The Gospel According to John

Chapter 8

Christ delivers the woman taken in adultery, 1-11. He declares himself the light of the world and justifies his doctrine, 12-30; promises freedom to those who believe, 31, 32; answers the Jews who boasted of Abraham, 33-47; answers their reviling by showing his authority and dignity, 48-58; and conveys himself from their cruelty, 59.

1 Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple. And all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to him taken in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say to him, "Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now in the law, Moses commanded us that such should be stoned, but what do you say?" 6 They said this, testing him, so that they might have reason to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with his finger as though he did not hear them. 7 So when they continued asking him, he raised himself and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." 8 And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 And those who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even to the last. And Jesus was left alone with the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised himself and saw no one but the woman, he said to her, "Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?" 11 She said, "No man, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more."

12 Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." 13 The Pharisees therefore said to him, "You testify concerning yourself. Your testimony is not true." 14 Jesus answered and said to them, "Though I testify concerning myself, yet my testimony is true. For I know where I came from and where I go, but you cannot tell where I come from and where I go. 15 You judge after the flesh. I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true, for I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one who testifies concerning myself, and the Father who sent me testifies concerning me." 19 Then they said to him, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You neither know me, nor my Father. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also." 20 Jesus spoke these words in the treasury as he taught in the temple. And no man laid hands on him, for his hour had not yet come.

21 Then Jesus again said to them, "I am going away, and you will seek me, and will die in your sins. Where I go, you cannot come." 22 Then the Jews said, "Will he kill himself, because he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?" 23 And he said to them, "You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world. 24 Therefore, I said to you, that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins." 25 Then they said to him, "Who are you?" And Jesus says to them, "Even the same that I said to you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge of you. But he who sent me is true, and I speak to the world those things which I have heard from him." 27 They did not understand that he spoke to them concerning the Father. 28 Then Jesus said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you shall know that I am he and that I do nothing of myself. But as my Father has taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he who sent me is with me. The Father has not left me alone, for I always do those things that please him." 30 As he spoke these words, many believed in him.

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are my disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's offspring and were never in bondage to any man. How do you say, 'You shall be made free'?"

34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant does not abide in the house forever, but the Son abides forever. 36 If the Son therefore makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham's offspring, but you seek to kill me because my word has no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father, and you do that which you have seen with your father."

39 They answered and said to him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus says to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I have heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to him, "We are not born of fornication. We have one Father: God." 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me. For I proceeded forth and came from God, neither did I come of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand my speech? It is because you cannot hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not abide in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 And because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I speak the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words. For this cause you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

48 Then the Jews answered and said to him, "Do we not say rightly that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?" 49 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon. But I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 And I do not seek my own glory. There is one who seeks and judges. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if a man keeps my saying, he shall never see death." 52 Then the Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham is dead, and the prophets also, and you say, 'If a man keeps my saying, he shall never taste death.' 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham who is dead? And the prophets are also dead. Whom do you make yourself out to be?" 54 Jesus answered, "If I honor myself, my honor is nothing. It is my Father who honors me, of whom you say that he is your God. 55 Yet you have not known him, but I know him. And if I should say, 'I do not know him,' I should be a liar like you. But I know him and keep his saying. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, 'I AM.'" 59 Then they took up stones to cast at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and thus passed by.


Matthew Henry Commentary - John, Chapter 8[➚]


[v.6] - "Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with his finger" - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "It is impossible to tell, and therefore needless to ask, what he wrote; but this is the only mention made in the gospels of Christ's writing... Some think they have a liberty of conjecture as to what he wrote here. Grotius says, It was some grave weighty saying, and that it was usual for wise men, when they were very thoughtful concerning any thing, to do so. Jerome and Ambrose suppose he wrote, Let the names of these wicked men be written in the dust. Others this, The earth accuses the earth, but the judgment is mine. Christ by this teaches us to be slow to speak when difficult cases are proposed to us, not quickly to shoot our bolt; and when provocations are given us, or we are bantered, to pause and consider before we reply; think twice before we speak once: The heart of the wise studies to answer."

[v.17] - Reference, Deuteronomy 19:15. See also Matthew 18:16; 2nd Corinthians 13:1; 1st Timothy 5:19.

[v.39] - "Abraham is our father" - Compare this phrase with the warning given by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:9, which says, "And do not think to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father.' For I say to you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham."

[v.47] - "For this cause..." - This can also be rendered, "The reason why you do not hear them is because you are not of God" (Matthew Poole's Commentary).

[v.58] - "I AM" - Quoting Exodus 3:14. The most profound statement of Christ's identity was Christ declaring to the Jews, "before Abraham was, I AM." That statement is extremely significant because Jesus is telling the Jews, who claim Abraham as their father (verse 39), that He was before Abraham and that He was the "I AM" who spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:14). An important aspect of Christ's identity is who it was who sent Him. In verse 42, Jesus explains who sent Him by saying, "For I proceeded forth and came from God, neither did I come of myself, but he sent me." That statement alone bears two facts about Jesus: God fathered Him, and God sent Him.