John 8:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:20, NIV: "He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come."

John 8:20, ESV: "These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come."

John 8:20, KJV: "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."

John 8:20, NASB: "These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple area; and no one arrested Him, because His hour had not yet come."

John 8:20, NLT: "Jesus made these statements while he was teaching in the section of the Temple known as the Treasury. But he was not arrested, because his time had not yet come."

John 8:20, CSB: "He spoke these words by the treasury, while teaching in the temple. But no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come."

What does John 8:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The conversation between Jesus and his critics—in this case, the Pharisees—continues to escalate. Jesus is directly condemning their judgment (John 8:15) and their spirituality (John 8:19). After claiming to be "the light of the world" (John 8:12), Jesus says that these men do not know Him, nor do they know His Father.

Despite suggestions that Jesus never claimed to be God, this is part of Jesus' consistent pattern. In this conversation, He professes to have the judgment of God (John 8:16), to have knowledge only God can know (John 8:26), and to be the sole source of spiritual truth (John 8:31–32). That controversy is not lost on Jesus' opponents, who often attempted to have Him arrested (John 7:32). In some cases, they even became angry enough to attempt to stone Him (John 5:18). Here, as in some other cases, the Bible gives no specific reason why they are not able to take Jesus into custody. Whether by natural or supernatural intervention, or simply out of fear of the crowd, Jesus' enemies are not yet able to silence Him.

From God's perspective, of course, the reason Jesus is not yet being taken captive is simple: this is not yet His time. That moment will come (John 17:1), but for now, God the Father has other plans for His Son.