Who Is Your Father?

Jesus drew a line in the sand against the Pharisees in John 8:39-45. The Pharisees thought they were doing really well. They had every appearance of being righteous.  Look at what the text says:

“39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father,you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, andyou want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, hespeaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” John 8:39-45 NASB

The Pharisees thought they were on God’s side. They upheld the Law. In every part of their life, they sought hard after the Law. They even created extra rules to help prevent them from breaking the Law..

However, something wasn’t right.

What did Jesus say about their hearts? What was wrong? What were the Pharisees missing?

They were striving after the Law instead of God and they missed that Jesus was God. Jesus clearly laid out the problem in John 8:42. Since God wasn’t their Father, they didn’t love Jesus.

Then Jesus really stepped on their toes and showed them there are only two sides.

Who was the Pharisees’ father?

Father God Father Lies

In John 8:44 Jesus told the Pharisees that they were of their father the devil. He made it clear that either they were on His Father’s side, or they were on the enemy’s side. There was no in-between, no half in or half out.

The line was drawn in the sand; either they loved God or they were against Him.

Do you know any other places in Scripture that might talk about this issue? Let’s look at two other verses:

Matthew 6:24 says

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

James 4:4 speaks about loving the world and says

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Taking these verses in context with what we have seen in John 8, can we draw any conclusions?

Jesus showed the Pharisees that they could be a part of only one family. Either they served God the Father or they served the father of lies.

We cannot look at this truth without looking at ourselves. The ultimate purpose of Bible study is application. After careful observation and proper interpretation we must ask, how does this change what I believe or how I live?

What gains your attention? What or who are you serving? Are you truly striving after God or are you striving after things that look righteous?

If we are not focused on striving after God, we are no better than the Pharisees who clung to the Law. There is a line drawn in the sand. There are two fathers. You either serve God the Father or you serve the father of lies, Satan. There is no in-between; it’s not one or the other. Whose are you?


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