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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 2 - Light Shines in the Darkness (John 5:1 - 11:54)
C - Jesus' Last Journey to Jerusalem (John 7:1 - 11:54) The Parting of Darkness and Light
1. The words of Jesus at the feast of tabernacles (John 7:1 – 8:59)

g) Christ exists before Abraham (John 8:48-59)

JOHN 8:48-50
48 Then the Jews answered him, “Don’t we say well that you are a Samaritan, and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I don’t have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 But I don’t seek my own glory. There is one who seeks and judges.

Jesus tore off the masks of these Jews by showing them their collusion with Satan’s spirit and ignoring truth.

Following this attack, the evil spirit was forced to come out into the open. Instead of repenting and mourning their sins, they showed their alliance with the devil. They admitted that they had blasphemed by denying that Jesus was born by the Holy Spirit. They called him a Samaritan from the mixed race, because the news of the Samaritan enthusiasm for him had reached Jerusalem, which made the racist Jews indignant.

One party knew about Jesus’ Jewish roots and insisted that he was indeed Jewish. But others insisted that he was performing miracles with the devil’s help. The demon-possessed were unaware of their true state,but claimed that the Holy One of God was demon-possessed. Thus the father of lies twisted their minds so as to treat white as black and black as white.

Calmly Jesus answered these spiritually blind folk, saying, "There is no Satan in me; I am filled with the Holy Spirit. No evil spark inclines me to the worldly desires. I overflow with truth and love; I do not live for myself; I have denied my self and honor my Father; this is my reasonable worship. I proclaim God’s name to you, and sanctify the Father by my conduct. Yes, I reveal God’s truth to you, but you hate me, for declaring God is my Father. The evil spirit in you has no wish to leave you for the Spirit of God to take over. You do not wish to become children of the Holy One, so you blaspheme me and propose my death. I do not seek my glory since I abide for ever in the Father. He defends me, cares for me, honors and glorifies me. He it is who will judge you, because you reject me. Whoever rejects the One born of the Spirit falls into God’s judgment. That is because the evil spirit is upon those who reject, deterring them from receiving the Savior."

JOHN 8:51-53
51 Most certainly, I tell you, if a person keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 Then the Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and you say, ‘If a man keeps my word, he will never taste of death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father, Abraham, who died? The prophets died. Who do you make yourself out to be?”

Jesus gives the summary of his Gospel, saying - "all who hear his words, accept them and keep them in their hearts, will find that these words will be powerful in their lives. They will receive eternal life and never perish. Death for them will be a gate to God their Father, not because of their goodness, but because Christ’s words abide in them." Have you grasped this principle of God’s Kingdom? All who do not keep Jesus’ words in their hearts fall into sin and Satan’s dominion. Those who keep the Gospel and his word live forever.

The Jews were stirred up in anger, crying, "You are Satan, you are lying. All the patriarchs of faith died. How then can you say that your words bestow eternal life to those who believe in you? Are you better than the Creator, since you grant life not ended by death? Are you greater than Abraham, Moses and David? You have deified yourself."

JOHN 8:54-55
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is our God. 55 You have not known him, but I know him. If I said, ‘I don’t know him,’ I would be like you, a liar. But I know him, and keep his word.

Calmly Jesus replied, and revealed his essence in greater detail. He the Christ does not seek glory for himself. He is ever glorious by nature. God guarantees the honor of His Son, as the Father is in the Son, through him God’s Fatherhood is made plain. Yes, the Jews claimed that the omnipotent One is their God, but they did not truly know Him. Their father was Satan hiding himself under "the name of God", using that name falsely. They pretended piety, but were empty of the Spirit of love. Whoever knows God loves as God loves him. For that reason any religion that alleges that merely to hold on to the name "God" is enough, does not prove the validity of that way of life; the whole creed may be faulty. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All the characteristics and names of the divine essence which other religions mouth are nothing other than elementary ideas. The truth of God lies in the unity of the Trinity. Thus Jesus rebuked the Jews saying, "You do not know Him. Your lives and thoughts are based on lies. You are blind to the truth." At the same time, Jesus insisted that he knew the Eternal God. If this were not so, his testimony to Fatherhood would have been a lie. But Jesus proclaimed God’s true image to the Jews.

JOHN 8:56-59
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and was glad.” 57 The Jews therefore said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Most certainly, I tell you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM.” 59 Therefore they took up stones to throw at him, but Jesus was hidden, and went out of the temple, having gone through their midst, and so passed by.

After Jesus had told the Jews that they did not know the true God, and that the driving force in their piety was Satan, he ended by revealing his eternity, for them to accept or reject him. He also revealed his deity by an example from Abraham, the pioneer of faith. With this, Jesus informs us that Abraham lived with God and that he rejoiced to see the incarnation of Christ; for by it, the promise made to Abraham was fulfilled that his seed would be a blessing to all nations.

At this, the Jews were astounded, saying, "You are a young man and yet say that you have seen Abraham who lived two thousand years earlier? Your mind must be sick."

Jesus replied with a kingly sentence, "Before Abraham was, I am." He supported this claim by adding, "Truly, truly, I say to you," for them to realize that he was the eternal God, as his Father is. Prior to this, the Baptist had announced Christ’s eternity. The crowds missed this truth, nor did they believe that a man could be the eternal God.

They treated Christ’s witness as blasphemy, an attack on God, as well as an impossibility; so much that they would not wait for an official verdict but took stones to cast at him. When they were about to cast these stones he vanished from their midst. We do not know how. His hour had not come. He left by the temple gate.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we worship you; you are the eternal God, faithful and true, full of love. You do not seek glory for yourself, but you honor the Father alone. Deliver us from all pride, so that we may not fall into Satan’s sin. Help us ever to sanctify our Father’s name in heaven, and receive by faith in you life everlasting.


  1. Why did the Jews want to stone Jesus?


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