LIFE OF CHRIST
A Harmony of the Gospels
LESSON SIXTEEN - CONTINUED
This section is naturally divided into three distinct scenes:
The Circumstances of the visit
|(1) After these things Jesus
walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea,
because the Jews sought to kill Him. (2) Now the
Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. (3) His
brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here and go into
Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are
doing. (4) For no one does anything in secret while
he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things,
show Yourself to the world." (5) For even His
brothers did not believe in Him.
(6) Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come,
but your time is always ready. (7) The world cannot
hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works
are evil. (8) You go up to this feast. I am not yet
going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come."
(9) When He had said these things to them, He remained in
(10) But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to
the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. (11) Then the Jews
sought Him at the feast, and said, "Where is He?"
(12) And there
was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said,
"He is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, He deceives the
people." (13) However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the
This section is naturally divided into three distinct scenes:
The Feast of Tabernacles
It was now
autumn, and all Galilee was in the stir of preparation which
preceded on starting of the annual caravan of pilgrims to one of the three
great yearly feasts - the Feast of Tabernacles.
That feast - the Feast of
Ingathering - was intended to commemorate the passage of the Israelites
through the wilderness, and was celebrated with such universal joy, that
both Josephus and Philo call it "the holiest and greatest feast," and it
was known among the Jews as "The Feast" pre-eminently.
It was kept for
seven consecutive days, from the 15th to the 21st of Tisri (September,
October), and a holy convocation celebrated the 8th day.
During the seven days the Jews, to recall their desert wanderings, lived
in little booths made of thickly foliaged boughs of olive, and palm, and
pine, and myrtle, and each person carried in his hands a "lulab," consisting of palm branches, or willows of the brook, or fruits of peach
During the week of festivities all the
courses of priests, were employed in turn;
The joy of the occasion was doubtless deepened by
the fact that the feast followed only four days after the awful and
comforting ceremonies of the Great Day of Atonement, in which a solemn
expiation was made for the sins of all the people.
|70 bullocks were offered in sacrifice for the 70
nations of the world;
the Law was read daily;
on each day the Temple trumpets sounded 21 times an inspiring and
His brothers said
... show yourself
On the eve of their departure for this feast the family and relatives of Jesus came to Him with the language of criticism, of discontent, almost of
reproaches and complaints.
"Why this unreasonable and incomprehensible
secrecy? It contradicts your claims; it discourages your followers. You
have disciples in Judaea: go there, and let them too see your works that
you do. If you do these things, manifest yourself to the world."
There was also, probably, a touch of vanity in it: "You have many
disciples in Judea; here in Galilee they are fast dropping off. ..."
I have become a stranger to my brothers,
And an alien to my mother's children.
The Discussions at the "midst of the feast"
|(14) Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the
temple and taught. (15) And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does
this Man know letters, having never studied?"
(16) Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but
His who sent Me. (17) If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know
concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I
speak on My own authority. (18) He who speaks from himself seeks
his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the one who sent
Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. (19) Did not Moses
give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek
to kill Me?"
(20) The people answered and said, "You have a demon. Who is
seeking to kill You?"
(21) Jesus answered and said to them, "I did one work, and you all
marvel. (22) Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is
from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on
the Sabbath. (23) If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so
that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with
Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? (24) Do not
judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous
Now some of them from Jerusalem said, "Is this not He whom they
seek to kill? (26) But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing
to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the
Christ? (27) However, we know where this Man is from; but when the
Christ comes, no one knows where He is from."
(28) Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying,
"You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not
come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not
know. (29) But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me."
(30) Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on
Him, because His hour had not yet come. (31) And many of the people
believed in Him, and said, "When the Christ comes, will He do
more signs than these which this Man has done?"
The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning
Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to
take Him. (33) Then Jesus said to them, "I shall be with you a
little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. (34) You
will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come."
(35) Then the Jews said among themselves, "Where does He intend to
go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the
Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? (36) What is this
thing that He said, 'You will seek Me and not find Me, and where
I am you cannot come'?"
In the middle of the feast
He had let them depart in the completed uncertainty as to whether or not
He intended to follow them.
And suddenly, in the midst of all the
murmuring and discussions, in the middle of the feast, He appeared in the
Temple and taught.
For a time they listened to Him in awe-struck silence;
but soon the old scruples recurred to them.
Jesus understood their looks.
He interpreted their murmurs.
|In ONE sense
He told His hearers, they knew the Law of Moses;
|in another they were
pitiably ignorant of it.
|They could not understand its principles,
they were not "faithful to its precepts."
The feeding of the 5,000
and the healing of the
paralyzed man had aroused the interest of the crowd.
Because Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath, the Jews said He was
not from God.
They called Him demon-possessed (v. 20) and even talked of killing
Him; but God's time was not ready (v. 30). The Jews debated five
different topics as they discussed Jesus at the feast:
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP
Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)
|Some called Him "good," others said He
was a "deceiver."
Why were they confused?
Because they feared the Jewish leaders.
"The fear of man brings a snare," warns Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV).
Christ's character was so spotless that when they finally did
arrest Him, they had to get false witnesses to speak
against Him. Pilate, Judas, and even a Roman
soldier all pronounced Him faultless.
|The Jews were amazed at Christ's spiritual
knowledge because He had never attended their schools or
studied with a rabbi.
Education is a blessing, but it is better to be taught
by God than to borrow the ideas of men.
Christ's doctrine comes from heaven; man's teaching
comes from his darkened mind.
Paul warns of what is falsely called "knowledge
[science]" (1 Tim 6:20, see also Col 2:8 ff).
John 7:17 could be read, "if any man is willing
to do My will" ... A willingness to obey is the secret of
learning God's truth.
F. W. Robertson said, "Obedience is the organ of
|They pretended to defend the Law by accusing
Him of working on the Sabbath;
but He showed that their desire to kill Him was contrary to
the very Law they revered.
How inconsistent are people who oppose Christ and reject His
Word! A man can be circumcised on the Sabbath, but
he cannot be healed on the Sabbath!
Like many today, they were shallow, judging by
appearance, not truth.
|Verse 27 is not a contradiction of v. 42.
The Jews knew where the Messiah would be born, but they
also knew that His birth would be supernatural (Isaiah 7:14).
In other words, they would not know where He was from
(see v. 28).
The record states that Christ was born of the virgin Mary,
but the Jews would not believe this.
John 8:41 suggests that they accused Jesus of being born in
Mary's condition before she married Joseph would perhaps make
people say this.
In vv. 28-29, Christ affirms that He was sent from the Father
and that if they knew the Father, they would know the
|The "little while" that
Christ spoke of lasted about six months.
It is important that people seek the Lord "while He may
be found" (Isaiah 55:6).
Many lost sinners who reject Christ today will seek Him
tomorrow and He will be gone from them (Proverbs 1:24-28) .
The Jews were ignorant of spiritual truth and thought He was
talking about going to the Jews scattered among the nations.
Because they were unwilling to obey the truth,
they could not know the truth; they argued with Christ
and lost their souls.
The Pharisees and the chief
priests sent officers to take Him
The Discussions on the Last Day
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and
cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and
drink. (38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out
of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
(39) But this He
spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would
receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus
was not yet glorified.
Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying,
said, "Truly this is the Prophet." (41) Others said, "This is the
But some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee?
(42) Has not
the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David
and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" (43) So there was
a division among the people because of Him. (44) Now some of them
wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who
said to them, "Why have you not brought Him?"
(46) The officers answered," No man ever spoke like this Man!"
(47) Then the Pharisees answered them, "Are you also deceived?
Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? (49) But
this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."
(50) Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them)
said to them, (51) "Does our law judge a man before it hears him
and knows what he is doing?"
(52) They answered and said to him, "Are you also from Galilee?
Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."
The last day, that great day
The eighth, the close of the whole festival, and kept as a Sabbath
(Leviticus 23 :36).
It was called "The Day of the Great Hosanna," because
a circuit was made seven times round the altar with "Hosanna" sung.
It was also
called the "Day of Willows," and the "Day of Beating the Branches," because all
the leaves were shaken off the willow-boughs, and the palm branches
beaten in pieces by the side of the altar .
At early morning the people repaired to the Temple, and when the morning
sacrifice had been laid on the altar, one of the priests went down with a
golden ewer to the Pool of Siloam, not far from the foot of Mount Zion. There, with great solemnity, he drew three
logs of water, which were then
carried in triumphant procession through the water gate into the Temple.
As he entered the Temple courts the sacred trumpets breathed out a joyous
blast, which continued till he
reached the top of the altar slope, and there poured the water into a
silver basin on the western side, while wine was poured into another
silver basin on the eastern side.
Then the great Hallel was sung, and the people chanted, "With joy shall ye
draw water out of the wells of salvation."
And when they came to the verse
"Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy
forever," each of the gaily-clad worshippers as he stood beside the
altars, shook his lulab in triumph.
On this high occasion, "Jesus stood, and cried,
If any man thirst, let him
come unto Me and drink!"
And, "Out of his innermost being shall flow RIVERS
OF LIVING water!"
It was Jehovah's ancient proclamation now
sounding forth through human flesh,.
Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat. (NKJV)
Now it would be RIVERS - not WELLS
||No Human Effort
Conditions for the Rivers of Water
||Keen, famishing, craving
||Includes obedience (Not necessarily
The Holy Spirit was not yet given
Certain measures of the Holy Spirit had been vouchsafed from the beginning
of the world to believers and unbelievers: but that ABUNDANT EFFUSION of
His graces spoken of by Joel the Prophet, chapter 2:28,
which peculiarly characterized the Gospel times, was not granted till
after the ascension of Jesus Christ.
The Spirit in its plenitude was to
come in consequence of His atonement;
and therefore could not come still
after His crucifixion.
"And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (NKJV)
Nicodemus enters the picture again, and this time we see him
defending Christ's legal privileges.
In John 3, he was in the darkness of
confusion; but here he is experiencing the dawn of conviction,
willing to give Christ a fair chance.
Because of this, Nicodemus learned the truth, for a willingness to
obey the Word is the secret of learning God's truth (v. 17).
In John 19 we see Nicodemus in the daylight of confession, openly
identifying himself with Christ.
How did he come to make this decision? He studied the Word and
asked for God to teach him.
And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came,
bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.
Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen
with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
The rulers told him, "Search and look!" and
that is just what he did.
Anyone who will read and obey the Word of God
will move out of darkness into God's marvelous light.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP
Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)
John 7:53 - 8:11
everyone went to his own house.
(8:1) But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
(2) Now early in the morning He came again into the
temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and
taught them. (3 ) Then the scribes and Pharisees brought
to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in
the midst, (4) they said to Him, "Teacher, this
woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. (5)
Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned.
But what do You say?" (6) This they said, testing
Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But
Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as
though He did not hear.
(7) So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself
up and said to them, "He who is without
sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."
(8) And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
(9) Then those who heard it, being convicted by their
conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even
to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in
the midst. (10) When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw
no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman,
where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?"
(11) She said, "No one, Lord."
And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I
condemn you; go and sin no more."
Caught in adultery
It is admitted that adultery was exceedingly common at this time, so
common that they had ceased to put the law in force against it.
Such should be stoned
In the Jewish method of stoning, the criminal was cast from a 10 or
12-foot scaffold (or down a precipice of some kind) half naked, with hands
tied in the back.
The witnesses did the pushing with great force, and if
this did not kill him or her a witness then would take a large stone and dash it
upon the breast.
On occasions where mobs stoned a man no scaffold was
used, but certain accusers threw the first stones and then all could throw
until the victim was dead.
It is not strictly true that Moses ordered all adultery in general to be
punished by stoning:
||The law simply says that the adulterer
and the adulteress shall be put
(Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22).
||The rabbins say they were strangled.
This they affirm was the ordinary mode of punishment, where
the species of death was not marked in the law.
||If a person guilty of an act of this
kind had been betrothed, but not married, she was to be
stoned (Deuteronomy 22:23).
||But if she was the daughter of a
priest, she was to be burned alive. (Leviticus
"...if she profanes herself by playing the harlot" - indicates a
life pattern, not a one-time mistake.
||It appears, from Ezekiel
16:38,40, that adulteresses in the time of that prophet were
stoned, and pierced with a sword.
It is possible that the woman in this case was the same as that
mentioned in #3 above:
"If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto a husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; then he shall stone
them with stones that they die,
|The damsel because she cried not out
The man because he hath humbled his neighbor's wife.
suppose that the apparent indulgence with which Jesus treated her
insinuates that she had suffered some sort of violence, though not
entirely innocent herself.
That they might ... accuse Him
Had He condemned the woman to death, they might have accused Him to
Pilate, as abrogating to Him the
power of life and death, which the Romans had taken away from the Jews; besides, the Roman laws did not condemn an adulteress to be put to death.
On the other hand, if He had said she should not be put to death, they
might have represented Him to the people as one who decided contrary to
the law, and favored the crime of which the woman was accused.
Excerpts from Farrar
At the close of the day recorded in the last chapter, Jesus withdrew to
the Mount of Olives. Whether He went to the garden of Gethsemane, and to
the house of its unknown but friendly owner, or whether - not having where
to lay His head - He simply slept, Eastern fashion, on the green turf under
those ancient olive trees, we cannot tell.
But when the day dawned His duties lay once more within the city walls,
and in that part of the city where, almost alone, we hear of His presence
- in the courts of His Father's House. And with the very dawn His enemies
contrived a fresh plot against Him, the circumstances of which made their
malice even more actually painful than it was intentionally perilous.
It is probable that the hilarity and abandonment of the Feast of
Tabernacles, which had grown to be a kind of vintage festival, would often
degenerate into acts of license and immorality , and these would find more
numerous opportunities in the general disturbance of ordinary life caused
by the dwelling of the whole people in their little leafy booths. One such
act had been detected during the previous night, and the guilty woman had
been handed over to the Scribes and Pharisees.
But the spirit that actuated these accusers was not by any means the
spirit of a sincere and outraged purity . In
the decadence of national life, in the daily familiarity with heathen
degradations, in the gradual substitution of a Levitical scrupulosity for
a heartfelt religion, the morals of the nation had grown utterly corrupt. The ordeal of the "water of Jealousy" (If a husband suspect his wife of
unfaithfulness, he may bring her to the Sanctuary for an oath of purgation
and the drinking of the "the water of bitterness". If she is innocent, no
injuries result; if guilty, the combined oath and ordeal produce physical
effects that proclaim her guilt to the world. (Ref. Numbers 5:14-28), had
long been abolished, and the death by stoning as a punishment for adultery
had long been suffered to fall into disuse.
Not even the Scribes and Pharisees - for all their external religiosity
- had any genuine horror of an impurity with which their own lives were
often stained. They saw in the accident (if indeed it was an accident, and
not plotted by the accusers themselves) which had put this guilty woman
into their power nothing but a chance of annoying, entrapping, possibly
even endangering this Prophet of Galilee, whom they already regarded as
their deadliest enemy.
"Let him that is without sin among you, first cast the stone at her." It was not any abrogation of the Mosaic Law; it was, on the contrary , an
admission of its justice, and doubtless it must have sunk heavily as a
death warrant upon the woman's heart, but it acted in a manner wholly
The terrible law stood written; it was not the time, it was not His will,
to rescind it. But, on the other hand, they themselves, by not acting on
the law, by referring the whole question to Him as though it needed a new
solution, had practically confessed that the law was at present valid in
theory alone, that it had fallen into disuse, and that even with His
authority they had no intention of carrying it into action. Since, therefore, the whole proceeding was on their part illegal and irregular,
He transfers it by these words from the forum of law to that of
(Life of Christ by Dr. Frederic W. Farrar Copyright: 1949)
Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am
the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in
darkness, but have the light of life."
(13) The Pharisees therefore said to Him, "You bear
witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."
(14) Jesus answered and said to them, "Even
if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know
where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know
where I come from and where I am going. (15) You
judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. (16)
And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone,
but I am with the Father who sent Me. (17) It is
also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.
(18) I am one who bears witness of Myself, and the Father
who sent Me bears witness of Me."
(19) Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?"
Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor
My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father
(20) These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught
in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had
not yet come.
(21) Then Jesus said to them again, "I
am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin.
Where I go you cannot come."
(22) So the Jews said, "Will He kill Himself, because He
says, 'Where I go you cannot come'?"
(23) And He said to them, "You are
from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not
of this world. (24) Therefore I said to you that you
will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He,
you will die in your sins."
(25) Then they said to Him, "Who are You?"
And Jesus said to them, "Just what I have
been saying to you from the beginning. (26) I have
many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent
Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard
(27) They did not understand that He spoke to them of the
(28) Then Jesus said to them, "When
you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and
that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak
these things. (29) And He who sent Me is with Me.
The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things
that please Him." (30) As He spoke these
words, many believed in Him.
I am the Light of the world
As the former references to:
||(Chapter 4 & 7)
by Outward Occurrences,
so also is this:
In "the Treasury" where it was spoken (V. 20) stood four golden
candelabra, each with four golden bowls,
each one filled from a pitcher of oil by a youth of priestly descent.
These were lighted on the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles.
probable that they may have suggested the Lord's figure, but the figure
itself was familiar both from prophecy and from tradition.
tradition, Light was one of the names of the Messiah.
He could also have drawn from still another illustration -
The Jews added a
9th day to this feast, which day they termed, "The Feast of Joy For The
Law;" and on that day they were accustomed to take all the sacred books
out of the chest where they had been deposited,
and put a "lighted candle"
in their place,
in allusion to Proverbs 6:23: "For the commandment is a
lamp (or candle) and the law is life:"
or to Psalm 119:105: "Thy word is a
lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
If this custom existed in the time of Jesus, it is most likely that it was
taking place at about the same time in which these words were spoken.
The thought of "knowledge" (v. 14) passes into that of "judgment."
Pharisees had not the knowledge, nor could they in their present state
gain the knowledge.
They judged "after the flesh."
They were content to form their conclusions on an imperfect,
external, superficial examination.
Without feeling any necessity for deeper or wider insight, they
decided according to the appearance of things; and so by that part
of our nature that deals with appearances.
Christ, on the other hand, though He embraced
in this knowledge all the circumstances, and
aspects, and issues of life, "judge no man." The time for this was not
The Treasury was in the Court of the Women, so called, not because it was
appropriated to the worship of women exclusively, but because they were
not allowed to proceed further, except for sacrificial purposes.
covered a space upwards of 200 square feet, and was surrounded by a
colonnade, within which, and
against the wall, were the thirteen trumpet-shaped chests, called "trumpets" from their shape, for charitable contributions. In the 13th
only the women were permitted to put their offerings. Probably the other
12 were placed there in reference to the 12 tribes; each perhaps inscribed
with the name of one of Jacob's 12 sons.
The mention of the locality adds force to the notice of the Lord's
immunity from violence that follows. For the Sanhedrin held their sittings
ordinarily in the chamber that was situated between the Court of the women
and the inner Court. Jesus continued to teach within earshot of His
Will he kill himself?
The bitterness of the mockery, like the sternness of the denunciation, is
assume that no way can be open to Jesus which is not equally open to them, unless it be the way to Gehenna opened by self-murder. Thither indeed they
could not follow Him. The Jews placed suicide on the same level with
murder; and the darkest regions of the world below were supposed to be
reserved for those who were guilty of the crime.
When you lift up the Son of man
This is the plainest PUBLIC intimation He had yet given of the manner and
authors of His death.
Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If
you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. (32)
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
(33) They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and
have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, 'You will
be made free'?"
(34) Jesus answered them, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
(35) And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but
a son abides forever. (36) Therefore if the Son
makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
(37) "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you
seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. (38)
I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you
have seen with your father."
(39) They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our
Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's
children, you would do the works of Abraham. (40)
But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth
which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. (41)
You do the deeds of your father."
Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have
one Father -- God."
(42) Jesus said to them, "If God
were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and
came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
(43) Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are
not able to listen to My word. (44) You are of your
father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the
truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie,
he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the
father of it. (45) But because I tell the truth, you
do not believe Me. (46) Which of you convicts
Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?
(47) He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do
not hear, because you are not of God."
(48) Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not
say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?"
(49) Jesus answered, "I do not have
a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. (50)
And I do not seek My own glory; there is one who seeks and
judges. (51) Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone
keeps My word he shall never see death."
(52) Then the Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have
a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, 'If
anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.' (53)
Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the
prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?"
(54) Jesus answered, "If I honor
Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of
whom you say that He is your God. (55) Yet you have
not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, 'I do not know
Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His
word. (56) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My
day, and he saw it and was glad."
(57) Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty
years old, and have You seen Abraham?"
(58) Jesus said to them, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
(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.
To get a fuller and clearer understanding of this dialogue between Jesus
and those present at His teaching, we will go back to John 8:21 and begin
||"I go away ... you cannot
||"will He kill Himself?"
||"You are from beneath, I am from above"
are of this world, I am not of this world'
(They were capable of Murder and He was not)
||"Who are you?"
||"As I said before He that sent me is
||"That He spoke ... of the Father"
||"I do always the things that please
||"Abide in my word ... the truth shall make you free"
||"We have never been in bondage"
(This assertion was
not only false, but it was ridiculous in the extreme; seeing their whole history is
of recitals of their servitude in Egypt, Chaldee, under the Babylonians,
Persians, Macedonians, Syrians, and at present Romans.)
||"He who commits sin is servant of
sin...You seek to kill Me...You do the things of your father"
(v.35: A slave has no RIGHT or
INHERITANCE -an obvious allusion to Ishmael (Gen. 21: 10), who,
as the son of a servant, was cast out).
||"Our father is Abraham"
||"Ye seek to kill me you do the works
of your father"
||"We were not born of fornication"
(This can also be taken as an insinuation:
"We were not born illegitimately").
||"You are of your father the
devil...the lusts of your father you determine to do...you are not of God'
(v. 44 "he speaks of his own" he has no outside temptation; it is purely self-begotten).
||"You are a
Samaritan , and have A devil"
||Denial & Declaration
||"I do not have a devil ... if a man
keep my word; he shall never see death"
||Accusation & Question
||"We know that you have a devil ... Who do you
make Yourself to be?"
||"My Father glorifies Me ... you have
not known Him"
||Assertion & Question
||"You are not yet 50 years old, and have
you seen Abraham?"
(50 years was supposed to be the crisis of completed manhood - Num. 4:3).
||"Before Abraham became, I AM"
(The contrast here is between the Created and the Creator;
the Temporal and the Eternal)
||The took up stones
to cast at Him.
It all started when they brought the woman caught in adultery.
Once again it goes to motive - they were not concerned with her sin, or
the sin of the man she was with.
They were only concerned with laying a trap for Jesus, hoping to accuse
At the end of the debate, they no longer wanted to stone the woman, now
their true motives were laid bare -
They wanted to stone Jesus!
If they could not convince Him that THEY were
right, they would destroy Him.
Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will
follow You wherever You go."
(20) And Jesus said to him, "Foxes
have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man
has nowhere to lay His head."
Then another of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, let me first
go and bury my father."
(22) But Jesus said to him, "Follow
Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be
received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to
Jerusalem, (52) and sent messengers before His face.
And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to
prepare for Him. (53) But they did not receive Him,
because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
(54) And when His disciples James and John saw this, they
said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from
heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?"
(55) But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You
do not know what manner of spirit you are of. (56)
For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to
save them." And they went to another village.
Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said
to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."
(58) And Jesus said to him, "Foxes
have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man
has nowhere to lay His head."
Then He said to another, "Follow Me."
But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
(60) Jesus said to him, "Let the
dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of
And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me
first go and bid them farewell who are at my house."
(62) But Jesus said to him, "No one,
having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for
the kingdom of God."
When the time had come
Or literally, "the days were being fulfilled," or
fulfillment" that He should be received up. We have here a sublime
expression, taking the sweep of His whole career, as if at one bound He was
about to vault into glory.
The work of Christ is here divided into two great stages:
||All that preceded this
||- He formally came to His own
||From this point on
||- The consequences of His own receiving Him not
Steadfastly set His face
Isaiah 50:7 "I have set my face like a flint," Not to be turned aside from
His purpose -
all now hastening to maturity.
|where once he avoided publicity,
He now almost courts it -
Excerpts from Farrar:
Crossing the plain, and passing Taanach and Megiddo, He would reach the
range of hills that form the northern limit of Samaria; and at the foot of
their first ascent lies the little town of En-gannim, or the "Fountain
of Gardens." This would be the first Samaritan village at which He would
arrive, and there, apparently, He had sent two messengers "to make ready
for Him." Possibly these messengers could have been James and John
themselves, who would thus be likely to feel with special vividness the
insult of His rejection.
At any rate the inhabitants - who to this day are not remarkable for their
civility to strangers - absolutely declined to receive or admit Him. Previously indeed, when He was passing through Samaria on His journey
northward, He had found Samaritans not only willing to receive, but
anxious to detain His presence among them, and eager to listen to His
words. But now the circumstances were different:
Had Gerizim and not Jerusalem been the goal of His journey, all might have
been different. Rejected by Galilee, refused by Samaria, without a word He
bent His steps towards Peraea.
||He was traveling to the city that they hated and the
Temple that they despised.
||He was attended, not by a few apostles, but by a
throng who were accompanying Him as their acknowledged Prophet and
There is nothing so trying, so absolutely exasperating, as a failure to
find food and shelter, and common civility, after the fatigue of travel, and especially to begin a fresh journey when they expected rest.
Full, therefore, of the Messianic kingdom, which now at last they thought
was on the eve of being mightily proclaimed, the two brothers wanted to
usher it in with a blaze of Sinaitic vengeance, and so to astonish and
restore the flagging spirits of followers who would naturally be
discouraged by so immediate and a decided repulse.
(Life of Christ by Dr. Frederic W. Farrar Copyright: 1949)
Incidents Illustrative of Discipleship
||The Rash Disciple
|The preaching of Jesus had riveted and charmed
him; his heart had swelled; his enthusiasm had been
kindled; and in this state of mind he will
go anywhere with Him, and feels impelled to tell Him so.
He does not reject this man's offer, nor refuses him the
liberty to follow Him.
Only He will have him know what he is doing, and "count the cost."
He will have him weigh well the real nature and the
strength of his attachment, whether it is such as will abide in the day of
||The Procrastinating Disciple
|This disciple did not, like the former, volunteer his services, but he is quite
willing; only he is not ready just yet: "Lord, I will - But
There is a
difficulty in the way just now; but that once removed, I am yours.
doubt it was the common case of a son having a frail or aged father, not
likely to live long.
Jesus said: "Let the dead bury their own dead."
This man was concerned about the wrong funeral: he should have
taken up his cross, died to self, and obeyed God's will.
||The Irresolute Disciple
|But for the very different replies given by
Jesus, we should hardly have discerned the difference between
this and the second case.
From the warning given against "looking back,"
it is evident that this man's discipleship was not yet thorough,
his separation from the world not entire.
It is not a case of GOING back, but
of LOOKING back.
We see not ACTUAL RETURN to
the world, but a RELUCTANCE TO BREAK
with the world.
Having put his hand to the plow ... looking back
The plow was of very rude and simple workmanship, and usually had but one handle.
One hand guides the plow, while the other
holds the long goad by which the oxen are spurred on to their work.
plow being light, it is necessary for the plowman to lean forward with all
his weight on the handle to keep the share in the ground.
If the laborer
is looking back, not only would he be unable to make a straight furrow,
but also he could not make any furrow at all.
The conditions for discipleship are given in
and these three men failed to meet them.
||Take Up Cross
Their emphasis was "me first." No wonder the laborers are so
these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent
them two by two before His face into every city and place where
He Himself was about to go. (2) Then He said to
them, "The harvest truly is great, but the
laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send
out laborers into His harvest. (3) Go your way;
behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. (4)
Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one
along the road. (5) But whatever house you enter,
first say, 'Peace to this house.' (6) And if a son
of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will
return to you. (7) And remain in the same house,
eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is
worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. (8)
Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things
as are set before you. (9) And heal the sick there,
and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'
(10) But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive
you, go out into its streets and say, (11) 'The very dust
of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you.
Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near
you.' (12) But I say to you that it will be more
tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.
(13) "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if
the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre
and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in
sackcloth and ashes. (14) But it will be more
tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
(15) And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will
be brought down to Hades. (16) He who hears you
hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me
rejects Him who sent Me."
(17) Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord,
even the demons are subject to us in Your name."
(18) And He said to them, "I saw
Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (19) Behold,
I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions,
and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any
means hurt you. (20) Nevertheless do not rejoice in
this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice
because your names are written in heaven."
(21) In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I
thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have
hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them
to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
(22) All things have been delivered to Me by My Father,
and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the
Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to
(23) Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, "Blessed
are the eyes which see the things you see; (24) for
I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what
you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and
have not heard it."
He not only chose 12 to be constantly WITH Him,
but He chose 70 others to GO BEFORE Him.
He seemed to be
forming His new church on the model of the Jewish church, because it was
the pattern shown by God Himself - the Divine form that pointed out the
Heavenly Substance, which now began to be established in its place.
As He had before chosen the 12 apostles in reference to the 12 Patriarchs,
He now publicly appointed 70 others, as did Moses the 70 elders who
assisted him in governing the people (Exodus 18:19;
Greet no one along the road
This was not designed to forbid them from exercising the usual courtesies
of life, in giving a mere "Shalom" to those they might meet, as is evident
from the very next verse.
This is designed to remind them of the
importance of their mission, and of the necessity of diligence in its
Hence, they were not to observe the tedious and oft-repeated
salutations with which the they loved to greet each other.
The ceremonies of salutation were numerous and slowly performed.
friends met each inquires of the other, again and again, concerning his
health and the health of his family; and repeated over and over again the
best wishes for his prosperity and peace, thanking God that he is
permitted once more to behold his face.
These formalities were accompanied
by numerous bowings and posturing of the body, and sometimes repeated
as often as ten times, consuming much time and making great delay.
If they came upon men making a bargain, or discussing any other matter, they must pause and intrude their own Ideas, and enter keenly into the
business, though it in nowise concerned them; and, more especially,
they could never resist the temptation to assist when accounts are being
settled or money counted out.
Do not go from house to house
The exhortation to diligence in their work, alluded to in the last note,
is repeated in a different form in this text.
As salutations were tedious
and frequent, so etiquette required much visiting from house to
Jesus was telling them that He was not sending them on a social
visit, but a mission of Divine importance.
The seventy returned with joy
|Their Joy was a result of devils being subject to them
|The Joy of Jesus was a result of having your name
written in heaven
Authority to trample
To trample upon means to have absolute mastery over.
This exemption from
being hurt (v. 19) does not imply
freedom from all physical or material injury, for many died for Christ.
The "serpents and scorpions" and "all the power of the enemy" refers to
demon powers primarily, although immunity from any harm of wild beasts and
from poisons is also promised.
But the whole passage here is speaking of:
||Power of the enemy
It has also been mentioned by some that Jesus called the Scribes and
Pharisees "serpents" and a "brood of vipers" (Matthew 23:33).
It was an ancient custom to trample on the kings and generals who had been
taken in battle, to signify the complete conquest that had been gained
behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying,
"Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
(26) He said to him, "What is
written in the law? What is your reading of it?"
(27) So he answered and said, "'You shall love the LORD
your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your
strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as
(28) And He said to him, "You have
answered rightly; do this and you will live."
(29) But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus,
"And who is my neighbor?"
(30) Then Jesus answered and said: "A
certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among
thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and
departed, leaving him half dead. (31) Now by chance
a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he
passed by on the other side. (32) Likewise a Levite,
when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on
the other side. (33) But a certain Samaritan, as he
journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had
compassion. (34) So he went to him and bandaged his
wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own
animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (35)
On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave
them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and
whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.'
(36) So which of these three do you think was neighbor to
him who fell among the thieves?"
(37) And he said, "He who showed mercy on him."
Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Who is my neighbor?
The Jews gave a very narrow definition of the word "neighbor."
interpreted it to mean only those who were of the Jewish people.
Gentiles and Samaritans were not considered neighbors.
Down from Jerusalem to Jericho
A distance of 19 miles northeast, a deep and very fertile hollow.
passed through a wilderness that was so notorious for robberies and
murders that a portion of it was called "the red way" or
"the bloody way," and was
protected by a fort and a Roman garrison.
POWER OF SATAN
||Fell among thieves
||(result of willfulness)
||(lost blessings of spiritual life possessions)
Priest ... Levite
This is the extent of the help of "religious" people who are bound by forms
and rituals, which cannot be broken even to save a life.
These did two
under the pretense of avoiding legal pollution.
A merciful, compassionate
and godly man would have saved the life regardless of pollution, knowing
that provision was made for him to become clean again.
Here Jesus showed the superiority of the Gospel over the Law, teaching us
to reject any religion or law that would neglect a deed of mercy.
the Law expressly required the opposite treatment even of the beast, not
only of their brethren, but also of their enemy!
(Deuteronomy 22:4; Exodus
An examination of these three:
HE PASSED BY
|The only ones who had the privilege to minister at the
Altar and in the Most Holy Place from the family of Aaron, tribe of Levi
LOOKED ... HE PASSED BY
|The Levites were considered a gift to Aaron
and his sons - they occupied a lower place in the Tabernacle
in that they did the manual labor
HE WAS ... AND LOOKED ... HE HAD COMPASSION
|A total outcast from God and His worship as
far as the Jews were concerned
Pouring oil and wine
It was considered a sovereign remedy, especially for wounds produced by
violence; wool, lint, or pounded olive being first laid upon the wound. The wine was supposed to cleanse, and the oil to soothe and heal.
34 cents in our money, the ransom money for a life (Exodus
to two days' wages for a common laborer .
||Bind up wounds
||(Restoration- former physical estate)
THE POWER OF CHRIST
||Wine & Oil
||(Restoration- former spiritual estate)
||Took to Inn
||(Restoration - former mental, emotional state)
||(Restoration of spiritual life, possessions)