Read John 8:12-20. We learn a great deal about Jesus in these nine verses. Let’s unpack all the nuggets of truth that will help us to know Him. This rich knowledge will then transform our hearts and mindsets as we learn to trust and follow.
INSIGHT: While it’s important to gain head knowledge as we study scripture, its imperative that we allow truth to access our hearts. This is where transformation takes place and the Holy Spirit begins the refining process in becoming Christ followers. Head knowledge on its own can be likened to living like a Pharisee or even our enemy. Satan believes and knows about Jesus.
Study verse 12. Jesus continues to share who He is with people.
QUESTIONS: Who does Jesus say He is? Why does He refer Himself as the light? (think about this question, remember what you know) What is our part? Why should we follow Jesus? Why is the world dark?
Jesus is letting us know that we can’t see in this sinful world. It is like we have blinders on. We need our path illuminated so we can see what lies ahead. He is also telling us that there is no everlasting life in this world. Remember, it’s tainted with sin and sin causes death. Real, authentic life is Jesus Himself.
The Pharisees didn’t like how He was describing Himself. To them, His words were invalid, untrue. Jesus explained to them that they judge from human standards. And we know from our own experiences that human standards are fickle and unfair. Our viewpoint is narrow for we cannot see what lies ahead, but our amazing Father sure does!
We are unable to find our own way home. When we remain in this world, we are subject to its outcome which is death. All things will come to pass. Joshua 23:14 says, “Soon I will die, going the way of everything on earth. Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the LORD your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!”
Jesus continues teaching so people can come to an understanding like the truth that Joshua spoke of. Do you realize your heart has eyes, spiritual ones? They need to be awakened from their slumber. Our hearts sleep in such warm, soft and plush beds that we can’t really see truth. The luxuries of this world make us blind, deaf and sleepy. The comforts of this world lure us into a false comfort zone with short-lived happiness.
QUESTION: What false comfort zones keep you asleep?
QUESTION: How does man judge, according to verse 15?
Jesus continues explaining how the Father is with Him. He is not alone.
QUESTION: Is this a comfort for you, to know that Jesus was never alone? See verse 16. This means we are never alone either. This comforts me greatly as I endure a challenging season in my life.
Verses 17 and 18 talk about governing laws that are in practice today. The value of eye witnesses aids in someone’s innocence. Deuteronomy 19:15 says, “You must not convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of only one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” My friends, this should be a game-changer in our faith walks!
Our world judges and condemns. We put labels on each other and use comparison as a gauge for success. Not with Christ, He is saying that He will be one witness and His Father will be other! The Triune God will have our backs and we will be defended! We are never left alone to handle life’s curve balls when we belong to Him.
The Pharisees continue questioning Jesus. They reveal their lack of understanding about the very spiritual matters that they boast about knowing. This should make us think. Do we have head knowledge without heart convictions? Do we go through the motions and appear like Christians?
QUESTION: What was Jesus’ answer for their lack of knowledge, see verse 19?
Verse 19 is a crucial verse! Jesus is explaining what we will be learning in a few chapters. Read John 14:1-7. Pay attention to verse 1, 6, 7. Compare the verses in chapter 14 with verse 19.
QUESTION: We know we cannot get to God on our own. How do we then?
This should be encouraging us to know our Bibles well AND learn to hear the Holy Spirit! This should be enticing us to know Jesus on a personal level. The Pharisees and religious folks didn’t get it. We truly do not want to miss out, like so many do. Matthew 7:13-14 says, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult and only a few ever find it.”
May we each ignite the light in our hearts by saying yes to Jesus. May we allow the Holy Spirit to reside in our repentant hearts allowing Him to change us from the inside out. May we shine His glory for all to see!