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Matthew Henry's Commentary

John Chapter 8 

he Pharisees and the adulteress. (1-11) Christ's discourse with the Pharisees. (12-59)

Verses 1-11: Christ neither found fault with the law, nor excused the prisoner's guilt; nor did he countenance the pretended zeal of the Pharisees. Those are self-condemned who judge others, and yet do the same thing. All who are any way called to blame the faults of others, are especially concerned to look to themselves, and keep themselves pure. In this matter Christ attended to the great work about which he came into the world, that was, to bring sinners to repentance; not to destroy, but to save. He aimed to bring, not only the accused to repentance, by showing her his mercy, but the prosecutors also, by showing them their sins; they thought to insnare him, he sought to convince and convert them. He declined to meddle with the magistrate's office. Many crimes merit far more severe punishment than they meet with; but we should not leave our own work, to take that upon ourselves to which we are not called. When Christ sent her away, it was with this caution, Go, and sin no more. Those who help to save the life of a criminal, should help to save the soul with the same caution. Those are truly happy, whom Christ does not condemn. Christ's favour to us in the forgiveness of past sins should prevail with us, Go then, and sin no more.

Verses 12-16: Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, and Christ is the image of the invisible God. One sun enlightens the whole world; so does one Christ, and there needs no more. What a dark dungeon would the world be without the sun! So would it be without Jesus, by whom light came into the world. Those who follow Christ shall not walk in darkness. They shall not be left without the truths which are necessary to keep them from destroying error, and the directions in the way of duty, necessary to keep them from condemning sin.

Verses 17-20: If we knew Christ better, we should know the Father better. Those become vain in their imaginations concerning God, who will not learn of Christ. Those who know not his glory and grace, know not the Father that sent him. The time of our departure out of the world, depends upon God. Our enemies cannot hasten it any sooner, nor can our friends delay it any longer, than the time appointed of the Father. Every true believer can look up and say with pleasure, My times are in thy hand, and better there than in my own. To all God's purposes there is a time.

Verses 21-29: Those that live in unbelief, are for ever undone, if they die in unbelief. The Jews belonged to this present evil world, but Jesus was of a heavenly and Divine nature, so that his doctrine, kingdom, and blessings, would not suit their taste. But the curse of the law is done away to all that submit to the grace of the gospel. Nothing but the doctrine of Christ's grace will be an argument powerful enough, and none but the Spirit of Christ's grace will be an agent powerful enough, to turn us from sin to God; and that Spirit is given, and that doctrine is given, to work upon those only who believe in Christ. Some say, Who is this Jesus? They allow him to have been a Prophet, an excellent Teacher, and even more than a creature; but cannot acknowledge him as over all, God blessed for evermore. Will not this suffice? Jesus here answers the question. Is this to honour him as the Father? Does this admit his being the Light of the world, and the Life of men, one with the Father? All shall know by their conversion, or in their condemnation, that he always spake and did what pleased the Father, even when he claimed the highest honours to himself.

Verses 30-36: Such power attended our Lord's words, that many were convinced, and professed to believe in him. He encouraged them to attend his teaching, rely on his promises, and obey his commands, notwithstanding all temptations to evil. Thus doing, they would be his disciples truly; and by the teaching of his word and Spirit, they would learn where their hope and strength lay. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts feel no other grievances than those that molest the body, and distress their worldly affairs. Talk to them of their liberty and property, tell them of waste committed upon their lands, or damage done to their houses, and they understand you very well; but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and liberty by Christ; tell of wrong done to their precious souls, and the hazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange things to their ears. Jesus plainly reminded them, that the man who practised any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which was the case with most of them. Christ in the gospel offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. But often we see persons disputing about liberty of every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.

Verses 37-40: Our Lord opposed the proud and vain confidence of these Jews, showing that their descent from Abraham could not profit those of a contrary spirit to him. Where the word of God has no place, no good is to be expected; room is left there for all wickedness. A sick person who turns from his physician, and will take neither remedies nor food, is past hope of recovery. The truth both heals and nourishes the hearts of those who receive it. The truth taught by philosophers has not this power and effect, but only the truth of God. Those who claim the privileges of Abraham, must do Abraham's works; must be strangers and sojourners in this world; keep up the worship of God in their families, and always walk before God.

Verses 41-47: Satan prompts men to excesses by which they murder themselves and others, while what he puts into the mind tends to ruin men's souls. He is the great promoter of falsehood of every kind. He is a liar, all his temptations are carried on by his calling evil good, and good evil, and promising freedom in sin. He is the author of all lies; whom liars resemble and obey, with whom all liars shall have their portion for ever. The special lusts of the devil are spiritual wickedness, the lusts of the mind, and corrupt reasonings, pride and envy, wrath and malice, enmity to good, and enticing others to evil. By the truth, here understand the revealed will of God as to the salvation of men by Jesus Christ, the truth Christ was now preaching, and which the Jews opposed.

Verses 48-53: Observe Christ's disregard of the applause of men. those who are dead to the praises of men can bear their contempt. God will seek the honour of all who do not seek their own. In these verses we have the doctrine of the everlasting happiness of believers. We have the character of a believer; he is one that keeps the sayings of the Lord Jesus. And the privilege of a believer; he shall by no means see death for ever. Though now they cannot avoid seeing death, and tasting it also, yet they shall shortly be where it will be no more forever, (Ex 14:13).

Verses 54-59: Christ and all that are his, depend upon God for honour. Men may be able to dispute about God, yet may not know him. Such as know not God, and obey not the gospel of Christ, are put together, (2Th 1:8). All who rightly know anything of Christ, earnestly desire to know more of him. Those who discern the dawn of the light of the Sun of Righteousness, wish to see his rising. "Before Abraham was, I AM." This speaks Abraham a creature, and our Lord the Creator; well, therefore, might he make himself greater than Abraham. I AM, is the name of God, (Ex 3:14); it speaks his self-existence; he is the First and the Last, ever the same, (Re 1:8). Thus he was not only before Abraham, but before all worlds, (Pr 8:23; Joh 1:1). As Mediator, he was the appointed Messiah, long before Abraham; the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, (Re 13:8). The Lord Jesus was made of God Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, to Adam, and Abel, and all that lived and died by faith in him, before Abraham. The Jews were about to stone Jesus for blasphemy, but he withdrew; by his miraculous power he passed through them unhurt. Let us stedfastly profess what we know and believe concerning God; and if heirs of Abraham's faith, we shall rejoice in looking forward to that day when the Saviour shall appear in glory, to the confusion of his enemies, and to complete the salvation of all who believe in him.

 

 


David Burnette's Life Application

Do You Forgive Others?

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of John with Chapter 8. In our text today we see Jesus forgives an adulterous women, Jesus is the light of the world, He warns of the coming judgement, being saved, and life eternal. In making application we are reminded that those who are without sin should cast the first stone. Our Lord is the Judge and if He can forgive sinners then we should too. How about you? Do you forgive sinners? Let us learn from our text today and the Words of Jesus who explains that those who come to Jesus can have their sins forgiven and if Jesus can forgive sinners we should also because only those who are without sin should cast the first stone.

 

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John 8

John 8

 1Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

 2And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

 3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

 4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

 6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

 7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

 8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

 9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

 10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

 11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

 12Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 13The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

 14Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

 15Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

 16And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

 17It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.

 18I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

 19Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

 20These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

 21Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

 22Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

 23And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

 24I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

 25Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

 26I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

 27They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

 28Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

 29And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

 30As he spake these words, many believed on him.

 31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 33They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

 34Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

 35And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

 36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

 37I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

 38I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

 39They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

 40But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

 41Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

 42Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

 43Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

 44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

 45And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

 46Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

 47He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

 48Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

 49Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.

 50And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

 51Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

 52Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.

 53Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?

 54Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

 55Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

 57Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

 58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

 59Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.