John 8:48-59 A PROMISE OF EVERLASTING LIFE
In our previous text Jesus told a crowd of unbelieving
Jews at Jerusalem that God is not their spiritual Father.
He told them that the Devil is their spiritual father and
that the Devil is the one who prompts them to do the deeds
which they do. This offended the Jews and they responded
with angry accusations.
I. Angry accusations from the Jews
V. 48, "Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say
we not well that thou art a Samaritan..." This statement
reveals that some of the Jews had already been saying that
Jesus is a Samaritan and they feel now that He has now
confirmed that this is true. They think that He would not
have called them the children of the Devil if He were not a
I cannot help but wonder why they would ever think of
Jesus a being a Samaritan. They certainly knew that He was
from Galilee. They knew also that He was from the house of
Joseph and Mary. They had earlier spoken of Him as being
the son of a carpenter. The only thing I can think of is
that they may have thought that He was an illegitimate
child. They knew that He was in the home of Joseph, but
must have thought that he was conceived by a Samaritan.
But even if they thought that He was illegitimate, that
still would not explain why they would think He was a
Samaritan. Why would they think that a Samaritan had
conceived Him? The answer seems to be that they thought of
the Samaritans as being the epitome of all that is evil and
they thought of Him as being evil. Also they knew that He
had been friendly to the Samaritans. So they jumped to the
conclusion that He is a Samaritan.
Particularly they thought of the Samaritans as being
demon possessed people and they thought that Jesus was demon
possessed. (V. 48), "...and hast a devil?" They really
thought that He was demon possessed. This is not the first
time they had said so. However, the reason they said so at
this particular time is because they were responding to what
He had said about them being children of the Devil. Jesus
said that they were of the same spiritual nature as the
Devil and they, in turn, said that He was possessed by one
of the evil spirits from the Devil. They were merely trying
to give Him a greater insult than what He had said about
II. The response which Jesus gave to their accusations
V. 49, "Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour
my Father, and ye do dishonour me." Jesus ignored their
accusation about Him being a Samaritan. However, He denied
that He is demon possessed and pointed to evidence to show
that He is not. He pointed to His efforts to honor God the
Father. By His deeds He had brought honor to God -- not to
the Devil. The numerous people whom He had healed and their
families praised God for their healing. The healings all
brought honor and glory to God the Father. Furthermore, in
all of the things He had said, He had sought to give honor
to God. He had not sought to bring honor and glory to
Himself, but to God the Father. This is most certainly not
like a man who is demon possessed. V. 50, "John 8:50 And I
seek not mine own glory..."
(V. 50), "...there is one that seeketh and judgeth."
While He had not sought to bring honor to Himself, God the
Father had seen to it that He was honored. By assigning Him
the task of healing the sick and performing the other great
miracles God the Father had made sure that He was honored.
III. An amazing promise from Jesus
V. 51, "Verily, verily, I say unto you..." The word,
verily, means "truly." So Jesus was saying, "Truly, truly I
say unto you..." This was a way of saying, "What I am now
about to say to you is of far more importance than me
talking about the honor that the Father has bestowed on me.
I want you to especially take notice of what I am about to
say because it is most certainly true and it is especially
(V. 51), "...If a man keep my saying, he shall never see
death." Jesus had repeatedly told them that He has the
power to save lost sinners and to give them everlasting
life. Perhaps John 3:16 is one of the better known
statements in which He said this. "For God so loved the
world that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but
have everlasting life." John 3:36 says essentially the same
thing. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:
and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but
the wrath of God abideth on him."
Jesus had revealed God's plan of salvation for lost
sinners. If a man would hear Him and believe His promises
about salvation, he would be saved.
God's plan of salvation is that God had so loved lost
sinners that God sent His own Son to the world to be the
Savior of men. If any lost sinner would repent of his sin
and trust in God's Son for salvation Jesus would save him
and give him everlasting life.
IV. Another accusation and a question from the Jews
In the previous statement, Jesus was clearly trying to
get away from swapping accusations and trying to let them
know that He loved them and desired to save them. But the
Jews would have no part of that. They became more bitter
than ever toward Him. V. 52, "Then said the Jews unto him,
Now we know that thou hast a devil..." That is, we are now
more convinced than ever that you are possessed by demon
spirit from the Devil. They altogether missed the point
that He was offering to give to them everlasting life. They
missed the point that He was offering to save their souls.
All they picked up on was that He had claimed the power to
give everlasting life and they considered this impossible.
Furthermore, they considered this as being contrary to what
they knew about Abraham and the Old Testament prophets. (V.
52), "...Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest,
If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death."
In their own minds they thought this was just another
way Jesus had of seeking to glorify Himself and they would
have no part of it. V. 53, "Art thou greater than our
father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead:
whom makest thou thyself?" They thought this was just an
effort of the part of Jesus to show that He is greater than
Abraham and that He is greater than the prophets of old.
And indeed He is greater than they are. But Jesus was not
trying to glorify Himself by this information. Rather, He
is trying to convince them that He is the God sent Savior
and that His mission in the world is to save people like
them and that He is willing to save them.
V. The response of Jesus
V. 54, "Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is
nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me..." Jesus was
not trying to honor Himself. He had all the honor He
desired from the things which God the Father had done to
(V. 54), "...of whom ye say, that he is your God." If
these people had known God the Father and were in touch with
God so that they could understand the things of God, they
would have believed God and accepted Jesus as being the
Christ the Savior. They claimed God as their heavenly
Father, but God, the Heavenly Father, was not their
spiritual father. The Devil was their spiritual father.
V. 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." The Jews were
trying to get Jesus to admit that He was not of God and that
He was demon possessed. But Jesus could not do so because
in doing so He would be lying. He said, "I would be a liar
Now Jesus gets back to the subject of Abraham. V. 56,
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day..." Now in this
first part of this verse Jesus did not intend to claim that
Abraham literally saw His day. Rather, He is saying that
Abraham was rejoicing with anticipation looking forward to
the time when He would see the actual day of Jesus.
But then He adds, (V. 56), "...and he saw it, and was
glad." If, in the first part of the verse, He was not
talking about the anticipation with which Abraham looked
forward to seeing His day, then the latter part of the verse
would be just a repetition of the first part. He would be
saying in the first part of the verse, "Abraham rejoiced to
see my day" and then in the last part of the verse, He was
saying, " and Abraham rejoiced to see my day." But the
first part of the verse was talking about Abraham rejoicing
because he anticipated seeing His day. Then in the latter
part of the verse, Jesus said, that Abraham did actually see
His day. He did see the coming of the Lord.
What in the world was Jesus talking about? Jesus was
informing them that Abraham was not as dead as they seemed
to think. He was indeed, dead physically, but Abraham was
still very much alive spiritually and was in the Paradise of
God. When Abraham died and left his physical body behind it
was buried in a grave, but in his spiritual body he moved
into the Paradise of God. In Luke chapter sixteen Jesus
said that Abraham was still there to welcome the beggar
Lazarus when he came to Paradise. The Scripture said that
when Lazarus died he was carried to Abraham's bosom.
Abraham embraced Lazarus to his bosom in Paradise. Then
later at the time of the crucifixion, Abraham would still be
in Paradise to welcome the thief who had believed in Jesus
while they were on crosses.
VI. Another question from the Jews
V. 57, "Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet
fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" They thought,
"If Abraham could see you, then you must have been able to
see Abraham." They thought, "If He acknowledges that He has
never seen Abraham, then this will be the same as
acknowledging that Abraham has never seen Him." They
thought they had Him trapped.
V. 58, "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto
you, Before Abraham was, I am." I'm sure they were not
expecting this. Jesus simply said, (And I put it in our
East Texas terms) "I lived before Abraham ever lived. I
existed before He did." He was talking about His existence
as eternal Spirit God even before He was born in a human
body. As the Second Person of The Holy Trinity He had
always existed. He had, indeed, existed before Abraham. In
the first chapter of this book we are told that He was in
the beginning with God and that He was God. We are told
there that He made all things that have ever been made. He
is the Creator. To answer their question: Of course, He
had seen Abraham.
VII. Their effort to stone Jesus
V. 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." Jesus very easily
avoided the stoning. He simply walked right out right
through the midst of them and out the front gate of the
VIII. The main thing Jesus would want you to see
Now listen, there are lots of things of great importance
in this text. But there is one thing of utmost importance
which the Lord Jesus would have every person here to
understand. If you miss everything else that I have said,
please, do not miss this. The Lord Jesus Christ was sent to
this world to save those who are lost in sin. He came to
this world to offer eternal life to men. Through His words,
through the words that He spoke while He was here on earth
and through the words that God has inspired to be written in
the Bible about Him, God offers everlasting life to every
man. If you will believe His words and trust Him to keep
His promise, then He will give you everlasting life.
From the physical point of view, it is appointed to
every man once to die and after that the judgment. But from
the spiritual point of view, those who accept the words of
Jesus and trust in Him to save their soul, they will never
taste of death. When they get sick and die or when they
have an accident and die, , the only pain they will feel
will be whatever physical pain they suffer before they die.
After they are dead there will be no more pain. Not ever!
They will simply move out of their physical bodies and wake
up in Paradise. They will be with Abraham. They will be
with the Lord. They will be with all of the redeemed who
have entered Paradise before them. They will await the
resurrection there. At the resurrection the trump of God
will sound and all of the saved dead will re-enter their
physical bodies and come out of the graves.
Listen, when Jesus offered to save men so that they
would never taste of death, He meant every word of what He
said. And that is just exactly what is going to take place.
Just as Abraham anticipated the first coming of Jesus to the
world and lived in Paradise to see it, even so we anticipate
the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection