John 8:30–59: The Sonship of Jesus
In John 8:30–59, Jesus’ dispute with the Jews comes to its strongest expression that we will see until the day of his crucifixion. Jesus has been publicly testifying that he is the Son of the Father since John 5, with varying degrees of outward success. Here again, there are some who seem to believe in him (John 8:30), but by the end of this passage, those believers will not merely depart from him as apostates (cf. John 6:66), but will pick up stones to murder him (John 8:59). The reason for their intense hatred of Jesus is simple: Jesus, the true light, continues shining an indicting, condemning light on them, even to the point of casting doubt on the one thing they most prized in life: their descent from Abraham. Then, weaving together various strands of biblical typology, theology, and prophecy, Jesus offers a new explanation to support the claims he has put forward so far: You are a slave to whomever you are a son.
1. How many ways so far in the Gospel of John have we seen true faith contrasted against false faith? What is the key differentiator between true and false faith? What does that mean for the way that you assess your own spiritual condition?
2. What does this world believe about freedom? How does God address the world’s ideas of freedom in his word? What does true freedom look like? How do we get true freedom?
3. What does it mean to be a child of God? How do we make sure that we are indeed the children of God, rather than being deceived children of the devil?
4. What is the day of Jesus? Why is the day of Jesus so important that Abraham rejoiced to see it coming? What remains of Jesus’ day? How might we rejoice with Abraham over seeing Jesus’ day?