John 8 is a series of dialogs between Jesus and the bad guys.
It’s a somewhat confusing chapter, if only because Jesus seems to be winding them up. It’s as if he’s trying to be inflammatory.
The setting is Jesus teaching in the temple. While the dialogs of John 8 are between him and the religious leaders, they are being overheard by the rest–the regular people.
Two things come out of this.
First, it’s the regular people who are his audience. Not the religious leaders. It’s the regular people who are hearing how Jesus’ message stacks up against the standard they know and trust. And it’s the regular people who are considering Jesus’ answers.
Second, Jesus knows who his real audience is, and so he doesn’t get side-tracked with objections. The religious leaders he was talking to weren’t looking for the truth. They were looking for a win. They’d already made up their minds. Many in the crowd, however, were listening.
The first rule of negotiation is to know what you want to leave with. Everything gets measured against this. Jesus came to offer truth to those who were wanted it.
And, in John 8, that’s exactly what he did.
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