As we dive into John chapter 8, I’d like to start with verse 28, Jesus says, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM HE…” Upon reading this I was instantly reminded of Exodus 3:14 when Moses was asking God who should he tell the people of Israel who sent him, God told Moses to tell them “I AM” has sent me to you. God the Father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit are all one. The great I AM referred to in Exodus was also Jesus. This is important to remember as we talk about today’s chapter.
To set the scene, John 8:1 reads “But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.” Jesus had been in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles, one of the 3 great Jewish religious festivals. It had concluded and many had gone home but Jesus had no home. He spent the night on the Mount of Olives. That wasn’t exactly a Marriot or even a Super 8, but it was where Jesus went to commune with his Father and rest up for the next day. I envision a beautiful night as the time of the year was in September – October and I can envision Jesus thanking for the Father for all He had done for Him so far; His wisdom, His protection, and His favor. I can also imagine Jesus asking the Father for further wisdom because the very next day he was going to be in the temple early to teach and Jesus wanted the people to hear and understand His words. I can then imagine Jesus getting some good sleep as He rested, completely at peace, because He knew His father was with Him no matter where He was or what He might encounter.
In verse 2 it reads “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.” Many people had stayed after the festival to hear Jesus, whom they thought to be a notable Rabbi. Jesus sat down, and with great authority, began teaching. In true fashion, Satan had a plan to try and completely disrupt Jesus and His teaching to the people.
First, the Pharisees set up a trick to try and confuse Jesus in front of everyone. They rudely interrupted Him and brought in a woman caught in adultery. They reminded Jesus that the law of Moses said she should be stoned, yet they asked Jesus what He thought should be done. They were trying to trap Jesus because if He said not to stone her, He would have contradicted Jewish law. If He had said to stone her, He would have gone against Roman law, which didn’t permit Jews to carry out their own executions. There was no right answer. John 1:1-2 tells us that the Word (meaning Jesus) was in the very beginning. What is so cool about this is the same God who wrote the Ten Commandments with Moses, told about in Exodus 34:28, was standing before them in the Temple that day in the form of Jesus. There was no confusing Jesus about the law, He wrote the law. He was the great I AM.
Secondly, the Pharisees set out to discredit Jesus by questioning who He really was. In verse 13 they said to Him “You bear witness of yourself; your witness is not true.” In verse 19 they asked “Where is your father?” And, in verse 25 they asked, “Who are you?” Jesus reminded them that He didn’t just bear witness of Himself, in verse 18 it says “the Father who sent Me bears witness of me.” The Pharisees along with thousands of other people had witnessed the many miracles Jesus did, giving credit to the Father. On two separate occasions God spoke audibly for many to hear. First when John the Baptist baptized Jesus, which can be read about in Mark 1:9-11 and secondly, when Jesus was transfigured on the Mount, which can be read in Mark 9:7 Jesus had no doubts about who He was, He was God’s own son, He was from the beginning and was the great I AM.
Third, the Pharisees accused Jesus of being demon possessed. In verse 48, “Then the Jews answered and said to Him, ‘Do we not say rightly that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?’” In verse 49, Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor Me.” In our chapter today, vs 14 says “I know where I came from and where I am going. Verse 16, says “I am with the Father who sent me.” Verse 23 says, “I am from above.” Jesus knew Satan wasn’t His father, nor was He demon possessed. God was His Father, and He was the great I AM.
The three tricks Satan used on Jesus, he still uses on us today. Satan still tries to confuse us, discredit us and accuse us. He seeks to prevent us from being able to continue the message of Christ now, just as he was doing to Jesus then. But, do you really think Satan, with the help of the Pharisees, was able to throw Jesus off His game and keep His message from being taught in the temple that day? I believe not. I believe they received all they came for and more. They witnessed the very great I AM! In verse 58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM. As you move throughout today, I encourage you to follow Jesus’ example. In this chapter He tells us that He always did what pleased the Father and He told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more. How do we do that? We start by accepting Him as our Savior if you haven’t already. Just like Jesus was here, we can know who we are and where we are going. Secondly, we need to continue to strengthen our relationship with Jesus by praying and reading His word. Third, we can connect with other believers to encourage and support each other. By having a strong relationship with Jesus, the great I AM, we will be more likely to overcome the devil when he attacks!