Will we believe Jesus? But refuse to submit to His Authority?
John 8:51 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”
The religious rulers had come demanding of Him: “By what authority do You do these things? And who gave You this authority?”
So Jesus is talking Authority. Would they….will we…submit to His authority to do what He will, and lead us where He will?
They had heard so many times of His authority…Who He was, and why He was come. Who had sent Him, and given Him the message He spoke:
Jesus had dealt with the woman taken in adultery, and with those men that had brought her. (John 8:3-12)
They had sought to condemn her…and Jesus! But it was they who were condemned…by His Light.
His presence and words sent them away from the Light He was giving….but drew her to stay.
And because she submitted to the Light, she was forgiven.
“I am the light of the world:..”. And He was showing that light into all those hearts.
“…he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
A simple truth He had just proved before them all.
But, it seems, they would not receive His “proof”, His Light.
They argued, that He can’t go around saying that, for it was proving Himself, by Himself. What?!
John 8:14-16 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me.”
(This is a wonderful conversation….probably the longest Jesus gave about He and His Father, to the people. Will they receive it?)
John 8:25-26,28-29 “Then said they unto Him, Who art thou? And Jesus said unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning..
I have many things to say and to judge of you: but He that sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.
….When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things.
And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always the things that please Him.”
Jesus was very clear, here. His Father in heaven had sent Him, and He was speaking the Words the Father wanted.
As Jesus was speaking, many believed on Him. (John 8:30) They started to see the truth, and believe that He was the Christ…..would that continue when that truth was applied to them.
For authority acknowledged, should be authority submitted to.
John 8:31-32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Real freedom, is freedom from sin. Sin is bondage. It ties you to something or someone, or some attitude, or some habit. It ties you to death, for every sin brings darkness and death to each of us.
John 8:33 “They answered Him, We are Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, we shall be made free?”
What we do not often realize (like the Jews here) is: bondage is never felt; until you try and move away from it.
Like a chain that is around the leg of the slave, tied to a tree. Until the slave tries to run from it.
And when they can’t….then they find that they are bound; and with each moment…you are more bound.
We are all slaves of sin….till Jesus Christ frees us.
John 8:34-36 “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth forever.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
True freedom from sin is through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus was trying to explain to them, so they could continue, and be free.
And the real problem for these men?
John 8:37 “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because My word hath no place in you.”
What did Jesus mean: “My word had no place in you”?
You see, we only understand with our minds and hearts, what our wills receive.
If we will not receive a truth….we do not understand it; for understanding…spiritual understanding has to do with experience.
Jesus goes on to say:
John 8:47 “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”
Understanding comes from submission. There is a definition for “spiritual understanding”, which is: Light + Experience = Understanding.
Light is what we receive from God….these Jews had that. They had light that Jesus was the Christ, He had told them that the Father had sent Him.
Experience is submitting to the light, and putting it to work in our lives. This they refused to do; So…..
They had no spiritual understanding. Jesus’ words had no place in their lives; for they refused His authority….over themselves.
Sadly, though they ‘believed’ on Him in general, they refused His authority over themselves….and because of this….over the sin in their lives
John 8:54, 59 “Jesus answered, If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing: it is My Father that honoreth Me; of Whom ye say, that He is your God:
And then they took up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out from the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
I believe this is a mini parable:
Jesus gives light; the people turn for more.
Jesus shows His authority; the people back up.
Jesus shows them the sin of unbelief and calls all who will be free from sin, to Himself; the people defend themselves.
Jesus rebukes their defense, and again calls them to submit to God, and to the Truth about Himself, and themselves: the people refuse and seek to get rid of Him.
Jesus hides Himself, but turns and goes through the midst of them, without their “seeing”.
Jesus Christ calls all who believe in Him, to submit to the Light He shows, and to His authority.