Once again the whole passage may need to be read to get the whole story. It begins with the adulterous woman being brought to Jesus. He writes on the ground and asks the one who has not sinned to cast the first stone. I love verse nine: And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. I love that the elders led–a challenge for me! Verse 32 is also a favorite: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Such a simple statement but it was misconstrued as well. (I shouldn’t be surprised when my simple statements are misconstrued.:) )
When Jesus tells them that He is going His way in verse 21, He also says that they will die in their sins and not come with him.
This passage is a great example of listening with the unregenerated mind and not the born-again heart. Look at what Jesus said vs. what they hear:
- I’m going to heaven but you are not because of your sin/ We can’t go with him, He must be suicidal (21-22)
- You’re from this world, I’m from heaven/Who are you? (23-25). They never once consider that Jesus may have been exactly who He said He was–the Son of God!
These are just two examples, but verse 27 sums up their thinking which Jesus knew completely: “They understood not …”
Application for me: Am I listening when I’m reading the Bible or hearing teaching or preaching? Do I hear what I want to hear? Am I willing to look inside and see what Jesus sees?