At this point in Jesus' ministry, there is a temporary standstill between Jesus and the religious leaders. There are enough people who are on Jesus' side, or at least aren’t actively opposing him, that the religious leaders have been unable to achieve a successful attack on Him. And we have seen they have been quite frustrated with those who were not against him. But, today, they will have another chance as Jesus make His way to visit the temple during the Feast of Dedication.
Jesus switches from teaching on the ability to really "see" since He is the "Light of the world." Now He introduces Himself as the door and the Good Shepherd. Contrasting Himself against the thief and the hired hand, He promises us "abundant life." He sets forth as proof to these claims His willingness to lay down His life, knowing that He will conquer death. We can rest assured "there will be one flock and One Shepherd."
In Chapter 8 of John’s gospel, Jesus made the claim that He was the light of the world. To the pharisees, this was outrageous as He was making a claim to deity when He said it. But in today’s passage, Jesus not only makes the claim again, but He also demonstrates it by healing a man who had been born blind. However, the real miracle isn’t that he can now physically see, but that fact that he believes on Jesus, and His spiritual blindness is also healed!
God often does things in ways we don’t expect, and certainly in ways that we would not do them. I think this is true even in the way He saved the world. We would have sent a fully formed warrior, but God chose to send a helpless babe. I'm glad God doesn't do things my way.
Once again Jesus is misunderstood by the Pharisees. They stoop to insulting Jesus and they cannot fathom His words. While seeking to honor the Father, Jesus tells them that Abraham (who they claim as their father) saw Jesus and they question Him on His age. The chapter closes with Jesus plainly calling Himself, "I AM".
In today's passages, Jesus begins speaking to those who had recently believed Him. These were the Jews who had heard Him speak and began to believe. But it appears this belief was a superficial one, because Jesus begins to confront and criticize those whom John says had believed in Him. Belief isn’t a one and done type of thing. You must remain in the faith, abiding in His word.
This is a continuation of Jesus teaching in the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:14-52) that we studied a couple weeks ago. You will remember that when Jesus first began teaching in the temple, he made some pretty incredible claims dealing with His authority and His identity. Namely that He was sent by God and therefore His authority is from Him. He also made it clear that He was in fact God Himself. Today we will see Jesus makes another bold claim when He says, “I am the light of the world." In this passage, Jesus makes many declarations about who He is.
In this passage the scribes and Pharisees interrupt Jesus' teaching in the Temple. In another attempt to discredit Jesus they bring before Him a woman caught in adultery. With a display of compassion and grace Jesus silences the accusers and saves the woman from death. She is left alone with Jesus (a great place to be) and is simply told, "Go and sin no more." He is our perfect Advocate!
Last week, Jesus we found Jesus attending the Feast of Tabernacles and preaching in the temple. Due to His teaching, many were divided on whether He was the Messiah or not. As a result, many wanted to arrest Him, both some among the crowd, and the religious authorities. Today we see a continuation of this story. Jesus once again makes a bold claim, and a result, great division amongst the people is had again.
After Jesus' authority had been questioned, today we find the Jews questioning Jesus' identity. They thought because they knew about Him, where He lived and where He grew up, that He couldn't possibly be the Messiah. But they missed the key point that Jesus didn't come on His own authority, but by the authority of the One who sent Him, God. As He spoke, many believed, and this caused the Pharisees to have Him arrested. This is when Jesus reminded them that He was about to leave them, and one day they would look for Him (the Messiah), but they would not find Him any longer.
After His brothers mock Him Jesus goes incognito to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He's expected and when He shows up in the middle of the week He's teaching in the Temple. He amazes the people with His teaching because they know He never studied under human teachers. He invites anyone who wants to do the will of God to find out if His doctrine is true. He then refutes their charge of breaking the Sabbath when the man was made well about a year ago. Lastly, we are commanded to "judge with right judgment".