Going Deeper

Going Deeper

The Good Shepherd  (9-13-14)

Going Deeper is a weekend devotion intended to help you go deeper into a scripture you spent time in during the week.  We pray this is simply another way for you to dig into God’s word. May your affections for Him be stirred and your soul sanctified for all He has prepared for you.

Grab your bible and let’s go deeper into John 10:1-16

Jesus has just had a lengthy exchange with the religious hierarchy of the day (the Pharisees) over the healing of a blind man in chapter 9. Jesus is going to take the conversation to a different topic— a well-known topic in that day—one of “Shepherds and sheep!”

In that day the Middle East often referred to kings and priests as shepherds and their subjects as sheep.  The Old Testament text that many of the Jews grew up studying is filled with important men who were shepherds; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David. So it was very fitting for Jesus to use this platform of sheep and shepherds as his metaphor for his next two proclamations.

Read: John 10:1-6   

The location he is describing is a Sheepfold!  A sheepfold was a roofless enclosure in an open field, most likely with a wall made of rough stones, and with a sturdy door for access.  A robber or a thief who did not belong would not have had a key to the door or access to go through it if the gatekeeper did not know him.  So to take what was not theirs, thieves would have had to jump over the wall.


Jesus is talking about the religious leaders who were trying to illegitimately gain mastery over the Jewish people.  They would have used a number of tactics to convince and sway the people toward them and in doing so avoid the door for access— and try to discredit the true shepherd from ministering to his flock.

Read: John 10:7-10   

Jesus is talking about his work to bring his people back to a restored life with Him!  He is saying, “I, GOD, am here to give you access to the abundant life that I originally made for you.” Jesus is making it very clear, in the midst of these thieves and robbers: “I am telling you the truth.  I am real, deep, lasting, Life!  Through me ‘the gate…the door’ is where you will find LIFE!”

How is this Good News to us?


This understanding is everything! 

Why is it so hard for us to get this? One reason, I think, is the same problem Jesus fought against in his day—the religious institutions have taught for too long something else.  We have been raised to see Jesus as the Provider FOR life…instead of Realizing God’s pure design: that Jesus IS life!

Think for a second about those who have snuck over the wall and tried to convince you they were your shepherd.  Who are the thieves and robbers in your life?

  • a parent who told you weren’t worth anything by the way they treated you or treated themselves (drinking, drugs, gambling, workaholic)
  • a “Friend” who convinced you to make a lame decision that cost you a lot
  • a lover who used you for your care, your time, your body
  • a drug that has plagued your life with a lust for it instead of godly things
  • a form of media that has you entranced with its images or sounds and seems to consume you day and night
  • a career goal that has you trapped pursuing motorcycles, and awards, and paychecks that never seems to last or be enough

Jesus is saying, “Those people and things are not life!” Jesus is saying, “follow me and I will bring you to pasture…I am life…my motive is pure and my ability to keep my promise is golden.   The thief’s motive is wicked: it is to use you selfishly until you don’t provide any longer and then be done with you!”

Read again: John 10:1

  • The thief didn’t have the key, and didn’t know the gatekeeper…So why do we trust people like this in our lives?

Read again: John 10: 2-3

We love being called by name…we love being known, don’t we? Do you realize Jesus knows you better than your best friend, your very own mother?  He knows you better than you know yourself!  For many of you that is a frightening thought, because you don’t like what you know about yourself.

  • The good News is: HE knows YOU…and he still showed up to redeem you!   Why?  To bring you home.  To invite you to LIVE!   Are you listening to his voice?

Notice it says “he leads them out.”  He doesn’t drive us like most Shepherds do with their flock, HE leads and we follow!

Read again: John 10:4-5

Again, are you trusting a stranger?  Who are your going to for your guidance in life?

Read again: John 10:7

What is the function of a gate or a door?   Entrance!

Read again: John 10:9

THROUGH”   I want to focus on this very important word…

Again, Why is it GOOD NEWS TO US when Jesus says that he is the gate?  Because he is saying LIFE is found in me…THROUGH me!  It is vitally important that we all get this:  what seems simple and basic here is life altering.

Life is defined two ways: One is super misleading; one is everything!

  • Life #1: Physical Life (your birthdate until now.)
  • Life #2: Spiritual LIFE (the moment you enter the gate who is Jesus Christ and surrender to his leading until forever!)

We must STOP treating JESUS like he is an add-on to our already existing life…a get out of HELL free carda genie in a lamp to answer your most pressing problems…a supplier of all of life’s needed tools and resources.  START living life THROUGH Jesus every moment, Realize: HE IS LIFE!

“We must go to war with consumer Christianity”

Read again: John 10:9

When Jesus says come in and out, he is not saying, “Hey come and visit me sometimes, and at other times you can go off by yourself.”  He is saying that THROUGH ME you do life…the in and out…daily little and big things of life.  He is saying, “IN Me, THROUGH ME you are ALIVE…so live!  Enjoy the Pasture I am to you!”

Read: Romans 6:23

Read again: John 10:10

­Only through JESUS will we experience the abundant life.  I hope you see this like you have never seen it before.

The Abundant Life is not Heaven; it is not a prosperous temporary life in the here and now. IT IS LIFE WITH GOD.

He is our prize, our joy, our strength, our satisfaction.  He is all we need and could ever truly want! 

Read again: John 10:11-14


There are two very important things here in the text:

  1. I KNOW my sheep

Before we go further we have to acknowledge that if he is the Shepherd then We are sheep!  But, why sheep?

Of all the animal kingdom, which are you and I most like? There are several different opinions these days:

-Charles Darwin claimed that the monkey was the nearest animal to man

– Biologists tend to think that man is most like a mouse or a rat.

-Some scientists say that we are a lot like ants or bees because like humans they are social creatures that live in highly structured societies.

-Others have recently compared people to dolphins because of the similar ratio of brain mass to body size.

So why is it that in the Bible we are MOST often compared to SHEEP?  David, the psalmist, a shepherd himself, employed this analogy repeatedly.  In Psalm 100:3 he said, “…we are [God’s] people and the SHEEP of His pasture.”  In Psalm 77:2 he wrote, “God, You lead Your people like a flock…”  In Psalm 79:13says, “We, Your people, the sheep of Your pasture will give You thanks forever.”  In Psalm 23, his most popular Psalm containing this comparison, David said, “The Lord is my shepherd…” Throughout the Bible we see this same parallel drawn between man and sheep.  Isaiah 40:11 says that God, “…tends His flock like a Shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. He gently leads those that are with young.”  I believe this God inspired comparison is in His word so often because, of all the animals God created, the species that most NEEDS guidance is SHEEP.

Now what do we know about sheep?

I- on the whole we know SHEEP are pretty stupid and stubborn animals.   Ask yourself, have you ever seen a group of trained sheep in a circus? Of course not. You’ve seen trained apes and even trained mice or rats or dolphins but not sheep.

And you probably never will because sheep are just too simple-minded.

II- Sheep are dirty and wayward.  Real sheep aren’t like those clean, fluffy balls of cotton depicted on greeting cards. And if you’ve ever seen the southern end of a northbound herd, you’ll know why. They can’t keep themselves clean, and they smell atrocious.  Plus, they tend to wander off easily, perhaps because they can’t see very far—less than 15 yards. And, no matter how many times you bring wayward sheep back, they are prone to wander off again because they don’t learn from their mistakes.

III – Sheep are defenseless and dependent. They don’t have much of a bite.  No natural defense, no claws, no horns, no fangs, not even a stink bag like a skunk. To make matters worse they are top-heavy and their legs are spindly. This makes them slow.

IV-Sheep are also susceptible to all kinds of diseases.  They will eat too much if you let them and get sick. They are definitely not your king-of-the-forest types.

V- Sheep are easily frightened and confused. It doesn’t take much to scramble the simple mental yolk of a nervous sheep. They’ve even been known to plunge straight over the edge of a high precipice in a panic, one following right after another.

Now, God doesn’t compare us to sheep so often in His Word to put us down.  He makes this comparison in His book so often because He wants to communicate one very important truth to us. He wants us to know that we are designed to NEED a Guide in life.  We need a Shepherd with a “rod and a staff” to protect us.

So when we read scriptures like

Isaiah 53:6   We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…

Mark 9:36  “When Jesus saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

we should be reminded that we have an inborn need for a Shepherd.  So, When Jesus says: “I am the good Shepherd”   He is really saying:  I am the only One who is qualified for this task.

In verse 3 we read that Jesus knows us by name and in verse 14 we read that He knows us like no other guide could possibly know us!  He is not some stranger—some hired hand—some substitute teacher paid to do the job. NO, Jesus knows us.   And when we are honest with ourselves we want to be known by him!

Did you know the relationship between sheep and shepherds was different in Palestine than in other parts of the world? For example, in Britain most sheep are kept for killing and eating but in Palestine most sheep were kept for their wool or milk. So in the land of the Bible, the sheep were often with a shepherd for years—many times from birth throughout their entire lives. Those shepherds KNEW their sheep and gave them names!

This leads us to a deeper understanding of Shepherds; shepherds know their sheep and go to great lengths to acquire them and care for them.   WHY? Because their investment into a flock is their life.

It is super important that shepherds know their sheep well.  Sheep are the most helpless of the all the animals.  They are not smart at all.  They will follow each other like no other animal.  Most animals enjoy and grow in their freedom, but not sheep.  They lose direction and purpose.

So, what is Jesus saying by comparing us to sheep?  He is saying:   “We are utterly Spiritually Dependent!”

Just look at the way we do life!  We are constantly making lame choices…that reap harvests of failure.

One of the ways we get by in life is that we don’t know everything about each other—because if we did, if people knew the depths of who we are and the darkness of some of our life—people would turn on us.  So, out of fear, we keep a certain level of distance.  We don’t want to be known deep down for fear of not having anyone stand by us anymore.

Here is the kicker about Jesus being the true Shepherd…he knows his sheep…he knows us inside and out and instead of turning and running when he gets close to our baggage and stink he does the unthinkable…HE lays down his life!

Read again: John 10:11-13

  1. I LAY DOWN MY LIFE for my sheep

The hired hand runs, the true shepherd will go to great lengths to defend his flock.

Here is what we must understand about sheep: even though they were dumb, they were super valuable! Every part of a sheep can be used for great profit and utility! This is why it was not uncommon for a shepherd to leave the 99 and chase after the 1!

But Jesus says not me…when the wolves come…I love my sheep so much I become the LAMB myself!   I lay down my life for the sheep. The Greek preposition used here for the English word “for” means “in the place of.” So what Jesus is saying is not what it first seems. At first glance it looks like Jesus is calling us dumb lost animals incapable of anything. But what it is really saying is we are so valuable—so loved—he breaks all logic wide open and dies for us so that the wolves will not get us!

WHY?  So we can have LIFE!    Again who Jesus is to us…He is LIFE!

Now, we NEED a Shepherd, but God has also designed in us that we BE Shepherds to those around us. The same way that Jesus is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD!   When we have JESUS IN us we are called to be THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD TO those around us!  JEUS IS NOT HERE IN BODILY FORM, he has chosen to live in his people and move and work though this people!

I want us to turn to Ezekiel because I want us to see how we can tend to resist this amazing opportunity to lead as Shepherds to those around us.  As we read in Ezekiel 34, understand and remember the rulers of the people where often called shepherds.  They were to be strong caring leaders who guarded their nation like a flock.  But they were failing and so God sent his Prophet to speak against the false actions of the SHPEHERDS of the day.

Read: Ezekiel 34:1-3

False Practice #1—Selfishness: They did not serve the flock as their first priority.  They put their own interests first above those they were called to lead.   They had added to their wealth at the expense of the common people.

Read: Ezekiel 34:4

False Practice #2—Apathy: They treated the people harshly and failed to care for them and their health.  A good shepherd will lead his sheep to food, protect them from attack, nurse them to health and look for them if they get lost! Instead the false shepherds ruled harshly and brutally!

Read: Ezekiel 34:5-6

False Practice #3—Absence: They had complete disregard for their people’s whereabouts and let them be scattered without looking for them. In shepherd life the scattering of the sheep was the worse thing possible because they were so dumb and not able to find their way back together. Additionally they were so hard to round up!

In the old testament the rulers (shepherds) failed at keeping the tribes (the sheep) together. Israel and Judah were scattered all over by the Babylonian and Assyrian Armies.   Likewise today we have a culture that is scattered.  Whereas once we were part of a culture founded on Christian teachings and morals, today we have the first generation that has a major component not connected to the church or the ways of God at all. This is affecting our kids and the following generations in major ways!  We have to stop the bleeding and return to our first love…returning the flock to the good shepherd!

The fact that they were false shepherds meant that the flock had no real shepherd.  So there are three main ways the Shepherds were blowing it:

A False Shepherd:       1. Selfish           2.  Apathetic            3. Absent  

A Good Shepherd:       1. Sacrificial      2.  Caring                 3. Present

The Good Shepherd:               

  1. Lays Down his life
  2. Leads us to pasture and provision
  3. Isn’t just present but knows us at depths we don’t know ourselves

NOW, there are two other people we can choose to be lead by or be exposed to:

The Hired Hand – The hired hand is uncommitted!  He leads with the wrong motives.

Purpose: to put in the minimum effort in order to get by and get paid!

The Thief/Robber/WOLF – The three are all the same!   Nothing but a pure lie!

Purpose: to kill, steal and destroy!

Because we are sheep we will always end up following someone.  Soldiers!  As independent as you long to be, as strong willed as you are, we are still SHEEP in need of a SHEPHERD! The question is : Which of the 4 choices are you following?

-A False Shepherd- someone who has acted as a lead in your life but has lead you poorly

-A Hired Hand-someone who is put in a position over you in life but has no real interest in your growth or well-being.   Instead, he leads out of duty

-A thief/Robber/Wolf-someone who has lied to you and somehow gained your trust with all intentions to use you and then throw you out

-The Good Shepherd-the only one who knows you inside and out and still loves you with a greater commitment than anyone you have ever known. He proved his love by laying down his life so that you could live and grow and enjoy HIM!

What kind of shepherd will you be to those God has entrusted to your care?

a thief who will use and abuse those who follow you

a Hired hand who will run when it gets hard

a godly Shepherd who will lie down, who invests into others in a sacrificial, caring and present way!

Back in EZEKIEL … GOD Promised that because the rulers of the day failed in being Good Shepherds … he would step in and care for the Sheep himself!

Read: Ezekiel 34:11-16

Jesus says:   I am the Good Shepherd!

WHY IS THIS GOOD NEWS to you and me?

Read:  Psalm 23

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD…”     Do you get the subtle emphasis there? GOD WON’T BE your shepherd until He becomes your LORD. Are you following and living for the GOOD SHEPHERD or someone else? Shepherds lead, sheep follow.   He won’t lead you until you commit your life to follow Him.

by His grace and for His glory,


Soldiers for Jesus MC

Bakersfield CA


September 12

John 10

I Am the Good Shepherd

10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

I and the Father Are One

22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,1 is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.


[1] 10:29 Some manuscripts What my Father has given to me



September 11

John 9

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews1 did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus2 to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”3 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt;4 but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.


[1] 9:18 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verse 22

[2] 9:22 Greek him

[3] 9:35 Some manuscripts the Son of God

[4] 9:41 Greek you would not have sin



September 10

John 8

8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

I Am the Light of the World

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father1 who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave2 to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I Am

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’3 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”4 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.


[1] 8:16 Some manuscripts he

[2] 8:34 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 35

[3] 8:54 Some manuscripts your God

[4] 8:57 Some manuscripts has Abraham seen you?



September 9

John 7

Jesus at the Feast of Booths

7:1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews1 were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers2 said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not3 going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,4 when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s5 will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Can This Be the Christ?

25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

Officers Sent to Arrest Jesus

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”

Rivers of Living Water

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as6 the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Division Among the People

40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

[The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11.]7

The Woman Caught in Adultery

53 [[They went each to his own house,


[1] 7:1 Or Judeans; Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time

[2] 7:3 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 10

[3] 7:8 Some manuscripts add yet

[4] 7:15 Or this man knows his letters

[5] 7:17 Greek his

[6] 7:38 Or let him come to me, and let him who believes in me drink. As

[7] 7:53 Some manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11; others add the passage here or after 7:36 or after 21:25 or after Luke 21:38, with variations in the text