John 8:2
Early in the morning He went back into the temple courts. All the people came to Him, and He sat down to teach them.
Christ as a Religious TeacherD. Thomas, D. D.John 8:2
The TempleJohn 8:2
We Must Do Good Against Great OppositionH. W. Beecher.John 8:2
The Accusers Condemned and the Accused AbsolvedJ.R. Thomson John 8:1-11
Excluded from the Destination of JesusD. Young John 8:1-23

Whatever view be taken of the genuineness of this passage of the Gospel, there can be little doubt as to the authenticity of the narrative, and no doubt as to the justice of the picture it presents of the ministry and character of Jesus Christ.

I. HERE IS A REPRESENTATION OF THE SINFUL SOCIETY IN WHICH THE SAVIOUR DEIGNED TO MIX. The scene was the temple; the company gathered together were composed of those who wished to hear Jesus discourse, the motive of some being good, and that of others evil; the centre of the group was the Prophet of Nazareth, who claimed to be the world's Light and Salvation. The audience and the Speaker were interrupted by an incident which, however, afforded a remarkable opportunity for most characteristic and memorable teaching on the part of our Divine Lord.

1. We see a picture of human frailty. As the poor, trembling, shame-stricken woman was dragged into the temple precincts, she furnished a sad instance of the moral weakness of humanity. For although her seducer was probably a hundredfold guiltier than she, it cannot be questioned that the adulteress was to blame, as having infringed both Divine and human laws.

2. We see a picture of human censoriousness. Sinful though the woman was, it does not seem that those who were so anxious to overwhelm her with disgrace were impelled by a sense of duty. They seem to have been of those who delight in another's sin, who, instead of covering a fault, love to drag it into the light.

3. We see a picture of human malice. They sought to entrap Jesus into some utterance which might serve as a charge against him. It was impelled by this motive that they referred the case of the adulteress to him, who came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it. Their concern for the public morals was trifling when compared with their malignant hatred of him who was morality incarnate.


1. He convinced the morally hardened and insensible, arousing their conscience, and compelling them to admit their own sinfulness. If the cunning of the Pharisees was great, the wisdom of the Saviour was greater still. He confounded their plot, and turned their weapons against themselves. Their own consciences witnessed against those who had been so anxious to condemn a fellow sinner.

2. He pardoned the penitent offender. The woman could not but feel how heinous had been her transgression, and in bow black colours it appeared to all who considered it aright. And all we know of Jesus assures us that he would never have forgiven, and dismissed in peace, one insensible of sin. She sorrowed over her fault; the presence of the pure and perfect Jesus was itself a rebuke and reproach to her, while his demeanour and language awakened her gratitude and restored her hopes, if not her self-respect.

3. He condemned and guarded against a repetition of the sin, in the admonition he pointedly addressed to her as she left him, "Sin no more." - T.

And early in the morning He came again unto the Temple.
We have in our version only one word, "Temple," with which we render both ἱερόν and ναός, but there is a very real distinction between the two, and one the marking of which would often add much to the clearness and precision of the sacred narrative. Ἱερόν ( = templum) is the whole compass of the sacred enclosure, the τέμενος, including the outer courts, the porches, porticoes, and other buildings subordinated to the Temple itself. But ναος ( = aedes), from ναίω, habito, as the proper habitation of God (Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24; 1 Corinthians 6:19): the οἶκος το θεοῦ (Matthew 12:4; cf. Exodus 23:19) is the Temple itself, that by especial right so called, being the heart and centre of the whole; the Holy, and the Holy of Holies, called often ἀγίασμα. (1 Macc. 1:37 1 Macc. 3:45). This distinction, one that existed and was acknowledged in profane Greek, and with reference to heathen temples, quite as much as in sacred Greek, and with relation to the Temple of the true God (see Herodotus 1:181-3; Thucydides 5:18; Acts 19:24-27) is, I believe, always assumed in all passages relating to the Temple at Jerusalem, alike by Josephus, by Philo, by the translators, and in the New Testament...The distinction may be brought to bear with advantage on several passages in the New Testament. When Zacharias entered "into the Temple of the Lord" to burn incense, the people who waited His return, and who are described as standing "without" (Luke 1:10) were in one sense in the Temple too — that is, in the ἱερόν, while he alone entered into the ναός, the "Temple" in its more limited and auguster sense. We read continually of Christ teaching "in the Temple" (Matthew 26:55; Luke 21:37; John 8:21), and perhaps are at a loss to understand how this could have been so, or how long conversations could there have been maintained, without interrupting the service of God. But this is ever the ἱερόν, the porches and porticoes of which were eminently adapted to such purposes, as they were intended far them. Into the ναός the Lord never entered during His earthly course: nor, indeed, being made under the law, could He do so, that being reserved for the priests alone. It need hardly be said that the money changers, the buyers and sellers, with the sheep and oxen, whom the Lord drives out, He repels from the ἱερόν, and not from the ναός. Irreverent as was their intrusion, they yet had not dared to establish themselves in the Temple properly so called. (Matthew 21:12; John 2:14). On the other hand, when we read of another Zacharias slain "between the Temple and the altar" (Matthew 23:35) we have only to remember that "Temple" is ναός here, at once to get rid of a difficulty, which may perhaps have presented itself to many — this, namely, Was not the altar in the Temple? How, then, could any locality be described as between these two? In the ἱερόν, doubtless was the brazen altar to which allusion is here made, but not in the ναός, "in the court" of the House of the Lord (cf. Josephus, "Antiq." 8:04, 1), where the sacred historian (2 Chronicles 24:21) lays the scene of this murder, but not in the House of the Lord, or ναός, itself. Again, how vividly does it set forth to us the despair and defiance of Judas, that he presses even into the ναός itself (Matthew 27:5), into the "adytum" which was set apart for the priests alone, and there casts down before them the accursed price of blood. Those expositors who affirm that here ναός stands for ἱερόν should adduce some other passage in which the one is put for the other.

(Abp. Trench.)

And He sat down and taught.
I. HE WAS DEVOUTLY STUDIOUS. It was from the solitudes of Olivet where He had spent the previous night that He goes into the Temple. To preach the gospel three things are essential, and these can come only by solitude.

1. Self-formed conviction of gospel truth. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation; but how is it to be wielded — by Bible circulation, recitation of its contents, or repeating the comments of others? All these are useful, but conviction is indispensable. Heaven has so honoured our nature that the gospel, to win its victories, must pass as living beliefs through the soul of the teacher. The men who teach it without such convictions — conventional preachers — can never enrich the world. They are echoes of old voices, mere channels through which old dogmas flow. But he who speaks what he believes and because he believes, the doctrine comes from him instinct and warm with life. His individuality is impressed upon it. The world never had it in that exact form before. Now, devout solitude is necessary to this. Alone with God you can search the gospel to its foundation, and feel the congruity of its doctrine with your reason, its claims with your conscience, its provisions with your wants.

2. Unconquerable love for gospel truth. There is an immense practical opposition to it. Men's pride, prejudice, pleasures, pursuits, and temporal interests are against it. It follows, therefore, that those who think more of the favour of society than of the claims of truth, will not deal with it honestly, earnestly, and therefore successfully. The man only who loves truth more than even life, can so use it really to benefit mankind. In devout solitude you can cultivate this invincible attachment to truth, and you may be made to feel with Paul, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ,"

3. A living expression of gospel truth. Our conduct must confirm and illumine the doctrines which our lips declare. For this there must be seasons of solitude. When Moses talked with God the skin of his face shone. But in devout seclusion our whole nature may become luminous. John the Baptist gained invincible energy in the wilderness; Paul prepared for apostleship in Arabia; and in Gethsemane Jesus was prepared for His work.

II. HE WAS SUBLIMELY COURAGEOUS. On the previous day His life had been threatened and His arrest attempted, yet with a noble daring He goes "early in the morning" to the same scene. Distinguish this spirit from what the world calls courage.

1. Brute courage is dead to the sacredness of life. Soldiers hold life cheaply, and their courage is an animal and mercenary thing. But Christ deeply felt and frequently taught the sanctity of life. He came not to destroy men's lives, etc. "What shall it profit, etc."

2. Brute courage is indifferent to the grand mission of life. The man of brute valour is not inspired with the question, What is the grand object of my life? Am I here to work out the great designs of my Maker or to be a mere fighting machine? On the contrary, Christ's regard for the grand mission of His life made Him courageous. He came to bear witness to the truth; and to fulfil this work He willingly risked His own mortal life.

3. Brute courage is always inspired by mere animal passion. It is when the blood is up the man is daring, the mere blood of the enraged tiger or the infuriated lion. When the blood cools down the man's courage, such as it is, collapses. Not so with the valour of Christ, which was that of deep conviction of duty. "As Luther," Dr. D'Aubigne informs us, "drew near the door which was about to admit him into the presence of his judges (the Diet of Worms), he met a valiant knight, the celebrated George of Freundsberg, who, four years later, at the head of his German lansquenets, bent the knee with his soldiers on the field of Pavia, and then, charging to the left of the French army, drove it into the Ticino, and in a great measure decided the captivity of the King of France. The old general, seeing Luther pass, tapped him on the shoulder, and shaking his head, blanched in many battles, said kindly, 'Poor monk, poor monk! thou art now going to make a nobler stand than I or any other captain have ever made in the bloodiest of our battles. But if thy cause is just, and thou art sure of it, go forward in God's name and fear nothing. God will not forsake thee.' A noble tribute of respect paid by the courage of the sword to the courage of the mind." Nothing is more necessary for a religious teacher than courage, for his mission is to strike hard against the prejudices, self interests, dishonesties, etc., of the masses. No man without valour can do the work of a religious teacher. The popular preacher must more or less be cowardly conciliatory. Dead fish swim with the stream; it requires living ones with much inner force to cutup against the current.

III. HE WAS SUBLIMELY EARNEST. Early in the morning He did not indulge Himself sleep — "I must work," etc. Two things should make the preacher earnestly diligent.

1. The transcendent importance of His mission — to enlighten and regenerate is perishable spirits that are in a morally ruinous condition. What is involved in the loss of one soul?

2. The brevity of life. How short the time, even in the longest-lived for this greatest of human understandings.

IV. HE WAS BEAUTIFULLY NATURAL. "He sat down," etc. There was nothing stiff or official. All was free, fresh, and elastic as nature.

1. He was natural in attitude. Modern rhetoric has rules to guide a public speaker as to his posture, etc. All such miserable directions are not only unlike Christ, but degrading to the moral nature of the speaker, and detrimental to his oratorio influence. Let a man be charged with great thoughts, and those thoughts will throw his frame into the most beseeming attitudes.

2. He was natural in expression. He attended to no classic rule of composition; the words and similes He employed were such as His thoughts ran into first, and such as His hearers could well understand. To many modern preachers composition is everything. What solemn trifling with gospel truth!

3. He was natural in tones. The tones of His voice, we may rest assured, rose and fell according to the thoughts that occupied His soul. The voice of the modern teacher is often hideously artificial. Just so far as a speaker goes away from his nature, either in language, attitude, or tone, he loses self-respect, inward vigour, and social force.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

That is a poor engine that can only drive water through pipes down hill. Those vast giants of iron at the Ridgway waterworks, which supply this city day and night, easily lifting a ton of water at every gush, so that all the many thirsty faucet mouths throughout our streets cannot exhaust their fulness; those are the engines that I admire.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Jesus, Disciples
Jerusalem, Mount of Olives
Appeared, Break, Courts, Crowds, Early, Gathered, However, Morning, Returned, Sat, Seated, Taught, Teach, Teaching, Temple
1. Jesus delivers the woman taken in adultery.
12. He declares himself the light of the world, and justifies his doctrine;
31. promises freedom to those who believe;
33. answers the Jews who boasted of Abraham;
48. answers their reviling, by showing his authority and dignity;
59. and slips away from those who would stone him.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
John 8:2

     2354   Christ, mission
     4918   dawn
     5151   feet
     5181   sitting

John 8:1-11

     5557   stoning

John 8:2-3

     7469   temple, Herod's

John 8:2-11

     5381   law, letter and spirit

Ascension Day
Eversley. Chester Cathedral. 1872. St John viii. 58. "Before Abraham was, I am." Let us consider these words awhile. They are most fit for our thoughts on this glorious day, on which the Lord Jesus ascended to His Father, and to our Father, to His God, and to our God, that He might be glorified with the glory which He had with the Father before the making of the world. For it is clear that we shall better understand Ascension Day, just as we shall better understand Christmas or Eastertide,
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

December 18 Evening
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.--JOHN 8:32. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.--The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.--If the Son . . . shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.--Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

September 15 Morning
Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.--ROM. 6:14. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.--My brethren, ye . . . are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.--Being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ.--The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

February 27 Evening
God . . . giveth . . . liberally, and upbraideth not.--JAS. 1:5. Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. The grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many . . . The free gift is of many offences unto justification. God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

December 10 Evening
The perfect law of liberty.--JAS. 1:25. Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

February 28 Evening
The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.--PROV. 20:27. He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her . . . And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last. Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.--If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

April 9. "I do Always those Things that Please Him" (John viii. 29).
"I do always those things that please Him" (John viii. 29). It is a good thing to keep short accounts with God. We were very much struck some years ago with an interpretation of this verse: "So every one of us shall give an account of himself to God." The thought conveyed to our mind was, that of accounting to God every day of our lives, so that our accounts were settled daily, and for us judgment was passed, as we lay down on our pillows every night. This is surely the true way to live. It is the
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Light of the World
'... I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'--JOHN viii. 12. Jesus Christ was His own great theme. Whatever be the explanation of the fact, there stands the fact that, if we know anything at all about His habitual tone of teaching, we know that it was full of Himself. We know, too, that what He said about Himself was very unlike the language becoming a wise and humble religious teacher. Both the prominence given to His own personality,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

'Never in Bondage'
'We... were never in bondage to any man: how gayest Thou, Ye shall be made free!'--JOHN viii. 33. 'Never in bondage to any man'? Then what about Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Syria? Was there not a Roman garrison looking down from the castle into the very Temple courts where this boastful falsehood was uttered? It required some hardihood to say, 'Never in bondage to any man,' in the face of such a history, and such a present. But was it not just an instance of the strange power which we all have and exercise,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Three Aspects of Faith
'Many believed on Him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him....'--JOHN viii. 30,31. The Revised Version accurately represents the original by varying the expression in these two clauses, retaining 'believed on Him' in the former, and substituting the simple 'believed Him' in the latter. The variation in two contiguous clauses can scarcely be accidental in so careful a writer as the Apostle John. And the reason and meaning of it are obvious enough on the face of the narrative. His purpose
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

July the Fifth the Discipleship that Tells
"He that followeth Me." --JOHN viii. 12-20. Yes, but I must make sure that I follow Him in Spirit and in truth. It is so easy to be self-deceived. I may follow a pleasant emotion, while all the time a bit of grim cross-bearing is being ignored. I may be satisfied to be "out on the ocean sailing," singing of "a home beyond the tide," while all the time there is a piece of perilous salvage work to be done beneath the waves. To "follow Jesus" is to face the hostility of scribes and Pharisees, to
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

On the Words of the Gospel, John viii. 31, "If Ye Abide in My Word, Then are Ye Truly My Disciples," Etc.
1. Ye know well, Beloved, that we all have One Master, and are fellow disciples under Him. Nor are we your masters, because we speak to you from this higher spot; but He is the Master of all, who dwelleth in us all. He just now spake to us all in the Gospel, and said to us, what I also am saying to you; but He saith it of us, as well of us as of you. "If ye shall continue in My word," not of course in my word who am now speaking to you; but in His who spake just now out of the Gospel. "If ye shall
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

Believing on Jesus, and Its Counterfeits
The Lord Jesus also told the contradicting sinners that the day would come when cavillers would be convinced. Observe how he put it: "When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself." Cavillers may have a fine time of it just now; but they will one day be convinced either to their conversion or their confusion. Let us hope that many will see the truth before they die--early enough to seek and find a Saviour. But many in our Lord's day who discovered
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent
Of the power of the Word of God, of fiery desires, and the essence of self-renunciation. John viii. 47.--"He who is of God heareth the words of God." DEAR children, ye ought not to cease from hearing or declaring the word of God because you do not alway live according to it, nor keep it in mind. For inasmuch as you love it and crave after it, it will assuredly be given unto you; and you shall enjoy it for ever with God, according to the measure of your desire after it. There are some people who,
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

Morgan -- the Perfect Ideal of Life
George Campbell Morgan, Congregational divine and preacher, was born in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, in 1863, and was educated at the Douglas School, Cheltenham. He worked as a lay-mission preacher for the two years ending 1888, and was ordained to the ministry in the following year, when he took charge of the Congregational Church at Stones, Staffordshire. After occupying the pulpit in several pastorates, in 1904 he became pastor of the Westminster Congregational Chapel, Buckingham Gate, London,
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume 10

The Truth shall make you free.... Whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.--John viii. 32, 34-36. As this passage stands, I have not been able to make sense of it. No man could be in the house of the Father in virtue of being the servant of sin; yet this man is in the house as a servant, and the house in which he serves is not the house of sin,
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

Of the Imitation of Christ, and of Contempt of the World and all Its Vanities
He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,(1) saith the Lord. These are the words of Christ; and they teach us how far we must imitate His life and character, if we seek true illumination, and deliverance from all blindness of heart. Let it be our most earnest study, therefore, to dwell upon the life of Jesus Christ. 2. His teaching surpasseth all teaching of holy men, and such as have His Spirit find therein the hidden manna.(2) But there are many who, though they frequently hear the Gospel,
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Tobacco wastes the body. It is used for the nicotine that is in it. This peculiar ingredient is a poisonous, oily, colorless liquid, and gives to tobacco its odor. This odor and the flavor of tobacco are developed by fermentation in the process of preparation for use. "Poison" is commonly defined as "any substance that when taken into the system acts in an injurious manner, tending to cause death or serious detriment to health." And different poisons are defined as those which act differently upon
J. M. Judy—Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes

Messianic Claims Met by Attempt to Stone Jesus.
(Jerusalem. October, a.d. 29.) ^D John VIII. 12-59. ^d 12 Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life. [The metaphor of light was common, and signified knowledge and life; darkness is opposed to light, being the symbol of ignorance and death.] 13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest witness of thyself; thy witness is not true. [They perhaps recalled the words of Jesus
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The time was when there was no sin in this world. At that time it was an Eden. By man transgressing God's holy law sin entered this world. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Rom. 5:12. This is the origin of sin in this world and the awful consequence. God's design was that his creation be sinless and pure, but by disobedience sin has marred the scene of God's creative purity. The following texts will
Charles Ebert Orr—The Gospel Day

The Course of the World.
Unmistakably there exists a wide gulf of separation between the children of God and the children of the world. Christ is the only avenue of escape from the world. The wide, open door of salvation is the exit. He who would return from the blissful shores of Christianity to the beggarly elements of the world can do so only on the transporting barges of Satan. As a tree is known by its fruits, so is a true follower of Christ. The fruit borne by a Christian is directly opposite in its nature to the fruit
Charles Ebert Orr—The Gospel Day

The First Chapter: Imitating Christ and Despising all Vanities on Earth
HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness," says the Lord (John 8:12). By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ. The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they
Thomas À Kempis—The Imitation of Christ

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