Last week we studied the first part of John 8. Today, we will study the second part. To recap from last week, Jesus continues in teaching people who He is and how they should respond to Him. Like we have learned in previous lessons, man struggles with his limitations as a human being. We respond by our feelings, emotions and thinking. Back then, people had the Old Testament mindset which was confessing sins to a priest and then he goes to God on their behalf.
Jesus was now on the scene and He was changing how people are to worship and follow God. The religious leaders did not like Him and the crowds did not like Him exposing their sins. Jesus understands that our sins trip us up and blinds us from seeing. He came to us so we can begin to see clearly. Not only that, He came to take away our sins. He wipes us clean and places us on the Rock, Christ Himself.
Read verses 48-59. Restudy last week’s lesson if you need a refresher. We ended last time with Jesus stating, “Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God.” This is another tool that will aid us in experiencing hope. We take time being in God’s Word. What else do we have in our arsenal? We have prayer. Because of Christ, we can commune with God 24/7/365. We can know truth by studying God’s Word and we can talk to God personally. It won’t be long until your hope soars through the roof!
The second part of verse 47 disrupts people’s hearts. Jesus tells them that they do not listen because they don’t belong to God. They didn’t like that, so much so that they told him He is possessed by a demon. And again, Jesus is calm and continues to explain what is really going on. I marvel at how much empathy and patience He has with His wayward children.
QUESTION: God has much patience with you. How does this encourage you? Does this cause your thirst for Him to grow?
QUESTION: What attributes about Jesus do you see from verses 49-50?
We see three, don’t we? No demon resides within Jesus, He honors His Father, and He does not want to glorify Himself.
QUESTION: What does this say about Him?
Jesus gives us a third tool to help us walk by faith and have hope. It is found in verse 51. This tool is probably the hardest one for us; obedience to God’s teachings. Our flesh fights this tooth and nail.
QUESTION: What happens to us when we obey, verse 51?
This caused more confusion in people’s minds. Look at how they answer Him in verses 52-53. Again, we see Jesus having patience and understanding with them. My friend, He treats us the same way today. Jesus truly understands our weaknesses and inadequacies in seeing correctly. When we follow Christ, He gives us 2020 vision.
QUESTION: What do you learn from Jesus in verses 54-56? How can we apply what we learn to our lives?
First, when we receive the glory for something we’ve done, in the heavenly realms it gets negated. If Jesus is saying that any accolades He does for Himself doesn’t count, then nothing we do will either. Why? Because God deserves to receive all the glory. He is the CEO of the universe. We forget to keep God in His rightful place. We creep in and want some glory for ourselves. I will take the credit for that, thank you very much.
Secondly, Jesus lets God glorify and uplift Him. We are to humble ourselves, like Christ, and let God brag about us. We let God gives us the attention. We don’t seek it out ourselves. Study Matthew 6:2-4 for added insight.
Third, we cannot know God without Christ.
Fourth, we are to obey God like Jesus does.
Fifth, Abraham knew, by faith, that Jesus would be coming. He wouldn’t see it in his lifetime but he knew. So, he lived his life accordingly. Abraham truly lived by faith and not by sight.
Because we have the Bible, we DO KNOW yet we struggle in seeing and thinking correctly. We KNOW HOW THE STORY ENDS yet we choose to not see the whole picture. We like bits and pieces of the Bible that accommodate our lives. We have attitudes that reveal that Jesus came to serve us.
Again, people rationalize by their narrow mindset; see verse 57. Jesus makes a profound statement. “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!”
QUESTION: At this point, the people were hot under the collar. Why? And how did they respond?
Jesus saying, “I AM”, means He has always existed. This was hard for people to understand. It still is today. We cannot fully comprehend the vastness of God. It is hard to fathom that God has no beginning or end. One thing has never changed since the beginning of time, God calls us to have faith, to trust and learn to obey. He understands that life will be confusing and hard. But by Him claiming, I AM, He is with us always. One of His names is Emmanuel. This means God with us.
May His presence during this trying time in our world give you peace. We can know, for certain, that He has this rampant virus under His control. He has politicians under His control. He has you and me in the palm of His hands. What will give us lasting changes of healing and restoration? Look up and let God transform us into His likeness. Then, we will be united in love.
Don’t lose hope. God is simply leading us to better things but first He needs to shake us up. We have gotten fat, dumb and happy in this world. It’s time to look up and know.