Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 95 · 6 months ago

Follow The Light

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Follow The Light

John 8:12-30

Dax Bryant - Preaching

As we as we come to the part of our service now where we open up the word of God and and as the people of God, we are set apart by God's word to us. We're consecrated by God's word, and so we want to prepare our hearts for that now. So will you join me as we pray before we get into this passage here. Let's pray. Lord, we are gathered here in your presence and we want to commit our souls to you, the the High King of Heaven. So, Lord, let nothing sidetrack us in these next moments together, not distraction, not temptation, not fear, not any other thing, but instead guide us by the light and the truth of your word, by the power of your spirit. Help us to keep marching together to your Holy Hill, help us escape all the dangers of the dark path that we often tread and to greet the Dawn of Heaven's bright son, who is coming. What a glorious day that will be. And prepare us for it, Lord, even now as you speak to us from your word. Amen, if you close your bibles, go ahead and open the back up. John Chapter Eight, John Chapter Eight. Last week we looked at all of John Chapter Seven, if you remember, and this morning we're going to be in John Chapter Eight, verses twelve through thirty, and as you can see if you have your Bible Open, there at the beginning of John Eight and really the last verse of John Seven, seven fifty three, is that very familiar story. Maybe it's one of your favorite stories of Jesus and the woman who is caught an adultery, and it includes that that well known line there in verse seven. Let Him who is without sin be the first among you to throw a stone. It's a wonderful story of forgiveness. It's an account that certainly rings true. It's founds like just the kind of thing we would expect Jesus to do and say. The problem is it is almost certainly not a part of what John Originally wrote in his Gospel. I'm sure you have a note in your Bible that says something to the effect of the earliest manuscripts do not include John Seven fifty three through eight eleven. And that's right, the earliest manuscripts do not include those verses. It seems that that describe or someone inserted this story at a later time into John's Gospel. And hear me, while there is no reason to not believe that this story didn't happen. Again, it's sounds very much like something Jesus would say and do. The act that it doesn't appear in the earliest manuscripts that we have is evidence that it more than likely did not appear in the original text that John wrote and therefore is not something we can be confident about saying this is part of the inherrant word of God. Now, before you panic right and conclude that you can't trust your Bible at all, let me reassure you you can actually be very confident that the original text has been preserved precisely because of the manuscript evidence we have in this case. And if you want to talk more about that later, I'm happy to do that. But but all that is to say, we're going to stick with the text that we know is from God, and that's why we're starting in verse twelve this morning and we're going to divide up this passage like so as we come at it. Maybe kind of a clumsy way to divide it up, but it's what I've got. First First, we see an astonishing claim in verse twelve, actually kind of a twofold claim, and astonishing claim. Then that is followed by an absurd challenge in verse thirteen, and Absurd Challenge, and then finally, we will examine an authoritative commentary that runs from Chapter Fourteen through verse thirty. So an astonishing claim and absurd challenge and an authoritative commentary. And it's really in that last big section that we're going to find our big idea this morning, which is simply this. Your reaction to Jesus as authority corresponds with your eternal destiny. Let me say that again. Your reaction to Jesus's authority corresponds to the location of your eternal destiny, Lord willing, that's what we'll see in this passage. So as we begin here, let's let's recall where we're at in the narrative. When we realize that seven fifty three...

...through eight hundred and eleven isn't part of what was originally written, then verse twelve actually flows quite nicely from where we left off last time in Chapter Seven fifty two. And at the end of Chapter Seven Jesus is engaged in this conversation with the religious leaders at the temple. When we pick it up in verse twelve, Chapter Eight, verse twelve. That helps explain the first word that we see again again. Jesus spoke to them. And as you're reading that and as you were being a good student of the Bible, you have to ask, well, he spoke to them. Who is them? Where is Jesus when he's speaking? Who Is he speaking to? Well, flowing out of the end of Chapter Seven, the scene, the audience hasn't changed. This is still in the context of the Feast of booth. In fact, did you notice, as as coach read, that for us there the setting was given to us again in Chapter Eight, Verse Twenty. Chapter Eight, Verse Twenty says these words. He spoke in the Treasury, as he taught in the temple. So he's still at the temple. It's still the feast of booths. He's still speaking to the crowds who are who are gathered there to celebrate this last day of the feast. He is just stood up and and cried out to everyone who could hear him. If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. And if you remember, when we look at that passage, those weren't just random words that he kind of conjured up out of thin air, right he he deliberately chose that moment at the feast of Booze, perhaps maybe even in the in the middle of that ceremonial outpouring of the water on the altar that we looked at last time. But he used this context of the feast of booths that where it looked back at God's faithful provision to the Israelites who were wandering in the wilderness and it looked ahead to God's future promise to pour out spiritual reign in the age of the Messiah. He used that to say this is about me. I am the fulfillment of what God has done. I am the fulfillment of what God odd will do. If you want to experience the future promises of God, based on the past promises of God to provide for his people, you must come to me and drink. That's what he said last time. Now he says something very similar here in verse twelve. Again Jesus spoke to them saying I am the light of the world. And again he's not just saying this in a vacuum somewhere. There's a context here. There's a location. Right, he's in the Treasury at the Temple and it is the feast of booth and he's just made these previous comments about people coming to him to find living water, people coming to him to drink. Now again, as we think about the context for what he's saying here, we think about the treasury where he's teaching these things. The Treasury, as you might be able to guess, is where the people would bring their monetary offerings. It was in one of the courtyards they're outside of the temple. It was always a busy place because of it being the offering location. But but during a feast like the Feast of Booze, it would be a specially packed during this time. And so this this busy, bustling location, the large crowds that would be gathered there, this provides the perfect setting for what Jesus wants to say. But why does he say this? Why does he declare I am the light of the world? What does that mean? Why would he say that in this setting? Why would he say that now? Well, we have to understand a few things about the feast of booths again that help shed light on the situation. Besides that ceremonial outpouring of the water on the altar that kind of got added to the celebration of the Feast of Booze. There was another ceremonial element that was included in this festival, and it was known as the illumination of the temple. The illumination of the temple where, in this same court or the Treasury was located, this very same court where Jesus is now teaching, we're told these huge lamps were set up at the beginning of the Feast of Booze and they were lit to burn through every night, every night of the feast. We're told in by Josephus and and other sources from outside the Bible,...

...that they lit up the whole temple. In fact, it it cast a glow over much of the city of Jerusalem, so brightly did these lamps burn. And while you may think that's kind of a fun fact to now have for your Bible Trivia game, what does that have to do with what Jesus is saying? What does that to do with the context of the Feast of Booze and and God's provision as the Israelites wandered through the Wilderness? Well, how did the Israelites nowhere to go when they wandered through the Wilderness? Remember God led them in a pillar of cloud by day, pillar of fire by night. He led them by his great light. And even though the exact moment of this isn't described here in the text, are the are they just lighting the lamps? Maybe they've just extinguished the lambs? We're not given that kind of detail. But this is the context, this is the location where Jesus declares to the crowds that I am the light of the world. Ago A me I am. It's the second major I am statement that Jesus has made in this Gospel. And of course, when he says I am like this, it is a a clear reference to the divine name of God revealed to Moses, Yahwag I am. This is not only a claim to be the Messiah, this is a claim to be God himself. He's saying that light that led our father's in the Wilderness, that light that descended upon the Tabernacle, that that light that filled the temple with glory, I am that light. I am the light. Is actually what he says. Notice that he doesn't say I am a light, like any good teacher could claim I'm I am a light. He says I am the light. And notice also he does not say I am the light for Jerusalem or I am the light for the Jewish people. He says I am the light of the world. And so here in this astonishing claim, we see that that it's both exclusive and inclusive at the same time, isn't it? It's exclusive because Jesus is the light, there is no other, but it's inclusive because he is the light of the world for all who will come to him. Most importantly, when he says this, it is a direct claim to be the Messiah, and and those who knew their scriptures realized precisely what Jesus was claiming here. And I wish we had time, we don't, to kind of go through all of the allusions to this that you can find in the Old Testament. That might be something you want to do throughout the week. I want to just consider one of those. It's in Isaiah Forty two. Might be worth flipping there in your Bible if you keep your finger in John and flip back to Isaiah forty two. And I just want to show you just one place in the Old Testament where we see the messianic prophecy here and how this ties in with the expectations the people would have when Jesus says I am the light. So Isaiah Forty two, it opens. It starts out by saying in Verse One, behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen in whom my soul delights. I have put my spirit upon him. So this is this is clearly messianic language here. And then, if you go down, God is speaking to his Messiah. In verse six, Isaiah Forty Two. Verse Six, I am the Lord. I'm Yahwah, I have called you in righteousness, speaking to the Messiah. I will take you by the hand and keep you, I will give you as a covenant for the People. And then what does this say? A light for the nation's, the light of the world. And you can't just let that finish there. You have to keep reading from Isaiah forty two to finish that thought. A light for the nation's to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison, those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord, that is my name. Back to John Eight. This is and astonishing claim that Jesus is making about himself when he says I...

...am the light of the world. But he doesn't just leave it hanging there. He makes us astonishing claim, this stunning declaration, and then he follows it up with with a secondary astonishing claim that includes not just him but now his followers. Notice there verse twelve. It continues. Whoever follows me, just as the Israelites of old followed the pillar of God's light in the Wilderness, and that same way, whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. And of course, the unspoken implication there is that those who do not follow Jesus will then remain in the darkness. Jesus is saying here, if you follow me, I will bring you out of the darkness, you will never have to walk in the darkness again. Just like the light in the Wilderness, though, I am a light that moves, I am a light that you have to follow, but you can take courage as you live your life out in this dark world, because if you follow me as your light, I will lead you home, or or is Jesus says, you will have the light of life, and that's a that word have there is is beautiful because it can be understood in a couple of ways. Not only do believers have Jesus as the light that leads them, but there is a sense in which Christians become like beams of the Lord's light themselves. Ephesians five, verse eight says for speaking to believers, to Christians, for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of Light. So not only is the light of Jesus upon us, but we have the light of Jesus. We are, we are given light by Jesus to illuminate our steps as we walk through this life. But then that light that has been given to us is intended to come out from us, to go to others, so that they can see the light, that that we can be used by God to be life and light to those who are still in darkness. That is an astonishing claim here. These are astonishing truth that Jesus is giving us in this this powerful, dramatic moment that's taking place at the temple. And again it is not unclear what he means here. The people understand the claim he is making. The religious leaders certainly understand what he's saying. It's why they respond like they do in verse thirteen. So look at verse thirteen. Now, as we move from an astounding claim to an absurd challenge. Verse Thirteen. So the Pharisees said to him, you are bearing witness about yourself, your testimony is not true. It's not that they don't understand him. They're not asking can you clarify what you mean here? We're confused. No, they grasped the claim he is making and what they're basically telling them is, we hear what you're saying, but talk is cheap right. In fact, they remind him of his own words. I kind of try to put his words back in his mouth. This is something Jesus said to them a whole year earlier, back in John Chapter Five, when they had that confrontation after the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda. Jesus said to them in that case, Chapter Five, verse Thirty One. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true. So so they're kind of throwing that back at him here, but it's it's really an absurd challenge by the Pharisees. It's totally misguided. It's like they didn't hear what he went on to say in John Chapter Five after he made that statement the last time, where he then proceeded to call on the father as his chief witness, who had given testimony about him through John The baptist, through the miracles that he had worked, through the scriptures. And so once again the Pharisees, here they are trying to invalidate Jesus claim simply on the basis that he is making the claim for himself. It's like they're thinking, why should we believe you?...

Right, anybody could say this about themself. Just because you say it doesn't make it true. And what they're doing is kind of raising a legal objection to what Jesus says here. That when they when they say where are your witnesses? Right there they're appealing to the law, the raising a legal objection to reject Jesus claim. But, as as we'll see here, rejecting Jesus and his authoritative claim not only proves their spiritual darkness, it actually results in more darkness. And the way Jesus Responds to the Pharisees here is an answer for all who disbelief. From from this point forward, now Jesus launches into an authoritative commentary and exhaustive explanation of his claim to be the light and in a nutshell, it's this. Jesus says, I am the light of the world because I come from the father, I speak for the father, I'm going to the father and I'm one with the father. So let's let's watch all that unfold here now, verse fourteen. Jesus answered. Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. Let's think about this a little bit. First thing to consider is back when we were in John Chapter One, we talked about this. The fact is light in the midst of darkness bears witness to itself. It doesn't require further witness right. We gave the illustration. You Light, even a small match, in the colossal dark cavern. That light is self attesting. It doesn't need further witnesses. It's very presence is obvious. But beyond that, the law here that the Pharisees are appealing to that that required multiple witnesses and order for the testimony of those witnesses to be deemed true in a legal setting. That law was made for sinful man, not for a holy God, because all men are liars except Jesus. Jesus was not a liar. So Jesus says, I don't actually need another witness. I speak the truth because of who I am and where I'm from and where I'm going. So who is he? Well, do you? Do you remember how this gospel of John Opens in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. That's who he is. Where's he from? We saw this last week. Chapter Seven, Verse Twenty Nine. I know him speaking of the father, for I come from him and he sent me. That's where he's from. Where is he going? Chapter Seven, verse Thirty Three. We also saw this last week. I will be with you a little longer and then I am going to him who sent me. He's going back to the father. But these are things that the Pharisees know nothing about. Verse Fifteen, Jesus says, you judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. What he means when he says that they judge according to the flesh is they? They judge according to sinful, superficial human standards. They are they are weighing Jesus's claim to be the word made flesh through the lens of their own sinful flesh, that they cannot make a right judgment. They're evaluating whether or not Jesus is the light, even though they are spiritually blind at they're not qualified in their sinful flesh to even make this judgment. Jesus says he does not judge, and he means he does not judge in this way, according to these standards. It doesn't mean that Jesus doesn't judge in any sense of the word, though it's true even in his first appearing his purpose was to save right, not to condemn, even though, as we've seen, his...

...mere presence is enough to cause division amongst people without him even have to say anything. We saw that last week and we saw it back in John Three, verse nineteen also. I want to read that for you, just to remember where John Rights. This is the judgment? That sounds serious. What is the judgment? The light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. So so, in a way, just Jesus's appearance, his entry is into into the world, is judgment, and we'll see that as we go a little bit further here. But beyond that when we think about Jesus and judgment, he's been given a unique authority to judge that will be granted to him on the final day because of who he is. We saw this in John Chapter five as well. John Twenty seven, Jesus says he has given him authority to execute judgment because he is the son of man. He speaking about that final sense of judgment, although Jesus's judgment or assessment of any person or situation, even while he was on earth, even in the setting of this story, will always inevitably prove to be right and just and true. That's that's what he's getting at in Verse Sixteen. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true. Why? For it is not I alone who judge, but I am the father who sent me. Again, as we've seen so many times already in John's Gospel, Jesus does nothing but what the father wills, and when he does it, he does it in perfect harmony with him. He's staying there. I judge right alongside my father, and again this is not new either. He said again back in John Five I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge and my judgment is just because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. Jesus then returns to the subject of witnesses that are required by the law. In verse Seventeen, he tells the Pharisees. In your law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. So yes, the law requires two witnesses. They've missed the point, but Jesus is going to play along. He's going to go along with them on this. Verse Eighteen, I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the father who sent me bears witness about me. In other words, since the father and the son are in perfect agreements, then the formal requirement of the law is met. If you are looking for two witnesses, here are two witnesses, Jesus says, me and my father. There's your two. Look at the response. Verse Nineteen. They said to him. There for where is your father now? I I struggle with what to make of this exactly. It's hard to to believe that they didn't know that he was speaking about God here, given their previous encounters, given what he's just said. You know, but as you read further in the passage, and will get to this in verse twenty seven, but it confirms they didn't understand that he was speaking about God, and I think that is just a further indication of their spiritual blindness. But it's but it's their misunderstanding here, at this point that leads Jesus to offer further, even more aggressive explanations that are going to come to dominate the rest of this chapter. But we're still in verse nineteen. Jesus answered, you know neither me nor my father. If you knew me, you would know my father also. That's kind of astonishing. They they don't know Jesus, not really. They think they do. But even worse, because they don't know Jesus, they don't know God. Or you can say it the other way. They don't know God because they are unable to recognize who Jesus really is. But again, how how could they? Because they are still exercising judgment according to the flesh there's, they're still filtering things through their depravity, and if they had really been able to recognize him, they would have known the father also. That's the point Jesus is making and and in the way Jesus answers that question really pronounces a severe condemnation on them, and though I'm sure...

...this aroused their anger, maybe even enough to want to seize him, the text seems to indicate they can't do it. Verse Twenty these words. He spoken the Treasury, as he taught in the temple, but no one arrested him because his hour had not yet come. There's that phrase again, that that kind of steady drum beat that began in John Chapter two that continues all the way until we get to John Chapter Twelve. His hour had not yet come. His hour had not yet come. His hour had not yet come. He's still operated on God's divine timetable. Things will happen in accordance with that, and not a second before they want to arrest him. In fact, in Chapter Seven they tried three times to arrest him, but they can't do a thing because his hour had not yet come. So, since his hour had not yet come, Jesus keeps unpacking this authoritative commentary. He's going to further explain the astonishing claim that he made, he's going to further refute the absurd challenge that the Pharisees raised, and he's going to keep talking about who he is and where he's from. And where he's going and who the father is. And as he does this we're going to see that what he says about himself, the opposite of these things is true of the religious leaders. Jesus is from above. They are from below, they are from the world. Jesus is not of this world. Jesus is going somewhere, but it's a place they cannot come. God is his father and their father is well, we'll see that next week. Look at Verse Twenty One. So he said to them again, I am going away and you will seek me and you will die in your sin. where I am going, you cannot come. That that first statement, I am going away, that refers to his death, something that Jesus, I'm sure, realized, would be a saying that most of these guys will be glad to see happen. I'm going away, I'm going to die. But then what does he mean when he says you will seek me? Well, it cannot mean that they will seek to follow him in a saving way, because right after that he says you will seek me and you will die in your sin. Right, if it was a saving way, you would expect it to say you will seek me and receive eternal life. Not Die in your sin. What this means is they will. After Jesus dies, they will continue to seek out a messiah after his death, but it will be a messiah that that fits their mold, their expectations, but they won't find him because he doesn't exist. They will of already rejected the only Messiah that there is, and the result is they will die in their sin. And just notice, they're thin. That word that's used there. It's it's in this singular form here. It's not plural. So this refers to a particular sin and while we're not explicitly told what that is, I think from the context we can deduce this is the sin of unbelief. This is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ. Ultimately, this is the sin of rejecting the authoritative word that Jesus brings to bear on your life. And since they reject that, they cannot come where he is going. He's going to the father, but to reject the son is to reject the father, so how how could they ever expect to enter the father's presence? Then Jesus makes a very this is very stern. This, this warning is very direct. You will die in your sin. And it has to be that forceful because your reaction to Jesus's divine in authority corresponds to the location of your eternal destiny. You reject the authority of Jesus and, according to Jesus himself, you will die in your sin. Notice he repeats this same phrase, or variation of it, two more times. That it's there in Verse Twenty Four. I told you that you would die in your sins,...

...for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins. How's that for an evangelism ice breaker? You will die in your sin. When is the last time that you were that straight up with someone when declaring the truth of the Gospel? You will die in your sin. You will die in your sins. You will die in your sins. Jesus repeats it three times in five verses, five sentences. This this is life or death, this is heaven or hell. To die in your sin is to die unforgiven by God, and that is as serious as it gets. So how does this happen? How do you die in your sin? And as I looked around at different commentaries and what people have offered on this section before, I really thought that that John Macarthur did an excellent job pointing out for realities in this passage that guarantee you will die in your sin, and I couldn't come up with a better way to say it. So I'm giving you what he says here, paraphrasing its parts of it. So if you want to know how to die in your sin, if you want to make that a reality, here's how you do it. Four step process. First, be self righteous. Notice Verse Twenty Two. So the Jews said, Willie kill himself, since he says where I am going, you cannot come now, maybe you're wondering. Well, how is that selfrighteous? Well, this is not an innocent question. You see, the Jews much like the Roman Catholics. They believe that that suicide causes a person to occupy the worst place in Hell. Josephus, that Jewish historian, he captured this idea. He said this was the common thinking of the day. The souls of those whose hands have done violence to their own lives go to darkest hades and God, their father, will visit the sins of the evildoers on their descendants. So so when the leaders say this, they're essentially saying so he says, we can't follow him. He must be planning to kill himself and go to hell then, and he's right. We won't be following him to hell. Not only are these people lost, but they are so selfrighteous they don't even realize their true condition. So they respond with this wicked sarcasm, thinking that Jesus will be in Hell and they will be in the father's presence. It's amazing that they can get at that backwards, but that's exactly what self righteousness does. It completely distorts and twists reality. It's why sometimes, when you're talking to people about the sin that should cause them to weep, the sin that should cause them to fear God, it's met with a smirk and a laugh. selfrighteousness twist reality. So how how do you make sure you die in your sin? Step one, be selfrighteous, trust yourself. Secondly, beworldly, Jesus Continues Verse Twenty Three. He said to them, you are from below, I am from above. You are of this world, I am not of this world. The origins of the Sun are heavenly. Humans are created from this world, which means that, unlike Jesus, we are part of the fallen, rebellious sinful order that is actively going against God, Jesus. He's not making a contrast here between the spiritual and the physical. The contrast is between God's kingdom and the world system that opposes everything about God and his kingdom. The ideologies and the influences and the promises of the world are hostile to God. They suppress the truth. We see that every day, and this is the fundamental reason why Jesus's opponents can neither recognize who he is nor understand his teaching. It's because they belong to the world, the things of this world. They choke out the Gospel. Millions and millions, billions of people are held captive to the things of this world. The world system is hostile to godliness. It promotes all manner of evil. And so, if you want to ensure that you die in your sin, be worldly,...

...cling to the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. And there's a third way to guarantee that you will die in your sin. Be Faithless. Be Faithless Verse Twenty Four. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins, which also means that the opposite is true. Right. If you do believe, you will not die in your sense. But what is it exactly that they are to believe here? Literally this this reads, unless you believe that I am. The little word he there in our English Bible. It's not there in the original language, which is unusual grammar even for Greek. Jesus literally says, unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins. Again he's applying the Old Testament name for God to himself. He's making another claim to deity, to actually being God, and he's saying, unless you believe that I am the one true living God of the universe, you will die in your sins. And if you think about it, only one thing prevents you from dying in your sins. It's faith in Jesus. It's Jesus, the object of our faith, that prevents that. You have to have faith in Jesus Christ as the son of God. You can believe a whole lot of things about Jesus and still die in your sin. You have to place your trust in him to live. So if you want to die in your sin, refuse to believe in Jesus Christ refused to follow and submit to Jesus Christ, be faithless and finally, to make sure that you die in your sin. Just continue to be hardhearted. They realize Jesus is making a tremendous statement here, even if it is a little bit fuzzy, when he says, unless you believe that I am you will die in your sins. So it prompts them to ask a question. There in Verse Twenty Five. Who Are you? Unless you believe that I am you will die in your sins. Who Are you? But the sense of that question is really, who do you think you are? You're telling us that we're sinners, that in fact, we are going to die in our sins unless we believe that you are God. Who Are you? Who Do you think you are? See, it's their pride and their stubbornness, their hearthheartedness, their blindness that prevents them from seeing what Jesus has been saying from the start. So they ask who are you? Jesus responds, middle of Verse Twenty Five, just what I've been telling you from the beginning. It's what he's been saying this whole time. It's what he's been saying all along. If they would listen. His message hasn't changed. He's been very clear. He has said again and again and again who he is. He said things like, when I speak, the Father Speaks, when I act, the father acts. He'll tell Thomas later in the upper room. When you seem here, you see the father. I only do what I see the father doing. He said it time and time again, but they haven't responded to any of it. Why? They're selfrighteous, their worldly, they're faithless, their heardhearted and they are dead in their sin. Your reaction to Jesus's Divine Authority corresponds to the location of your eternal destiny. Jesus continues here, Verse Twenty Six. I have much to say about you and much to judge. And, if you think about it, whatever he says about them will inevitably be in judgment of them. Be Simple, because there is this vast gulf between who he is and who they are. But that doesn't mean that he's going to be speaking on his own, that he's speaking out of turn here. Look what he says next. I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who...

...sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him. Jesus is above. They are from below. Jesus is sent from God. God is true in Jesus has been sent to declare God's message of truth to the world. Now again the Jews are confused about who he's referring to. When he says he who sent me. Verse Twenty Seven, they did not understand that he had been speaking to hint them about the father. It baffles me that they could misunderstand something that we can read and seem so obvious. But again this is proof that they are spiritually blind spiritually dead. You can lay out a very compelling case for who Jesus is to an unbeliever, but until God opens the eyes and the heart, they will not see it, no matter how logical or emotional your appeal might be. Here's the remedy for their failure to understand who Jesus is. In this case it's revealed by Jesus himself. First Twenty eight, Jesus said to them, when you have lifted up the son of man, then you will know that I am. Again, kind of unusually, the he that's there in the English is not there in the Greek. It's another claim to deity and there's again a kind of a double meaning in his words. Here too, when the crowd heard Jesus say, when you have lifted up the son of man, they probably thought something like when you have exalted the son of Man, because that's what that word usually means. But even we've already seen this in this Gospel, where Jesus says uses that that same exact phrase, lifted up, to refer to the Cross. It was during that conversation with Nicodemus. As Moses lifted up the serpent and the Wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. So according to Jesus, when will they know him? When will they understand who he is? When will that full disclosure take place? When will his glory as God himself be revealed? Jesus says, when you have lifted me up on the cross, then you will know that I am in other words, the crucifixion will be the event, even though it's carried out by his enemies. He says, when you have lifted up the son of man, but it will be the event that will establish Jesus's claim to be God, to be the Messiah most forcefully. Then you will know that I am, and the Cross will be the very means by which Jesus will be exalted as the Lord. In other words, the cross will reveal who Jesus is. That is when the Jews will know the truth. Not that all of his opponents will be suddenly converted in the aftermath of the cross, but if they do come to know who Jesus is, it will most assuredly be because of the cross, and even those who remain in their unbelief will stand condemned on the last day by the very one whom they lifted up on the cross. Verse Twenty Eight should probably be read as two separate sentences, and there's no punctuation marks in the in the original language here, so it's that's a bit of an interpretive decision, but I think it's probably best read like this. So Jesus said to them, when you have lifted up the son of man, then you will know that I am period, full stop, new sentence, and I do nothing the word that is not there, and I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the father taught me. This is kind of amazing when you, when you understand what's being said here. Both Jesus's teaching about the cross and his actual going to the cross are nothing other than the father's will and his submission to those things. Verse Twenty Nine. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him. Jesus has this profound sense of the father's presence with him, and it is the direct result of his perfect submission to his father's will. That's why he can say that he is the light of the world, because he is one with the father. And even in the midst of all this, Jesus is teaching is so compelling that, even without the full understanding and comprehension that can only come on the other side of the Cross and resurrection. Apparently, many, some,...

...many, the text says, many people put their faith in him. Verse Thirty as he was saying these things, many believed in him. Now, since we've been working our way through John's Gospel, red flag should be going up here, because we've seen this kind of thing happened before people professing faith, but in almost all the other cases it's turned out, especially when it's been widespread, is turned out to be counterfeit faith, superficial faith, and we'll see next week, Lord willing, how this plays out. Start to close with this. I was going to say I'm in a close with this, but there might be a little bit more after that. I'm going to begin closing with this. Several years ago, after a billy grand am crusade, and you can say what you want about billy Graham Crusades, but this one, this one took place in Melbourne, Australia, someone wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper there in Melbourne and it said this. After hearing Billy Graham and viewing him on television and seeing reports and letters concerning his mission here, I am heartily sick of the type of religion that insists my soul and everyone else's needs saving, whatever that means. I've never felt that I was lost, nor do I feel that I daily wallow in the mire of sin, although repetitious preaching insists that I do. Give me a practical religion that teaches gentleness and tolerance, that acknowledges no barriers of Color or creed, that remembers the aged and teaches children goodness and not thin if, in order to save my soul. I must accept such a philosophy as I have recently heard preached. I prefer to remain forever damned. We're all familiar with that saying. You better be careful with what you wish for, and we we pray that God would have changed this man's heart, change this man's preference. It illustrates the point that your reaction to Jesus's Divine Authority corresponds to the location of your eternal destiny. In John's opening prolog to this Gospel, he says this the true light which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world and the world was made through him. Yet the world did not know him. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him. Just what we're seeing here in John Seven and eight, isn't it? But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of the blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And as it was with them, so it is with us. Your reaction, your reaction to Jesus's Divine Authority, corresponds to the location of your eternal destiny. You can trust Jesus and follow him as the light of the world right now, or you can die in your sin and realize the truth about who Jesus is only after it's too late. One way or another, you will bow the knee. You will confess Jesus Christ as Lord of all. The only question is whether you will do that in joyful celebration in this life or in fearful condemnation on the final day. Your reaction to Jesus's Divine Authority corresponds to the location of your eternal destiny and with the full weight, and I don't say that lightly, the full weight of Jesus's Divine Authority, I can say to you that Jesus is the light of the world, that you are to follow him, that you are to stop walking in the darkness. Jesus died to deliver his people from the domain of darkness, and so you need to receive the light of life. Awake, O sleeper, rise from the dead. The Light of Christ will shine upon you and as his light shines upon you, as...

Jesus says in the sermon on the mount you are the light of the world, and now you are to let the light of Jesus that has shown upon you shine through you, so that others may see your good works and give glory to your father, who is in heaven. Let's pray. Lord God, Almighty Alpha Omega, who is and who was and who is to come? You are the most high over all the earth. You are our God and we praise you. You are light, and in you there is no darkness at all. Help us, Lord, each one, to gladly submit to the authority of King Jesus, so that we might dwell with you and forever be your people. Amen.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (120)