John 8:26-30 - Lesson #87
Jesus drew a sharp contrast between Himself and the Pharisees: "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world" (John 8:23). After hearing these words, the Pharisees asked Jesus what has become the fundamental question of the Christian faith; "Who are You?" (John 8:25). Jesus replied in a way which continued to bring glory to God.
"'I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.' They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then 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 of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.' As He spoke these words, many believed in Him."
Jesus could have replied with words of condemnation, but this was not His purpose; "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17). Jesus came to reveal and glorify the Father. So He was quick to say that the words He spoke were from God; "He whom God has sent speaks the words of God" (John 3:34). This is a theme which runs all through the gospel of John; "I have given to them the words which You have given Me" (John 17:8). Jesus spoke the words of God, but the Pharisees did not understand.
The words of Jesus were difficult to understand and His claims even more difficult to accept. But Jesus said the truth would be made known when He was "lifted up." From the early discussion with Nicodemus (John 3:14), to His final week in Jerusalem, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself" (John 12:32), Jesus spoke of being lifted up as "signifying by what death He would die" (John 12:33). And when Jesus was lifted up on the cross, when the Father received the final sacrifice for sin, the world had the opportunity to know that Jesus was the Promised One.
Jesus knew the Father was always with Him because His life was devoted to doing the will of God; "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me" (John 4:34). God has promised to "never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5) but one of the ways we receive the peaceful assurance that He is near is by doing His will. Jesus was unified with the Father, did only His will, and KNEW He was not alone.
There were those who believed what Jesus said. But we will soon be given reason to question what this belief really means (John 8:33-59). Have we fully accepted the claims of Jesus? Do we have the peace of knowing He is near? Have we committed our life to doing His will? All these questions begin with the same question of Jesus as asked by the Pharisees: Who are You? Let's make our understanding clear today!