You Are Just Like Your Father
Read John 8:39-41 (ESV)
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “if you were Abraham’s children you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.”
How did Jesus identify the true spiritual father of these Jews? How does the world identify our true spiritual Father?
You’ve probably heard the old cliche that “the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.” It’s a cliche for a reason—it’s usually true. Yes, there are exceptions but generally speaking, people tend to turn out pretty much like their parents. Given the fact that children share the DNA of their biological parents and (in most cases) have been raised by their parents, both nature and nurture play a role in cultivating this similarity. But the statement, “You are just like your father!” can either be a compliment or an insult depending on the reputation of your father.
In today’s verses, we see that when Jesus said the Jewish religious leaders do the works their father did, it was not a compliment. Even worse than an insult, it was a justified condemnation. Previously, Jesus told them that even though they trace their lineage back to Abraham, Jesus’ words couldn’t be found in them. He spoke what He’d heard from the Father but they didn't listen to Him. Instead, they did what they’ve heard from their father and tried to kill Him (John 8:34-38).
Again, the Jewish leaders tried to claim that Abraham was their father but Jesus pointed out that they weren’t acting at all like their forefather, Abraham. Abraham was a man of deep faith, even though he was far from perfect. He believed the Lord, so the Lord counted his faith as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). Just like us, Abraham was made righteous before God because of his faith. But he demonstrated his faith in the Lord through his obedience to Him. Genesis 26:5 credits Abraham with obeying God’s voice and keeping His charges, commands, statutes, and laws.
These people, however, were trying to kill the Messiah that Abraham had trusted the Lord to bring to the world through His family line! Jesus was telling them the truth that God sent Him to tell them and they wanted to murder Him for it. If you were wondering W.W.A.D. (“What would Abraham do?”), murdering God wouldn’t be it. They were acting just like their spiritual father—but that father wasn’t God and it wasn’t Abraham. It was Satan.
Naturally, Jesus’ bold condemnation infuriated them so they shot back, not with logic and reasoning, but with a personal attack about Jesus’ birth. They were probably insinuating that because Mary was pregnant before she and Joseph were married that Jesus was an illegitimate child.
Now, this conversation between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders is far from over. But for today, if you are a child of God, consider whether or not that is apparent in your actions. Do you want to be just like your spiritual Dad when you grow up? Are you studying His every move, trying to do what He did? Or, would people be surprised to find out that you call yourself a Christian? Are you becoming more and more just like your Father?
Father God, I want to be more like You. Please continue to sanctify me and transform my heart and mind. Help me grow and mature in You so that I will bring honor to my Family name. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
If you found value in this post, please share your comments, questions, and prayers with us!