What Jesus Did! 'Discerning What Is False' — John 8:13-16

Sunday, June 12, 2022

[After Jesus had said he is the light of the world, the] Pharisees replied, "You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid."

Jesus told them, "These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don't know this about me. You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me."

— John 8:13-16 NLT

Key Thought

At first glance, we rush past these passages on false teaching. Many Christians today are surrounded by a culture where tolerance is highly valued. However, Christians shouldn't tolerate dangerous false teaching, especially when that false teaching is about the deity of Jesus. The Lord and his early followers knew there was a danger of false teaching. Jesus knew that the Pharisees who labeled him as a false teacher were hypocritical and self-indulgent, [1] however, that didn't mean he was unconcerned about their accusations. Jesus's response to the allegations against him gives us some tools to recognize false teachers. Do they do the work of God? Do they know Jesus' true identity — his oneness with God and return to God? Do they have observable godliness — quality and character in their lives? Are their judgment and discernment reflective of God's truth? Jesus, when examined, showed himself to be true. Is the same true of teachers who claim to come in his name?

[1] Matthew 23:25.

Today's Prayer

Father, I believe that Jesus is your standard of truth and righteousness. Please help me discern that truth in my life. Please help me guard my steps against those who claim to come in his name but who are false. Please guard my heart against those whose teaching does not come from you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 7:15-20
  • 1 John 4:1-6
  • Acts 20:28-31


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Illustration of John 8:13-16 NLT — "You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.