John 8:12-22

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 12) "THEN spake Jesus again unto them." "Then" signifies after the Pharisees and the woman had departed. He was teaching the people when He was interrupted by these Pharisees (John 8:1-3). God is SPIRIT (John 4:24), God is LOVE (I John 4:8), and God is LIGHT (I John 1:5). John the Baptist came to bear witness of THAT LIGHT (John 1:7-9). This light is THE LIFE OF GOD (John 1:4). As darkness and death are one, light and life are one. This light is the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God (II Cor. 4:3-6). He that believeth on Christ, receives Christ, and follows Christ does not walk in the darkness of sin, nor in the darkness of error and ignorance, nor in the darkness of tradition, but shall have the light of life, understanding, and eternal life (I John 5:20; John 17:3). Christ Himself is the light!

(Vs. 13) It was a known rule of law that none ought to be believed only upon his own testimony without other witnesses. Christ Himself stated this in John 5:31.

(Vs. 14) Our Lord replied, "Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true." This seems like a contradiction of what He said in John 5:31-39. But in John 5 He speaks of Himself as a MAN – the servant of the Host High, as in John 5:30. Here He speaks of Himself as THE LIGHT or one with and equal to the Father; therefore, speaking as God, His record is true and to be believed. Standing before them in the likeness of sinful flesh, He said, "I know WHERE I came from (John 7:29), I know WHY I have come (Luke 19:10), I know WHERE I GO (John 13:3)." They thought Him only to be the son of Joseph, and being ignorant of their own law and prophets, did not believe Him to be the Messiah.

(Vs. 15) "You judge after the flesh" or according to outward appearance. You are judging My claims according to what you see and bear outwardly. Because I am in the flesh you deem it impossible for Me to be God (John 10:33). Outward appearances are deceptive (I Sam. 16:7). Not only were they judging Him as they saw Him, but "after the flesh" or according to fleshly and natural reasoning, which is incapable of discerning Divine truth (I Cor. 2:14). Christ continued, "I judge no man" in this manner. He knows the heart and see things as they actually are (Luke 16:15; John 2:24-25). Some believe He might be saying, "I am not come at this time to judge nor condemn but to save (John 3:17).

(Vs. 16) "If I judge," or better "WHEN" I judge, my judgment is true! My judgment is according to reality, truth, and is infallible. My judgment is the judgment of the omniscient God, for WE ARE ONE! (John 10:30). This is one of His strongest claims to Deity, affirming the absolute oneness of the Son and the Father.

(Vs. 17-18) Christ was not appealing to the law to vindicate Himself, but rather to condemn those who rejected Him and denied His claims. The law you claim to believe accepts the testimony of two men as being true. I have borne witness of Myself; and the heavenly Father hath borne witness to the Son through John the Baptist, the works that He did, at His baptism, and through the Holy Scriptures (John 5:31-40).

(Vs. 19) "Where is your Father?" We know no father you have but Joseph the carpenter. He is no acceptable witness. Our Lord answered, "You neither know Me nor My Father. "These religious men boasted of their knowledge of God, yet they knew Him not. Their ignorance of Christ revealed both their ignorance of the Scriptures and of the Father. The knowledge of the Father, the Son, and the Scriptures all go together; and this is eternal life (John 17:3). Nor can a man truly know the one without the other, for THEY ARE ONE! Christ is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His Person! (Read Matt. 11:27; John 1:18; John 14:7-10: Heb. 1:1-5.)

(Vs. 20) The treasury (Mark 12:41) was the place where the thirteen chests stood into which the people put their contributions and therefore was a very public place to which all had access. Though the Pharisees and leaders were incensed against Him and would have put Him to death, yet they had no power to work their evil designs until God permitted them to do so (John 7:30; John 13:1; John 17:1). His death was appointed and ordained as to method, time, and purpose (Acts 4:27-28).

(Vs. 21) It seems that our Lord speaks to the Pharisees as the representatives of the whole nation of Israel (John 1:11). I go My way – the way of death, sacrifice, and atonement. Someday you will seek ME, that is, your Messiah, Deliverer, and Saviour. In your great distress and trial you will seek the deliverance of the promised Messiah, but it will be in vain, for you have despised and rejected God's Christ: therefore, you will die in your sins and "where I go," to the Father, to the kingdom of heaven and glory, to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, you cannot come!

(Vs. 22) Before, they guessed that He would leave Jewry and go to the dispersed among the Gentiles (John 7:34-35). Now they mockingly suggest that He may kill Himself.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.