“Your father the devil” – John 8:42-45

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.

Wouldn’t it be nice to skim right past this section as if it weren’t there? Wouldn’t it be nicer still if it if fact really weren’t there at all to skim over?

Alas, it is there, confronting us in the Gospel of John like a neighbor we would like to ignore and who refuses to go back inside his house. The implications of this passage are profound. It is so filled with content, all of it coming from the mouth of Jesus, that it practically bursts out of the page. Let’s list just a few things.

  1. There is a real personal devil.as well as a real personal God.
  2. The devil is a murderer.
  3. He pretty much always lies, because his character is such that lying comes naturally to him.
  4. Jesus, on the other hand is truthful.
  5. Jesus was sent by God in accordance with God the Father’s perfect will.
  6. If we love Jesus, then that reveals that God is our Father.
  7. There are people who do not love Jesus.
  8. They cannot seem to tolerate what he actually has to say.
  9. These people are children of the devil,
  10. They desire to do their father’s, that is, the devil’s will.

That is a lot of information to take in, all pouring forth from a few short verses, and it is all life-changing if we truly let it sink in.

Dear God, help us to clearly see the difference between the truth that we receive from Jesus and the devil’s lies. Help us not to distort your word, as the devil has from the beginning, only using it in such a way as to serve his deceptive purposes. Make us genuine lovers of God, lovers of our Lord Jesus and lovers of the truth. In this way let us reveal that we are your children. And help us to do all that we can to call the devil’s children out of the realm of his deception and into the truth of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Who would be able to teach him? – John 7:14-17

14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

The religious leaders marveled at the teaching of Jesus. He never went to an elite Yeshivah. Nonetheless, his learning was evident. How did he get it? Jesus lets them know.

“My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.” In other words, he got it straight from his Father.

For the average pastor or Bible teacher, studying under others is a good thing. There are insights we are probably not going to gain by a little extra prayer or reading of the text. In a best-case scenario, that which we learn and learn well will still take longer.

In the case of Christ, who would be able to teach him? The rabbis were not always right, as their frequent arguments with Jesus indicate. They were not always wrong either, but what good would that have done Jesus in the end?

When God the Son came to earth, one of the biggest, silliest things that kept happening is that people repeatedly wanted to argue with him on topics of religion. They got angry when he didn’t see things their way. What they should have done is listened.

Let’s not imagine that we know more than Jesus. We are never going to teach him. When he disagrees with us, we can count on the fact that we ought to change our perspective. He knows best. We don’t. We will always do well to come to him with a receptive frame of mind, ears open and a heart ready to learn.

John 1 – Verse by Verse

John Pic

John takes us through a long sweep of history from before the creation of the world, through the incarnation and on to Jesus calling his first disciples before starting his public ministry.

John 01.pdf

John 01.mp3

Here is a link to the livestream video: