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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: John's Gospel

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Frameworks: John's Gospel, chapter 8


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)





v.2-11 Jesus & the Woman caught in adultery

v.12-20 Dispute Over Jesus' Testimony

v.21-30 Dispute Over Who Jesus Is

v.31-47 Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus' Opponents Are

v.48- 59 Jesus' Claims About Himself


[Bible Footnote: The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.]



v.1 (Jesus leaves the city) but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.


v.2-11 Jesus & the Woman caught in adultery


v.2 (next morning he's back teaching in the temple courts) At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.

v.3,4 (‘the opposition' bring a guilty woman) The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.

v.5 (they cite the Law) In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

v.6 (they want Jesus to condemn her before the people. He says nothing) They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.

v.7 (he offers whoever is without sin the chance to stone her) When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

v.8 (again he does nothing) Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

v.9 (one by one they slip away) At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

v.10 (soon it's only her and Jesus) Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

v.11 (he refuses to condemn her) “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”



v.12-20 Dispute Over Jesus' Testimony


v.12 (Jesus declares he is the light of the world) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “ I am the light of the world . Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

v.13 (the Pharisees challenge him about his testimony) The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

v.14 (Jesus says he knows where he's come from) Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.

v.15 (he will not judge) You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.

v.16 (yet if he did the Father would support him) But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.

v.17 (he cites the law) In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true.

v.18 (he and his Father testify about him) I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

v.19 (they question about the Father) Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

v.20 (although challenging them he is not arrested) He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.



v.21-30 Dispute Over Who Jesus Is


v.21 (Jesus said he was going away) Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”

v.22 (they wonder what that means) This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come' ?”

v.23 (I'm from above) But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

v.24 (you will die in your sinful unbelief) I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

v.25 (another challenge about identity) “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied.

v.26 (he tells what the Father has given him) “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”

v.27 (they still didn't understand) They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.

v.28 (after he dies they will know) So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

v.29 (the Father is still with him) The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”

v.30 (so some believed in him) Even as he spoke, many believed in him.


(Notes: commentators disagree about what follows. Some suggest there are two groups – new believers and the rest who still don't believe. Others suggest the apparent believers merely assented to what Jesus had said but had not come to a full heart surrender as to his call on their lives amd jesus calls them out on this)



v.31-47 Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus' Opponents Are


v.31 (to his believers he said obey my teaching to prove you are my disciples) To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

v.32 (when you do that you'll realise the truth and be set free) Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

v.33 (they wonder about this) They answered him, “We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

v.34 (every sinner is a slave) Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin .

v.35 (slaves have no home, a son does) Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

v.36 (so if he sets them free they'll be part of his family and free) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

v.37 (Abraham may have been your physical ancestor but you still don't really believe me) I know that you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.

v.38 (we have different fathers) I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

v.39 (if Abraham the man of faith were their father they would believe) “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham's children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did.

v.40 (instead you don't believe and desire my death) As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.

v.41 (your father desires my death. They challenge this) You are doing the works of your own father.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

v.42 (if they believed God they would believe Jesus ) Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.

v.43 (you are spiritually deaf) Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.

v.44 (Satan is the father of unbelievers) You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

v.45 (but still you cannot believe the truth) Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

v.46  (I speak the truth) Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?

v.47 (if you belong to God you'll hear and believe what I say) Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”



v.48- 59 Jesus' Claims About Himself


v.48 (they start turning hostile) The Jews answered him, “Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

v.49 (untrue says Jesus) “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honour my Father and you dishonour me .

v.50 (God will judge) I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.

v.51 (the key: obey my word and receive eternal life) Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”

v.52,53 (they dispute this) At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

v.54 (I'm not seeking my glory, the Father will do that) Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

v.55 (I know Him and obey Him) Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word.

v.56 (Abraham looked forward to this day) Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

v.57 (they misunderstand) “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

v.58 (he makes an outstanding claim) “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (note: he equates the ‘I Am' of Ex 3 with himself)

v.59 (they go to stone him for blasphemy) At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.