Please help me with the verse, John 8:31, "Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, 'If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"  Then in verse 37, He tells them they are trying to kill him because there is no place in them for His word.  Is this a new group He is speaking to?  See my confusion?


Yes, I see your confusion.  The fact is that Jesus is speaking to the same crowd of Jews.  We can go back to verse 21, and see this new series of dialogue beginning.  By verse 30, we are told that "many believed in Him", but it is not clear at this point if the belief was a genuine salvation experience, that is coupled with true repentance and a willingness to submit to Christ.  But as the dialogue continues we learn more about the Jews' attitude towards Jesus, we find that they may have believed up to this point, but the more Jesus said to them, the more they began to get hostile towards Him.  By verse 37, we see that Jesus is saying that His word has no place in them, therefore what He told them in verse 31, that proof of their discipleship was the abiding in His word, has proved them to not have saving belief in Him.  In fact, they turn totally against Jesus, and by verse 59, they pick up stones to kill Jesus, which is exactly what he told them they would do--try to kill him.

So in answer to your question, it is the same group, they had originally believed what Jesus said, and then as they heard more they turned against and away from Jesus.

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:

Tony Capoccia
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