“They answered him, “We are Abrahamʼs descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are Abrahamʼs descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Fatherʼs presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.” “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abrahamʼs children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.” “We are not illegitimate children,”
protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your fatherʼs desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why donʼt you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
Though Jesus spoke to the believing Jews or religous leaders when He said, “the Truth will make you free” (vs 32), the unbelieving, heckeling, critical of every word He spoke “Jews” (meaning religious leaders) started in on Jesus again.
“How can you say we’ll be set free? they asked. We’ve never been slaves to anyone since the time of Abraham” (I guess they forgot about 400 years of slavery in Eygpt and the whole Exodus thing, upon which was built most of their scriptures, festivals and traditions-vs 33). Jesus explains that we are all slaves to sin and that slaves are not a permenant feature or heir in a family, but that a son is (34-35 & see Rom 3:23)
Furthermore, Jesus explains, that just as I imitate and do the will of My Father God, so they too imitate their father (vs 38). Because Abraham was who they had been talking sbout and since he was also who they identified with as the father of Israel, the religious leaders naturally thought Jesus was speaking of him. They had yet to realize that Jesus spoke of satan himself!
The religious leaders retorted with, “Abraham is our father,”, to which Jesus replied “If you were Abrahamʼs children, then you would do what Abraham did.” (vs 39) The frustrated religious leaders took their argument a step deeper,
“The only Father we have is God himself.” (vs 41) Wow!
Jesus now spoke VERY plainly. “If God were your father, you would be like God, you’d recognize me because I came from God and you wouldn’t be trying to kill Me! As it is, you’ve bought into the lies of your father, the devil, the very father of ALL lies! I tell the truth, yet you reject Me. We don’t even speak the same language (vss 43-47 my paraphrase)!
Jesus concludes with, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
Wow! Wow! Wow! Talk about stirring up a hornet’s nest! But, there’s more to come with the story, so check back tomorrow!
By the way, who’s your father?
Think about it!
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