In our last video post, the second part of this series, we left Jesus traveling towards Jerusalem for the last time. And, we listened in as Jesus taught His apostles the right thinking and acting it takes to enter into the kingdom of God…
As they travel on, they come to the city of Jericho. When Jesus and Company begin to leave the city, they pass by a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus, sitting on the side of the road, who, when he hears that Jesus is present, shouts out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:47 NKJV
Jesus healed him on the spot, saying, “Go your way, your faith has made you well.” Mark 10:52 NKJV
As Jesus began to continue on His journey, (surrounded by a crowd, as usual) He passes by a tree where a tax collector named Zacchaeus had climbed up, to get a better view of Christ. Jesus immediately looks up and calls him by name and tells him to prepare his house so that Jesus could stay there.
Zacchaeus was thrilled, but the crowd disapproved of Jesus’ decision to ‘consort’ with the sinner. Zacchaeus looks right at Jesus and tells Him (loud enough for the crowd to hear) that he was going to give half of everything he had to the poor. Furthermore, he said that if he had ever cheated anyone, he would restore their losses by fourfold.
(Zacchaeus was demonstrating true repentance.)
Jesus responds to the crowd: Today is [Messianic and spiritual] salvation come to [all of the members of] this household, since Zacchaeus too is a [real spiritual] son of Abraham; for the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:9 AMP
The tax collector is a physical descendant of Abraham, (as were all Jews) and with the addition of Jesus’ salvation, he has become a spiritual descendant as well – saved, as was his entire family.
Jesus was telling the entire crowd that He had come to save sinners; and that all they had to do, was to have faith and a repentant change of heart…
Then Jesus began to perceive that many in the crowd thought that He, as the Messiah, was going to Jerusalem to overthrow the Roman occupying forces, and then usher in a physical kingdom of God at once.
Jesus shares a parable to set them straight. This one is referred to as the ‘parable of the Minas.’ (It is a modification of the parable about the talents. A ‘minas’ was approximately one pound of money.)
In this parable, a nobleman leaves his land to travel to another country to acquire his rightful kingship over said land. Just before he left, he gave each of his ten servants ten minas – telling them to use it to engage in business while he was away.
(At this point, Jesus tells the crowd that the people, who would be the subjects of this future king, hated him.)
When the ‘king’ returns, he asks each of his servants to tell him what they had done with his money. One of them multiplied the king’s money tenfold, another fivefold, and a third servant hid his money. Worse, that same servant tried to justify his action by saying that the king was such an exacting man with his standards, that he was frightened over the potential punishment that would be laid upon him, if he failed at managing the money.
The king then asked him why he didn’t at least put the money in the bank, where it would earn interest. No answer. So the king gave his ten minas to the servant who had multiplied his allotment by ten. The king’s servants protest, but the king tells them, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” Luke 19:26, 27. NASB
What Jesus means to convey, is that He is going up to heaven to receive His kingship. And when He comes back, near the end of all things, He will judge each of God’s children according to their relationship to Him and to their adherence to the word of God, as well as what they did with the gifts God placed within them, for advancing His kingdom.
Those who decide not to have a relationship with Christ, well, they’ll find out about their final disposition the hard way.
Jesus was letting the crowd know that the kingdom of God will come to its full fruition when He returns from heaven, not when He gets to Jerusalem…
Passover is approaching, and all of Jerusalem is abuzz about whether or not Jesus would show up. The Pharisees and the priests also had spies everywhere just in case He did, so that they could arrest Him…
It’s Sunday, (‘Palm Sunday’), the beginning of Jesus’ final week on earth before His heavenly transformation.
Jesus is in the town of Bethany, at the Mount of Olives – just outside of Jerusalem. He’s ready to enter, but Jesus first tells two of His disciples to go to a nearby village – where they will find a colt tied up, that has never been ridden. He tells them to bring it to Him; and if anyone questions them, He tells them to answer: “Because the Lord has need of it.” Luke 19:31 NKJV
When they bring it, much to their surprise, Jesus mounts the colt – fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy, and in so doing, publicly proclaims Himself as the Messiah: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zech. 9:9 NKJV
A great crowd surrounds Jesus. They spread their clothes, as well as palm tree branches, on the road before Him; and they shout as He rides by:
“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!” Matt. 21:19 NKJV
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38 NKJV
(‘Hosanna’ means ‘save now,’ and calling Jesus the ‘Son of David’ acknowledges His Messianic status.)
The Pharisees (who else?) get their feathers ruffled at the people’s display of praise and worship, and they tell Jesus to quiet them down. He responds:
“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:40 NKJV
(Jesus is telling them that the actions of His followers are legitimate. And, He is now making it public knowledge that He is the Son of God.)
Yet, as Jesus approaches Jerusalem, He is struck with a heavy heart, and He begins to weep, crying out: Would that you had known personally, even at least in your day, the things that make for peace (for freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin and upon which your peace – your security, safety, prosperity, and happiness – depends)! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Luke 19:42 AMP
“For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because You did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:43, 44. NASB
Heavy words. God has given, through Jesus Christ, many opportunities for the Jews to return to Him. But the majority of them have repeatedly rejected Jesus, thus rejecting God, just as they will continue to do, right up to Jesus’ final sacrifice – because of their disappointment over the kingdom victory being a spiritual one, rather than one that was accomplished militarily.
Jesus is saying that the Jews of His day have had their chance, and they blew it in a BIG way. In His statement, Jesus is also prophesying about the total annihilation of the temple, which will take place in 70 A.D. at the hands of the Roman general Titus.
At the end of the day, Jesus and the apostles return to the city of Bethany…
If you are reading this, and you haven’t met Jesus, your time of visitation is right now. Find a Christian who will lead you in your prayer of salvation today.
In our last video post, Making Ready For The Second Coming Of Christ – part 2, we left Jesus preaching to a crowd, (which included those ‘rabble rouser’ Pharisees) about how to receive salvation, and about how to focus on helping those who need the same…
As He and His apostles continue with their ministry travels, Jesus receives a message from a friend of His, named Mary – telling Him that her brother Lazarus, (also a close friend of Jesus) was extremely sick.
(The Bible tells us that Jesus loved Mary, Lazarus, and their sister Martha.)
Jesus responds to the message by speaking to His apostles, saying, This sickness is not to end in death; but [on the contrary] it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified throughout (by) it. John 11:4 AMP
In other words, Jesus is saying that Lazarus would not die in the final sense of the word. Instead, this situation would serve as another opportunity to witness the power of God, through Jesus Christ. And to really press this point home, Jesus delayed His trip to help Lazarus by two more days.
Just before Jesus and His retinue leave, He explains: “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” John 11:11 NKJV
The disciples think that Jesus is literally referring to Lazarus’ sleeping. Jesus was however, instead speaking of the sleep of death, and He tells them so:
Lazarus is dead. And for your sake I am glad that I was not there; it will help you believe (to trust and rely on Me). However, let us go to him. John 11:14, 15. AMP
When Jesus arrives, (at the city of Bethany – 2 miles from Jerusalem) He is informed that Lazarus has already been entombed for 4 days. Martha ran to Jesus and told Him that Lazarus would not have died if He had been there – because she knows that God grants His Son’s every request.
Jesus tells Martha that Lazarus will rise again, but she takes His reply to refer to Lazarus’ resurrection as the end of time. And so Jesus gives Martha clarification:
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25, 26. NKJV
Martha answers in the affirmative, stating her firm belief in His being the Christ. She then runs home and sends her sister Mary to Jesus. Mary and some of her friends come to Him beset with grief and weeping.
Jesus shows His compassion: When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?”…Jesus wept. John 11:33 – 35. NASB
He approached the tomb and asked for the stone that covered the entrance to be removed. Martha protested, saying to Jesus that the four day-old stench would surely be most foul. Jesus answers her:
“Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40 NKJV
As they roll away the stone, Jesus gazes heavenward and says:
Father, I thank You that you have heard Me. Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [that You have made Me Your Messenger]. John 11:41, 42. AMP
Suddenly, Jesus drew upon His own divine authority over life and death, and He shouted, “Lazarus, come forth!” John 11:43 NKJV
And out Lazarus came – wrapped up like a mummy! Everyone was astonished! Some people believed in Jesus. Others, who chose to remain small-minded, ran off to tell the Pharisees.
Well, you know that Jesus’ raising of the dead did not sit well with the Pharisees. So they called a meeting of the governing council, (the Sanhedrin) in order to come up with a plan to get rid of Jesus before His miracles persuaded anyone else to believe that He was the Messiah. In addition, they were afraid that Jesus’ ascension in status might downgrade the existing status of the Pharisees and the Sadducees within the Jewish community.
They plotted to kill Jesus, but Jesus traveled on…
Time passed, and it was now the beginning of 30 A.D. Now was the time that Jesus set out to begin His final journey to Jerusalem – to bring the perfection of His Father’s saints to fruition.
Jesus and His apostles are traveling through Samaria and Galilee, when they were approached by ________ you guessed it – those persistent and pernicious Pharisees! They wanted to corner Jesus by asking Him just when would the kingdom of God come.
He retorts by telling them that they are looking at the kingdom of God right now – imbedded both in Christ and in the hearts of all of those who choose to follow Him.
Jesus then turns to His apostles and says, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look here!’
Do not go out or follow them! For as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.” Luke 17:22 – 24. ESV
The Son of God is letting His disciples know that they will long for their Savior’s return, which will make them subject to being vulnerable to the false claims of others – others claiming to be the Messiah, or, at least professing to know His whereabouts.
However, Jesus is stressing the fact that His return will be global in its impact – far from being a clandestine event.
He continues by revealing the series of events that must precede His second coming:
“But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will also be in the days of the Son of Man. They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Likewise as it was in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” Luke 17:25 – 30. NKJV
What Jesus is doing, is warning His apostles (and us), so that they / we can impart the urgency to others, regarding their accepting Christ as their Savior – instead of letting them retain their ignorant cavalier attitude towards their eternal disposition.
Why? It’s because that kind of attitude will only lead to their eternal undoing – because when Jesus returns, the jig is up. You are forever stuck with the ramifications of your choice.
When He comes, He is only ushering His sheep, the children of God, through the gates of heaven.
Jesus said: “On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:31, 32. ESV
We want to be ready when Christ returns. We want to have both feet in the kingdom. Jesus will accept no straddlers, no fence sitters (like Lot’s wife). You are either with Christ, joined to Him for eternal life and love, or, you become one of those who are ‘left behind’ in the great sifting of all who have ever lived:
“I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. There will be two women grinding at the same place: one will be taken and the other will be left.” Luke 17:34, 35. NASB
Being ‘left behind’ does not look like a good place to be:
“Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.” Luke 17:37 NASB
Don’t you be a ‘left behind.’ Now is the time for you to stand with Jesus…
Cited scriptures in sequence: Luke 14:3 NASB; Luke 14:5 ESV; Luke 14:11 NKJV; Luke 14:13 NASB; Luke 14:14, 15 & 24. NKJV; Luke 14:26, 27. AMP; Luke 14:33 ESV; LUke 15:7 & 10. NKJV; Luke 15:21 & 24. ESV; Luke 16:14, 15. NKJV; Luke 16:16, 17. AMP; Luke 16:26 NKJV.
In our last video post, Jesus Pulls No Punches, we saw Jesus chide lawyers (scribes) and Pharisees for their self-righteous attitudes. He also taught of the importance of being persistent in prayer until you see it granted. Finally, Jesus leveled the scribes and Pharisees again, for leaning on the laws of man, instead of the law of God, and for purposely making it hard for people to learn about how to live a godly life.
Jesus stands firm for the salvation of God’s children…
Well, Jesus finds Himself surround by crowds that just keep growing and growing in number. On one occasion, Jesus uses a parable to teach one of these crowds about His future return to earth, (His ‘second coming’):
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at the table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants!But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Luke 12:35 – 40. ESV
So, it is vital that we get our spiritual house in order, to the best of our ability – staying in alignment with God before Jesus returns, (or before our earth suit wears out – whichever comes first), or it will be too late! Salvation will no longer be available.
Jesus speaks to this urgency:
“Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming;’ and so it is…Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” Luke 12:54 & 56. NKJV“And why do you not judge even on your own initiative what is right? For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there, make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent!” Luke 12:57 – 59. NASB
Jesus appears to be exasperated with the crowd, which I’m sure He was. However, what we are witnessing is the determination of His love – trying to get the people to see the light, to get them to see that their salvation was standing right in front of them and that they must get a hold of that salvation (being in right-standing with God) before they have to stand before the judgment seat. It is there that you want to be able to stand in the innocence conveyed to you through the blood of Jesus.
Jesus sums it up with a call to action: “…unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5 NKJV
It’s the winter of 29 A.D., and Jesus enters the temple to teach during the Feast of Dedication.
(This feast was the early root of the celebration of Hanukkah. It was a celebration of the liberation of the temple in 165 B.C., from the tyranny of the occupation of the Syrian king, Antiochus IV.)
Jesus was upbraiding those Jews who didn’t believe that Jesus was who He said He was:
“I told you and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me.And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” John 10:25 – 30. NKJV
Jesus loves you so much; but you have to sit up, take notice, and jump on His Love Train – because there is an end to time, and God and His Son are on the same clock. You have to get with the program while it’s still ticking…
Jesus travels to the region of Perea (east of the Jordan River), and begins to teach to a crowd there about the disposition of the ‘unbelievers’ when that clock stops:
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.” Luke 13:24 – 28. NKJV
You can say that you are a follower of Jesus, but you have to do the following…
A group of Pharisees approached Jesus and told Him to leave the area because Herod, the tetrarch of Galilee and Perea wanted to kill Him. (Why the Pharisees warned Jesus, is a mystery.)
Jesus responds: “Go tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Luke 13:32 NKJV
He is sending a message to Herod that God’s plan takes precedent over Herod’s desires; and God’s plan will be fulfilled – culminating in Christ’s resurrection.
And yet, I think, that at this juncture, Jesus is seeing all of the heavenly tumblers fall into place; and at this point in time, He knows the majority of the people of Israel, (personified by ‘Jerusalem’ in the next scripture) have lost their chance for salvation.
You can feel Jesus’ heartbreak as He laments:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” Luke 13:34, 35. NKJV
Thus, Israel will be denied the presence of Christ until they come to know and acknowledge Him as their Savior.
Thank God we have the Christ-inspired perspective to motivate us to keep our house in order, and to remember Who the Head of it is…
…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Josh. 24:15 NKJV
Good night and God bless.
In our last video post, Jesus Takes Center Stage – part 3, we left Jesus telling a crowd (which included those pesky Pharisees) that He was the ‘Good Shepherd’ – the only one that can usher us into God’s presence. Jesus declared that it was He who brought the light of God into the world, and that He was willing to lay down His life for anyone that would make the decision to receive Him, so that they could live in that light for eternity…
Afterwards, Jesus appoints seventy-two new ‘disciples’ (separate from the twelve apostles) to precede Him to areas where He intended to preach in. They were to prepare the people by alerting them that the kingdom of God was coming to them.
Jesus instructs the disciples before they depart:
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money bag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless, know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.” Luke 10:1 – 12. ESV
So we see that Jesus is empowering the seventy-two to heal, and to be able to preach about the kingdom of God – including the open door for entering there, i.e. Christ Himself.
We can learn from Jesus’ instructions as well. As we evangelize, we can tell everyone who will hear with an open heart (‘sons of peace’) about the promises available for the children of God. As for those who won’t, we can tell them about the consequences that they will face.
What anyone does with our invitation to the kingdom is between him ore her and God. It is our job to invite like a lamb – humble and without coercion. It is up to the hearer to make their free-will decision regarding their fate.
God has a finite timetable for people to accept and or return to Him. That is what makes our commission to evangelize so urgent. We cannot take the time to tarry, (‘greet people on the road’).
Jesus seals the seventy-two and sends them on their way: “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you, rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” Luke 10:16 NKJV
Later, the seventy-two return from their tasks with elation, having seen the power of Christ work through them. They tell Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Luke 10:17 NKJV
Jesus answers back: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Luke 10:18 NKJV
What Jesus is referring to, is the devil’s ultimate defeat – beginning with this ministry of the seventy-two. Next, Jesus tells them (and us) that He will continue to empower His disciples:
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:19, 20. NKJV
The scorpions and serpents are symbolic of demonic opposition. And Jesus promises to be at your side when it comes against you.
(Symbolic, not literal. There have been a number of religious nuts who have been injured or killed by trying to handle these creatures – by trying to put God to the test.)
God equips us to advance His kingdom by reflecting His love. That’s where the real power is…
And then Jesus allows Himself a celebration, as He rejoices in the Holy Spirit over the results of their ministry:
I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have concealed those things [relating to salvation] from the wise and understanding and learned, and revealed them to babes (the childish, unskilled, and untaught). Yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will and choice and good pleasure. Luke 10:21 AMP
Jesus is celebrating the grace of God in choosing to reveal the ‘good news’ to those with childlike faith, instead of to those who feel so wise in their own eyes – ‘rationally’ rejecting His Son.
All followers of Christ are commissioned to multiply HIm by expanding the circle of the kingdom of God on earth, through the sharing of His Good News…
Goodnight and God Bless.
On our last video post, Jesus Takes Center Stage, we left Jesus teaching at the temple in Jerusalem on the last day of the Festival of Tabernacles. Jesus was playing to a tough crowd – trying to get them to see that He was the Messiah, but most of the people were having no part of it…
The day after the Feast, Jesus went down to the temple to teach again. While He was teaching, the Pharisees brought a woman to Him who had been caught in the act of adultery. And they said to Him: “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?” John 8:5 NKJV
(The Pharisees are still trying to get Jesus to speak blasphemy against the Mosaic Law so that they could have Him arrested.)
Jesus turns the tables on them, as He directs His response to the entire crowd in the temple: “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:10, 11. NKJV
Everyone left the temple, leaving only Jesus and the woman. He says to her:
“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:10, 11. NKJV
Jesus just delivered her from a death by stoning. And He showered her with His merciful forgiveness, hoping that her experience would prompt her to repent of her ways…
Later, Jesus taught in the temple again. He begins:
“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 NKJV
Following Jesus is the only way to transcend the darkness in this world.
Not unexpectedly, the Pharisees have a tizzy fit, and call Him a liar – saying that according to Mosaic Law, He must have at least one other witness corroborating His Messianic claim.
“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 came from and where I am going.” John 8:14 NKJV
You [set yourselves up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). [You condemn by external, human standards.] I do not [set Myself up to] judge or condemn or sentence anyone. John 8:15 AMP
“Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.” John 8:16 ESV
“Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” John 8:17, 18. NASB
Jesus has just produced His witness – God Himself.
(Note that Jesus said He does not judge. He is not contradicting Himself. He did not judge during His earthly ministry. When He comes back, well, that’s another story.)
The Pharisees are really lathered up now, and they demand to know the whereabouts of Jesus’ Father. He answers:
“You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.” John 8:19 NKJV
Jesus is saying that He and His Father are exactly alike in purpose, thought and deed. Now, He presses on in the face of their anger:
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 go”… “You are from beneath; I am from above, You are of this world; I am not of this world. 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 for your sins.” John 8:21, 23, 24. NKJV
Jesus is telling them that He is a heavenly being – the Messiah, the Son of God. He is also stating that He is going to return to heaven, and that anyone in the crowd who will not put their faith in Him for who He is and what He did, will die – period. Whereas having that faith, will guarantee your open door to eternal life.
This thick-skulled group collectively asks Jesus, ‘Who are You?’ And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” John 8;25, 26. NKJV
Jesus was met with blank stares, like a deer facing an oncoming car’s headlights. I’m sure Jesus was frustrated, but He stays on task:
When you have lifted up the Son of Man [on the cross], you will realize (know, understand) that I am He [for Whom you look] and that I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say [exactly] what My Father has taught Me. And He Who sent Me is ever with Me; My Father has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him. John 8:28, 29. AMP
Jesus omnisciently perceives that at this point He has scored some converts. He addresses them directly:
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32. NKJV
To ‘abide’ (live) in the gospel, means to obey it – the fruit of which is a life free of the shackles the come with living in a manner opposed to your highest and best purpose.
The unbelievers in the crowd continue scratching their heads, and tell Jesus that because they are the descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves, they don’t understand what they need to set free from.
What merciful patience Jesus displays as He continues to try to open their eyes:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:34 – 36. NKJV
What Jesus is saying is that an unrepentant sinner has a finite time limit with respect to the length of their life. However, those who partner with Jesus have an eternal surety.
Jesus continues: “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” John 8:37, 38. NKJV
The crowd shouts back that ‘Abraham’ is their father. Jesus rebukes them:
If you were [truly] Abraham’s children, then you would do the works of Abraham [follow his example, do as Abraham did]. But now [instead] you are wanting and seeking to kill Me, a Man Who has told you the truth which I have heard from God. This is not the way Abraham acted. You do the deeds of your father. John 8:39, 40. AMP
This exchange is really heating up and the crowd shouts back to Him that they are not illegitimate, and that they all ultimately have just one Father – God.
Not so, according to Jesus, as He drops the hammer on them:
“If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is liar and the father of it. But because I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me.Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell you the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear because you are not of God.” John 8:42 – 47. NKJV
Blistering huh? The crowd responded by calling Jesus an enemy of Israel and its temple, and they accused Him of being demon-possessed. Jesus shoots back:
“I do not have a demon, but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. And I don’t seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” John 8:49 – 51. NKJV
There it is; walk with Jesus, live eternally. As you would expect, the crowd isn’t buying it. They’re still accusing Him of being demon-possessed and they tell Him that they believe that the greatest men who had ever lived was Abraham and the prophets – but they all died. So, they don’t get this ‘eternal life’ stuff.
They challenge Jesus, asking Him if He thought that He was greater than Abraham. Jesus drops another bomb:
“If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” John 8:54 – 56. NKJV
Jesus is saying that the coming of the Messiah was revealed to Abraham.
The crowd asks Jesus how He could have possibly seen Abraham, because Abraham had lived some 1800 years prior to their present time. Now Jesus lays the truth upon them in a very big way, when He says: “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58 NKJV
In other words, Jesus is saying that He is eternal, like God Himself.
Well, that sent the crowd over the edge; and they took up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, but Jesus supernaturally disappears from the temple…
There’s no mistaking who this Jesus is. He is the Christ.
Goodnight and God bless.