John 8:38-43

John 8:38-43 has Jesus continuing his dialogue with the religious leaders of His day.  “I’m talking about things I have seen while keeping company with the Father, and you just go on doing what you have heard from your father”.  Jesus is giving them first person knowledge – He’s been with the Father.  They are trying to share from their twisted version of God’s Word – which they have adapted and shaped to fit their own personal agenda. Jesus reminded them that what He did was consistent with His Father, and what they did was consistent with their father.  He didn’t argue the fact that Abraham was their father, at least by heritage.  But that did not compare to the foundation from which Jesus was teaching – a personal relationship with God the Father.

God’s Word is key to our ability to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon considered several ways that God’s Word should have a place in the believer’s life:

  • The Word of God ought to have an inward place
  • The Word of God ought to have a place of high honor
  • The Word of God ought to have a place of trust
  • The Word of God ought to have a place of rule
  • The Word of God ought to have a place of love
  • The Word of God ought to have a permanent place

The religious leaders weren’t all that interested in really knowing God, and certainly not listening to Jesus.  “They were indignant. Our father is Abraham”! Jesus exposed the inconsistency in their life. They said they were children of Abraham, but didn’t act like it at all.  We’re often guilty of the exact same sinful behaviors.  If God is our Father, we need to listen to and walk in obedience to Him.

You persist in repeating the works of your father. They said, “We’re not bastards. We have a legitimate father: the one and only God. If God was your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me”.”  They again attack Jesus and his earthly parents and lineage.  Jesus again made the remarkable claim that He and His Father were and are so close in nature that if one truly lives as if God is their Father, they would also love Jesus. There is no room left for the person who says, ‘I love God but reject Jesus.’ They cannot accept that He is anything special given where He was born and who He was born to.

Jesus asks the people why they are so dense.  “Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it”.  Jesus explained that the problem with their lack of understanding was rooted in their failure – even inability – to listen to His Word. This reminds us that the ability to listen to His Word is a gift that we should always be grateful for. It isn’t that God’s Word is so complicated and complex that you have to be a scholar or be trained to understand it.  But His Word is a spiritual word, and our ability to hear and understand is a gift God gives us.  It can’t be understood by man’s effort or ways.  God must open our spiritual eyes and ears to enable us to not only hear, but understand and then apply what He has given to us as the handbook for life.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.


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