If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Exodus 29, John 8, Proverbs 5, Galatians 4. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read John 8.
John 8:1-11 does not appear in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. This means that someone inserted here after John wrote this gospel. This may be a record of a genuine incident in the life of Christ, one that the disciples told others about or that was written in another document. But it was almost certainly not part of the original gospel of John and, therefore, not the inspired word of God. The NIV usually relegates passages like this to the footnotes, but because this text is well-known and fairly lengthy, they included it in the main text of John’s gospel.
John 8:12-59 focused on the identity of Jesus. Christ asserted in verse 12 that he is the light of the world and that there is great benefit to those who follow him. Verses 13-20 record the argument that followed this claim of Christ. Unable to refute his claims about being the light of the world, the Pharisees attacked his credibility. By their argument, no one should believe what he said about himself because there is no second witness to corroborate his claims (v. 13). Christ responded that God the Father also testifies to him (vv. 14-20). This happened at the baptism of Jesus when the voice of the Father from heaven recognized Christ as the Son and commanded his people to hear Jesus.
In verses 21-30, Christ engaged in a second argument about his identity. This time his sparring partners were merely described as “the Jews” (v. 22). Jesus warned them that their window of opportunity was closing and that they would die in their sins if they did not believe Jesus was who he said he was (vv. 21-30).
Finally, in verses 31-59, Christ addressed “the Jews who had believed him” (v. 31) and told them that the genuineness of their discipleship would be demonstrated by whether or not they held firmly to his teaching (v. 31b). This suggests that his audience, described in verse 31 as “the Jews who had believed him,” may have only made a superficial claim to believe in Christ. Jesus warned them not to reject his teaching because there was a great benefit to those who held on to his teaching: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (v. 32). This is the opposite of our natural tendency. We think that we must know in order to believe. Our demand is: “Prove to me that God exists or that Christ rose from the dead” or whatever, "and then I will believe." But Christ teaches, as Augustine put it, that we must believe in order to know. It is only through faith in God’s word that we come to know the truth about God and his Son, Jesus Christ.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.