28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. — John 8:28-30 NLT (Read John 8:12-30)
The Pharisees and the ruling class were still trying to find a way to be rid of Jesus. They were always trying to catch Jesus in some error or saying something that they could define as blasphemy. This would allow them to take Him to the Romans and ask for the death penalty. As Jesus taught the people, His words had again infuriated the Jewish leaders with His claim about who He was. In this passage, He not only tells them who He is, He also prophesies that He will die by being hung on a cross. He also refers to Himself as “I AM” in this translation. The same way God had always referred to Himself in the Old Testament. God and Jesus both referred to themselves in the present tense, never in the past and never in the future. We say God was, God is and God will always be. They just say “I AM”. They live in and refer to life in the present or the “now”. We should follow their example and live our lives the same way. As Mother Teresa once said: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Though Jesus knew that He would die on a cross in a few days, He did not let that deter Him from doing what our Father had sent Him to do. We should not let regrets from yesterdays or worries and fears about tomorrow deter us from accomplishing God’s purpose and plan for us today.
1 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. 4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”—John 8:1-11 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees were still looking for some substantial charge they could bring against Jesus. If they could get Jesus to say anything against the law of Moses, then they could charge Him with blasphemy. But, as Jesus had done in the past, knowing what their thoughts and intentions were, He again avoided their trap. It would be fantastic to know what Jesus wrote in the dust, but whatever it was, it was sufficient to chase the accusers away. After they left, Jesus asks the woman, “does even one of them condemn you?” She says, “No, Lord”. Then she heard the most beautiful words a sinner can hear, “neither do I, go and sin no more.” Can you imagine the peace and joy she must have felt when she heard Jesus speak those words? We don’t have to imagine that feeling! Jesus has spoken the same words to each of us that has accepted Him as our Savior and Lord, The peace! the joy! the freedom! the liberty that flows over us at that moment is something the world could never give us. And it’s free because Jesus paid it all!
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? —Romans 8:31 (NLT)
8 In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. 9 But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) 10 But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. 11 What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.—Jude 8-11 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
God does use visions and dreams to direct His people, but we have to be very careful when we are determining if a dream or vision is from God. In Joel 2:28, God says that this will happen in the latter days and then it is quoted in Acts 2:15. But if a dream, vision, or prophecy is from God, it will not contradict Scripture in any way. So, if anything the dreamer, visionary or prophet says contradicts the Bible, then we must refute the entire message they are bringing. Any half truth is all lie. The false prophets use dreams and visions to mislead people into all kinds of sin and misconduct. They are deceived by the lusts of their own flesh and they try to lead others astray as well. Their consciences have become “seared over”, so they feel no guilt about anything they say or do. They use this to obtain money, power, and positions. They will perish in their rebellion and so will those who are deceived and follow after this new “religion”. When Jesus was hanging on the cross, He said “it is finished”, there won’t be another Messiah coming, so when people say Jesus is here and Jesus is there, don’t follow after them. God has instructed us to add nothing and to take nothing away from the Scriptures that He has breathed into being. So, if their visions, dreams and prophecies can’t be verified by Scripture, then don’t believe them and don’t follow after them.
13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. 16 If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.–1 John 5:13-17 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
When we pray, we are asking God for life. It pleases God that His children will ask Him for eternal life and the things that are necessary
for physical life here. He has given us His Son already, why would He now withhold any good thing from us? We are instructed to pray for others as well, asking God for life for them. When we or others sin a sin that does not lead to death (physical or spiritual) we are instructed to pray for life for ourselves and them. It seems to be optional to pray for those who have sinned a sin unto death (“I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it”). ****
****A short devotional could not possibly cover this subject, but for two examples of a sin leading to physical death look at 1 Cor. 11 (those that are asleep) and Acts 5 (Ananias and Sapphira).
A sin leading to spiritual death (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit) Matt.12:3. Another is absolute total denial that God exists. If He doesn’t exist then how could He possibly forgive any of us?
But if we aren’t sure about those sins leading to death, we are not restricted from praying for those who have committed them, John just cannot give us an assurance that God will give life to those for whom we are praying.