John 8.31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him…
John 8.59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
John 8.31-59 is a single dialogue, with no sign of a change of location or audience. This whole section seems one way as you hear Jesus talking to the Jews and they are in a constant state of jumping subjects. He talks about sonship, they talk about slavery. He talks about slavery, they jump to ancestry. He talks about ancestry, they jump to saying he‚Äôs demon possessed and from Samaria. It is an absolute dance of a conversation.
The thing that flips me on my head in all of it though, is who He‚Äôs talking to. ‚ÄúJEWS WHO HAD BELIEVED IN HIM‚Äù
These aren‚Äôt His opponents when the dialogue begins. He just says to them, ‚ÄúIf you abide in my word, then you truly are my disciples.‚Äù and they show their true colors from there.
It seems like Jesus is in a constant state of thinning the herd of His followers. In John 6 He fed a lot of people and then taught them the reality of following Him, and most of them left. As Jesus hides himself and leaves the temple, the only people with Him in John 9 are His disciples.
God is so confident and sovereign in who He is, He doesn‚Äôt have to artificially woo anybody. He just is who He is, and some men (not all) are drawn to Him. Jesus knew that, so His conversations are not so much convincing arguments but corrections of the wrong thinking of people‚Äìa proclamation of what the truth is, for whomever would accept it.