John 8:48-49 “Never Seeing Death”
Introduction: The thought that I will never see death is comforting to me. Knowing that those who are saved never see death helps us to cope when their physical bodies are laid to rest in the ground. Yes, the body will, for a time, return to the dust of the earth but the Soul of the saved will never die and the body of the saved will rise again and put on incorruption. Jesus said not to fear those who can kill the body but rather fear the one who can kill both the body and the soul in Hell. Jesus, after speaking to the crowd about having a spiritual father, now talks to them about having everlasting spiritual life.
I. Questioning Jesus’ parentage.
(John 8:48) Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
The Pharisees had stated that God was their father but Jesus told them “… ye are not of God. These men are in a fight with Jesus about who truly does speak for God and who really is on God’s side. The crowd listens intently to this conversation and these men are loosing the fight. These men now resort to calling Jesus a Samaritan in an effort to say of Him what he has said about them.
These men knew that Jesus was not a Samaritan. Samaritans were half breed Jews whose linage and parentage was questionable at best. The woman at the well in chapter four called Jacob her father meaning that she descended from Jacob. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews and it was a most derogatory thing to call a Jew a Samaritan. To the Jews one’s linage is of utmost importance. Jesus had been talking to these men about their spiritual father who was the devil and His Father who was the Lord God. These men having been told that they were not of God retaliate by calling Jesus a Samaritan meaning His parentage was the one in question not theirs.
These men accused Jesus of being demon possessed. Jesus had said of them that they were of their father the Devil. They retaliate by saying “thou hast a devil.” This term was used of those who acted unnaturally. Those who were demon possessed would say crazy things. They acted as if they were out of their minds. If I told you that I turn into a frog at night you would think that I was crazy. They would have said “thou hast a devil.” These men believe Jesus to be out of his mind. The things that Jesus says are strange and difficult to comprehend. Nicodemus was certainly confused by the words of Jesus as was his own disciples on many occasions. I heard a conversation one day at the bed side of a patient in the hospital between a doctor and a nurse. I knew they were speaking English but I did not understand what they were talking about. They were using terms completely unfamiliar to me. I did not think them demon possessed. I simply accepted my inability to understand medical terms. Nicodemus did not accuse Jesus of having a demon but rather accepted the fact that he was ignorant of spiritual things.
It is often the tool of those who are wrong to resort to name calling and character assassination. They expect through their many and loud words to be admired by men. In eternity the just will be vindicated. The truth will be known by all and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord of all.
II. Jesus refutes their accusation.
(John 8:49) Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
Jesus immediately refutes what these men have said concerning his parentage and his actions. He does not have a devil. His actions are not those of a lunatic. Every thing Jesus did brought honor to God the Father. He never sinned against God the Father. He never spoke outside the will of God the Father and such behavior should have been honored by these, so called, religious men. Instead they dishonor Jesus. What greater example of dishonor could there be than to say of the most righteous man to ever live that his parentage was questionable and that He was demon possessed. In just a few short months Jesus will say to these same men “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” These men will die in their sins and they will indeed lift up their eyes being in torment and shall see Jesus sitting at the right hand of God the Father and they will witness from the pits of Hell His glorious return to the earth to set up His kingdom. Then they will know that they were wrong to call Him a Samaritan.
III. More evidence that Jesus is the Son of God.
(John 8:50) And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
Jesus was dishonored by these men even though He never sought His own glory. He never exalted Himself. He would even wash the feet of His disciples such was the servant He had come to be. He never said “look at me look what I can do.” He, by His own admission, came to serve not to be served. He never demanded that men bow before Him. Satan, during the time he was tempting Jesus, called for Jesus to bow down and worship him. Jesus never demanded such from any man. He is worthy of worship. Men did bow before Him but not because Jesus demanded but because of who He is.
Jesus did say that there is one who seeks His glory and that one is also the who judges men. God the father seeks to glorify His Son. When Judas went out at the last supper Jesus said “now is the Son of man Glorified.” God the Father is glorified in the Son and the Son will be given the authority to judge the souls of men. Jesus was meeker than Moses, never seeking His own glory but that of His Father. “Father glorify Thy name” was the cry of Jesus to which His Father responded “I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again.”
Just here let me say that men who seek their own glory are often accepted and followed by men. Remember the words of Jesus from John chapter five. (John 5:43) I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. Jesus comes seeking and doing the will of God the Father and is rejected. The Anti-Christ will come exalting and glorifying himself and men will worship him! The Israelites loved Saul the tall, handsome, self exalting king. David was a lowly shepherd and a man after God’s own heart. Which king was the better? The way to greatness is through humility. Jesus was the greatest, in this regard, of all.
IV. Never Seeing Death!
(John 8:51) Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
Jesus now makes a profound and deeply spiritual statement. He tells them that the saved never see death. They will never experience death. His exact description of the person who will never see death is “if a man keep my sayings.” What does it mean to keep the saying of Jesus? Jesus has said much about how to be saved. John is the best verse to sum up the story of salvation. In John 6:28-29 Jesus says plainly what work we must do to work the works of God “believe on Him whom He hath sent.” Those who believe will never see death!
I will never see death! Praise the Lord! I have believed in Jesus Christ and have put my trust in Him as my savior and I will never ever see death!
(John 8:52) Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
(John 8:53) Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
(John 8:54) Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
(John 8:55) Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
(John 8:56) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad.
(John 8:57) Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
(John 8:58) Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
(John 8:59) Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.