This is Episode #311 and today we’ll read John chapters 7&8 together. What do they mean, not found in the earliest manuscripts?
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #311 and today we’ll read John chapters 7&8 together. What do they mean, not found in the earliest manuscripts?
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
John Chapter 7
The Unbelief of Jesus’s Brothers
After this, Jesus traveled in Galilee, since he did not want to travel in Judea because the Jews were trying to kill him. The Jewish Festival of Shelters was near. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples can see your works that you are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he’s seeking public recognition. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” (For not even his brothers believed in him.)
Jesus told them, “My time has not yet arrived, but your time is always at hand. The world cannot hate you, but it does hate me because I testify about it — that its works are evil. Go up to the festival yourselves. I’m not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said these things, he stayed in Galilee.
Jesus at the Festival of Shelters
After his brothers had gone up to the festival, then he also went up, not openly but secretly. The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, “Where is he?” And there was a lot of murmuring about him among the crowds. Some were saying, “He’s a good man.” Others were saying, “No, on the contrary, he’s deceiving the people.”Still, nobody was talking publicly about him for fear of the Jews.
When the festival was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. Then the Jews were amazed and said, “How is this man so learned, since he hasn’t been trained?”
Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t mine but is from the one who sent me. If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. The one who speaks on his own seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Didn’t Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
“You have a demon!” the crowd responded. “Who is trying to kill you?”
“I performed one work, and you are all amazed,” Jesus answered. “This is why Moses has given you circumcision — not that it comes from Moses but from the fathers — and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses won’t be broken, are you angry at me because I made a man entirely well on the Sabbath? Stop judging according to outward appearances; rather judge according to righteous judgment.”
The Identity of the Messiah
Some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Yet, look, he’s speaking publicly and they’re saying nothing to him. Can it be true that the authorities know he is the Messiah? But we know where this man is from. When the Messiah comes, nobody will know where he is from.”
As he was teaching in the temple, Jesus cried out, “You know me and you know where I am from. Yet I have not come on my own, but the one who sent me is true. You don’t know him; I know him because I am from him, and he sent me.”
Then they tried to seize him. Yet no one laid a hand on him because his hour had not yet come. However, many from the crowd believed in him and said, “When the Messiah comes, he won’t perform more signs than this man has done, will he?” The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things about him, and so the chief priests and the Pharisees sent servants to arrest him.
Then Jesus said, “I am only with you for a short time. Then I’m going to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
Then the Jews said to one another, “Where does he intend to go that we won’t find him? He doesn’t intend to go to the Jewish people dispersed among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, does he? What is this remark he made: ‘You will look for me, and you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”
The Promise of the Spirit
On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.
The People Are Divided over Jesus
When some from the crowd heard these words, they said, “This truly is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some said, “Surely the Messiah doesn’t come from Galilee, does he? Doesn’t the Scripture say that the Messiah comes from David’s offspring and from the town of Bethlehem, where David lived?” So the crowd was divided because of him. Some of them wanted to seize him, but no one laid hands on him.
Debate over Jesus’s Claims
Then the servants came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him?”
The servants answered, “No man ever spoke like this!”
Then the Pharisees responded to them, “Are you fooled too? Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which doesn’t know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus — the one who came to him previously and who was one of them — said to them, “Our law doesn’t judge a man before it hears from him and knows what he’s doing, does it?”
“You aren’t from Galilee too, are you?” they replied. “Investigate and you will see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
[The earliest mss do not include 7:53–8:11.]
[ Then each one went to his house.
John Chapter 8
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
An Adulteress Forgiven
At dawn he went to the temple again, and all the people were coming to him. He sat down and began to teach them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women.So what do you say?” They asked this to trap him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse him.
Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger. When they persisted in questioning him, he stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only he was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, he said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, Lord,” she answered.
“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”]
The Light of the World
Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
So the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying about yourself. Your testimony is not valid.”
“Even if I testify about myself,” Jesus replied, “My testimony is true, because I know where I came from and where I’m going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. You judge by human standards. I judge no one. And if I do judge, my judgment is true, because it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. Even in your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I am the one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me.”
Then they asked him, “Where is your Father?”
“You know neither me nor my Father,” Jesus answered. “If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” He spoke these words by the treasury, while teaching in the temple. But no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
Jesus Predicts His Departure
Then he said to them again, “I’m going away; you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I’m going, you cannot come.”
So the Jews said again, “He won’t kill himself, will he, since he says, ‘Where I’m going, you cannot come’?”
“You are from below,” he told them, “I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.”
“Who are you?” they questioned.
“Exactly what I’ve been telling you from the very beginning,” Jesus told them. “I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the one who sent me is true, and what I have heard from him — these things I tell the world.”
They did not know he was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own. But just as the Father taught me, I say these things. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him.”
Truth and Freedom
As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“We are descendants of Abraham,” they answered him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus responded, “Truly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill me because my word has no place among you. I speak what I have seen in the presence of the Father; so then, you do what you have heard from your father.”
“Our father is Abraham,” they replied.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do what Abraham did. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You’re doing what your father does.”
“We weren’t born of sexual immorality,” they said. “We have one Father — God.”
You Are Not From God
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and I am here. For I didn’t come on my own, but he sent me. Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Who among you can convict me of sin?
“If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? The one who is from God listens to God’s words. This is why you don’t listen, because you are not from God.”
Jesus and Abraham
The Jews responded to him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you’re a Samaritan and have a demon?”
“I do not have a demon,” Jesus answered. “On the contrary, I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and judges. Truly I tell you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
Then the Jews said, “Now we know you have a demon. Abraham died and so did the prophets. You say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets died. Who do you claim to be?”
“If I glorify myself,” Jesus answered, “my glory is nothing. My Father — about whom you say, ‘He is our God’ — he is the one who glorifies me. You do not know him, but I know him. If I were to say I don’t know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.”
The Jews replied, “You aren’t fifty years old yet, and you’ve seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple.
Wow! There’s so much to say about Chapter 7! You can feel the tension rising, can’t you? But this is the second time that a passage has been marked as not being found in the earliest manuscripts. I’m talking about John 7:53-8:11. You’ll recall the other passage is Mark 16:9-20.
My Bible Answer Man
This time I didn’t reach for my study Bible or search the scholars and theologians so I could give you a good answer. Well, I did, but they weren’t answering the question. They wanted to convince me that I could have confidence in what is written in the Bible. That’s not a problem for me. I’m not plagued with insecurities. I just want to know what to say to someone else who has the same question we do. So I turned to my favorite Bible Answer Man, my husband, Mitch. (Sorry, Hank Hanegraaff…no offense.)
I said, “So, Honey, if there are two major passages in the Gospels that almost everyone agrees were not in the earliest manuscripts, why are they included in most all translations?” He said, almost offhandedly, “We don’t know that all the earliest manuscripts have been found.” Ugh! Why didn’t I think of that? I mean, the Dead Sea Scrolls answered so many questions. And they were uncovered on an archeological dig in what? 1947? Not very long ago in the big scheme of things.
If you’re wondering, like I was, where the story of the un-condemned adulteress came from, Mitch suggested it could have been found in margin notes. Or perhaps the story was in a later manuscript just not in an earlier one. He such a smart guy. We hope that helps with your own apologetics.
If you are interested in assurances of the truth of the Bible, I found a great article by John Piper, on his website, desiringgod.org. I put the link in the transcript for Episode 311 at Lifting Her Voice.com.
Let’s pray. Father, thank You for the curiosity You give us. And the desire to actually understand what the Scriptures are telling us. It seems, Lord, that the exercise of wrestling over Your word is like when Jacob wrestled with You. We want Your blessing, Lord. That blessing of knowing You better. Of knowing Your Word better. Of rightly dividing Your word of truth. Thank You. Amen
Wait! I can’t end today without at least touching on 8:58. Why did they want to stone Jesus? One hint: Exodus 3:14. Tell me your answer at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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