8:1Jesus went up into the Mount of Olives,8:2 and then at dawn the next day he returned to the temple compound. All the people came toward him, so he sat down to teach them.
8:3Now the scripture scholars and Pharisees bring a woman caught in the act of adultery and, standing her among them,8:4ask Jesus, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery.8:5Yet in the law Moses gave us, he directs that such people are to be put to death by stoning. What do you say?”
8:6Of course they only said this to test him, so they would have something to charge him with. So Jesus stooped down and wrote something in the dirt with his finger.8:7Since they kept on demanding an answer, he stood up and replied, “Let the sinless one among you throw the first stone!”
8:8He stooped down again to write on the ground.8:9But those listening went away one by one, beginning with the elders, and he was left alone, with the woman standing there.
8:10Standing up again, Jesus asked her, “Dear woman, where are they? Is no one condemning you?”
8:11“Not one, sir,” she replied.
“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go your way, but from now on you must stop failing!”
8:12Again Jesus speaks to them: “I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will in no way walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
8:13Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is invalid!”
8:14Jesus responded, “Even if I am testifying on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, because I know where I came from and where I’m going, even though you don’t.
8:15“You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.8:16But even if I judge, my judgment is right, for I am not alone; I am with the Father who sent me.
8:17“Now in this law of yours it has been written that the testimony of two people is valid.8:18I am the one witnessing on my own behalf, but the Father who sent me is also testifying about me.”
8:19“So where is your father?” they demanded.
Jesus replied, “You have understood neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you’d know my Father as well.”8:20He said all this while he was teaching in the part of the temple compound where the treasury was. And no one arrested him because his hour had not yet come.
8:21Then he said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me. Yet you will die in your failure because you cannot come where I’m going.”
8:22So the Judeans asked each other, “He won’t kill himself, will he, seeing that he says ‘You can’t come where I’m going’?”
8:23“You are from below, but I am from above,” Jesus told them. “You are from the world but I am not.8:24That is what I meant by saying you will die in your failures, for if you never trust that I am, you certainly will die in your failures.”
8:25They finally asked him, “Who are you?”
“Exactly what I’ve been saying all along,” Jesus replied.8:26“I have much to say to you and by which to judge you. But the one sending me is true, and what he tells me I pass along to the world.”
8:27They did not know that he was talking about the Father.8:28So Jesus said to them again, “When you have lifted up1 the Human, then you will know who I am. I do nothing of my own accord, but only speak as the Father instructs me.8:29And the one who sends me is with me. He does not leave me alone, because I’m always doing what pleases him.”
8:30Many put their trust in him as he spoke.8:31So Jesus said to the Judeans who believed, “If you keep adhering to what I say, then you really are my disciples.8:32You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
8:33“We are the progeny of Abraham,” they2 responded. “Not once were we ever slaves. How can you say we will be set free?”
8:34Jesus replied, “I tell you very truly, that everyone who fails is a slave of Failure.8:35Now the slave does not have permanent status as family, but only the child.8:36So if the Son liberates you, you will truly be free.
8:37“I am aware that you are the progeny of Abraham. But you want to kill me because there is no room in you for my sayings.8:38I am telling you what I have perceived from my Father. And you, too, do what you hear from your father.”
8:39“Our father is Abraham!” they said.
“If you were children of Abraham, you would act like Abraham!”, Jesus retorted.8:40“I am someone who has spoken the truth to you that I heard from God. Yet you want to kill me, and that’s something Abraham wouldn’t do.8:41But you are acting like your father!”
“We are not illegitimate children! We have one father, God!” they shot back.
8:42Then Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would have loved me. For I set out from God and have arrived, not of my own accord but of the one who commissioned me.
8:43“How can you not know what I’m telling you? It’s because you refuse to hear my sayings.8:44You are of your father the False Accuser, and you want to carry out his desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand by the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks lies he speaks his native language, for he is the father of all liars.
8:45“Yet in spite of my speaking the truth, you don’t believe me.8:46Yet who among you is calling me out for failing? If I am telling the truth, on what grounds do you not believe me?8:47The one from God hears the declarations of God. So it follows that since you don’t hear, you don’t belong to God.”
8:48The Judeans retorted, “Weren’t we right to call you a Samaritan? You’re possessed!”
8:49“I am not possessed,” Jesus replied, “but I am honoring my Father while you are dishonoring me.8:50Not that I seek my own honor; he is the one who seeks it and judges.8:51Very truly I tell you, that if anyone keeps to my sayings, under no circumstances will they ever face death.”
8:52Then the Judeans said, “Now we’re sure you’re possessed! Abraham and all the prophets have died, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps to my sayings, under no circumstances will they ever face death.’8:53You are not greater than our father Abraham or the prophets who have all died. Who do you think you are?”
8:54Jesus answered, “If I were to honor myself, my honor would be nothing. It is my Father who honors me, the one you say is your God.8:55Yet you don’t know him, but I do. And if I were to say that I didn’t know him I’d be a liar like you! Yet I do know him and keep his sayings.
8:56“Your father Abraham was overjoyed to see my day coming; he saw it and was happy.”
8:57“You haven’t yet reached the age of fifty, and you’ve seen Abraham!” scoffed the Judeans.
8:58Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!”38:59At this they picked up stones to kill him, but Jesus hid and escaped from the temple compound.
- 1There is a possible double meaning in the term “lifted up”: to be exalted or to be executed, both of which were to be fulfilled in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- 2“they” apparently refers to the unbelievers, who heard what Jesus said to the believers.
- 3“I am” is an expression of eternal existence, the same as when God described himself to Moses. So Jesus is clearly calling himself the eternal God here.