“Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

John 8:39-41

The Pharisees who opposed Jesus were not just reasonably disagreeing with Jesus over matters of theology. They actively sought to destroy his teachings, stop his works of miraculous good, and kill him. When Jesus called them out on this in turn, he was not just criticizing people with different religious views, he was rightfully identifying them as people who stood with God’s enemy.

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. 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.”

John 8:42-44

“Lies are his native language.” Such a vivid depiction of the Deceiver! When the Pharisees in this faction were not only misled but also continued to mislead others regarding Jesus they proved themselves to be children of the father of lies.

It could be convenient to take this opportunity to look at people around us and say, “ah, yes, there are the children of the devil” or “that person is a native liar” but that is not the reason John recorded this passage for us. Jesus could do that, knowing men’s hearts, but we have a job closer to home.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32

We are to examine ourselves. If we hold to Jesus’ teachings, we prove ourselves to be children of truth and God will know us, free, loved and openly named as his own.

Ethan Kirl