A Few Words on John 8.

1883 216 The Lord's teaching was interrupted by the Scribes and Pharisees, whose aim was to charge grace with antinomianism. They tried to prove Him either inconsistent with His own grace, or disregarding the law of Moses. If they could show Him making it null and void, they would prove Him to be not of God; for the law of Moses was of God. Again, if He adhered to the law, they thought they should put down His doctrine of grace. But He takes nothing from the law, gives it its full force, and proves them to he guilty under it. They were all convicted by their own consciences, and went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. The eldest had most character to maintain; and so he takes care to escape first. This history is not so much an illustration of grace (though there is grace of course); butt it shows Christ as the light: and the light brings conviction to the conscience. We do not find the Lord saying to the woman as in Luke vii.) "Go in peace," "thy sins are forgiven," "thy faith hath saved thee;" but He brought her to the light, for she was in His presence, and only says, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."

In verse 2 He says, "I am the light of the world" — of the Gentiles, and not of Jews only. Everyone has conscience, and the light has to do with God and the conscience: "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. He is the life, as well as the light. Before a man gets the forgiveness of his sins, he must own God's sovereign title in the soul, and there for judgment.

Light must give evidence about itself. Like the Divine testimony, it must bear record of itself. No man can bear record of Him. How can man tell about what is divine? If I attempt to show light, it is a proof that it is not light. Not seeing the glory of His Person, they could not tell about it. They quarrel with Him as man; He replies as God. (Ver. 14.)

In going through this Gospel, we find in John viii. His giving His words as a witness, and in John ix. His works; but both are rejected. Then in John x. He says, I will have My sheep at any rate. In this chapter His word and speech are frequently mentioned. See His dependence too as a man (verses 28, 47, 55) for the word. It is an amazing thing to say what "My" word is. It is the word of Christ truly. "If ye continue in My word." There is much said about abiding in Scripture for Christ and the believer. But Satan standeth not in the truth — that was his character. Nothing but what is true abides. Christ is the truth, and what is of Him is sure. "The truth shall make you free." It is said also, "The Son shall make you free." Christ in these two characters — the Son and the Truth — is the source of freedom. As law and sin go together, so the Son and the Truth go together. Christ is the truth. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. He is the One who tests everything by His own presence. He is the One who brings out everything, and He is a living and divine Person too, the Son.

We know Christ now as the humbled, the glorified, Christ: two distinct thoughts are connected with Him thus. When we want stirring up, or energizing for action (as in Phil. iii.), we have the glorified Christ presented to us in order to give its power to go forward. When we want to have the affections softened and moulded (as in Phil. ii.), it is the humbled Christ.

The difference between speech and word is this: word is the sense of divine things, and speech is the expression of it. It is the converse of natural or human things; for Jesus ever speaks, addressing the conscience, but above natural understanding. In natural things you get the meaning of the words, and thus learn the thing. In spiritual things you must understand and indeed get the thing, and then you understand the words.

From verse 11 to end, it is wondrous to see these evil men contending with Jesus. They drive Him up in a corner, as it were, and oblige Him to tell them what He is, or, as He says, He would be "a liar like unto them." He lets them know that "He that is of God heareth God's words." God's words! What infinite grace! A person speaking God's words among men

But the grace of God brings out the enmity of man. Yet what grace to go on speaking! In Him, the Son, God's speaking to us is in itself infinite blessedness. "Before Abraham was, I am!" He is the Eternal. The Messiah is Jehovah, True God, and Eternal Life. He is the Light of the world (not of Jews only), the Light of life for dark and dead sinners, the Word known by the word, He is the Son, yea, a God Himself, the self-existent One, a despised and rejected man, yet the Saviour God on earth.