John 8:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:28, NIV: "So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me."

John 8:28, ESV: "So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me."

John 8:28, KJV: "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."

John 8:28, NASB: "So Jesus said, 'When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know thatI am, and I do nothingon My own, but I say these things as the Father instructed Me."

John 8:28, NLT: "So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I Am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me."

John 8:28, CSB: "So Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own. But just as the Father taught me, I say these things."

What does John 8:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This one statement packs a number of crucial ideas into only a few words. Here, Jesus predicts His own death, lays claim to being the fulfillment of prophecy, equates Himself both with Messiah and God, and professes that His words and actions are those of God Himself.

In Jesus' day, crucifixion was considered to be so vile, so brutal, and so shameful that people rarely spoke of it directly. Instead, they would use various metaphors, such as being "lifted up." This is particularly common reference for Jesus, who often speaks of how the Messiah—Jesus Himself—must be "lifted up" in order to accomplish His mission (John 3:14; John 12:32).

The term "Son of Man" was one Jewish listeners would have immediately recognized. In Daniel, the Messianic figure is described as "one like a son of man" (Daniel 7:13–14). When Jesus uses this phrase, His audience knows precisely what He is referring to. Many of them, also, know that Jesus was fond of using this expression in reference to Himself (Matthew 8:20; Mark 8:21; Luke 12:10; John 3:13–14).

In verse 24, Jesus had used the expression "I am he" in reference to His role as the One source of salvation (John 3:16–18). This echoes the famous words of God, who identified Himself to Moses by stating "I AM WHO I AM…Say this to the people of Israel: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Jesus echoes this same claim often. In the gospel of John, seven such statements are given special attention, including one earlier in this very conversation (John 8:12).

Jesus also makes another comment linking His words and His teachings, to those of God the Father. In the next verse, Jesus will continue to explain how He is eternally, continually in communion and agreement with His heavenly Father.