Morning Bible Study
We are still in
Jerusalem with Jesus during the Feast of Tabernacles.
This was a yearly feast that took place in the fall. For a week the Jewish people would camp out
under the stars in tents or “booths”, to remember those forty years in the
wilderness when they lived in tents before God brought them into the Promised
One of the
rituals that occurred during the feast took place on the evening of the first
night in the Court of the Women (where Jesus was in our passage), when a golden candlestick
was lit in the Court of the Women at the temple. This was a picture of the pillar of fire by night
that led Israel in the wilderness.
At the end of
the feast, the candlestick would be extinguished.
We are most likely on the eighth day of the feast, and early in the morning
as Jesus entered into the Temple and began to teach, He was interrupted.
Play video of
the Adulterous Woman.
:12-20 The Light of
:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world.
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
:12 I am
– the Greek words here are “ego eimi”,
the Greek equivalent of God’s name, “I AM” – this is the basic interpretation
of God’s name “Yahweh”
It would have been simpler and just as correct for Jesus to just have used
“eimi”, which is translated “I am”,
but He uses the fuller phrase “ego eimi”.
This is what
God told Moses at the burning bush when Moses asked God His name:
(Ex 3:13–14 NKJV) Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children
of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and
they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to
Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
:12 the light
Not only would the light
burning in this Court of the Women be something in the minds of the people, but
it is still early
in the morning, the sun is just coming up.
The subject of “light” was one often connected to God, the Messiah, as well
as the Temple.
He is the Light
What does the Bible mean by
Light helps make things clearer.
(Ps 119:130 NKJV) The entrance of Your
words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
you're sitting in a dark room, it's hard to make things out. You hear a noise but can’t figure out what’s
happened until you turn
on the light.
you have one of those micro-sized metal splinters in your finger, it
hurts, but you
can't see it until you get your finger under a real strong light.
driving down a strange road at night, without any headlights! You need light.
Light speaks of righteousness, the opposite of sin.
(Jn 3:19–21 NKJV) —19 And this is the
condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light
and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the
truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have
been done in God.”
wonder why evil, scary horror movies are always shot at night? What’s so scary and evil about the middle of
When Jesus is
saying that He is the “Light of the World”, He is not only saying that He is
the Messiah, but also that He is the Light of purity and holiness, and that His
light gives men a chance to have direction in their lives.
The Greek tense indicates continuous action, a continuous following moment by moment.
If you go walking
at night in the woods, and your Friend has a candle, as long as you stay close
to Him, you won't be in the dark. If you stop following
Him, you will find yourself in darkness.
The woman who
had been brought before Jesus had been walking in darkness, and for the first
time the “lights”
have come one. Will she stay in the
Walking in the Light
If we are following Jesus, then two things are going to happen:
1. A growing sense of direction (illumination)
It's like the change that took place in the life of Helen Keller, who was
both blind and deaf. Helen Keller tells
of the dramatic moment when Annie
Sullivan first broke through her dark, silent world with the illumination of
“We walked down the path to the well house, attracted by
the fragrance of the honeysuckle
with which it was covered. Someone was
drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into
the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon
the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty
consciousness as of something forgotten—a thrill of returning thought; and
somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that “w-a-t-e-r”
meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it
light, hope, joy, set it free! There
were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away.
When we follow Jesus, we may not have all the answers yet, but things start
making sense little by little.
God’s Word begins to put a light on our lives, and it begins to show us
what’s on the path we’re walking on.
(Ps 119:105 NKJV) Your word is a lamp
to my feet And a light to my path.
2. A growing sense of what’s right (purity)
Coming to Jesus involves coming into the light.
The things that you’ve done secretly begin to get exposed.
We call this “truth”.
word for “truth” (aletheia) means “not hidden”.
That’s a good definition of being in the light, not being hidden.
(Eph 4:15 NKJV) but, speaking the truth in love,
may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
up in Christ involves “truth”. It means
we stop hiding from our sins and learn to face them.
What are you going to do when your sin is exposed?
(1 Jn 1:5–9 NKJV) —5 This is
the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light
and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in
darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk
in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and
the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have
no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
Walking in the light brings complete cleansing, as long as
you respond to the light, confess your sin, and move away from your sin.
had dirt all over my face and stand in front of the bathroom mirror, if
the light is off I may never see what needs to be washed.
I turn the light on and see the dirt, I’m faced with a choice.
Will I leave my face dirty? Or will I wash it?
One of the benefits of having a good light in the bathroom
is that you won't be embarrassed when you go out in the sunshine.
The woman caught in adultery has now found herself standing in the
light. Will she respond to the
light? Will she follow the light?
:13 The Pharisees
therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not
:14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My
witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do
not know where I come from and where I am going.
Even though there’s truth to what the Pharisees are saying, just because a
person bears witness of himself doesn’t mean that he’s telling a lie.
Jesus knows who He is, where He came from, and where He’s going.
:15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.
– sarx – flesh; man’s physical
nature; man’s sinful nature
(Jn 8:15 NLT) You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone.
The Pharisees are living examples of this flawed judgment – they had just
brought the adulterous woman before Jesus, not trying to help this woman, but
to trick Jesus.
In reality, we all have pretty flawed judgment. We are limited by our own human
understanding. Can you tell what’s
happening with this “cop” video? (Play “Fighting Over Donut” commercial)
We too can fall into the trap of sizing people up according to “human”,
What do you do for a living?
Where do you live?
What kind of car do you drive?
Warning: Questions like this
are “Pharisee” questions.
:16 And yet if
I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father
who sent Me.
:17 It is also written in your law that the
testimony of two men is true.
You can’t charge a person of a crime with only
the testimony of one person. It takes
the testimony of two people to establish a fact (Deut. 19:15)
:18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears
witness of Me.”
Jesus’ second witness is the Father.
:19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You
know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My
:19 Where is Your
It’s possible that the Pharisees are just bewildered about what Jesus is
It could be that they are making a subtle slur against Jesus, that there
was a question about who Jesus’ real, legitimate Father was.
After all, when Joseph and Mary got married, she was already pregnant and
claiming that God had made her pregnant.
Of course we know that Jesus is referring to God as His Father.
And Jesus is saying that they do not know God. If they knew God, they would have realized
who Jesus was.
Religion versus Relationship
The people talking to Jesus are religious people.
I would define a “religious” person as someone who does things like dressing up and going to
church, singing in the choir, or having a Christian bumper sticker on your car,
and uses strange words like “brother” or “sanctification”.
Sometimes we do these kinds of things because we think it’s
right. Sometimes we do these things to
impress other people. Sometimes we think
we’re impressing God.
Play “How to
care if you are “religious”.
God does care whether or not you know Him.
Jesus is concerned that these are very religious people standing before
Him, yet they do not know God. They do
not have a personal relationship with the Father.
If they really knew God, they would recognize who was standing before them.
:20 These words
Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands
on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
This was located
in the Court of the Women, one of the places that usually had the larger crowds
Both men and women were allowed in this court, but not Gentiles.
:21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me,
and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”
Jesus is speaking to people who will not believe in Him.
They are going to die in their sin because they refuse to believe in the
Where is He going? He is going to heaven.
:22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go
you cannot come’?”
:23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of
this world; I am not of this world.
:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do
not believe that I am He, you will
die in your sins.”
:24 I am – ego eimi
Jesus could be implying, “Unless you believe that I am the Messiah
you will die in your sins”.
He could be implying, “Unless you believe that I am the “I AM” you will die
in your sins”.
:24 die in your
If you do not believe in Jesus, then when you die, you will have your sins
with you when you stand before God, and you will have to pay the price for your
When God judges people, He does not use a balance to weigh your good deeds
against your sins.
You will pay for your sins. Sin has a serious price tag.
(Ro 6:23 NKJV) For the wages of sin is death…
If you “die in your sins”, you will have to pay with a spiritual death, an
eternal separation from God. We call
But if you believe in Jesus, then your debt is already paid.
When you arrive before the judge, the ticket will be stamped “paid
in full”, because it was paid in full by Jesus on the cross.
He died on
the cross to pay the penalty for your sins.
If you will receive His payment for your sins, then you will
pass through God’s judgment and enter into eternal life!
:25 Then they
said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been
saying to you from the beginning.
:26 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.”
:27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.
Sometimes I have to confess that every once in awhile I’m not sure what
Jesus means by some of the things He says.
But these fellows are TOTALLY clueless.
They have no spiritual understanding.
They don’t have the spiritual equipment necessary to understand
:28 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.
:28 lift up
– hupsoo – to lift up on high, to
Is He talking about exalting and praising Him?
Jesus uses this word later:
(Jn 12:32–33 NKJV) 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all
peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
He is talking about His death,
And yet the cross was also the way that led to Jesus being glorified.
:28 you will know
resurrection, when Peter preached his first sermon, three thousand came to
believe in Jesus. (Acts 2:41)
After the death
and resurrection, there will be a number of priests and Pharisees will come to
believe in Jesus (Acts 6:7; 15:5)
:28 I am He – the Greek is “ego eimi”
It could be that Jesus is saying that when He is crucified, they will
realize that Jesus is the Messiah.
It could be that Jesus is saying that when He is crucified, they will
realize that He is the I AM, that He is God. (that’s what Thomas said…)
:29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I
always do those things that please Him.”
:30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
Will you believe?