Summary: Recognizing divine opportunities that we would otherwise miss. How Jesus slipped away from His attackers and was hidden - and we, too, can be hidden in Christ.
I. JOHN CHAPTER 8 REMINDS ME OF A BOOKSHELF
A. Series Of Teachings By Jesus On His Identity – “I Am” Statements
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."
John 8:16-17 “And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.”
John 8:18 “I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."
John 8:23 “I am from above.”
John 8:23-24 “I am not of this world.”
John 8:24 “or if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
John 8:28 “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He,”
John 8:58 "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM ."
1. “I AM” title first used by God at burning bush (Ex 3:14) “I am who I am”
a. burning bush
b. inexhaustible nature of God
c. burns like a fire with love and righteousness, yet remains the same and never diminishes
2. Speaks of God as
a. the author of life and salvation
b. infinite and personal, behind everything
c. unable to be defined except by who He Himself is
d. all-powerful, all sovereign
3. Jesus used it here more than anywhere else
B. Like Bookends, What Jesus Said Is Framed By 2 Stones (or Stonings)
1. Near Stoning Of A Sinner - John 8:3-5 “Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?"
2. Near Stoning Of The Savior - John 8:59 “Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
C. “I AM” Teachings Pushed Pharisees Over The Edge & They Attacked Jesus
1. Just as they attacked everything ungodly (sinner), they now attacked godly (savior)
2. Pharisees in middle (mediocre) between ungodly & godly
3. Form of godliness, but deny its power therein (2 Tim 3:5)
4. Dangerous position – hot nor cold, spit you out of my mouth (Rev. 3:15)
5. Jesus will not stay where He is not welcome
a. Judg 16:20 He awoke from his sleep and thought, "I’ll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
b. Spiritual barrenness happens often quietly, secretly, unnoticed
II. STORY OF 2 NEAR STONINGS = STORY OF 2 OPPORTUNITIES THAT SLIPPED AWAY
A. Opportunity To
1. To reach out to the sinner slipped away
2. To be reached by the savior slipped away
B. Simon & Garfunkle (folk rock-artists of the 60’s-70’s-80’s – Hits included: “Sounds Of Silence”; “Please Mrs. Robinson”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”)
1. Song – “Slip Sliding Away” - Lyrics:
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away
Whoah and I know a man, he came from my hometown
He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown
He said Dolores, I live in fear
My love for you is so overpowering, I’m afraid that I will disappear