Today when you speak to someone about Jesus or God they have a lot of preconceived ideas about what you believe and are going to say which can make it hard for someone come to Christianity with an open mind. Some of this has to do with how our liberal television shows, movies, news, radio and schools cast unfavorable lights upon Christians as a whole. Some has to do with the money grabbing, or the worthless excuses for shepherds we have parading about on those same televisions and radios thumping their bibles and saying some of the most ridiculous things you have ever heard.
The Pharisees here are no different. They have preconceived ideas about who the Messiah will be, what His mission is, and how He will accomplish it. Truth be told, some believed the Messiah would be a woman, or so I have heard. Fighting preconceptions can be extremely difficult, and oft times people can believe that if they had just said the right thing or did it just a little bit differently that they would’ve gotten someone to “see.” Don’t worry about that; God has a plan for everyone, and it isn’t for us to judge when that someone’s time to “see” is. Remember that this chapter of John started out with Christ on the Mount of Olives, which means this chapter gives us a look at what will happen when He returns.
John 8:21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
This verse calls to mind: Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
It also makes me think if the Millennial Temple where only the overcomers can go into Him.
John 8:22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
Without the Holy Spirit, the only thing they can see is the flesh, and their minds work in the flesh. Be patient with those that think this way.
John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
Heaven isn’t in the sky, and hell isn’t in the dirt, yet that was how people of they day thought about and/or visualized heaven. What He is talking about is the same thing that Paul told us here:
1 Corinthians 15:47-48 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (48) As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Flesh man cannot understand the heavenly, but they can believe upon it and thereby transform themselves into spiritual beings that can.
John 8:25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
He began (in the last section) by saying that He is the light of the world and His story hasn’t changed.
John 8:26 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. (27) They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
Again, many wont understand, but it is not understanding that is required, it is belief. The belief and faith of a mustard seed.
John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, 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. (29) And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
He is speaking of both advents here, His crucifixion and His return. Many believed upon Him after the first crucifixion, however every knee shall bow at His ultimate return, and everyone will KNOW who He is.
John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Think about this as it pertains to both advents.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
A disciple is a disciplined student. Remember what the Parable of the Sower taught us:
Matthew 13:18-22 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. (19) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (20) But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; (21) Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (22) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Many people will take this verse and run with it, but it is only half the sentence. It starts with “If ye continue in my word.” To know anything it takes time. God doesn’t use magic to give us full understanding. The seed needs to grow and we must strive to set down roots. Sitting upon a seedling cannot give you the same view as sitting upon a hundred year old oak. Continue in His word, ponder it, and you will know Christ.