What do you think about Jesus?
By Aisha Darwesh
The Word: John 8:39-47 (The Passion Translation)
39 “What do mean?” they replied. “Abraham is our father!”
Jesus said, “If you are really Abraham’s sons, then you would follow in the steps of Abraham. 40 I’ve only told you the truth that I’ve heard in my Father’s presence, but now you are wanting me dead—is that how Abraham acted? 41 No, you people are doing what your father has taught you!”
Indignant, they responded, “What are you talking about? We only have one Father, God himself! We’re not illegitimate!”
42 Jesus said, “Then if God were really your father, you would love me, for I’ve come from his presence. I didn’t come here on my own, but God sent me to you. 43 Why don’t you understand what I say? You don’t understand because your hearts are closed to my message!
44 “You are the offspring of your father, the devil, and you serve your father very well, passionately carrying out his desires. He’s been a murderer right from the start! He never stood with the One who is the true Prince, for he’s full of nothing but lies—lying is his native tongue. He is a master of deception and the father of lies! 45 But I am the true Prince who speaks nothing but the truth, yet you refuse to believe and you want nothing to do with me. 46 Can you name one sin that I’ve committed? Then if I am telling you only the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 If you really knew God, you would listen, receive, and respond with faith to his words. But since you don’t listen and respond to what he says, it proves you don’t belong to him and you have no room for him in your hearts.”
Today’s verses highlight the relational dimension of truth. What you believe, whether truth or lies, is a direct result of who you believe in–God or the devil.
Verse 39 shows the Jews identified with Abraham as their father. Although they may actually have been physical descendants of Abraham, that doesn’t translate into instant faith or knowledge of the truth. Faith actually transcends the physical. Faith is a response of your heart towards God.
In verse 40 when Jesus points out that the Jews’ behavior did not line up with what Abraham believed and practiced, they responded indignantly, “What are you talking about? We only have one Father, God himself! We’re not illegitimate!” (verse 41).
In the following verses Jesus plainly tells them their father is the devil. If God were their father, they would listen to, respond, and believe in Him. However, they were completely closed off to Jesus and yet they believed they were connected to God.
This is a very dangerous place to be–to believe you’re close to God when you couldn’t be any further. That’s the devil’s playground. The enemy would love to have you believe that God is your father when all the while he’s the one pulling the puppet strings, hardening you to the Gospel, blinding you from the truth.
What’s so encouraging about today’s verses is that Jesus doesn’t leave the Pharisees to wonder about their identity. He plainly tells them. Their father is the devil because they don’t accept and believe in Him. That may be a hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth all the same.
If you don’t accept Jesus, you have no connection to God the Father. It doesn’t matter how highly you rank in society or how much you know or anything else. Jesus is the only way. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
How can you determine your true identity? Just as there are paternity tests in the natural, there’s a spiritual paternity test every person can take. Just answer this question: what do you think about Jesus? Your answer to that one question defines who you are.
If you’re not sure what you think about Jesus, start by reading the Bible. It doesn’t matter how much Bible you read every day. Start with a few verses in the Book of John or the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). As you read, allow the words to penetrate your heart. As you get to know Jesus and learn of His character and nature by reading the Bible, you’ll find yourself becoming more intimately connected with Truth.
Dear Heavenly Father, it is only because of the love and sacrifice of my Savior, that I can even call you my Father. What a privilege and honor. Thank You for Your great love for me. Help me experience Your love today through my faith in Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen.