Jesus and the Pharisees

Claudia Elzinga

READ : John 7-9

Jesus gives the Pharisees an opportunity to come to him as he testifies to them of his uniqueness, but they reject his testimony. Then we have a passage (7:53–8:11) not found in the best (earliest) manuscripts but found in some manuscripts at the end of John’s Gospel or after Luke 21:38. Here the Pharisees bring a woman caught in the act of adultery. Interestingly they do not bring the man! Jesus challenges them by saying that whoever is sinless should cast the first stone as prescribed in the law. One by one they slip away, and then Jesus says to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” Adultery is a serious sin; that of spiritual pride is worse. Let us avoid both.

Jesus testifies, “I am the light of the world” (8:12), which is challenged by the Pharisees. He then gives sight to a man who had been born blind, as evidence of his claim. Still the Pharisees would not accept him. At this point the man testifies that although there is much he does not know about Jesus, this he does know: he had been blind, yet now he sees.

Up to this point, the man believed Jesus was a prophet, which was great but not great enough. Jesus meets him again and tells him that he is the Son of Man, that is, the Messiah. As a result, the man confesses faith in Jesus as the Messiah.


Father, we pray for those who are resisting the gospel that the Spirit may cause them to believe. Amen.