Who Will He Be To You? (John 8:13–20)
This week we will study John 8:13–20. Let’s read the passage, “So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for 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. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.”
Who is Jesus to You
In John 8:13–20, the religious leaders responded to Jesus’ I AM statement and they challenged His authority and once again they debated Him. The religious leaders tried again to discredit Him as the Messiah or even a prophet by appealing to the Law. However, they could not use the Law to discredit the One who wrote it. Everytime the religious leaders tried to outwit or test Jesus, they ended up elevating Jesus in the eyes of the people and discrediting themselves. The Gospel of John calls each reader to consider who Jesus is and who He will be to you. Each and every person who hears about Jesus, has to decide who He will be to you, will He be your Savior and Lord, or is He just a man who lived thousands of years ago, who you despise (1 Peter 2:7–8, Proverbs 13:13)? The religious leaders had already made their descions, they did not think that Jesus is who He says He is. Their decisions were not based on careful research or because they found something that Jesus did not fulfill in the Old Testament prophecies. Instead, they were based on rumors that were not even true.
The religious leaders told Jesus that because He was testifling about Himself, His testimony was not true. By saying this, they were referring to the Old Testament Law, attempting to discredit Jesus’ words. But they were also trying to discredit Jesus, not just what He said, but also Him as a person. In Jewish courts there had to be two witnesses, but the religious leaders at that time had taken this law to an extreme in saying that there had to be two witnesses for something to be true (Deuteronomy 19:15). But, they failed to realize or refused to acknowledge that several beings had already confirmed His testimony. John the Baptist, God the Father and everyone who believed in Him bore witness to His testimony. John the Baptist said, that Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, by saying that John was bearing witness to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah (John 1:29). God the Father bore witness to Him publiclly several times throughout the Gospels (Mark 1:11, Matthew 3:17, 17:5). The Bible tells us that anyone who believes in Him, bears witness that His testimony is true (John 3:33).
Jesus Came From Heaven
Now lets look at Jesus’ response to the pharisees, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for 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”. Jesus is saying that His testimony is true, because He is from Heaven and is God, and that the religious leaders do not know this. Jesus then says, “You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one”. Jesus is telling the pharisees that, they judge according to the things of this world and their selfish desires, whereas Jesus judges no one. He then says, “Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me”. This goes back to what Jesus said in John 5, that He only does what He sees the Father doing and He does not do anything He does not see the Father doing (John 5:19–20).
Jesus is Truth
Jesus then says that, “In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me”. Like I mentioned before, God the Father bore witness to Jesus. Anytime Jesus does or says anything, the Father is also saying or doing it (John 5:19–20). So therefore, according to the Law, anything that Jesus says or does is true, because there are two witnesses testifying to the fact that it is true. We see that the Father audibly confessed Jesus to be His Son several times throughout the scriptures. The Pharisees responded to Him, by asking where His Father was. They were actually wondering where Joseph was, because they knew He was raised by Joseph and they did not realize that He was talking about God the Father (John 8:27).
They knew neither Jesus nor the Father
Jesus responded by telling them, that they know neither Him nor His father. He tells them that if they knew Him, they would know His Father, but they knew neither of them. On the outside these were the most religious men in all the country, these were Pharisees in the treasury of the temple and yet Jesus said that they did not know the Father, the One they had been learning about and trying to serve their entire life. Jesus even went so far as to call them sons of the devil in another passage (John 8:44). The religious leaders who were experts in the Old Testament, that most people thought, would have reconized the Messiah’s coming. But instead, they wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid a hand on Him, because His time had not yet come and the Father was protecting Him. It was God’s plan from before the begining for Jesus to die for our sins (2 Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 3:9–11, 1 Peter 1:19–21, Revelation 13:8). Jesus gave up His life to save the whole world, because that is how much He loves us. Because we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the punishment for sin is death. Even the religous leaders, who many thought were the most righteous men in all of Jeresalem, were very sinful, when compared with Jesus. If they did not turn to Jesus, they were forever separated from the Father, and if they were forever separated from the Father, what hope do we have? Jesus is the only one that can give us hope, without Him we have no hope. Because, God rich in mercy sent His Son to redeem us, so we could live forever with Him. If you would like to live forever with Him, all you have to do is to admit that you are a sinner, repent of your sins (repent means turn away), and believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, then confess Him as Lord and Savior of your life (Romans 10:9).