09/30/W – Who Is Your Father?

1 Samuel 20:1-34; John 8:37-59; Psalms 112:1-3; Proverbs 24:11-12

NT: ““Our father is Abraham,” they replied. “If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do what Abraham did. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this…” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and I am here. For I didn’t come on my own, but he sent me. Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to carry out 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 tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies… The one who is from God listens to God’s words. This is why you don’t listen, because you are not from God.” “…I do not have a demon,” Jesus answered. “On the contrary, I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and judges. Truly I tell you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” Then the Jews said, “Now we know you have a demon. Abraham died and so did the prophets. You say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets died. Who do you claim to be?” “If I glorify myself,” Jesus answered, “my glory is nothing. My Father — about whom you say, ‘He is our God’ — he is the one who glorifies me. You do not know him, but I know him. If I were to say I don’t know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” The Jews replied, “You aren’t fifty years old yet, and you’ve seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.”” (‭‭John‬ ‭8:39-40, 42-44, 47, 49-58‬ ‭CSB)

The skeptical Jews in the crowd, along with the Jewish leaders, claimed to be children of Abraham and partakers in the Abrahamic blessing. Jesus’ reply to them was basically, “Abraham may be your biological father, but he is definitely not your spiritual father… and neither is God. If Abraham were your spiritual father… if you had faith like Abraham, you would behave in faith like Abraham did and would recognize Me. If you truly were of the family of God, you would love me because God has sent me. Your true spiritual father is the devil because your desires for power, influence, self-gratification, etc. are his desires. You can’t recognize the truth, because there is no truth in your spiritual father the devil.” Those were pretty accusatory words coming from Jesus – but they were true. Jesus never shied away from telling the truth – even if it offended those in power. The Jewish leaders then turned on Jesus and accused Him of being demonically influenced, because He claimed to have power and authority over death. All the great prophets and patriarchs of old had all died – so Jesus was obviously crazy, or demon-possessed, or both if he claimed to be greater than the prophets and patriarchs. Jesus responded to their charge by saying that Abraham, the father of faith, by faith rejoiced to see Jesus in His role as Messiah. From the Jews’ standpoint – that was just crazy talk… how could Abraham have seen Jesus? Then Jesus said something very powerful that sent the Jews over the edge. He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” In that statement, Jesus spoke the unspeakable name of God almighty and said, I am I AM. Jesus, in this statement, claimed to be God Himself. I AM the God that Abraham worshipped… so if you were truly sons of Abraham… if you were truly children of God, you would worship Me as well. What a powerful moment! Out of which arises this question: who is your father? Whose traits have you inherited. Who do you look like? Whose desires and passions to you carry forward? Are you a person of faith who is willing to sacrifice all to see God’s will be done, or are you primarily after your own ambitions? Who do you bow down to… God or self?

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