The Lord denied having a devil, but didn’t deny being a Samaritan, even though He wasn’t one (John 8:48,49). He didn’t want to offend His Samaritan followers (John 4), so He answered only the charge that really mattered.
In context, the Lord “honored” His Father (8:49) by not sinning (v.46), and in the measure you don’t sin, you too can honor the Father. And if not sinning honors the Father, the way they “dishonored” the Lord must have been by accusing Him of sinning sins like being a glutton, a winebibber, and a blasphemer. Of course, our modern world accuses God of sin all the time. They call natural disasters that kill people “acts of God,” making Him a murderer. Men still dishonor God!
In speaking about being dishonored, it sounds like the Lord was seeking honor, so He declares He wasn’t (v.50). There was “one that seeketh” to honor Him, and that was the Father, who honored Him at His birth with angelic heralds, at His baptism, and would honor Him again when He raised Him from the dead. And the Father was the only one that “judgeth” Him, the only one that counted, anyway. The Jews judged Him a Samaritan with a devil, but the Father’s judgment of Him was the only one that mattered. When people judge you, remember God’s judgment is all that matters, and He has judged you righteous in Christ.
The Lord meant that “if a man keep My saying, he shall never see death” spiritually, but the Jews thought He meant that His followers would never die physically. That’s why they said, “That would make your followers greater than Abraham, since Abraham died” (John 8:52,53). But the Lord hadn’t used the phrase “taste of death” that they misquoted Him as saying. That saying always refers to physical death (Mt.16:28; Heb. 2:9).
Since they thought He was talking crazy talk in speaking about never dying physically, they said, “Now we know that thou hast a devil” (v.52), because being demon possession caused a man to act crazy (Mark 5:5; 9:18,22).
If you honor yourself, your honor means nothing, even if you are the Son of God (John 8:54). And as the Lord pointed out to the Jews, if your God honors something that you don’t honor, what does that say about you? It says you must not be very much like your God!
“Ye have not known Him” (v.55) were fightin’ words! The Gentiles admitted to not knowing God (Acts 17:23), but the Jews boasted about knowing Him (Rom.2:17,18). When He talked about being “a liar like you,” the Lord proved he never read How to Win Friends & Influence People!
How did Abraham see the Lord’s day (John 8:56,57)? Some say because Abraham was alive in Paradise at that time; but that can’t be, since the dead can’t see us (Job 14:21). Some say Abraham saw Christ since He was one of the promises that Abraham “saw” afar off (Heb.11:13) with the eyes of faith (11:1). Some say God gave Abraham a vision of Christ. Genesis doesn’t record this, but Genesis doesn’t record Abraham’s search for New Jerusalem either (Heb.11:10). Some say Melchizedek was a theophany, so when Abraham saw him, he saw Christ (Heb.7:1-3).
Some say Abraham saw Christ in his son Isaac. If Levi could pay tithes in Abraham (Heb.7:9), then Abraham could see Christ in Isaac, just as Simeon saw God’s future salvation in Christ (Luke 2:25-30). Others say Abraham saw Christ as a theophany in Genesis 18:1-3.
Of course, John 8:56 says Abraham saw the Lord’s day. When the Jews asked Him how this could be (v.57), He replied, “Before Abraham was, I am.” He didn’t say, “Before Abraham was, I was.” He used the name of God, (Ex.8:14). Abraham saw the Lord’s day because Abra-ham’s day was the Lord’s day. You see, the Lord is ans-wering their question, “Whom makest thou thyself?” (v.53)
Some say the Lord never claimed to be God, but the Jews were strict adherents to the Law, which didn’t allow them to stone Him just because they didn’t like Him (8:59). The Law only allowed for stoning for blasphemy, which He would be committing if He said He was God and wasn’t.