“Not Enough” John 8:12-20

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” And the Pharisees said, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.” We have to tread lightly with our opinions on this, because it’s important that we understand exactly what they were saying. When the Pharisees said, “Your witness is not true”, they were not saying that Jesus was lying, they were not simply saying “You are not the light of the world”, they were saying, “Your witness of Yourself is not enough.” Deuteronomy 19:15 says, “A matter must be established by testimony of two or three witnesses.” The Pharisees were following the Law as they understood it. Jesus, if simply a man, could not testify of Himself, He didn’t have the freedom to make declarations about who He was or even what He was empowered to do. This is why Jesus didn’t come announcing Himself as the Messiah, but rather came, declaring the Kingdom of God was near and that He was doing the will of the One who sent Him, He was following the Law and allowing God the Father to be His witness.  John referred to Jesus’ miracles as signs because His actions were a witness to His identity. The Pharisees were trying to use the Law to discredit Jesus because they didn’t know who Jesus was, and Jesus would later say that because they didn’t know Him, they also didn’t know the Father. They had no idea that they were arguing about the Law with the Lawgiver. Jesus was not above the Law, but He was fulfilling the Law in ways that the Pharisees could not see, did not expect and would not understand. Jesus had done miracles, He had marveled the Pharisees and the crowds with teaching like they had never heard before, He was unwavering in His resolve and unmoved by their threats and yet, they had decided, “It’s not enough.” Where does that kind of stubbornness come from? What do we do when we are in the same position the Pharisees were in, when how we feel is directly opposed to what God says, when our reality does not seem to match God’s truth, when what we see is not what we want, when His promises seem to diverge from our expectations? That stubbornness comes from our feelings, it is defined as our flesh. This morning we are going to discuss the flesh and the Spirit, one is deceitful in all its ways and the other guides us into all truth. We hear those descriptions and it sounds like a no-brainer, we should follow the One that is true and faithful and reject the one that is unreliable at best and deceitful at worst, but for most of us, it’s not that easy because we want the truth to feel a certain way, we want to agree with it and we want it to agree with us. At issue is the fact that the truth comes to reveal and redeem our feelings, not to confirm or affirm them. Jesus never spoke from what He felt, He never said, “I feel like the Father is saying . . .” He submitted His flesh to the Spirit and by doing so, the Spirit led Him into the wilderness, through opposition, rejection and destruction and into the glory of the Father. The same Spirit has come to lead us in the same course and to the same destination. My prayer today is that we will surrender our feelings and submit not just our lives, but our hearts, our minds and what the Bible calls our flesh to the truth that doesn’t change or waver, no matter how we feel.

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