Who Is My Father?

He spoke a promise for the ages. And some who heard it wanted to talk heritage. He wanted to share the way of freedom. And all they wanted to do was argue the importance of pedigree. And so the discussion shifted from the dynamics of eternal liberation and focused, instead, on a debate concerning historic lineage. And while Jesus might concede that these debaters were “offspring of Abraham,” He maintained that someone else was really their father.

John 8 is a verbal showdown between Jesus and a group of scribes and Pharisees. For every claim Jesus makes, the Pharisees counter with a challenge. “I am the Light of the World” . . . “Your are bearing witness of Yourself, Your testimony is not true” . . . “The Father who sent Me bears witness about Me” . . . “Where is Your Father?” . . . “Unless you believe that I am He you will die in Your sins” . . . “Who are You?” (John 8:12-25)

But as the debate continues, many on the sidelines are stirred by the mysterious “wind” of the Spirit of God . . . the arrows of Christ’s word finding their targets in the hearts of men and women. And, “as He was saying these things, many believed in Him” (8:30).

And then, to those who believed, Jesus waters their new found faith with words of true liberation . . .

“If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
~ Jesus (John 8:31-32 ESV)

But the Pharisees, like birds of the air seeking to devour these seeds of life before they find fertile soil, challenge Jesus again.

They answered Him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”    (John 8:33 ESV)

I know you are descendants of Abraham, Jesus responds, but you still refuse my words and want to kill me because, while I speak of what I have seen with My Father, you oppose me because you are listening to your father. Bam! Jesus throws open the door to the root of their persistent opposition to Him.

And Jesus presses them. If Abraham were their father, they wouldn’t be seeking to kill the One who tells them the truth from God. Instead, Jesus says, “You are doing the works your father did.” To which they respond, “We have one Father–even God!” And then Jesus lays it out . . .

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. . . . Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”    (John 8:42, 47 ESV)

They thought that because they were of Abraham that God must be their Father. In fact, Jesus says, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desire” (8:44). And thus the tipping point for all humanity is defined. Christ presents Himself and His words as the defining criteria for answering the question, “Who is my father?”

Those who are of God receive the Son. Those who oppose the Son are of “the father of lies.” Those who love God love Jesus. Those who hear the word of God are of God. And those who refuse the truth, because they see no need to be free, show themselves to have been duped into following the ways of the one who “does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.”

Who is my Father? It all comes down to, What have I done with Jesus?

“If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

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