Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free. I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence; then do what you have heard from the Father." They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father!" (So) they said to him, "We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me. (Jn 8:31-42)
Jesus tried to reveal himself and his mission to the Jews. Some believed in him and he was trying his best to make them aware of his real self. He asked them to believe in his words. His words are truth and also his words make them his disciples. These two qualities of his words are important.
Jews believed in Abraham and they continued to believe that their faith in Abraham will free them. But Jesus said that it was sin that enslaved people. Only truth can free one from sin. Only Jesus spoke the truth because he was from God. Whatever he heard from the father was what he was revealing.
If the Jews accepted that Jesus was speaking the truth and Jesus was from the Father then they would accept him. Jews also believed that they were God’s children but if they were of God’s origin then they should have accepted him. They should love him. Jesus has come from the Father and god has sent him into the world.
He said to them again, "I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come." So the Jews said, "He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?" He said to them, "You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." So they said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world." They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said (to them), "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him." Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him. (Jn 8:21-30)
Jesus was misunderstood by his listeners. This misunderstanding seemed to have been usual. Jesus said many things about himself. He wanted them to understand all in the kingdom concept and God’s action in the world. But his listeners understood them all in social and their cultural concept. Jesus said that he was going away from them. But they understood as: "He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?".
Thinking of the people was very much earthly. They saw everything in social, cultural and earthly context. Jesus spoke everything in heavenly context. Whatever Jesus said and did was influenced by his idea of God and the kingdom. God was his priority and God was the first.
The question, then, was who was Jesus? Where was he from? Jesus had given answer to this many times during the course of his discussion. He was from above and from the Father. Whatever he did was by the decision of the Father. Even if the people were not ready to accept this now they would realize it at the end of his life. At the fulfillment of his mission people would realize that Jesus under the guidance of the Father.