St John’s Gospel (25): Their Father Below (John 8:34-59)
John 8:37–59 - 37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 “I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.” 39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 “But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 “You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me . . .48 The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. . . . 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.
Descent to Their Father Below - The end of ch. 8 is a dialogue of six “answers/declarations” of Christ and responses of the Jewish leaders. In the cycle of responses Christ presses their claims of being from Abraham (their identity) vs His identity. Their responses descend to their “father below” - (1) “Abraham is our father,” v39; (2) “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God,” v41; (3) “You are a Samaritan and have a demon,” v48; (4) “You have a demon . . . You are not greater than our father Abraham [and the prophets], who died,” v52; (5) “You have not seen Abraham,” v57; (6) “They picked up stones to throw at Him,” v59. These move from a positive claim which was a half-truth, to slanderous words, finally to actions of attempted murder.
Declarations of His Father Above - Christ’s assertions show a progression of greater self-disclosure. (1) “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed, you do the things of your father,” vv34-38; (2) “Do the deeds of Abraham, you are doing the deeds of your father,” vv39-42; (3) “If God were your Father, you would love Me, you are of your father the devil, He who is of God hears the words of God, you are not of God,” vv42-47; (4) “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, I do not seek My glory, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death,” vv49-51; (5) “My Father glorifies Me, you have not come to know Him, Abraham rejoiced to see My day,” v57; (6) “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am [Ego Eimi],” v58. In the last disclosure Christ claims, “I AM,” identity with the God of Abraham.
Three very specific things to do: Confess, Counsel, and Commit.
1) Confess that Jesus is your Lord and God, I want to be your disciple. John 20:27–28 - Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
2) Counsel to express that Jesus is Lord and God to someone you don’t know this week. Ask God to give you the opportunity.
3) Commit to sustain that Confession and Profession by loving the brethren. This week consciously act to love a brother or sister in Christ in an abounding way. I want to hear about it.