1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. [Note: This was located on a slope just east of Jerusalem].
2 Then early [the next] morning Jesus went into the Temple again. All the people gathered around Him and He sat down and began teaching them.
3 Some experts in the law of Moses and Pharisees brought [to Him] a woman who had been caught committing an immoral sexual act and stood her in the middle of the group. 4 They said to Jesus, "This woman was caught in the very act of sexual immorality. 5 Now in the law, Moses required us to stone such people [to death], so what do you say [should be done with her]?" 6 They said this to test Him, in order to have a charge to bring against Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote [something] on the ground [i.e., in the dirt] with His finger. 7 But when they continued asking Him [about the woman], He stood up and said to them, "That person among you who has never sinned should be the first one to throw a stone at her."
8 Then He stooped down again and wrote [something else] on the ground. 9 And when they heard [what He had said], they [all] left, one at a time, beginning with the oldest men. So, Jesus was left alone with the woman [still standing] there where she was. 10 So, Jesus stood up [again] and said to her, "[My dear] woman, where are the men? Did not any of them [stay to] condemn you?"
11 She replied, "No sir, no one did." Then Jesus said, "[Well], I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on, do not sin anymore."}}
12 So, Jesus spoke to them again [i.e., to the Jewish authorities. See 7:45], saying, "I am the light of the world. The person who becomes my follower will never live in [spiritual] darkness, but have the light of [i.e., for his] life [i.e., followers of Jesus will not live in error and sin but in truth and righteousness]."
13 The Pharisees then said to Him, "[Since] you are giving testimony about yourself, your testimony is not true."
14 Jesus replied to them, "Even if I do give testimony about myself, it is [still] true, because I know where I came from and where I am going. But you people do not know where I came from or where I am going. 15 You pass judgment according to human standards; I do not judge anyone [i.e., the way you do it]. 16 And even if I do pass judgment, my judgment is true because I am not alone, for the Father who sent me is with me. 17 Even in your law it is written [Deut. 19:15] that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am one who gives testimony about myself, and the Father who sent me [is the second witness who] testifies about me."
19 So, the Jewish authorities said to Him, "Where is your father?" Jesus answered, "You people do not know me or my Father. If you [did] know me, you would know my Father also." 20 Jesus spoke these words in the treasury [area of the Temple]. And no one arrested Him because His time had not yet come [i.e., to be turned over to the authorities and killed].
21 Jesus again said to them, "I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die [condemned] in your sins. You cannot go where I am going."
22 So, the Jews asked [one another], "Will he kill himself, because he said, 'You cannot go where I am going'?"
23 Jesus replied, "You people are from below [i.e., from the earthly realm]; I am from above [i.e., from the heavenly realm]. You belong to this world; I do not belong to this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die [condemned] in your sins. For unless you believe that I am [the Messiah, who came from above. See verse 23], you will die [condemned] in your sins."
25 So, they said to Him, "Who are you?" Jesus answered, "Why am I even speaking to you at all? [Note: The Greek words of this difficult passage are not real clear] 26 I have many things to say about you and [many] judgments to pass on you. However, God, who sent me, is truthful and I am telling the world [only] the things I have heard from Him."
27 The people [who heard this] did not understand that Jesus was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So, Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of man [i.e., to crucify Him], then you will know that I am [the Messiah] and that I do not do anything on my own authority, but I speak [only] those things that the Father has taught me. 29 And God, who sent me, is with me; He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him."
30 When He said these things, many people believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who had believed [in Him], "If you people continue [obeying] my message, then you are truly my disciples. 32 And you will know what the truth is and the truth will set you free [i.e. from bondage to sin]."
33 They replied to Him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be set free'?"
34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 Now the slave does not remain part of the family forever, [but] the son does. 36 Therefore, if the Son sets you free [from sin], you will be truly free. 37 I know that you people are [all] descendants of Abraham; yet you are trying to kill me because you will not allow my message to affect you. 38 I am telling [you] about what I have seen in my Father's presence; but you [should] do what you have heard from your father."
39 They answered Him, "Our forefather was Abraham." Jesus replied to them, "If you were Abraham's descendants, you would do the [kinds of] deeds that Abraham did. 40 But instead, you are trying to kill me, a man who has [only] told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this [kind of thing]. 41 You people are doing what your father does." They said to Him, "We were not born illegitimately; the only Father we have is God."
42 Jesus replied, "If God were [truly] your Father you would love me, because I came from God to be here. For I did not come on my own authority, but God sent me. 43 Why do you people not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot [bear to] listen to my message. 44 You belong to your father the devil, and you are [always] wanting to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the [very] beginning [Note: This is probably a reference to Satan's influence on Adam, Eve and Cain in the Garden of Eden] and does not stand for the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he only speaks what is part of his nature, because he is a liar and the father of [all] liars. 45 But because I tell [you] the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you can prove me guilty of sinning? If I tell you the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 The person who belongs to God listens to the message from God. The reason you will not listen to it is because you do not belong to God."
48 The Jews answered and said to Jesus, "Were we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan [See note on 4:9], and are dominated by an evil spirit?"
49 Jesus answered, "I am not dominated by an evil spirit. But I give honor to my Father and you people dishonor me. 50 I am not looking for personal honor; but there is One who is looking for it [i.e., God], and He judges people [fairly]. 51 Truly, truly, I tell you, if a person obeys my message, he will never die [i.e., spiritually]."
52 The Jews [i.e., the authorities] replied, "Now we know that you are dominated by an evil spirit. Abraham and the prophets [all] died and [yet] you are saying, 'If a person obeys my message, he will never experience death.' 53 Are you greater [i.e., more important] than our forefather Abraham and the prophets, who [all] died? Who do you think you are?"
54 Jesus answered them, "If I were to honor myself, that honor would be worthless. [But] it is my Father who honors me [and] you say He is your God. 55 Now you people have not known Him [i.e., to be your Lord], but I know Him. And if I should say, 'I do not know Him,' I would be a liar like you. But I [do] know Him, and I obey His message. 56 Your forefather Abraham was glad that he could look forward to my day [i.e., by faith he anticipated the coming of the Messiah. See Heb. 11:13ff]. And he saw it [by faith] and was glad."
57 So, the Jews said to Him, "You are not even fifty years old [yet] and have you seen Abraham?"
58 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am." [Note: The words "I am" were probably construed as a reference to being Deity. See Ex. 3:14].
59 So, they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself [or "was hidden," suggesting a miraculous departure] and left the Temple [area].