Who is your father? (John 8:38–47)
This week we will study John 8:38–47. Let’s read the passage, “I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father — even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.””
In John 8:38–47, we see that Jesus was still talking to the Jews in the treasury of the temple. In the last passage, Jesus was talking to the Jews who believed in Him, but now it appears that He was talking to the Jews who do not believe in Him. In this passage, we see that Jesus and the Jews disagreed on who the Jews father was. This passage also challenges each person to reason through who their father is, not their earthly father, but their spiritual father. Jesus then tells them, He speaks of what He has heard from His Father, and the Jews do what they have heard from their father. This is similar to what Jesus said in John 5, about Him doing and saying exactly what He sees His Father doing. The Jews responded to Jesus by saying, that Abraham was their father. This was similar to what they said in the last passage, they were appealing to the same idea that they were of the chosen line of Abraham, so therefore they were of higher esteem, than everyone else and because they were of this line, therefore they would act and believe just as Abraham did. They fell into the trap that many people fall into, because of who their parents were, therefore they were also under the same belief and therefore under the same grace. This is not the case, each and every person has to decide what they will believe.
Sons’ of the Devil
Jesus responded to them, calling Abraham their father, by telling them that if they were truly Abraham’s children, then they would be doing what he did. But, instead of trusting God and His messengers like Abraham did, they were seeking to kill Jesus, God’s own Son, who had told them the truth that He heard from God. He then said, that this was not what Abraham did, and told them again that they were doing the works that their father did. So, the logical question is, who is Jesus calling the Jews father? The Jews did not ask the logical question, but instead said that they were not born of sexual imorality, implying that Jesus was, then they decided to try to answer the logical question, by saying that God was their Father. Jesus responded to this by saying that God was not their Father, if He was then they would love Jesus, because Jesus came from God. He also said, He did not come of His own will, but that the Father sent Him. Jesus then asked them a rhetorical question, why did they not understand Him. He said that the reason they did not understand Him, was because they couldn’t bear to hear what He had to say, because their father is the devil. There the logical question was finally answered and as they likely feared, it did not put them in a favorable light, but a negative one. Jesus does not only call them sons’ of the devil, but He also said that their will is to do their father’s desires. He said that the devil was a murderer from the beginning and that there is no truth in him. When the devil lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar, and the father of lies. I am sure, at this point, they are ready to start picking up stones, to stone Jesus.
Jesus then said, because He tells them the truth, they do not believe Him. He then asked them if anyone can convict Him of Sin. There is no answer, so no one could, this likely refers back to the sexual immorality comment. He then said, “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God”. When looking at the last passage and this one, we see one clear image forming, that the Jews were slaves to sin and were of their father, the devil (John 8:31–47). It is clear that they think they were of God, even God’s own sons, but Jesus told them this was not who their father is and they were not free, but were in spiritual bondage. But in neither passage does Jesus leave them hopeless; both passages would have left them angry, but for those who would believe His words, it was a wake up call.
Wake Up Call
No matter who you are, if you do not know Jesus, then you are a son of the devil and are enslaved to sin. Now I am not trying to infuriate you, but I am trying to give you a wake up call. So often we desire to do what we want to do, but we have to look ahead and try to understand that our way may seem more fun and more freeing in the moment, but when we look down the line, no matter what sin we are doing, it will aways lead to slavery and death. Not only because the punishment for sin is death, but because there is always a reason why God wants us not to sin (Romans 6:23). If sin does not lead to a premature death, then it will lead to eternal death, if we do not repent and come to Jesus. No matter who you are, you have sinned, we all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23). So, we all need to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus and like I said before, this is not a decision that anyone else can make for you, and certainly not something that is inherited. This is a decision that each and every one of us has to make. Who will be your spiritual father? God or the devil, there are only two choices, and no matter who you choose, you will also do the will of the father that you choose, and you will also be choosing the grace or damnation of the one you choose. If you would like to live forever and trust Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, all you have to do is to admit that you are a sinner, repent of your sins (repent means turn away), and believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, then confess Him as Lord and Savior of your life (Romans 10:9). This week no matter how long you have been a Christian, I recommend watching the sermon series linked below. It will teach you about your identity in Christ and what it means for us to be sons of God. I cannot recommend it enough, please click the link below. https://Wbem.org/exploring-your-identity-in-christ-by-faith-church-statesville/