Mar 18, 2022

(Exodus 29, John 8; Optional Psalm 53, Proverbs 14:28-31)

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EXODUS 29 – Ex 29:1-37 describes a 7-day ordination and installation process for Israel’s priests (we’ll see this done for Aaron and his sons after the Tabernacle is built), then Ex 29:38-46 tells a bit about the daily sacrifices that those priests will offer on Israel’s behalf. The point of all this careful attention to God-instructed details (see v 36) and the bloody sacrifices and anointing with oil and blood is reminded in v 42-45… So that Yahweh will meet with His people and reveal Himself to them without having to destroy them because of their sin. The ultimate summary reason is v 46 and worth focusing on (and cf the fulfillment of this in Jesus, God in the flesh, who tabernacled among us – see Jn 1:1, 14).

JOHN 8 – Jn 7:53-8:11 is not in some ancient manuscripts, and it’s found at different places in the Gospels in some other manuscripts. But this event bears all the marks of authenticity and certainly complements the rest of the ministry and teaching of Jesus. Here’s a lady caught in sin and a crowd of religious leaders very eager to judge her in an attempt to trap Jesus. They ALL need to heed Jesus’ calls to come to HIM as the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35) and heed the invitations in Jn 7:37-38, 8:12, 8:51 and the warning of 8:24.

Jn 8:4 – See Deut 22:22ff – where’s the guy? Many wonder if he was part of the setup to try to trap Jesus.

Jn 8:11 – Also see Jn 8:34-37 – Jesus calls sinners to REPENTANCE – He calls us to leave our slavery to sin and trust Him. He’s not calling for sinless perfection, but He DOES make clear that there will be a clearly different direction in our lives.

Jn 8:12 – See notes at Jn 6:35.

Jn 8:15 – How does this fit with Jn 5:22?? See Jn 3:17 – the point of Jesus’ FIRST coming is NOT to pass judgment, but to make salvation possible for all who entrust their lives to Him. But He will be RETURNING as Judge of all the earth.

Jn 8:24 – This is why it matters so much whether people trust in Jesus as who He claimed to be – God in the flesh. Equal in divinity to His Father. The original Greek doesn’t have the word “He”. Notice that in KJV, NKV, NASB, etc the word “he” is in italics, indicating it’s not in the original. “I AM” is the same name used in Exodus 3:13-17 where Yahweh emphasizes that He is the uncreated One who always has been. Also see Jn 8:56-59 where Jesus being the eternal “I AM” is absolutely clear. How big a deal is it if someone claims to respect Jesus, but doesn’t believe in Him as fully divine? Many think of Jesus as SOMEWHAT divine, but not fully as the eternally self-existing, non-created Creator who is the “I AM.” Jn 8:24 makes clear that if you don’t entrust yourself to Jesus as fully God in the flesh, you will die in your sins, meaning an eternity under the righteous wrath of God (see Jn 3:36).

Jn 8:28 – Talking about the cross (also see Jn 3:14-15, Jn 12:32-33). From the John MacArthur Study Bible: [“Having refused to accept Him by faith and having nailed Him to the cross, they would one day awaken to the terrifying realization that this One whom they despised was the One whom they should have worshiped (cf. Phil. 2:9–11; Rev. 1:7). Many Jews believed on Christ after His death and ascension, realizing that the One whom they rejected was truly the Messiah (Acts 2:36, 37, 41).”]

Jn 8:31-36 – A huge theme throughout John’s Gospel is SAVING belief, where someone entrusts their whole life to Jesus and submits to His teaching. Here and in Jn 2:23-25 there’s a group that had SOME level of belief that fell short of this wholly entrusting their lives to Jesus. Jesus gives some vital TESTS to examine if professed faith is saving faith or something less (like an intellectual agreement with some of what Jesus said). 1) There will be an ABIDING in / continuing in / holding to His teaching.  2) There will be an evident FREEDOM from the slavery to sin. See notes by v 11 – NOT sinless perfection, but a clearly different direction.

Jn 8:37-47 – To this very religious (v 13) Jewish crowd (v 37) Jesus bluntly says that their father is the devil! (v 44)  Too many think talk of EVERYONE as a child of God, and you could infer that on one level because God created us all. However, the USUAL Biblical use of referring to God as Father is ONLY for those who come to Him by entrusting their lives to the Jesus as presented in the Gospels (see Jn 14:6).

Jn 8:53 – Great question! This is the ULTIMATE question on which each person’s eternal destiny rests.

Jn 8:56-59 – See notes at Jn 6:35 and earlier today at Jn 8:24. Jesus did NOT just claim to be a great prophet, a great moral teacher, or somewhat divine. He is the eternal “I AM”. His listeners knew EXACTLY what He was claiming and picked up stones to stone Him to death for blasphemy. Of course it’s not quite Jesus’ time (though it will be within a few months), nor the manner He would lay down His life (Ps 22 is a perfect description of crucifixion, though before it was invented). So He slips away…

Optional Psalm 53 – Almost exactly Psalm 14, so I’m reprinting much of those thoughts…

Don’t miss that v 1-3 (quoted in Rom 3:9-12, so I’ve written a cross and “Rom 3:9-12” in my Bible margin) refers to ALL humans except Jesus. The key point of Rom 1-3 is that ALL of us are depraved, and the only hope is for God to save us through Jesus. Too many in our world think that people are basically good and think that our main problem is something outside of us, victimizing us. Sadly, because this is a post-Gen 3, fallen world we DO victimize one another. But a recurring theme through the Bible is that our MAIN problem is OURSELVES.

Ps 53:1 – Key to understanding the “fool” (a key word in Scripture, especially in wisdom literature like Psalms and Proverbs). “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” He may not say that out LOUD – he may not CALL himself an atheist, but he ACTS like one. He ACTS like he won’t have to stand before God at the judgment someday. Rom 1-3 (and Ps 53:1-3) makes clear that ALL of us come into this world living like this. Then (in v 4-5) God shifts His focus to those who STAY in their own way, thinking that they’re getting away with not calling upon God and turning to Him and His way…

Ps 53:4-5 – The END of the story is that the unrepentant will one day be in great fear / terror / dread, because God as the perfect Judge of all the earth will one day get full and complete justice.  Next to Ps 53:4-5 I’ve written a capital “S!” (because of the focus on the Sovereignty of God) with the note “GOD WINS!”

Ps 53:6 – Wonderful prayer for God’s people (including Gentiles who are grafted into the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob / Israel by faith in Jesus – see Gal 3:14, 26-29) when we feel our overwhelming minority among the unrepentant majority who love to oppress God’s people.

Optional Proverbs 14:28-31 – Pr 14:28 – Many modern nations that ignored Gen 1:28, Gen 9:1, 7, Ps 127:3-5 are now frantically trying to reverse their shrinking populations and the multitude of problems associated. Pr 14:29 – One of many Proverbs to warn about the dangers of human anger. The non-envious, contented heart of v 30 helps make possible the generosity called for in v 31.