John 8:39-47 | Your Father the Devil
39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 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. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 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 8:39-47
What is Jesus trying to prove?
1. Jesus is trying to contrast the Jews understanding of being a descendant of Abraham to what it really means.
I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. (John 8:37)
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing what your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father–even God. (John 8:39-41)
Offspring is the same word as the remnant of seed a farmer would keep back to plant the following years crops. “Children of Abraham” are family.
- sper’-ma From G4687; something sown, that is, seed (including the male “sperm”); by implication offspring; specifically a remnant (figuratively as if kept over for planting): – issue, seed.
- Teknon From the base of G5098; a child (as produced): – child, daughter, son.
2. Jesus is contrasting His father from their father.
He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. (John 8:23)
I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (John 8:38)
3. Jesus ties their actions to their lineage.
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. (John 8:42)
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. (John 8:44)
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 8:47)
13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” (Romans 4:13-18)
Whose offspring are we? Are we descendants or family?
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:23-29)