Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 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 8:12-20

Put yourself in the place of these Pharisees. First, recognize that they are religious scholars who do not have circumcised hearts, they are not born again. They judge a situation according to the flesh, i.e., what they can see and hear with the natural senses.

Jesus tells them, “I am the light of the world.” They challenge him. He gives what they must see as a cryptic answer, “… you do not know where I come from or where I am going.”  They knew he grew up in Galilee and he says they don’t know where he came from? What is he talking about?

They challenge the validity of his statements on the basis of a Mosaic law that in court you must have at least two witnesses in order to have a charge hold up. They apply the principle to Jesus’ pronouncements. Jesus retorts with telling them he has two witnesses, himself and his Father. They must have thought he referenced Joseph who, if he were still alive, would be living in Galilee running his carpenter shop. But Jesus responds with, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” They had to have been extremely frustrated with Jesus.

If you have attempted to share the gospel with someone who was not ready to hear it, you experienced something like what Jesus experienced here with these Pharisees. They could only see flesh and blood; they could not see spiritual truth and so could not understand Jesus.

We need to be aware of the fact that unless the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of people who are dead in their trespasses and sins, just as you and I once were, they cannot comprehend; the gospel is just so much gibberish.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will work the miracle of regeneration in the hearts of those with whom you share the gospel. Pray that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit when you speak the good news to others, so the message will be with power and not just with words. If Jesus couldn’t penetrate the deadness of the hearts of these Pharisees, how well will we do if we do not minister in the power of the Spirit?