The last time we studied, we were looking at the Jewish leaders in this passage and seeing their belief that simply by being from the heritage of a faithful man, Abraham, they would automatically be righteous. We noted that heritage doesn't guarantee a way in to the eternal kingdom of God.
Next we will look at how they claimed to be heirs of the Father, but showed how their father was really not God, but the devil!
Let's dive in!
Here is a portion of our passage again:
 “You are doing what your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.”  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.  Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.  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 has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When helies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”Now, Jesus is making it abundantly clear that He is thinking of some other father of these men, someone other than Abraham. Yes, there was a father here, but it was not the Abraham that Paul lauded in the book of Hebrews some years later. Oh, there is definitely a family likeness . . . just like when Aunt Zoe looks at you and says you're the "spit'n'image" of your dad.
You've heard the term "hitting below the belt," right?
Yep. That's what these men do.
They didn't like how personal He was getting, so they hit back -- and with a really mean spirit.
They point to Jesus' unusual birth; more than likely to hurt Him and to cause doubt among any potential followers who were listening.
We can well imagine that in the past thirty years there have been oodles of rumors. There have been whispers and winks. The strange circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus have been fodder for many a conversation. And no matter how many times Mary and Joseph have testified about it through the years, the whispers are far more fun, and far more tantalizing. Hey, either Joseph and Mary had been messing around before they were actually supposed to, or Mary must have had a fling with someone else, and Joseph just looked the other way.
Either way, thought the leaders, this Jesus Who threatened their authority, and Who made them so angry, was the product of sexual immorality.
Whoa. What an accusation. And right to His face.
Ahem. Look at Jesus' reaction to this nastiness. He doesn't blink. He knows it isn't true. And so He just hammers home this message: He was not on a mission He dreamed up.
He came from God.
And if you love God, you were going to love Him, too. No matter what kind of slime they try to throw at Him, He will not deviate from His message. And this is where He pulls away their masks. He strips away the pretense.
They claim to belong to God, but that's not true. Their claim was illegitimate. Why? Since they were seeking to murder Jesus, they showed their father to be Satan -- the one who was a murderer from the beginning.
Remember how he persuaded Eve, and then Adam and Eve suffered a spiritual death by the sin they committed in the Garden? Who was it that directed the heart of Cain when he physically murdered Abel? Who gave Joseph's brothers the idea to throw him in a pit, and then sell him into slavery, thinking he would die on the trip or when he reached his destination?
Yep, you're right, it was the devil. And he uses deceit to push people to spiritual or physical murder. Just like Adam and Eve, these Jewish leaders have been deceived. They've listened to the lies that have spoken to their pride, and to their egos, and they have believed.
They've swallowed those lies, hook line and sinker.
"You're a child of God."
"You're from a long line of godly people."
"You're so much better than those other people. You have it made. You are so good and righteous."
That's why they don't understand why Jesus is here, and what He is doing. They are listening to their father, the devil, the father of lies.
Who are we listening to in our daily lives?