by Peter Solomon
Welcome to this Bible Study. I hope that you will enjoy this lesson and that it will be a blessing to you spiritually. Read what I have written slowly. If you have a Bible look up the reference verses given, and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to your soul through them.
Who can speak on your behalf?
This story takes place during the latter half of the feast of Tabernacles. During the feast of Tabernacles four lamps were lit each night in the Court of Women. On the first night when the lamps were lit the people in the court as well as throughout the city of Jerusalem lit their own torches. Those in the Court of Women would dance and sing praises to God all night. One night later in the feast Jesus stood up when the lamps were being lit and said that He was the light of the world.
Verse 12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
The Old Testament did say that when the Messiah, the Saviour, came He would be a light to His people. Isaiah 60:19 “… the Lord will be to you an everlasting light.” There can never be any light to guide our lives apart from following Jesus, that is having a meaningful relationship with Him. By using the words “I am” all His hearers would recognise that He, Jesus, was claiming to be divine, to be God.
Verse 13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”
The Pharisees standing there listening to Jesus overlooked the question of the light, and rather made fun of Him. They looked upon Jesus as a country boy, and somewhat insane judging by some of the statements that He made.
Verse 14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.
Jesus points out to them that He claimed to have come from heaven and was going back there, a remark they understood well, but dismissed for they looked upon this as being impossible by all human standards.
Verse 15 “You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.
Jesus told the Pharisees that they looked upon things from a human viewpoint and ignored the spiritual. Jesus said that if they understood what He was saying they would understand that He did not come to judge people but He came in order to save them.
Verse 16 “And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.
Jesus goes on further to say that if He made any judgement at all, that judgement would be based upon His intimate contact with God, the Father, who sent Him into this world.
Verse 17 “It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.
According to the Jewish law two witnesses were necessary. Deuteronomy 17:6 “… testimony of two or three witnesses …” Jesus says “OK, you have heard what I have had to say so let me call my witness.
Verse 18 “I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
Jesus goes on, “My other witness is the Father, God, who sent me into this world.” The Pharisees wrongly assumed that no one living on this earth could ever prove that he had a relationship with God.
Who is your father
Verse 19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”
Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
The Pharisees knew that Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, had been dead for a long time and so they said, “Bring your father to witness about you.” Under their breath they would be saying “Joseph is dead, and he cannot be referring to God, for we know that God never speaks verbally to us.’
Jesus replied, "If you really knew God, then you would know me, His Son."
Verse 20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
These events took place in the Court of Women, near the entrance to the hall where the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Government, met. The Pharisees looked upon Jesus as not being a devoutly religious person, for in their eyes he had no religious background or training. To them Jesus was an insane country troublemaker who would soon be gone.
Verse 21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”
Jesus was referring to His coming death, resurrection and ascension, and further He said to them that in the despair of death they would find no one to help them.
Verse 22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”
The Jews believed that suicide was the most wicked of sins, and would result in the soul of the deceased being banished in the worst part of hell forever. The Jews jeered, “If he is going to hell, we will not be able to follow him, for we are righteous.”
Verse 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.
?The Pharisees’ mocking of Jesus indicates that their thoughts were inspired by Satan, who had blinded their minds. Satan always blinds the sinner’s spiritual mind to the truth about Jesus. Then Jesus says, “I do not belong to an earthly family like you, but I have come from heaven.”
Verse 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.”
Jesus constantly referred to Himself as God. Jesus came to forgive our sins. The Jews always worried that they would die before they had the chance of confessing or repenting of the latest sins they had committed.
Who exactly are you?
Verse 25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”
And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning
The Pharisees looked upon themselves as super-holy, and with no need of help, so they never thought that Jesus was referring to them.
Jesus had been trying all along to tell them who He was but they just did not understand.
Verse 26 “I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”
Jesus had much to say about judgement to the Jews, but this would have to wait until later.
Verse 27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.
When Jesus spoke about His heavenly origin it meant nothing to the Jews. They thought of themselves as ultra-holy when in fact they were lacking in faith, and they had many pre-conceived ideas and opinions that had not been fully thought out.
Verse 28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.
Jesus replies, “When you have nailed me to the cross then you will recognize who I am.” After Jesus’ death and resurrection many Jews believed in Jesus as their Saviour.
Verse 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.”
This verse indicates a close co-operation between the sender, God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus.
Verse 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
It is not enough to agree with what Jesus said to have faith. Genuine faith is not just accepting what Jesus said but has to have positive proof. The proof of the fact that we have faith in Jesus must be seen in a permanent change of heart, a permanent change of lifestyle.
Points for consideration
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In this article all Scripture references are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used with permission.