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John Chapter 8: The Answer

Posted by adventbiblestudy on August 13, 2012


Thoughts of a new believer. The answer:

 

One of the mysteries of the Bible I have noticed is; what changed the disciples? Hours before Jesus gave His life, He tried to tell them what was about to happen to Him in Jerusalem. Just like other times when Jesus brought up the prophecy, the disciples changed the subject. Once again they began to argue over who was the greatest among them. A few minutes before His arrest. Jesus’ closest disciples slept. What changed the disciples? What are the details and how to we apply the lesson to our lives? I have been praying and seeking this answer for some time. Does John provide the answer?

 

John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

 

When Jesus was teaching in the temple He tried to explain who He was and where He came from. It was a hard concept for them to follow because it did not agree with any of the popular interpretations of prophecy. The religious leaders once again asked for proof. But it wasn’t only the religious leaders who believed these prophecies, Jesus’ disciples also clung to the popular interpretations. It were a difficult habit to break. The religious leaders also used doctrine to discredit Jesus and hold an iron fisted grip on their followers. At times Jesus used their traditions to try and explain who He was and His relationship with His Father. In this case he used the standard of two or three witnesses.

 

John 8:18-19 I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.” (19) “Where is your father?” they asked. Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.”

 

We have a tendency of looking at this verse and saying, “never me. I know better.” But, His disciples were included in the group of people who did not know Him, or His Father. Jesus told them when they would finally understand. When the change would take place in their hearts.

 

John 8:28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.

 

Carefully look at what Jesus said. “When YOU have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross.” Who lifted up Jesus on the cross? The Roman soldiers were the ones who physically nailed Jesus to the cross. Since He is not addressing the Roman solders, this must have a deeper spiritual meaning. Jesus is addressing the religious leaders, others who came to hear Him speak, and His disciples.

 

Examine Jesus words a little further; “then YOU will understand that I AM he.” Did the religious leaders understand who Jesus was when He was on the cross? No! They insulted Him and told Him to come down off the cross and they would believe. Was it His followers, or His disciple? Look at Jesus’ statement once again. “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM he.”

 

The same people who spiritually lifted Jesus up on the cross are the same ones who will understand.

Also notice the lesson Jesus connected with His death on the cross: “I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.” His total reliance on His Father. This is what Jesus wanted His disciples to learn. Jesus continues to emphasize this point.

 

John 8:29-32 And the one who sent me is with me–he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” (30) Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. (31) Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. (32) And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

The change in the disciples took place when Jesus was on the cross. They finally realized who Jesus was and why He came here. When all seemed hopeless and lost, their hearts began to change. It wasn’t the end of the change, nor the beginning, but a milestone in their spiritual journey.

 

When Jesus hung on the cross the disciples still believed the Messiah would come and take the country by force. They waited for Jesus to overthrow Rome and take David’s throne. Hours before His death they argued about who would be greatest because they believed their reward was just around the corner.

 

As Jesus hung on the cross all hope of worldly power and glory was lost, but something still remained. It was a pain inside their hearts. A pain most of us have felt. Something they could not get out of their minds. For the first time they realized they loved Jesus not because of what He could give them, but because of the life He lived and the example He set. When Jesus hung on the cross there was nothing more to love than the life Jesus lived and the Man He really was. True love was changing His disciples.

 

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

Have you reached a point in your life when you can finally love Jesus the way He taught His disciples. Do you really believe Jesus died on the cross to set you free?

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