September 28th

The Father’s Wishes

38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father."
39"Abraham is our father," they answered.
"If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would 40 do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41You are doing the things your own father does."
"We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."
42Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." John 8:38-47 NIV 

In this striking passage, Jesus exposed the true father that the Pharisees were following.  Though they thought they were following God, they were actually following Satan. The Pharisees were experts in the religious law, yet they had only applied it to the outer man and not to the heart.  As a result, they were corrupted by pride and hypocrisy, and the devil was able to blind them from the truth. 

The significant analogy in this passage is the idea that we are children of a spiritual father.  The scripture tells us that through faith in Jesus, we become adopted children of God (Romans 8:17).  John wrote that our faith in Jesus gives us the right to become children of God (John 1:12).  That implies that there is some further action to be done to secure the status of sonship.  It’s not that God needs us to do something more to be regarded as sons, because he has already given us the title.  The question is, are we living as the sons that he says we are?  Do our actions back up what we say we believe (James 2:26)?  Our actions will testify about who our father is.   

The Pharisees’ actions testified that the devil was their father.  They were rejecting the truth, calling Jesus a liar and plotting to kill him. These actions were all akin to the devil’s nature of deceit and murder.  The result of following the devil’s wishes led to the Pharisee’s being unable to neither hear God nor recognize his Son.  The ultimate implication of who we choose as a spiritual father is that we belong to the one we serve.  The Pharisees could not hear Jesus’ word because they “belonged” to the devil.  Their desires were in line with his desires.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Father God, I praise you for calling me a son through my faith in Jesus.  Thank you for making me a co-heir with Christ in your kingdom!  Please forgive me for living as a slave to sin in any way.  I cast aside the filthy “clothing” of sin and put on the beautiful robe of righteousness.  Father, I desire to live as the son that you’ve called me to be.  Please guide me by your Holy Spirit and renew my passion to live for you.  I take joy in doing your bidding and fulfilling your wishes here on earth.  I praise you now and forever.  Amen.”