John 8:20-59



This occurs during the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall before Jesus’ spring crucifixion




Jesus was protected until his mission was completed.  This is the case with people also.  The same thing is true of the two witnesses. 

A person can cut their life short by committing the sin unto death.  Otherwise we live until God has accomplished his plan for our lives.


            Revelation 11:7, “Now when thy have finished their testimony, the beast that                             

 comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.”


            John 5:16-17 “There is a sin that leads to death.”



Jesus contrast his death with his opponents.

1)      Jesus will go to be with the Father

2)      They will die in their sins

They will begin looking for Jesus but it will be too late.  After they have rejected the answer they will continue to seek for the answer but it is gone. 

Jesus has left.



The Jews realize Jesus is talking mysteriously and about the spiritual world.  They have to explain his words with their level of understanding. 

Their conclusion is that Jesus will kill himself to escape from them.  The only gulf between men they can imagine is death



Jesus tells them there is more than death that separates men.

Jesus adds:

1)      Their places of origin is different.  He comes from Heaven.  They come from earth

2)      Their place of belonging is different.  They belong to this world.  He does not.


This is why they will die in their sins.  They belong to this world which is going to be judged.  He is going to where he belongs. 

They can not come because they are not from heaven nor do they belong in heaven. 



“I am”  is a statement that is like the burning bush’s “I am that I am”

There is no predicate.  As in “I am _______” (“a teacher”,  or “happy”, etc.)

This a unusual statement that can only be understood as either incomplete with out a predicate or a complete statement without

the predicate that is claiming to stand alone or to be self-existent.  Thus, Jesus is claiming to be deity here.


The NIV of course has to add a predicate statement.  The NAS adds “He”


This is similar to Isaiah 43:10 and may be picking up this language.



The Jews saw enough of a problem with what Jesus said to pick up on it and purse it.

Jesus says, “I am ____”  and the Jews say “You are what? Finish your sentence.”

This leads to a discussion about who he is.


Actually the Jews said it scornfully, “You!, who are” in the Greek


Jesus reply in literal Greek is “at all why indeed speak I to you”

This could be a:

1)      question

2)      exclamation


He could be saying,  “Why do I even speak to you?”

Or,  “That I speak to you.” But this is missing the “at all” which involves the Greek word “archn” or “archan” which is one of John’s

favorite words for beginning.  It is even used in John 1:1.

To add archn with “that I speak to you” would match the NIV translation.



“about them” not “to them”

But the time is not now to speak judgment about them but instead speak truth and light to them. 


Phase one:  Tell them the truth

Phase two:  Speak judgment on them for rejecting the truth



Jesus spoke of the Father but they again could not understand because they did not know what he was talking about.



Jesus reviews everything he has said up to this point and now includes the Father.


“lifted up” no where else refers to the crucifixion but in the book of John.

Its normal meaning is to be exalted.