Wouldn’t You Like to Know?
In working our way through John chapter eight, we’ve come to verse fourteen. You may want to read the whole chapter to put the passage we are going to look at into perspective. Let’s take a look at verses twelve through fourteen together to remind ourselves of the immediate context.
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.” 13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.” 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. (NKJV)
In “Powerful yet Threatening” we touched on this debate on bearing witness between Jesus and the Pharisees, but I felt like more should be said on the subject. There are two verses that encapsulate the Pharisees’ thinking on the matter. But remember, they were notorious for adding to the law through their traditions, which I believe pollutes a right understanding of the scriptures. Let’s look at the two verses.
Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness. (NKJV)
“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. (NKJV)
Jesus would have had every right to challenge the Pharisees here. He could have said something like, “Hey! You’re taking those verses out of context! Bearing witness is talking about giving legal testimony when someone is up on charges! All I did here is tell you that I am the light of the world!”
But Jesus didn’t do that. He knew what was in their hearts. He knew that they were constantly trying to prove that He was in violation of the law of Moses, and not only should the people not listen to Him, but Jesus should be punished! Jesus knew that they wanted him put to death.
Jesus didn’t correct them, He answered them, “…even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true…”, but notice the subtle shift in conversational direction. He said, “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.”
Jesus was leading them back around to the point of the whole conversation. The subject of the conversation was truth. Jesus told them He was the Light of the World, the one who not only reveals truth, but is actually the personification of truth.
If we were to put this into modern terms, Jesus told them what they needed to do to become a believer, and what they needed to do to live as a believer.
Jesus told them I know, but you do not know. He’s telling them if you knew where I came from, and where I’m going, then you would know who I am. You would know that my testimony of Myself is true. You would have the light (be saved), walk in the light, not darkness (be a disciple).
Verse 21 reveals that they rejected Jesus. He told them, “Where I go you cannot come.
As we watch the conversational exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees we notice not only a contrast between the two, but we see Jesus constantly nudging the conversation in the right direction. They are trying to trap Jesus, but He is constantly offering Himself as their saviour. They want Him dead, He wants them to live.
Knowing who Jesus is, is not the same as knowing Jesus. These people knew that Jesus raised the dead, taught in the temple and synagogues. They knew He cast out demons, opened blind eyes, caused the lame to walk. But they never really knew where Jesus came from, or where He was going.
The scriptures are clear. Jesus came from God the Father, and where He was going was to the cross, the grave and back again. Then on to Heaven.
There are two choices I hope you have made. One, I hope you have chosen to believe Jesus when He says He is the Light of the world. And Two, I hope you have chosen to have that light – to walk not in darkness, but in the fellowship of truth with Jesus.
Remember John 14:6. It says,
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (NKJV)
If you know Jesus, you can go where He went.
July 13, 2016 (1:11 pm)
I really like how you point out how Jesus steers the conversation away from defending himself to just bluntly telling them who He is which obviously needs no self defense. Jesus will not walk into the debate of whether He is following the Mosaic Law. They must just believe He is who He says He is. That is the next outcome that must occur. A debate with the Pharisees accomplishes nothing.