Message: Reading through John 8 the people try to understand who he is and he constantly refers back to the father. He explains to them that if they knew the father, they would know him. They don’t get it and they refer back to Abraham saying “Abraham is our father, we have been slaves to nobody.” Jesus responds by telling them that anyone who sins is a slave to sin. He also points out that slaves have no permanent family. Then he acknowledges that they are physical descendants of Abraham but points out that since they were trying to kill him, they were actually following after their spiritual father, the devil. The people are not happy with this comparison and the argument continues with Jesus telling them that if Abraham was truly their father they would follow his example, and if God was their father they would love him and would obey him.
Command: Obey God!
Promise: We don’t have to live as slaves. We were chosen to be sons.
Warning: We don’t automatically become entitled by our physical lineage. To become a child of God is to obey God.
Application: I’ve read this passage so many times in the past but this time around I really picked up on the relational correlation that Jesus was making. He referred to their roots to tug at their loyalty and point out their hypocrisy. They were very proud of their lineage to Abraham, but Jesus pointed out that they were not living like him and therefore they didn’t belong to him. Jesus acknowledged that their physical lineage to Abraham made them his physical descendants, but they couldn’t actually call him their father unless they lived honorably and obediently like he did. This would have been a huge insult because their lineage meant everything, but Jesus was shattering the notion that they were in simply because they were born in. This was a hard blow, but he was driving home an even bigger point. The Jews were known as God’s chosen people and they also had an assumption that it was a permanent relationship. Jesus was showing them that the relationship was not to be assumed. It was to be honored and respected. Not only did he poke at their loyalty to Abraham, but he took it even further by telling them that their spiritual father was actually the devil because that was who they were emulating. It didn’t seem like they responded well to this, but as I read it, it speaks to me this way. Who am I emulating? Who or what is my strongest influence? Is the one I’m emulating honorable and like God? Am I assuming I have a relationship with God simply because I prayed a prayer, go to church and call myself a Christian, or do I have a working relationship with God? Is he my father? Do I recognize his authority to call me to obedience or do I see it as my life, my choice? Is he my daddy, or is he might ticket to a better place? Bottom line is you act like the one you belong to.