John 8:39 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.” ESV
What is the general theme of the passage?
Jesus confronts the attempt of these men to justify themselves using the evidence of their heritage with their father Abraham. But their hearts reveal evidence of guilt and what they “cannot bear” to hear is revealed in their odd response to Jesus; “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus has hit a nerve. What their heart’s perceive and their minds cannot bear to consider is their illegitimacy. They “are not of God.”
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus confronts their legitimacy:
“If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did…”
“If God were your Father, you would love me…”
“Whoever is of God hears the words of God.”
What does it say about people?
People reach for their familiar and measurable history with God to legitimize themselves when they are confronted with sin.
Is there truth here for me?
These people had a legitimate, measurable history with God the Father. The truth Jesus is confronting them with is their miraculous history with God hadn’t stopped with Abraham…but they had! That was the sin that made them feel illegitimate and their own hearts knew it! Miraculous history with God is not a stopping point, it’s just one point of grace on an eternal timeline.