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He Would Have Been a World-Class Lawyer

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Text: John 8:12-32

            If you recall from our last couple of lessons, Jesus is increasingly having confrontational encounters with the Pharisees.  Most recently was his encounter with those who tried to trap Him with what to do with a woman caught in adultery.  Jesus showed His tremendous wisdom and insight into the heart of man.  His ability to talk His way out of tight corners and counter His accusers is unequaled.  Lk. 20:26  Jesus would have been a world class lawyer.  And you know what?  He is, for us!  He’s our Advocate. 

            1 John 2:1-2:  “My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

            I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of sin, and if there’s anyone that’s going to get me out the mess I’ve created, it’s Jesus.  I’m glad He’s on my side.  I’d be headed to the gallows if it were not for Him.

            Back to our story.  Those that caught the woman in adultery and were using her to trap Jesus have fled the scene because of a single phrase from Jesus: “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  But the Pharisees (the dogs nipping at His heals) are still on the scene.  What results in the rest of chapter 8 is a discourse the Pharisees and Jesus.  Sit back and marvel at how this would-be-world-class-lawyer keeps them from arresting Him, even when they think He is out-right blaspheming.  Read Text.

1.      Once again Jesus states that He is the light of the world.  He had done so earlier in chapter 3 when He was talking to Nicodemus.  Instead of asking how they can receive the light, or asking how He is the light of the world, the Pharisees spew a criticism at Him saying His witness is not true.  Why did they say that?  (Because their law said a testimony had to be verified by two witnesses, v. 17, and they didn’t think He had the second witness to verify His testimony.)
Insight: As the Light of the world, Jesus becomes the one and only source of illumination of spiritual reality.  Believe in Him and we see all as it really is.  Refuse to believe in Him, and we are left with only human standards and darkness.

2.      Who did Jesus say His second witness was?  (The Father, v. 18.)
Insight: In their blindness as to the nature of Jesus, they reveal how limited their knowledge is of God.  Our tongue, indeed, reveals what is in our heart.

3.      In verse 15 Jesus states that they judge according to the flesh, yet He does not.  How is the Jesus’ judgment / discernment different than ours?  (We can judge only by what we see (the flesh), but He has the help of the Holy Spirit that sees into the heart to discern motives and intentions.)

4.      Next the Pharisees ask where His father is so they can verify His testimony.  What does that mere question tell you about how well they knew Jesus?  (It was based solely upon superficial observations, and was void of knowing Him spiritually.)

5.      How effective were the Pharisees in trapping Jesus according to verse 20?

6.      We keep coming across this phrase, “they did not seize Him because His hour had not come.”  Do you get the idea when the hour DID come that He would no longer use His excellent lawyer-like capabilities to get out of it, but rather let it take it’s course?  Mk. 14:57-61; Acts 8:32

7.      What does the phrase, “die in your sin” mean?  (8:21)  Prov. 14:32; Ezek. 3:17-21

8.      Because of the unbelief of the Pharisees, Jesus said they would die in their sin and not be able to come to where He was going.  They thought He was referring to committing suicide (8:22).  What was Jesus referring to?  Matt. 25:41, 46

9.      Jesus then states that they are from below, but He is from above.  What advantage does that give Him?  (A person on a hill can see more than someone in a valley.  But there is more to this than that.  God, in Heaven, sees all accurately.  Man, corrupted by sin, has distorted vision.)

10.  Does their question, “Who are you?” in verse 25 reveal that they don’t believe He is from God?  (Yes, 8:27, and they fail to accept His teaching as revelation of God.)

11.  When did Jesus say it would finally dawn on them who He is?  (8:28 When they crucify Him.)     What is there about that event that would erase any question in their mind about who He is?  (Sun darkened in the middle of the day, earthquake, veil in the temple torn in two, resurrection of OT saints; and then His resurrection.)     Will that event be the end of His influence upon the world?  (No, it’s just the beginning.)

12.  Because of the way Jesus handled this tense situation with the Pharisees, John states that many came to believe in Jesus.  But Jesus questions whether they are sincere believers.  What does He say they need to do if they are going to be true believers?  (Abide in His word.)     How does that weed out the weak hearted?

13.  How does the truth set us free?  Jn. 6:45; Jn. 16:13; Ps. 25:5, 8, 9; Prov. 2:1-7


            Whether we would stand before Jesus face-to-face and hear His words of wisdom or we read them, to conclude that Jesus is not just a man but the Son of God will result in a faith that will save.  But it can’t stop there.  We must follow His Word, abiding in the “safety zone” He specifies that grants us our spiritual freedom.  And the freedom He grants is instant, is powerful, and goes beyond any freedom we thought we had in this world. 

            So the question is, do you believe?  If so, then will you follow?

            Discussion question:  How can we help one another to abide in the Word?

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