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8 21-30 The Danger Of Prejudging

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                                                  liberty bible church          9/7/08 a.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“the danger of prejudging”

John 8:21-30


Illus. of “Criticizing” Two taxidermists stopped before a window and immediately began to criticize the way an owl had been mounted. Its eyes were not natural; its wings were not in proportion to its head; its feathers were not neatly arranged; and its feet could certainly be improved. Toward the end of the critique, the old owl turned its head…and winked at them. It is our nature to prejudge and criticize before we really have all the information we need. Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.” Not only is this dangerous with people, this is doubly dangerous when we do this with God’s Word or with His Son. Let’s look at how this affects us; the dangers of prejudging.

OPEN to the passage.

Prop. In this passage, we see Jesus show why His self-witness is trustworthy.

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. Jesus is still speaking with a crowd, among whom are many religious leaders, at the Feast of Tabernacles. He has just defended His testimony and why He can be trusted. Yet, the “jury” is still making judgments before they have all the facts. Cf. v 13-20 We see now why this prejudging is dangerous. First, it is dangerous because…

 i. we misjudge ourselves and our needs vs. 21-24

Illus. of “Negative Programming” As much as 77% of everything we think is negative and counterproductive and works against us. People who grow up in an average household hear “No” or are told what they can’t do more than 148,000 times by the time they reach age 18. Result: Unintentional negative programming. This may account for why we can be so negative towards others and sometimes ourselves. But, with the emphasis on self-esteem today, we don’t like to talk about sin, especially our own. That’s when we misjudge ourselves and get into trouble. That’s what the people do here.

a. we don’t like to recognize our sin    

V 21a   1. As Jesus had told them before, soon He was going away. He was going to return to His Father and it would be too late for them to receive Him as their Messiah. The results for them would not be good.

V 21b  2. They will continue to search for the solution to their sin and it will not be found. They cannot go to the Father as Jesus does with Him. And the result is that they would die in their sin. Notice that sin is singular. It is that sinful state in which we are born and for which there is no remedy. That’s why Jesus came. To reject Jesus is to die in that sin and not be able to follow Him to Heaven. To reject Him is to remain under that sins power and to pay for it for all eternity. Once again, the Jews misjudge the message.

V 22    3. Before they accused Him of perhaps leaving and teaching the pagans. Now they accuse Him of being suicidal and leaving the earth in that way. This is really kind of ironic. It was prophetic in a way. For no one took Jesus’ life. He didn’t kill Himself, but His did lay die His life. He gave up His Spirit and died. Once again, they fail to recognize their need for forgiveness. 

b. we don’t like to recognize our need for forgiveness

V 23    1. We need Jesus because He is different. Illus. of all the political conventions. They all want us to believe that they are different and bring change. Time will tell if that will happen. Jesus is making a real distinction between himself and the religious leaders here. He is from Heaven. That is His home. They are of the earth, fleshly, limited. That is why…

V 24a   2. Eventually, we all will pay for our sins and not so we can be saved. We will pay for them for all eternity. He says that twice here. If they continue in the realm of sin, they will die in their sins, with no forgiveness and no hope. The only answer is next.

V 24b  3. We must believe that that Jesus is God, the Messiah. In the Greek, I am He is eigo eimi. I am that I am. He makes a clear statement as to who He is here to the religious leaders. If we fail to believe these facts about Jesus, we have no hope. We are dead men. We need forgiveness.   

Trans. MISJUDGING OURSELVES AND OUR NEEDS is bad. But what about when…

ii. we misjudge jesus and his work vs. 25-30

Illus. of Like Wesley, Jesus was amazing. The difference is that He made no secret of who He was. But, the religious leaders continued to question Him.

a. DId He really say what I think He said?    

V 25a   1. This guy just claimed to be God and is judging our sins. Who does He think He is? “Who are you?”

V 25b  2. Their confusion is met with a simple answer. He has been telling them all along. They have refused to believe it.

V 26    3. Jesus could have said more than He had already said and could have even judged them, but that’s not why He came. His explanations could have been more complicated than what He had already said. But, He did only what the Father gave Him to do and He said the Words that His Father had given Him to say. God would not say anything that was not true nor misleading. Jesus could be believed because His Words came directly from God. If He said He was God, it was true.

V 27    4. Once again, they did not understand that He spoke of God the Father. They did not believe in Him. They did not know God, so did not know Jesus.

b. Did He really do what He said He did?

V 28a   1. Only after He was crucified would they recognize who He was. And even then, the entire nation would not recognize Him, only a remnant. At some point, they would recognize Him as God.

V 28b  2. They would also recognize that He did not act alone. He was fulfilling the will of the Father.

V 28c   3. He only said what the Father wanted Him and did only what the Father commanded Him to do.

V 29    4. Jesus could be rejected by men, but never by the Father. They have perfect unity and oneness.

V 30    5. These were amazing teachings and with great power and many believed in Him, at least for now. The next verse shows that true faith is demonstrated in our faithfulness to God and His Word. We’ll talk about that more next week. But, many believed in Him, but not in all cases was it genuine. Many would fall away.         


Prejudging is dangerous, especially when it comes to Jesus. WE MISJUDGE OURSELVES AND OUR NEEDS; our need to recognize our sin and our need for forgiveness. We can’t save ourselves. WE CAN ALSO MISJUDGE JESUS AND HIS WORK. He is from God, He is God, and all He says and does is in line with God’s will. If we misjudge that, we might fail to trust in Jesus alone. We might think that some superficial belief or religion might save us or please God. These are serious misjudgments. What is the right way to judge or not to judge?

1.      Judge yourself a sinner and Jesus your Savior. GOSPEL

2.      All believes must judge ourselves servants of others in our lives.

3.      None of us should judge others except in love for their benefit. This excludes gossip and slander. Know facts before we give opinions about others. Think the best and not the worst of others. This helps prevent prejudging. Get the log out of our own eye first.

Illus. of “Inconceivable” Video

It’s inconceivable to the unsaved world that they are lost in their sins. It’s inconceivable that they need a Savior. It’s inconceivable that Jesus is the Son of the one and only true God. It’s inconceivable that He died for them and that they can be saved by believing in Him. It’s inconceivable that to fail is to die in their sins. It’s inconceivable that they will one day stand in judgment before a holy God. These are serious misjudgments that result from Prejudging Jesus as a good teacher and maybe even a prophet, but not God. We carry a message of hope to a confused world that is struggling with what truth is. Let’s communicate it with love, and confidence, and hope. The results will be others judging rightly themselves and Jesus and finding life everlasting in His name.


“the danger of prejudging”

John 8:21-30


Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.”

 i. we misjudge                                                                vs. 21-24

a. we don’t like to recognize our…   

b. we don’t like to recognize our…


ii. we misjudge                                                               vs. 25-30

a. DId He really say what I think He said?   

b. Did He really do what He said He did?


What is the right way to judge or not to judge?





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