The Law of Moses condemned both parties in adultery (Lev 20:10), but the Pharisees condemned only the woman, attempting to trick Jesus so they could denounce him (vv. 1-6). Jesus, unlike these sinful men, exercised true judgment (vv. 7-11).
In verses 12-59 the apostle John relates a back-and-forth between Jesus and Jews at the treasury (v. 20, where people gave their tithes) about who he was. Each time (1) the Jews denied what Jesus said and then (2) Jesus maintained what he said, supported it, and pointed out the reason for and result of the Jews’ unbelief. As you go through the four main sections here, note truths about Jesus and aspects of unbelief—you will learn a lot!
(1) Jesus is the true witness from the Father, but unbelieving Jews deny Jesus and thus the Father, 12-19
(2) Through Jesus would be crucified he would live again and go to the Father in heaven where he came from, but the Jews were of the world and would die in their sins, 21-30
(3) Jesus is the truth who came from God and frees believing sinners, but the Jews depended on their Jewishness as Satan’s slaves of sin, 31-47
(4) Jesus is the eternal God, greater than Abraham, but unbelieving Jews denied that and thus dishonored him, 48-59
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Jesus is equal with God and thus by nature can only and always do what God does (vv. 28-29, 38).
- Jesus necessarily had to speak the truth that he is God, the Savior and Lord. He could not deny this (v. 66) for that would be to deny himself (2 Tim 2:23).
- True faith is not merely a head knowledge, mental agreement; it is abiding, submissive, unreserved trust in Jesus (v. 31). Only that kind of faith is saving faith (v. 32), and Jesus gives life and freedom from sin to those who truly believe in him (vv. 12, 32, 52).
- Sinners cannot help but sin for they are the slaves of sin (v. 34), readily doing the will of their father the devil (v. 44), unable and unwilling to trust in Christ (vv. 43, 45, 47)