Summary: The Jews continue to combat Jesus' claims to Deity in the end of John 8, but Jesus continues to exert His eternal existence and identification with YHWH, the Great I AM.
11 15 2015 “Four Accusing Questions” John 8:47-59
Every chapter of the Gospel of John so powerfully witnesses to the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we have especially witnessed that fact in chapter 8. Jesus declares in John 8:12: "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." Then in verse 24 He says: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." Remember that the word “He” was understood but not in the actual text and so Jesus was declaring Himself to be the “I AM” of the Old Testament appearing as the Word Incarnate in the New, the First and Last of Isaiah and the First and last of Revelation. Then in verse 28 Jesus declares: "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, (Once again He is declaring the type of death He would suffer and that He is the “I AM”.
In verse 36 Jesus makes the declaration that it is through Him that you receive freedom from sin and entrance into the Family of God: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” He goes on to say that to love the Son is to love the Father and to love the Father means that you would love the Son.: "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” We ended last week with verse 47: “He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." Their inability to hear and respond to Jesus was clearly an example that they were not God’s children: they had not received a birth from above.
“Are you a Samaritan and have a demon?”
Today we start at verse 48 (NKJV): “Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly 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.”
“Are you a Samaritan and have a demon?” Once again the Jews’ assessment of Jesus was “way off”. To say that Jesus was a Samaritan would be declaring Him to be a mixed breed and apostate race, hated by the Jews. Since Jesus combated the Jews’ claim of being the true children of Abraham, they retaliated with the accusation that He must be a Samaritan and even worse, He must be a demon. Of course to accuse Jesus of being a demon would be to charge God with the same accusation, which is the grossest of blasphemy. Jesus implies that the accusers are doing exactly that: They are on extremely shaky ground.
Jesus continues in Verse 50: “And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death." Here Jesus again describes true discipleship and what it means to “believe. Keeping the word of Jesus consists of receiving Jesus and His words, believing everything that He claims concerning Himself, obeying Him means living by His Word and “remaining or continuing” to do so (or to “Follow Him”. Cf. 8:31)
Keeping Jesus’ word speaks of the character of being a child of the kingdom of God. Having life and light in Him consists of spiritual life without end, life which physical death cannot extinguish. The physical death that comes to every man and woman because we are sinners will only have a mild effect upon believers, as a matter of fact, in the New Testament when believers died physically it is referred to as “sleeping”. Death in the New Testament takes two main definitions: 1) Physical death which is temporary. 2) Spiritual eternal death. The idea of separation is seen in both aspects. The body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26) and those who are unbelievers are dead in their sin without the Lord Jesus. Whether physical or spiritual, death is the opposite of life. The promised inevitable destiny for true believers is resurrection to eternal life, life in God’s presence forever in His forever kingdom.
Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead?
“Whom do You make Yourself out to be?"
We continue in verse 52: Then the Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.' 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom do You make Yourself out to be?" 54 Jesus answered, "If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, 'I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."