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John28 – strong anti-God faith

They answered and said to him, “Abraham is our father!” Jesus stated to them, “If you are children of Abraham, you do the works of Abraham. Now in fact you seek to kill me:  I spoke to you, as a man, the truth which I heard from God; this thing Abraham did not do. You do the works of your father.” (John 8: 39)
 
One is often able to learn something new about ourselves by overhearing an argument between others. On this occasion in Jerusalem – recorded by John in his first-century AD eye-witness biography of Jesus – Jesus has said “I speak the things that I have discerned with the Father; so also, you do the things that you have heard from the father.” The Pharisees, strong-in-faith-in-God, are appalled. What has he just said? About us?

They said to him, “We were not born from sexual immorality. We have one father - God!” 

The Pharisees fight back. By referring to not having been born in sexual immorality they are attacking Jesus, having found out that Mary, his mother, was pregnant before marriage.

Jesus said to them, “If God is your father, then you are loving-in-action me, because I have come forth from God and have arrived, because I have not come from myself, but that one sent me out. “

Jesus gives them the reason why he knows that God is not their father.

“Through what do you not know my own speech, so that you are not able to hear my own word? You are of your father the slanderous one, and you want to do the desires of your father.”

 
Then, knowing that they abhor his “word”, he asks them to think very carefully about why that is the case. It is entirely brought about by their “desires” for themselves. They reject anything that gets in the way of doing their desires.

‘Self-centeredness completely vitiates communication – with either God or man.’ (Hubert van Zeller, writer, 1905-1984)
“That one is murderous from the beginning, and is not standing in the truth, in that truth is not in him. When he may speak the lie, he is speaking from his own things, in that he is a liar and the father of it. In fact, in that I am stating the truth, you do not believe me.” 

Jesus points out that, right at the beginning, “the slanderous one” beguiled Adam and Eve into the rebellion which brought death into the world - by lies. He murdered human beings in that way: by deliberate untruth.

“Who among you reproves me concerning sin? If I am stating the truth, through what do you not believe me? The one, being from God, hears the messages of God. Through this you do not hear—in that you are not from God.” 

Now Jesus calls for them to be followers of truth, instead of followers of religious lies. He points to his own sinlessness among them. That sinlessness arises through being “from God” because such a person “hears the messages of God” and does them. Those arguing with him are not “from God” and, because of that, they “do not hear the messages of God.” Will they now ask him how they can solve this their own serious deafness problem?

The Jews answered and said to him, “Do we ourselves not rightly state that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 

 
Instead of asking for help, the Pharisees stress their rightness and ramp up their opposition. They despised the Samaritans because, historically, they had not been as scrupulously religious as they. A man with a demon was possessed by one or more evil spirits who lived its or their lives through that person. Such a person’s sinfulness would have been plain for all to see and know. 

‘What other people think of me is becoming less and less important; what they think of Jesus because of me is critical.’ (Cliff Richard, singer)
Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me! In fact, I am not seeking my own glory; it is he seeking and judging. Amen, amen I state to you, if someone keeps my own word, he may not ever observe death into eternity.” 

Jesus tells them that they are not right in their statements. He adds that their dishonouring of him is of no importance to him inasmuch as he is “not seeking his own glory”. He leaves that to “he” who is “seeking and judging”. His Father above. The Father is seeking, through Jesus, “someone” to keep Jesus’ word. 

 
Sinner Syvret

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