What does John 8:38 mean?
ESV: I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
NIV: I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.'
NASB: I speak of the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.'
CSB: I speak what I have seen in the presence of the Father; so then, you do what you have heard from your father."
NLT: I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.'
KJV: I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Verse Commentary:
A major point of pride in the nation of Israel, was their descent from Abraham. As the man given a promise by God, Abraham represents an anchor point for the Jewish understanding that they are God's chosen people. In trying to dispute Jesus' claims to spiritual truth, the religious leaders of Jerusalem have misinterpreted His references to His "father." Their claim, in response, was to profess their descent from Abraham. As Jesus has pointed out, however, being a part of God's family is driven by faith and spirit, not by genealogy. The "true" children of Abraham are those who obey God, which includes following His son, Jesus Christ (John 6:29). As Abraham followed God, so too will his spiritual children.

After claiming that the people opposing Him are not really sons of Abraham, Jesus now begins to refer "your father," meaning the spiritual father of these obstinate critics. While Jesus comes by the will of God, and does what His Father wants Him to do, the people who seek to kill Him (John 5:18) are acting in the example of their father. Jesus will subtly make this point several times before outright naming the true spiritual father of His enemies: the Devil (John 8:44)!

Unsurprisingly, this escalation leads Jesus' critics to resort to insults (John 8:41), accusations of insanity (John 8:48), and another attempt on His life (John 8:59).
Verse Context:
John 8:31–59 is a passage which dovetails with John 2:13–22, where Jesus drives corrupt businessmen from the temple. These Scriptures disprove any myths that Jesus was weak, timid, passive, or soft. In this exchange with the Pharisees, Jesus pulls no punches. Jerusalem's religious leaders, and their followers, continue to resist Jesus' preaching. They rely on arrogance and insults, to which Jesus responds with blunt, unfiltered condemnation. This culminates in Jesus making an overt statement of His own divinity, punctuating the debate by declaring ''before Abraham was, I am!''
Chapter Summary:
John chapter 8 includes the story of the adulterous woman, a well-known but controversial passage. Most scholars believe this story is authentic, but not originally found in this exact spot in Scripture. This chapter continues Jesus' preaching during the Feast of Booths, where He once again comes into conflict with local religious leaders. Here, Christ will make His second ''I AM'' statement, using the analogy of light, which is a common theme in Hebrew theology. This conversation will become more and more heated. Eventually, Jesus' opponents are enraged enough to attempt killing Him right then and there.
Chapter Context:
Jesus is attending the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem, and has once again come into conflict with the local religious authorities. In the previous chapter, Jesus referred to Himself as a source of living water, playing off of the festivals' ritual pouring of water in the temple. In this chapter, Jesus will use the imagery of lights, also related to festival traditions. This chapter demonstrates Jesus' willingness to be direct, even aggressive, with His critics. The next few chapters will complete Jesus' public ministry, as He prepares for His impending death.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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