Jesus is about to perform His last great miracle in the Gospel of John, the resurrection of Lazarus. In these first sixteen verses, Christ is expounding on the purpose for the death of Lazarus, and how His disciples can have genuine joy and hope in the midst of deep pain and suffering. All things, including the death of Lazarus, are working for the good of Jesus’s people, and for His glory as the Son of God.
In the midst of being stoned, Christ appeals to the mind. Christ has just proclaimed that He and the Father are One. He is declaring His deity to the Jews. In return, the Jews believe Him to be a blasphemer.
In this passage see a setting and question that provokes Jesus to one of the clearest proclamations of His deity, and of our safety in Him. Therefore, we first learn that the Bible teaches that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are the union of three distinct persons, who eternally exists in one divine essence, one nature and character; each person being fully God and the being of each Person is equal to the whole being of God. Then, we learn that the great doctrine of the perseverance, or eternal security, of the true believer means that those who are truly in Christ can neither totally nor finally fall from a state of grace.
The day to day demands and struggles of life can often deprive us of a clear perspective of the big picture. What is really going on in the world? What is God up to? We learn from John 10 that there is a bigger story than our day-to-day lives taking place whether we notice or not. Jesus is at work gathering the sheep of His Father’s flock into the fold. Moment by moment, day by day, year by year the Good Shepherd is tenderly, patiently but effectively calling out to his sheep, delivering them out of darkness and into the light. He has laid down his life from the sheep and has pledged to guard and protect them. His sheep can rest in the peace of knowing they are secure with the fold of the Good Shepherd.
The formerly blind beggar is now being questioned by the Pharisees. The Pharisees begin to see Jesus as a criminal and not the Messiah. We see from this passage that Jesus has the authority to heal on the Sabbath, because he is the Son of God. The beggar helps us understand the nature of Christ more through his words to the Pharisees. Jesus is more than just a prophet, but he is never less.
In the fast paced, highly connected world in which we live it seems all too common for people to feel overlooked. This sense of falling between the cracks is even more profound when we are struggling with difficulties that overwhelm us with seemingly no explanation for our suffering. We learn from the opening verses of the ninth chapter of John’s gospel that in Jesus we have a savior who sees our struggles. Furthermore, we learn in this passage that the hardships and struggles in our lives are for a purpose that displays the glory and character of God. In healing a blind beggar in Jerusalem, Jesus shows his power over our circumstances and teaches us to fix our gaze upon the higher purposes of our circumstances.
Do you want to be free indeed? The Jews have just heard Jesus explain who he is and what he has come to do. In this section, we see that the Jews have believed in him; however, this belief was a nominal belief. The Jews did not have genuine saving faith. Jesus teaches the Jews about the truth and obedience in this section, but more importantly he shows them that if they wish to be free from the bondage of sin then they must trust in the Son who can set them free.
Scripture teaches that the fallen world in which we live is a dark place. We are so accustomed to this spiritual darkness that we can become blind to the light of truth. The darkness into which we are born deprives us of the ability to see and understand reality. The apostle John wrote his gospel to show us that God has invaded the darkness in the person of Jesus in order to bring us the light of life. Jesus is the life giving light of heaven. In this passage from the eighth chapter of John’s gospel we see Jesus taking advantage of ceremonies associated with the Jewish Feast of Booths to reveal to all who would listen that through him they could come out of the darkness of death and have life eternal in the light of God’s glory.
Questions of adultery, hypocrisy, and conspiracy all meet the Lord Jesus Christ outside temple walls. In John 8 the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus by bringing a woman who has been caught in the act of adultery before Him. The Pharisees give him two options: either he can stone the woman or let her go free. Jesus, in all of wisdom, brings the weight of the Law to reign down on the Pharisees. Then we see a beautiful glimpse of His mercy towards the adulterous woman.
Our modern culture prides itself on knowledge and understanding. We believe we can overcome any obstacle, solve any problem by the right use of our mental faculties and the rigorous application of human knowledge. It’s all too easy to lapse into thinking that the same is true for spiritual matters as well. Many believe we can ascend God’s holy hill by way of right reasoning and right choices. An examination of the people in Jerusalem who attended the Feast of Booths in John 7 demonstrates that this is not the case. The natural man cannot comprehend spiritual reality and as such is completely dependent upon God’s grace to enable an understanding of the gospel.