Do we relate to the father of truth or the father of lies? Why do we cling to the lies in fear of the truth?
37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My wordhas no place in you. 38 I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.” 39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “ If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaksa lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”
Today’s passage seems a bit long compared to most days. I felt that by breaking this up, we wouldn’t see the bigger picture. Jesus here is dispelling the misconceptions of the Jews that you are not born into righteousness, but rather are righteous because God says so. We can all look back to feudal systems of the past (and even some that exists today) and see that you are born into your own fate in regards to your future on earth. The Jews stood behind their assertion that they are descendants of Abraham, a holy man of God, the father of the nation Israel. Jesus, however, is disturbing them with the notion that it isn’t flesh and blood that makes them righteous, but rather the anointing of God.
They think that just being Abraham’s children, they are entitled to a relationship with God. As we see starting in verse 39, however, it isn’t about the flesh and blood, but rather the spirit. He lays it out simply that Abraham was not a hateful or murderous man, yet these supposed children of Abraham are. Abraham was not prideful, yet humble, however the Jews take pride in their piety and self-righteousness. We can see plainly that simply being born in a bloodline does not make you that which your ancestors were. I picture in verse 43 that Jesus is talking to a crowd and the majority of them have their heads turned sideways like confused dogs. Why do you not understand what I am saying? Jesus asks.
They do not hear His words or understand them because they don’t care to hear what He has to say. I mentioned earlier that I question whether the questioning from the Jews was because they want to understand or because they want to catch Him in hypocrisy or a lie so as to discredit Him (to make others stop listening to Him). It is the desire of their hearts that is dictating their reception (or lack thereof) of His Word. This is why I tell so many people to just ask God what He wants in their lives. Seek Him out, He will guide you. Nobody is going to entertain someone who has evil desires on their heart in questioning. If someone came to your door asking questions just so they could trick you or deceive you, would you continue answering questions?
The irony here is that Jesus has no fault and He calls that out. He articulates that none of them can find fault with Him (despite their own piety and judgements) and know He is just, yet they still refuse to hear and accept what He is saying. How often do we do this folks? How often do we reject the truth because it isn’t what we want to hear? What truth are you rejecting today?