ultimate revelation of God is in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the greatest of all time and has the best individual record, hands down. He wants to reveal himself to you, and convince you that he is who he says he is. He wants to let you into what he is doing in the world. Jesus is inviting you to participate in the greatest event of all time, the redemption of the human soul. Are you convinced of who he is?

Just for today-
 
+ Jesus shows a lot of grace under fire in John 8, what can you learn from that?
 
+ What is our role in convincing others of the who Jesus is and what he claims?
David Flug | Community Life Pastor

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