Jesus Is From Above

Photo by Timo Volz on Unsplash

John 8:17-24 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. 21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

No One Ever Spoke As Jesus Did

When a jeweler wants to show off the beauty of his diamonds, he does not put the diamonds on a white, clean surface. No, the jeweler puts the diamonds against a black surface, usually black velvet. The black focuses the eye on the light reflecting through the facets of the diamond. Displayed against the darkness, the beauty of the diamond comes out.

As our Lord Jesus ministered on this earth, the times that His beauty was most seen was when He was seen against a black surface. Many times we see Jesus being approached by those who were under the blackness of sickness and disease. Other times Jesus was seen against the darkness of sinful man. But Jesus shone brightest when He was seen against the darkness of self righteousness and power hungry men. Jesus shined brightly when the Pharisees, Priests and Scribes tried to smear His goodness with evil. In our text today Jesus is addressing the Pharisees and Priests who are attempting to end His ministry. What does the Bible say of these self righteous men? We read in:

John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

The Bible says that “Jesus came unto His own people (the Jews), but His own people would not receive Him” (John 1:11). Jesus stopped walking in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Not every Jew. Just the Pharisees and Priests, the religious crowd. Jesus came and pointed out their hypocrisy. Had He just been a Rabbi Who did this, the Pharisees and Priests would not have cared as much. But as Jesus healed people, miraculously giving the blind their sight, the deaf their hearing, the lame their mobility, and the dead their life, His popularity grew. Crowds began to seek out Jesus, and as ..

Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of religious ritual without a relationship with God. This challenged the power of the Pharisees and Priests, infuriating them.

John 7:31-32 … many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

Jesus told those who came to capture Him:

John 7:33-34 … Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

Jesus said “I’m going back to the One Who sent Me here – and you’re not going to be able to go there”. This puzzled those who came to capture Jesus. “Where can YOU go that WE can’t go? Are You going to a Gentile dominated area? This makes no sense!” (John 7:35-36). The Bible says:

John 7:44 And some of them would have taken Him; but no man laid hands on Him.

The officers of the Temple could not take Jesus. They went back to the Temple, and we read:

John 7:45-48 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this Man. 47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him?

As we come to our focal text for the day, the chief priests and Pharisees approach Jesus directly. They cannot get the Temple Police to arrest Jesus, so they are going to take matters into their own hands. In John 7:33-34 we read that Jesus said “I return to the One Who sent Me, and you cannot go where I am going”. Jesus says this same thing a second time, not to the Temple Officers, but to the Chief Priests and Pharisees:

John 8:21 …. I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

Jesus Christ Is Not Of This World

Once more, the Pharisees and Priests cannot understand what Jesus is saying. Will He kill Himself? What place can Jesus go where they cannot go as well. Jesus is very specific:

John 8:23-24 …. Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Jesus Christ is NOT of this world! These are His Words. I hear so many people say, “Jesus was a good Man. Jesus was a Great Prophet. Jesus was an extraordinary Human.” Yet Jesus does not say this of Himself. Jesus is other-worldly. The Pharisees, the Chief Priests, every human who has ever been is from beneath. We are from this earth. Humanity’s heritage can be traced back to Adam, a crooked farmer, and Noah, a drunken sailor. We are all born of this earth, born of father and mother coming together in love. We are all broken, sinful. Those who are of this world are all sinners. The Bible says:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Where our forefather Adam sinned, he caused not only his fall, but the fall of all his children. We are the children of Adam. The Bible says:

Romans 5:12 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:

One of the devil’s favorite lies is to say that one is better than another in humanity. All have sinned. All fall short.

Lord, save us from religious people! The Pharisees and Chief Priests believed that, since their OUTWARD actions were religious and right, that they were ACCEPTABLE to God, justified in His eyes. But their actions – no matter how religious – came from beneath. It was earthly, fouled, broken. It was, as the Prophet said, filthy rags.

Isaiah 64:6 … we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

None are innocent. All are from beneath. The Psalmist David said:

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Sin is the universal problem among us all. We are from beneath. We are not from Heaven, but from dust, from corruption. How can we escape this corruption? By Law? By more human laws? No, for sin clings to each of us, as algae clings to the poles of a boat dock. We need Someone from outside of humanity to save us. We need Him Who is from above, Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 8:23-24 … Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Pharisees, you cannot go where Jesus goes. Priests, you cannot go where Jesus goes. Jesus is from above. He is from Heaven. He is God’s Messiah, come to save those who believe in Him. Earlier in the day Jesus was asked:

John 6:28 … What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

We are from beneath. Everything we do is from beneath, it is beneath God. So how can we work the works of God? Jesus said:

John 6:29 … This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom {God} hath sent.

You must believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Representative, God’s Messiah come to save the soul of man. You must believe that “Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Jesus” (John 14:6). You must “confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and you shall be saved”. (Romans 10:9-10). You must believe that Jesus is NOT just a good teacher nor a fine rabbi, but that Jesus Christ is the Great I AM of Scripture. This is what Jesus says. We read:

John 8:24 … ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

If you are following me in a King James Bible, you will see that the word he is italicized, denoting that it was added by the translators. Jesus did not say that you had to believe that “I AM HE”, but that you have to believe Jesus is I am. Every Jew knows the name of God I am. When Israel was enslaved in Egypt, God sent Moses to be His spokesman before Pharaoh and before Israel. God told Moses that His Name was:

Exodus 3:14 (ESV) … “I AM Who I AM.” And {God} said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’”

The magnificent, eternal name of God is that He is “I AM” or Yahweh. God is eternally there. The God Who is above us all has no beginning and no end. He is eternally in the present tense. Jesus is NOT from below, like us. He is no sinner saved by Grace. Jesus Christ IS God, GOD THE SON. He is the Great I AM, the One Who spoke to Moses, the Intercessor between God and Man. Jesus said if ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins. And Beloved, if you die in your sins, then you will never enter the place where Jesus is right now. You cannot go to Heaven unless you know God through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Great I AM.

Jesus Is The Light Of God From Above

When our planet was first formed, God said …

Genesis 1:3 (ESV) “Let there be light”, and there was light.

Light was given before God made either sun or stars. Light was given before the earth began to rotate. Our God is “the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17 ESV). The Source of all light is God. The Giver of all light is God. Humans need light. They need the “light of life” (Job 33:30). We all need the Lord, for “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

Just as we need physical light to see so we can live, we need spiritual light so that we can see and live the life our God designed for us. Darkness cannot defeat darkness.

Earlier in the day Jesus was in the Temple teaching when the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in the act of adultery” (John 8:3). The Pharisees thought that they could usurp Jesus’ fame by catching Him violating the Law of God. The Law of God demanded that both male and female caught in the act of adultery be put to death (Leviticus 20:10-12). So they bring this woman in, and cast her down at Jesus’ feet. Listen Beloved: there is no more love in the Pharisee and the Sadducee, than there is in the Taliban! The person who is religious but not in a relationship with God through Christ is in darkness. Darkness cannot defeat darkness. Again I say,

Darkness cannot defeat Darkness. There must be Light!

The Pharisees tell Jesus:

John 8:4-5 … Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

What will Jesus say? The Law of Moses demands death, not just for this woman, but for the man that is missing from this accusation. Jesus is from above. It is Jesus Who dictated the Law of God through Moses. Adultery is a horrendous sin, but so is false witness. Where is the man if this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. The Law demands accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 25:15 NIV). Crookedness destroys a nation, and mangles a community. This woman was taken in adultery. What will Jesus do?

Jesus is from above. When He directed the Law to Moses, He decreed

Deuteronomy 17:5-7 (ESV) … you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones. 6 On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death … 7 The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death…

There had to be two witnesses that this woman committed adultery. There are two or more. But the Law of God also said, The hand of the witnesses shall be first against the sinner. Jesus simply said,

John 8:7 … He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Let the Witnesses cast the first stone. This is what God’s Law said, a Law that is good. If these men are the Witnesses, and they pick up a stone to cast it, Jesus need but ask “but where is the MAN THAT WAS WITH THIS WOMAN?” God despises unfair measures. God demands equal justice and, where applicable, joyful mercy. The accusers of this woman slowly depart, until just the woman is left. Jesus asked her:

John 8:10-11 … Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. …

Jesus does not condone this woman’s sin, but this woman addresses Jesus as Lord. He is Lord. Jesus Christ is from above. He is the Author of the Law of Moses. But Jesus is also the Author of salvation. We receive the “good news of peace between us and God through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)” (Acts 10:36 ESV). Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, the Lamb sent by God to make payment for our sins. “Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17:14 ESV). The Jesus Who is from above said:

John 8:10-11 … Neither do I condemn thee:
go, and sin no more.

No one has the power to forgive sins but God. Jesus is from above. Jesus has the power to forgive sins. When Jesus healed a paralyzed man when He told him:

Mark 2:5 “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

The Pharisees and Priests accused Jesus of blasphemy. “Who can forgive sins, but God?” (Mark 2:7). No man on this earth has the power to forgive sin, for sin is an offense against God. Caught in the act of adultery, King David repented, saying “against You, dear God, and only You have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4). If Jesus were from below, from this earth, He would have no power to forgive sin. But Jesus is LORD. He is the Son of God. He is from above, not from beneath. Jesus does not justify the sin, but as Almighty God forgives the sin. Jesus said:

John 8:12 … I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus wrote the Law that man continually fails. But Jesus has the power to forgive sins, for He is from above. Jesus never violated the Law, but Jesus is God the Son, God’s only means to forgiveness of sin.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV) For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The ancient Jew sacrificed animals to seek forgiveness of sin, but animal sacrifices never truly covered sin. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrew 9:22). The shedding of animal blood from beneath merely pointed out to us all how much God despises sin. John Piper wrote:

God regards sin as so evil and so destructive that in order to set things right there must be a death … {Jesus Christ} became ‘a curse for us’ (Galatians 3:13). He bore our condemnation in His flesh (Romans 8:3). This is the center and the glory of the Gospel. So Paul says in Romans 5:9, “We have now been justified by His blood”, or in Ephesians 1:7, ‘In Him we have redemption through His Blood’, or in Ephesians 2:13, ‘You who once were far off have been brought near by the Blood of Christ’.”

Jesus did not ignore this woman’s sin, but forgave it because she received Him as Lord of All. Jesus is from above, not from beneath. Jesus, as Almighty God the Son, does not justify her actions, but bids her “go and SIN NO MORE”. Jesus forgives the believer’s sin, but tells them to start walking with Him, not with the world. Jesus Christ is the Light from above. “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus Is The Bread Of Heaven

When Israel left Egypt and headed toward the Promised Land, God wanted them to rely on Him for their sustenance, to rely on Him for their lives. So God caused manna to fall from Heaven (see Exodus 16). The manna was “bread from Heaven” (Exodus 16:4). The people were to go out every day and gather just enough manna for that day’s sustenance – and twice as much on the day prior to the Sabbath. That bread of Heaven gave every Israeli the strength to daily follow the Lord, until they went into the Promised Land. The manna was from above, and symbolized life. Jesus told us:

John 6:32-37 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

What is the significance of the Manna? It had to be gathered daily. When saved by faith in Christ the Manna of Heaven, we are called to approach Jesus daily.

Jesus Christ is God’s Manna from Heaven. When Jesus fed 5000 with two small fish and five biscuits, the crowd decided that they “would take Him by force, and make Jesus King” (John 6:15). Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but He did not come to force Himself as King over anyone. “Jesus is the Bread of Life: he that comes to Jesus shall never hunger; and he that believes on Jesus shall never thirst” (John 6:35). When you receive Jesus as He is, as The One Who is from above, then God gives you everlasting life. Jesus said:

John 6:40 … this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day.

Bread sustains life. Jesus sustains life.
Bread is for all. Jesus is for all.
Bread is necessary. Jesus is necessary.
Bread is prepared.
Jesus is prepared from the foundation of the world.
(Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 9:26)

John 6:47-50 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

Jesus emphasized that He is the Manna from Heaven because Manna as bread from above brought life to the Israelis. Jesus gives life only to those who “eat” Him, that is, have a daily relationship with Him and His Word. As you read the Bible, you digest God’s Word. As you digest God’s Word, you become more and more Christ centered. Jesus said:

John 6:53-58 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Of all the teachings Jesus gave, this was and is the teaching that is the most controversial, most likely to cause someone to walk away. When we eat, we eat daily. Those who are saved have a daily relationship with Jesus. When we eat, what we eat becomes part of who we are. As we daily come to Jesus and learn of Him, we become more like Jesus daily. As someone once said, “You are what you eat”. As we eat daily, we focus on what we are eating. The Christian daily focuses on Jesus. Finally, eating is an intimate affair. We who are saved are intimate with Jesus.

When Jesus taught these Words, those who had been following Him were offended by His Words. Jesus told them:

John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.

Many walked away from Jesus that very day. What will you do? Will you come to Jesus and believe Him as He is. Will you believe that He is from above, that He is the Light of God and the Manna from Heaven, the Giver of eternal life? Will you give your life to Him, daily walking with Him? This is the Way of Salvation. Will you come to Him Who is from above? May God touch your hearts to do so this very day. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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