Summary of passage: Jesus explains to the Jews that sinners are a slave to sin. Only the Son can set them free. The Jews insisted they were Abraham’s children; however, Jesus tells them if they were, they wouldn’t be rejecting him right now and they would love him. Instead, their father is the devil who is a murderer and a liar. If they belonged to God, they would hear what God says.
The Jews wonder if Jesus is a demon-possessed Samaritan. Jesus rebukes them again, saying he is the way to eternal life. Again, the Jews do not understand his words and say Abraham died and so did the prophets so how can he live. Jesus says he was in existence before Abraham. The Jews attempted to stone him, but he slipped away.
9a) Freedom from sin. By holding to his teachings and knowing the truth (he is God’s Son).
b) Personal Question. My answer: Freedom from sin. Freedom from guilt. Freedom to fail and be forgiven.
10a) Abraham. The devil. God is the ultimate Father, which the Jews say as well; however, their actions and words and deeds (trying to stone Jesus and not believing him) show they are of the devil and sinners. Furthermore, remember the Jews are all descended from Abraham, which guarantees them eternal life (before Jesus). Now that Jesus is on the scene he’s the only way to heaven, be it Gentile or Jew. Jesus is speaking of spiritual father here. If God were their spiritual father, they wouldn’t reject him. They do; so they are of this world and the devil. Huge difference between God’s children and the devil’s.
b) When the devil lied to Eve about the tree of knowledge. We are all born sinners and under sin until we accept Jesus as our Savior and his blood cleanses us completely of sin. Some scholars say the first sin was the killing of Abel but most would argue for Eve’s initiation of sin into this world.
c) Part personal Question. My answer: By accepting Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins. I was lucky: I was chosen from early childhood to be a believer. I don’t worry much. I trust in Him. I live my life. I follow His voice. It’s not been easy, but it’s easier day by day.
Conclusions: Long passage which my summary condenses. Jesus basically says those who believed themselves to be saved based solely on their heritage are not and are actually of the devil. He calls them out, points out how he is in fact God, and they try to kill him for it–a heart act from the devil. Freedom from sin is found only in Christ. The alternative is the devil. End of story.
End Notes: Many did believe in Jesus so he is speaking to those who have the beginnings of faith but still have doubts.
Abide (hold to my teaching) means welcoming it, being at home with it, and living it. When you do this, THEN you will be Jesus’ disciple and you will know the TRUTH and be set free.
The religious leaders don’t even consider Jesus’ words and ask more on how to be free. Despite the facts the Jews have been in bondage on and off for 2000 years and Rome now controlled them, they say they are free already–because of Abraham.
“Sin” in this passage indicates habitual sin. There is no escape from slavery to sin since it is within.
They are physically Abraham’s descendants but not spiritually. Jesus knows their hearts and the Word (him) has no place there for him.
Again, they question where Jesus came from. Jesus says bluntly, “You cannot love God or call him your Father without loving me and accepting me.” It’s impossible. The Jews found it incredibly hard to wrap their minds around the idea of the Trinity as we do today.
The ability to hear God’s word is a gift none of us should take for granted.
Instead, the leaders are spiritual children of the devil, indicated by their desire to kill him. The devil lies. They rejected Jesus because he spoke the Truth.
Jesus asks them to name one sin of his. They cannot. Instead, they just called him names! They had nothing left to accuse him of and with each word of Jesus’ more and more believe him instead of them!
Jesus tells all the secret: Accept the Word and receive eternal life! Again, blasphemy from anyone but God’s Son. Keep here mean continue and abide in it.
“See” is an intense word in Greek meaning long, steady vision.
Once more trying to trap Jesus, they try to get him to say something offensive by asking him again who he is.
Jesus again says he knows God and claims he is greater than Abraham who also acknowledged this fact.
Fifty was the age a priest retired. The Jews are merely saying you are too young to have known/seen Abraham.
Jesus responds with the 3rd “I Am” statement (John 8:24, 8:28). The ancient Greek phrase is ego emi, which is the same term used in to describe the Voice from the burning bush. Jesus used a clear divine title belonging to Yahweh alone (Exodus 3:13-14, Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 43:10) and was interpreted as such by Jesus’ listeners (John 8:58-59). I AM was recognized by the Jews as a title of deity.
Finally, the religious leaders understood as demonstrated by the stones. They knew he was claiming to be God. They saw it as blasphemy. These stones would have been in the temple as it was still being constructed in some areas. Jesus escaped, probably mixing himself with the people in the temple but he could have vanished miraculously. We are not told.