Jesus Defends Himself
John 8:13–20 (NKJV) 13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.” 14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.” 19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.” 20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
His words alone should have been convincing enough.
- He spoke like no other person ever spoke were proof.
- His works of healing, power over disease, demons, death, and nature were proof.
- Unbelief never has enough proof.
John 7:17 (NKJV) 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
If you’re willing to know the truth, you’ll know the truth.
The Pharisees now challenged Jesus on a legal point.
A person’s own testimony was not considered sufficient because the average human being is biased.
The Pharisees’ skeptical response illustrates just how obtuse unbelief is; it is never convinced no matter how compelling the evidence.
In reality, of course, there were others who could testify to the
truthfulness of Jesus’ claims:
- John the Baptist [1:7–8, 19–27, 34, 36; 3:26; 5:33],
- the Twelve [1:49; 6:69; Matt. 14:33; 16:16],
- the Samaritan woman [John 4:39],
- Martha [11:27],
- those who witnessed His raising of Lazarus [12:17],
- Jesus’ works [5:36; 10:25],
- Jesus performed miracles unparalleled in human history (15:24). Yet “though He had performed so many signs before them, … they were not believing in Him” (12:37; cf. Matt. 11:20–24).
- the Scriptures [5:39], and, above all, the Father [see the discussion of vv. 17–18 below]).
- Matthew 7:29 (NKJV) 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
I am with the Father who sent Me:
Though the religious leaders protested, Jesus was absolutely settled and secure in His identity, despite all the voices that told Him otherwise.
- Jesus said to the Pharisees: “All you know is external. All you know is physical, and you don’t even know the town I came from. You haven’t even checked the temple records. You don’t even know what you could know. And you’re the judge of me like you’re the judge of everybody else. “
And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true
- If the Lord were to judge, His judgment would be righteous and true.
- He is God and everything He does is done in partnership with the Father who sent Him.
And the unwilling are never satisfied so they just move to the next argument:
19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
Where is Your father? The Pharisees probably intended this as a deeply cutting insult to Jesus.
Those who reject the Son give incontrovertible proof that they do not know the eternal Father (cf. 1:18; 14:6–9).
The setting for the Lord’s confrontation with the religious leaders was the temple treasury.
- It was at this site that Jesus would later observe a poor widow making her cent offering (Mark 12:41–44; Luke 21:1–4).
- Since the Court of the Women was a busy public location, it was ideal for Jesus to teach there.
- The Sanhedrin met in a nearby hall, almost within earshot of the Lord’s voice, yet no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.
John 8:21 (NKJV) 21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”
You cannot come…
- you who are unwilling to believe despite all the truth, all the evidence, all the revelation, all the general blessing from God…
- despite being given EVERYTHING and MORE that you could possibly need to believe, you are unwilling.
And because of that, you will die in your sin and will be unable to come where I AM (heaven)