"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 8 Jesus at Tabernacles (Jn 7.1-8.59)

Further Teaching and Reaction: Abraham and his Line (Jn 8.30-59)

30As he was saying this, many put their trust in him. 31So Jesus said to the Jerusalemites (or the Judaeans) who had put their trust in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples. 32And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” 33They answered him, “We are Abraham's descendants and we have not ever been slaves to anyone. How can you say "You will be made free"?” 34Jesus answered them, “Amen, Amen I say to you that everyone who sins is the slave of sin. 35(But the slave1 does not remain in the household forever, the son remains forever.) 36If then the son makes you free, you are really free.

37“I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you are seeking to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38I say what I have seen from the Father and so you should do what you heard from the Father.” 39They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham!” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham's children, you do Abraham's works. 40But now you are seeking to kill me, a person who spoke to you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham didn't do that!. 41You're doing your father's deeds, alright!” [Then] they said to him, “We weren't born from illicit sex! We have one Father, God.” 42Jesus said to them, “If God is your Father, you should love me, for I came forth from God and am here, for I have not come on my own account but God2 sent me. 43Why don't you understand what I am saying? Is it because you can't hear my word? 44Your father is the Enemy3 and you are trying to carry out your father's wishes! That one was homicidal from the beginning and has not stood firm in the truth because truth wasn't in him. Whenever he lies, he is speaking his own proper language because he is a liar and the father of lying. 45I on the other hand speak the truth: you don't believe me. 46Which of you accuses me of sin? If I tell the truth, why don't you believe me? 47The one who is from God hears God's words: on that account you don't listen to me, because you are not from God!”

48The Jerusalemites (or The Judaeans) answered and said to him, “Haven't we said rightly that you are a Samaritan and are possessed4?” 49Jesus answered, “I am not possessed but I honour my Father and you do not honour me. 50I do not seek my own glory: it is he who seeks and judges. 51Amen, Amen, I say to you, If anyone keeps my word, they will not ever see death at all.” 52[Then] the Jerusalemites (or the Judaeans) said to him, “Now we know that you are possessed! Abraham died and the prophets, yet you say, "If anyone keeps my word, they will not ever taste death at all." 53Surely you're not better than our father Abraham, who died and the prophets died also‽ Just who do you make yourself out to be‽” 54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, whom you call "our God". 55Yet you don't know him -- I know him. And if I said that I didn't know him, I would be like you, a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. 56Your father Abraham greatly rejoiced at the chance to see my day, and he did see it and was glad.” 57Then the Jerusalemites (or the Judaeans) said to him, “You are not yet 50 years old, and you've seen Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was I AM.” 59Then they picked up stones to cast at him. But Jesus hid and went away from the Temple.

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1 slave, slave: Gk doulos, see comment on Jn 4.51

2 literally that one

3the Enemy: or the Slanderer; Greek "ho diabolos"; a reference to Satan.

4 literally have a evil spirit