Jesus faces off with enemies in the temple. We explore the latter part of this conflict in John 8, as Jesus reveals Himself the true Son of God, begotten of the Father from all eternity…
Hear the full audio of Bible Study from 07 April 2019 / Fifth Sunday in Lent
(Hear the sermon on this passage, “A Christ of Cosmic Consequence” here.)
INTRODUCTION: From Luther’s sermon on John 8:46-59
1. This Gospel teaches how hardened persons become the more furious, the more one teaches them and lovingly stirs them to do their duty. For Christ asks them here in a very loving way for a reason why they still disbelieve, since they can find fault neither with his life nor with his teaching. His life is blameless; for he defies them and says: “Which of you convicteth me of sin?” His teaching also is blameless; for he adds: “If I say truth, why do ye not believe me?” Thus Christ lives, as he teaches.
2. And every preacher should prove that he possesses both: first a blameless life, by which he can defy his enemies and no one may have occasion to slander his teachings; secondly, that he possesses the pure doctrine, so that he may not mislead those who follow him. And thus he will be right and firm on both sides: with his good life against his enemies, who look much more at life than at his doctrine, and despise the doctrine for the sake of the life; with his doctrine then for the kind of life he leads and will bear with his life for the sake of his teaching.
3. For it is indeed true that no one lives so perfect a life as to be without sin before God. Therefore it is sufficient that he be blameless in the eyes of the people. But his doctrine must be so good and pure as to stand not only before man but also before God. Therefore every pious pastor may well ask: Who among you can find fault with my life? Among you, I say who are man; but before God I am a sinner. This Moses also boast in Numbers 16:15 that he took nothing from the people and he did them no injustice. Samuel did likewise in 1 Samuel 12:3 also Jeremiah and Hezekiah, who rightly boasted of their blameless life before the people, in order to stop the mouths of blasphemers. But Christ does not speak thus of his doctrine, he says not: “Who among you can find fault with my doctrine”; but “If I tell you the truth.” For one must be assured that his doctrine is right before God and that it is the truth, and accordingly care not how it is judged by the people…
PART ONE: CONSIDER THE SOURCE (v.42-45)
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 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. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.
A.) Our passage is the end part of a lengthy, conflicted exchange between Jesus and the officials in the Jerusalem temple. In your Bibles, what claim did the Lord’s opponents make in John 8:41?
______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
B.) Read v.42-43. Jesus says the opponents would respond differently if their claim were, in fact, true. Note how Jesus describes their state:
You would_____________ Me
You do not_______________________ what I say
You cannot bear to___________________________
C.) Jesus exposes their false claim to be God’s children. They have another sort of father. What is that father like? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
PART TWO: PROMISE OF LIFE, REALITY OF DEATH (v.46-52)
46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?
47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’
D.) What false accusations do they now bring against Jesus (v.48) ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
E.) Christ proclaims a promise in verse 51. What is that promise? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
F.) The opponents quote Jesus’ words, but misunderstand them. How? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
PART THREE: TRUE GOD, BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER… (v.53-59)
53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
G.) How is it that Jesus can speak with first hand knowledge of Abraham and the faith? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
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