John 8:12-59: Jesus, the Light of the World
Jesus never spoke in public without creating controversy. In fact, he was constantly in trouble! Rather than retreating behind the safety of a pulpit, Jesus spoke in settings where people were bold enough to talk back. In this portion of John's story, Jesus makes a series of claims about himself. Each claim is met by a challenge from his enemies. Each challenge is then answered, and the answer leads to the next claim. Throughout this interchange, Jesus shows us how to speak the truth in the face of hostility. He also reveals some amazing things about himself.
Warming Up to God
Have you ever tried to talk about Christ with a family member or coworker who was hostile to your message? How did you feel at the time? Thank God for giving you a Savior who understands everything we experience.
Discovering the Word
- The Pharisees challenge the validity of Jesus’ claim (v. 13). How does Jesus answer their challenge (vv. 14-18)?
- Jesus' reference to his Father leads to his second claim—that he came from God. How does this claim heighten the tension between Jesus and the Jews (vv. 19-30)?
- Jesus makes another startling claim in verses 31-32: "If you hold to my teaching . . . then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Why does holding to Jesus’ teaching lead to true knowledge and freedom?
- Jesus' opponents also claim to have both Abraham and God as their father. According to Jesus, how does their conduct contradict their claim (vv. 39-47)?
Applying the Word
- Why is our conduct the truest test of our beliefs?
- In what ways does your lifestyle validate (or invalidate) your claim to be a follower of Christ?
Responding in Prayer
Ask God to help you change the parts of your life that don't match your beliefs.