1but Jesus walked out to the Mount of Olives. 2Then early the next morning he went to the temple. The people came to him, and he sat down#8.2 sat down: See the note at 6.3,4. and started teaching them.
3The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses brought in a woman who had been caught in bed with a man who wasn't her husband. They made her stand in the middle of the crowd. 4Then they said, “Teacher, this woman was caught sleeping with a man who isn't her husband. 5#Lev 20.10; Deut 22.22–24.The Law of Moses teaches that a woman like this should be stoned to death! What do you say?”
6They asked Jesus this question, because they wanted to test him and bring some charge against him. But Jesus simply bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger.
7They kept on asking Jesus about the woman. Finally, he stood up and said, “If any of you have never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her!” 8Once again he bent over and began writing on the ground. 9The people left one by one, beginning with the oldest. Finally, Jesus and the woman were there alone.
10Jesus stood up and asked her, “Where is everyone? Isn't there anyone left to accuse you?”
11“No sir,” the woman answered.
Then Jesus told her, “I am not going to accuse you either. You may go now, but don't sin any more.”#8.11 don't sin any more: Verses 1–11 are not in some manuscripts. In other manuscripts these verses are placed after 7.36 or after 21.25 or after Luke 21.38, with some differences in the text.
Jesus is the light for the world
12 # Matt 5.14; John 9.5. Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.”
13 # John 5.31. The Pharisees objected, “You are the only one speaking for yourself, and what you say isn't true!”
Even if I do speak for myself, what I say is true! I know where I came from and where I am going. But you don't know where I am from or where I am going. 15You judge in the same way that everyone else does, but I don't judge anyone. 16If I did judge, I would judge fairly, because I would not be doing it alone. The Father who sent me is here with me. 17#Deut 19.15.Your Law requires two witnesses to prove that something is true. 18I am one of my witnesses, and the Father who sent me is the other one.
19“Where is your Father?” they asked.
“You don't know me or my Father!” Jesus answered. “If you knew me, you would know my Father.”
20Jesus said this while he was still teaching in the place where the temple treasures were stored. But no one arrested him, because his time had not yet come.#8.20 his time had not yet come: See the note at 2.4.
You cannot go where I am going
21Jesus also told them, “I am going away, and you will look for me. But you cannot go where I am going, and you will die with your sins unforgiven.”
22The Jewish leaders asked, “Does he intend to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying we cannot go where he is going?”
23Jesus answered, “You are from below, but I am from above. You belong to this world, but I don't. 24That is why I said you will die with your sins unforgiven. If you don't have faith in me for who I am,#8.24 I am: For the Jewish people the most holy name of God is “Yahweh”, which may be translated “I am”. In the Gospel of John “I am” is sometimes used by Jesus to show that he is that one. you will die, and your sins will not be forgiven.”
25“Who are you?” they asked Jesus.
Jesus answered, “I am exactly who I told you at the beginning. 26There is a lot more I could say to condemn you. But the one who sent me is truthful, and I tell the people of this world only what I have heard from him.”
27No one understood that Jesus was talking to them about the Father.
28Jesus went on to say, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man,#8.28 lifted up the Son of Man: See the note at 7.39. you will know who I am. You will also know that I don't do anything on my own. I say only what my Father taught me. 29The one who sent me is with me. I always do what pleases him, and he will never leave me.”
30After Jesus said this, many of the people put their faith in him.
The truth will set you free
31Jesus told the people who had faith in him, “If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. 32You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 # Matt 3.9; Luke 3.8. They answered, “We are Abraham's children! We have never been anyone's slaves. How can you say we will be set free?”
I tell you for certain that anyone who sins is a slave of sin! 35And slaves don't stay in the family for ever, though the Son will always remain in the family. 36If the Son gives you freedom, you are free! 37I know that you are from Abraham's family. Yet you want to kill me, because my message isn't really in your hearts. 38I am telling you what my Father has shown me, just as you are doing what your father has taught you.
Your father is the devil
39The people said to Jesus, “Abraham is our father!”
Jesus replied, “If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did. 40Instead, you want to kill me for telling you the truth that God gave me. Abraham never did anything like that. 41But you are doing exactly what your father does.”
“Don't accuse us of having someone else as our father!” they said. “We just have one father, and he is God.”
If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own. 43Why can't you understand what I am talking about? Can't you stand to hear what I am saying? 44Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.
45Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me. 46Can any of you accuse me of sin? If you cannot, why won't you have faith in me? After all, I am telling you the truth. 47Anyone who belongs to God will listen to his message. But you refuse to listen, because you don't belong to God.
Jesus and Abraham
48The people told Jesus, “We were right to say that you are a Samaritan#8.48 Samaritan: See 4.9 and the note there. and that you have a demon in you!”
49Jesus answered, “I don't have a demon in me. I honour my Father, and you refuse to honour me. 50I don't want honour for myself. But there is one who wants me to be honoured, and he is also the one who judges. 51I tell you for certain that if you obey my words, you will never die.”
52Then the people said, “Now we are sure that you have a demon. Abraham is dead, and so are the prophets. How can you say that no one who obeys your words will ever die? 53Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54Jesus replied, “If I honoured myself, it would mean nothing. My Father is the one who honours me. You claim that he is your God, 55even though you don't really know him. If I said I didn't know him, I would be a liar, just like all of you. But I know him, and I do what he says. 56Your father Abraham was really glad to see me.”
57“You are not even fifty years old!” they said. “How could you have seen Abraham?”
58Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that even before Abraham was, I was, and I am.”#8.58 I am: See the note at 8.24. 59The people picked up stones to kill Jesus, but he hid and left the temple.