In the record of this gospel, nine cases have been selected to prove that the Lord Jesus is the life and the life supply to people. The first six cases, in chapters three through seven, form one group of signs, signifying, on the positive side, the aspects of the Lord as our life and life supply: the regenerating, the satisfying, the healing, the enlivening, the feeding, and the quenching. The last three cases, in chapters eight through eleven, form another group of signs, signifying, on the negative side, that the Lord is life to us to deliver us from the three main negative things: sin, blindness, and death.
As fallen human beings, we are constantly troubled by sin, blindness, and death. Blindness actually means darkness. When you are blind, you are in darkness, for nothing causes so much darkness as blindness. Blindness, darkness, and death come from sin. Sin is the basic factor of blindness, darkness, and death. If we are sinful, we are surely blind because blindness always accompanies the sinful things. Sin brings in death, but between sin and death there is always blindness. After you have sinned and before you reap death, you have darkness. Therefore, sin, blindness, and death are the three negative things that the Lord must deal with. The only way these negatives can be dealt with is by the Lord becoming our eternal and heavenly life.
The case in John 8, the seventh case among the nine, fully covers the matter of sin. No chapter in the entire Bible covers the problem of sin as widely and thoroughly as does the eighth chapter of John. In this chapter we have the answer to all the problems of sin. As we shall see, following this, in chapters nine and ten, the matter of blindness is dealt with in a thorough way. Lastly, in chapter eleven, the matter of death is thoroughly taken care of. After chapter eleven, there will be no additional cases because the positive cases have been covered and the negative things have been dealt with. Now let us see how the Lord as life deals with the first negative thing—sin.
This case reveals that the religion of the law (8:5, 17), as represented by the temple (8:2, 20), cannot set people free from sin and its death, but that the Lord Jesus as the I Am, becoming the Son of Man lifted up on the cross for the serpent-poisoned people, can do what religion and law cannot do. The religion of law-keeping is versus the great I Am. This chapter reveals that among human beings on earth there are two things—a religion and a living Person. This religion is excellent, high, and superior. It is not a heathen religion or a religion of superstition. It is the typical religion, which helps people to worship God, to know God in the outward way of letters, and to assist people to keep the law of God in order to please God and to perfect themselves. This religion is the best, and all the typical Jews are proud of it. If you consider the orthodox religion of the Jews, you will realize that it is the highest religion. It is not false; it is absolutely real and genuine. Everything related to this religion is the best. This religion has many holy things. Among these many holy things is the Holy Word of God. No one can deny this.
The Jewish religion is the only real religion. Islam is a counterfeit of Judaism, and the Koran, the Moslem Bible, is the counterfeit of the Old Testament and part of the New Testament. Mohammed did not compose anything new. He simply copied the Old Testament and parts of the New Testament. Thus, Islam is a counterfeit religion. Besides Judaism and Islam, there are no other religions. Buddhism is not a typical religion; it is nonsense. Religion helps people to worship God by teaching them in the proper way. However, in Buddhism there is no God. In Buddhism everyone can become a Buddha. According to Buddhism, if you practice until you attain a certain degree of perfection, you can become a Buddha. This is absolute nonsense; it contains no proper teaching whatsoever. Hence, it should not be considered as a proper religion. What about the teachings of Confucius? They are not a religion; they are ethical teachings. The teachings of Confucius tell people how to behave, but they do not tell them how to worship God. Never consider the teaching of Confucius as a religion. Therefore, there is on earth only one typical, genuine, and true religion, the religion formed by the Jews according to the Holy Word. Christianity, including Catholicism, is an outgrowth of Judaism. Thus, there is only one typical religion on earth.
There is only one Bible. We have already pointed out that the Koran is a satanic counterfeit of the Holy Word. No one can invent something like the Bible. Who could write another Bible? Could Plato or Confucius? No one can write another Bible because there is only one God, and only God can write such a wonderful book. Since God would never write another Bible, there will never be another one. No one can write it. Whoever is able to write such a book as the Bible is qualified to be God. Who can imitate such a book? Who can imitate the depths of its wisdom? If you can do it, you must be God. Do you believe that the Gospel of John was merely written by a fisherman of Galilee? Do you believe that John himself could write such a book? “In the beginning was the Word...and the Word was God,” “I am the light of the world,” “I am the bread of life,” “I can give you living water”—only Jesus can say such things. Only Jesus can write such a book as the Gospel of John.
However, God’s elect, His chosen people, had the wrong concept. They did not pay full attention to the focus: that God Himself in the Son and as the Spirit wants to come into man to be his life and his everything. God’s people missed this mark, collecting all the regulations, laws, and other good points, and putting them together to make a religion with which to kill themselves. How pitiful! Thus, by the time of John 8, there were two things on earth: a religion and a living Person. We all must see this contrast.
The Jewish religion was genuine and wonderful. It was good in every respect except one—it was versus the great I Am. Religion may be good, but it cannot give you life. It cannot help you because you are dead. A dead person does not need something good; he needs something of life. Only life can help a dead man. Suppose you say to a dead person, “Poor man, here are gold and diamonds. You shouldn’t be dead. Look at the gold—how valuable! Look at the diamonds—how precious!” It would be foolish to speak to a dead man in such a way. He could hear nothing. In chapter five we saw the porches near the pool on which were the blind, the lame, and the withered. If you were to preach to such people they would say, “Don’t waste your time. I don’t need something good. I need life.”
Who is the Lord Jesus? He is the very Jehovah, the I Am. According to Genesis 1, God’s name in relation to His creation is Elohim, God. After creation, however, in Genesis 2, when God was attempting to form a relationship with man, God’s other name was mentioned—Jehovah, I Am that I Am. Jehovah is God’s name in His relationship with mankind. At the time of John 8, Jehovah stood there in the form of a little man by the name of Jesus, which means Jehovah the Savior. Again I say that you must learn the lesson not to care for the outward appearance. If you merely care for the outward appearance, you will certainly miss the mark. The Jewish religionists of the day missed the mark because they despised that little Jesus. Jesus had no form, comeliness, beauty, or attraction. Nevertheless, He was the great I Am.
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