In this Gospel nine cases have been selected to prove that the Lord Jesus is the life and the life supply to people. The first six cases, in chs. 3—7, form a group of signs signifying that, on the positive side, the Lord is the life and the life supply to us for regenerating, satisfying, healing, enlivening, feeding, and thirst quenching. The last three cases, in chs. 8—11, form a group of signs signifying that, on the negative side, the Lord is life to us to deliver us from the three main negative things: sin, blindness, and death.
The case in this chapter reveals all the matters related to the problem of sin:
1) the source of sin — the devil;
2) the three main items of sin — adultery and fornication, murder, and lies (vv. 3, 41, 44);
3) the bondage, or slavery, of sin;
4) the issue, or result, of sin — death;
5) the One who is without sin — the Lord;
6) the One who is qualified to condemn sin — the Lord;
7) the One who is qualified to forgive sin — the Lord;
8) the One who is able to set people free from sin — the Lord. The Lord is the ever-existing God, the great I Am, who became the Son of Man and was lifted up on the cross to bear our sins; hence, He is qualified to forgive our sins. Furthermore, the Lord, being the eternal God, can come into us to be life and light to deliver us from the bondage and darkness of sin.
The case in this chapter shows also that the religion (represented by the temple — vv. 2, 20) of law (vv. 5, 17) cannot set people free from sin and death; but the Lord Jesus, the I Am, who became the Son of Man and was lifted up on the cross for the serpent-poisoned people, can do what religion and law cannot do. This chapter shows us that Christ, the great I Am, not only is versus sin and death but also is versus religion and law.