Week 9 John 8: Light and Truth

Monday: Caught In The Act

Read John 8:1-11, 18:31, Deuteronomy 17:2-7, 19:15-20

The Jewish leaders seek to trap Jesus. Jesus turns their clumsy attempt into a timeless lesson on mercy. Bringing only the woman forward, the accusers remind Jesus of the law of Moses. Interestingly, Mosaic law calls for men and women to be punished for sinful acts. Moreover, there were many laws about how to accuse people of wrong doing. Bearing false witness carried the same penalty as the accused person’s crime; in this case, death.

Jesus’ clever mercy toward the woman is obvious, but it may be that Jesus was also extending mercy to a group of false witnesses that were using this woman to trap him. The men who dropped their stones may have walked away defeated in their plot, but also having experienced a touch of the mercy that only Jesus can bring.

Remember that when you point a finger, three point back at you! As you pray today, consider the mercy that Jesus has shown you and praise God for a savior that isn’t into stone throwing.

Tuesday: Wrote With His Finger On The Ground

Read John 8:1-11, Jeremiah 17:13, Exodus 31:18, Deuteronomy 9:10, Daniel 5

What did Jesus write? That may be one of the great questions we ask him in eternity. It is impossible to know for sure but that hasn’t stopped people from speculating. And some of the ideas are quite interesting!

In Jeremiah, the prophet links writing in the ground to the rejection of living water. The previous chapter, John 7, is all about living water. This theory may also help explain why these 11 verses are placed here.

Another possibility may be a claim of divinity, as we have seen many times in John already (i.e. Jesus walking on water, etc…). The law of Moses was famously written by the finger of God and etched in stone. Maybe Jesus crouches and writes with his finger in the dirt as a way of saying that the law they are referring to is the law that he wrote. He is not writing a law of mercy on their hearts.

Examining these theories gives us a practical takeaway: The scriptures we read have been written by God himself. We would do well to accept them and rely on them as living water lest we end up missing the grace of God as these “teachers of the law” unfortunately exemplify.

Wednesday: Walk In Darkness

Read John 8:12-29, John 1:1-9, Jeremiah 13:16, 18:15, 20:11, Psalm 56:13, Psalm 121

What’s the big deal about walking in darkness? We do it all the time. But unlike our ancestors, we are aided by streetlights or flashlights on our phones. Truly walking in darkness is both scary and dangerous. John picks up the theme of light that he began his gospel with and expands upon it in this passage.

Jesus’ claim is not just that he is the light of the world, but that those who reject him walk in darkness. He is saying that a life without him is a life of stumbling. Jeremiah and other prophets used this metaphor often. God even participates in causing us to stumble at times when we walk without him so after we fall on our faces we can get back on track. Conversely, a life with Jesus is a well lit path with sure footing in this dark world!

Is there anything that you’ve been stumbling over frequently? It may be an area to pray and seek advice about. Are you walking without the light?

Thursday: The Truth Will Set You Free

Read John 8:30-38, Exodus 1:1-14, Judges 3:7-8, 3:12-14, 4:1-3, 2 Kings 17:22-23, 25:21, Luke 2:1-3, Romans 6:20-23

Jesus famously declares that those who hold to his teaching, his true followers, will be set free by the truth. To claim the ability and necessity of making someone free implies that they are not free. This is why the Jews take offense at his claim. They counter by saying, “We have never been enslaved to anyone.”

That statement could not be further from the truth. A major part of Jewish history was their enslavement in Egypt for over 400 years. When they finally made it to the Promised Land they were often enslaved in the book of Judges. The period of the kings ended with Israel (northern kingdom) being enslaved, exiled and assimilated into Assyria. Some 150 years later the southern kingdom of Judah was exiled to Babylon. Even in the time of Jesus, the Jewish people could not claim freedom as the Roman Empire controlled their land.

All of this might tell us something about the human heart: We don’t always know when we’re enslaved. Paul talks about the deception of freedom. When we feel like we can do whatever we want, we are really enslaving ourselves to things that we won’t be proud of in the years to come. Instead of pursuing our own idea of freedom. We would be wise to voluntarily become slaves to Christ. Since he is the truth, we will surely find freedom in his care and leadership.

Friday: He Is A Liar

Read John 8:39-47, Genesis 3:1-5, Ephesians 5:11, 6:11, 1 Peter 5:8-9

As the conversation unravels between Jesus and the offended Jews, they claim to be children of Abraham based on ancestry. Jesus claims that they are in fact children of the devil based on character. They are doing what their father, the devil, would do. As the conversation continues, Jesus gives us insight into the nature of our accuser and enemy. He is a liar.

Later in John, we will see the ultimate question about truth when Jesus speaks with Pilate: “What is truth?” Such a question lines up perfectly with Satan’s character. We see in the above passages that Satan’s main tactic is lying, scheming, and distorting reality. He operates by tempting us to question truth.

What does this mean for us? It means that we should frequently check our hearts for lies. It’s so easy to fall into a lie in our world. Add in the fact that there is a powerful spiritual entity purposefully trying to get us to believe in false realities and we should be sobered! Jesus offers truth. His perspective is the right perspective. Have you begun to believe a lie? Pray about this. Ask people around you for perspective. And ultimately, commit to the way, the truth and the life.

Saturday: He Will Never Taste Death

Read John 8:48-59, Genesis 3:17-19, 5:5, Hebrews 9:27-28, Revelation 21:1-4

Twice, as this conversation wraps up, Jesus makes what might be his boldest claim of all. Those who hold to his teaching will never taste death. This is why the Jesus diet is the best diet!

Ever since the fall, death has been an inescapable reality in our world for all living things, not just humankind. It seems like only a footnote, but take a moment to imagine how sad it must have been when Adam died. We were made to live forever. Even 930 years is a blink of an eye in the face of eternity!

Jesus came to reverse the curse of the garden. He came to bring life. Because we’re waiting for him to return and restore everything, we still live in a world that is dominated by sin and death. Following Jesus puts us on a different path. A path to life forevermore. Most diets claim that they can help you live longer. The Jesus diet is the only one that will prove to be true.


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