The Adulterous Woman
1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He came back into the temple [court], and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began teaching them. 3 Now the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the center of the court, 4 and they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women [to death]. So what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?” 6 They said this to test Him, hoping that they would have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and began writing on the ground with His finger. 7 However, when they persisted in questioning Him, He straightened up and said, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground. 9 They listened [to His reply], and they began to go out one by one, starting with the oldest ones, until He was left alone, with the woman [standing there before Him] in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]
Jesus Is the Light of the World
12 Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “[a]I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” 13 Then the Pharisees told Him, “You are testifying on Your own behalf; Your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus replied, “Even if I do testify on My own behalf, My testimony is valid, because I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to [b]human standards [just by what you see]. I do not judge anyone. 16 But even if I do judge, My judgment is true and My decision is right; for I am not alone [in making it], but I and the Father who sent Me [make the same judgment]. 17 Even in your own law it is written that the testimony of two persons is true [valid and admissible]. 18 I am One [of the Two] who testifies about Myself, and My Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 19 Then the Pharisees said to Him, “Where is this Father of Yours?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” 20 Jesus said these things in the treasury, as He taught in the temple [courtyard]; and no one seized Him, because His time had not yet come.
21 Then He said again to them, “I am going away, and you will look for Me, and you will die [unforgiven and condemned] in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews were asking [among themselves], “Will He kill Himself? Is that why He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 That is why I told you that you will die [unforgiven and condemned] in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am the One [I claim to be], you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to Him, “Who are You [anyway]?” Jesus replied, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning? 26 I have many things to say and judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I say to the world [only] the things that I have heard from Him.” 27 They did not realize [or have the spiritual insight to understand] that He was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man [on the cross], you will know then [without any doubt] that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own authority, but I say these things just as My Father taught Me. 29 And He who sent Me is [always] with Me; He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.” 30 As He said these things, [c]many believed in Him.
The Truth Will Make You Free
31 So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone. [d]What do You mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?”
34 Jesus answered, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, everyone who practices sin habitually is a slave of sin. 35 Now the slave does not remain in a household forever; the son [of the master] does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you plan to kill Me, because My word has no place [to grow] in you [and it makes no change in your heart]. 38 I tell the things that I have seen at My Father’s side [in His very presence]; so you also do the things that you heard from your father.”
39 They answered, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are [truly] Abraham’s children, then do the works of Abraham and follow his example. 40 But as it is, you want to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. This is not the way Abraham acted. 41 You are doing the works of your [own] father.” They said to Him, “We are not illegitimate children; we have one [spiritual] Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father [but He is not], you would love and recognize Me, for I came from God [out of His very presence] and have arrived here. For I have not even come on My own initiative [as self-appointed], but He [is the One who] sent Me. 43 Why do you misunderstand what I am saying? It is because [your spiritual ears are deaf and] you are unable to hear [the truth of] My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me [and continue in your unbelief]. 46 Which one of you [has proof and] convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 Whoever is of God and belongs to Him hears [the truth of] God’s words; for this reason you do not hear them: because you are not of God and you are not in fellowship with Him.”
48 The Jews answered Him, “Are we not right when we say You are a [e]Samaritan and [that You] have a demon [and are under its power]?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon. On the contrary, I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 However, I am not seeking glory for Myself. There is One who seeks [glory for Me] and judges [those who dishonor Me]. 51 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, if anyone keeps My word [by living in accordance with My message] he will indeed never, ever see and experience [f]death.” 52 The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon [and are under its power]. Abraham died, and also the prophets; yet You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never, ever taste of death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too! Whom do You make Yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is [worth] nothing. It is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 Yet you do not know Him, but I know Him fully. If I said I did not know Him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham [greatly] rejoiced to see My day (My incarnation). [g]He saw it and was delighted.” 57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not even fifty years old, and You [claim to] have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus replied, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, before Abraham was born, [h]I Am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus concealed Himself and left the temple.
- John 8:12 The second of the memorable “I am” statements. See note 6:35.
- John 8:15 Lit the flesh.
- John 8:30 The response of the people in some of the following verses casts doubt on the validity of their belief.
- John 8:33 The Jews did not grasp the difference between being enslaved physically and being enslaved spiritually because of sin.
- John 8:48 This was a slur intended to incite hatred toward Jesus among Jews, who as a people were in an ancient feud with the Samaritans.
- John 8:51 I.e. spiritual death and separation from God.
- John 8:56 How Abraham saw the incarnation of Jesus is unclear. Some suggest it was simply by faith, others suggest it was through Isaac and the promise of the covenant, but more likely, he saw it from Paradise.
- John 8:58 I.e. I Am the One who is—the Lord, Heb Yahweh.