Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen
The Children of Abraham 31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
33They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father."
39"Abraham is our father," they answered.
"If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. 40As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41You are doing the things your own father does."
"We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."
The Children of the Devil 42Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. 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. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."
The Claims of Jesus About Himself 48The Jews answered him, "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?"
49"I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus, "but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."
52At this the Jews exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. 53Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"
54Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."
57"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
58"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" 59At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
Jesus continues his teaching, and it is starting to get ugly. He tells the crowds that they will know him and be set free from sin. Nothing-visualize crickets in the background. Instead, they tell him they are Abraham's children and have never been slave to anyone. (Hello, does the Exodus ring a bell? Even at the time they were saying this they were a conquered nation living at the whim and folly of the Roman government!)
Jesus tries to bridge their thoughts and asks them to open their minds. Sin can imprison us, if we know God, we can be released from this oppression. More crickets. Not only do people not understand the truth, they are swayed to evil. They are indignant. "Jesus claims to be greater than Abraham or the prophets," and there is my favorite, "You are less than fifty years old, how can you say you know Abraham?"
Then they say he is a Samaritan and possessed by demons. Wow! The Samaritan label was an absolute slur. Remember, Samaritans were looked down on by the Jews. This still happens today. Any denomination that has social principles is a cover for communists , same deal. I am not saying that Glen Beck is evil, but the comparison is spot on.
These verses end with the people wanting to stone Jesus. Good crowd gone horribly bad. What happened? As long as Jesus heals, we are all "hey Jesus!", but when He starts to meddle in our lives. I have a confession. I had never really understood these verses until today. The main reason is because I don't think I had really read them. That is why we study continually. I always thought that John 8:32 was kind of an at-a-boy, now I see that it was a challenge. Jesus challenges us daily. One of my biggest faults is that I think I know it all. In fact- I don't! I am not God. I am not Jesus. I am not omnipresent. Luckily, I know God. Sometimes I seek God's advice and use His knowledge in my life. Sometimes.
1. What is the Truth? What is it that en-slaves us?
2. Whose children are you?
3. Are there days where you want to throw rocks at Jesus? What do you do?
Prayer- Dear Lord, I am sorry. I am sorry that there are times when I no longer listen for You but lash out against You. Help us, give us the patience to listen and act as You would have us act. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.