God by Our Side: John 8:21-30

Focus Passage: John 8:21-30 (NIrV)

21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away. You will look for me, and you will die in your sin. You can’t come where I am going.”

22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘You can’t come where I am going’?”

23 But Jesus said, “You are from below. I am from heaven. You are from this world. I am not from this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins. This will happen if you don’t believe that I am he. If you don’t believe, you will certainly die in your sins.”

25 “Who are you?” they asked.

“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have a lot to say that will judge you. But the one who sent me can be trusted. And I tell the world what I have heard from him.”

27 They did not understand that Jesus was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “You will lift up the Son of Man. Then you will know that I am he. You will also know that I do nothing on my own. I speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even while Jesus was speaking, many people believed in him.

Read John 8:21-30 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

As I read the gospels, I am surprised at the number of times Jesus foreshadows His death on a cross. Very early on in His ministry, He talks with Nicodemus about this, and He also alludes to this in a conversation He has with a group of Jews a little later in His ministry.

In this later conversation, Jesus says, “You will lift up the Son of Man. Then you will know that I am he. You will also know that I do nothing on my own. I speak just what the Father has taught me.” (v. 28)

In the verse before this, we learn that the crowd was confused by what Jesus was saying about His Father. In this statement, Jesus begins to unpack the idea that everything He was doing and would do while on earth was intended to share what the Father is like. This even includes the crucifixion which is what Jesus is hinting at when He talks about being lifted up.

Jesus concluded this conversation by saying, “The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him.” (v. 29)

Even when it appeared as though He was standing alone, Jesus knew the Father was with Him. In Jesus’ mind and heart, alone was simply a way of describing the time that He had to be with His Father. He was never without the Father’s companionship. Because of the words Jesus says, John tells us that “even while Jesus was speaking, many people believed in him.” (v. 30)

Jesus’ closing statement has amazing relevance for us if we are willing to apply it. If we choose to place God first, to believe in Jesus, and to live a life that gives God glory, even if we end up standing for God “alone”, we are never alone because God is with us and He is always by our side. He is with us because we do what pleases Him!

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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