This is the Wednesday night sermon for July 23rd, 2008.
John part 38
In our last sermon, we saw Jesus begin speaking to these Jews who earlier in Chapter 8 had some type of belief in Christ (v.30). He then tells them that they must be more than just superficial believers, but they must abide in His teachings and become His disciples (students, followers) (v. 31). He then proceeds to show them that they are slaves to their sin nature, and they get into an argument with Christ, denying what He was saying (vv. 33-40).
Jesus now reveals the true condition of their heart and this one fact. There are two fathers. If you follow Christ and His teachings, you belong to Father God, if not, you belong to your father the devil.
As we look at this passage this evening, ask the Holy Spirit to bring fresh illumination into His Word.
1. The proof of the condition of their hearts and whose father they belong too are in their works.
John 8:41a ESV – You are doing the works your father did.
A. While they may by birth be children of Abraham, their deeds and works reveal who their true father is, none other than Satan.
While Jesus is referring to Satan here at their true father, he did not at this time name him. He is letting his words sink in before he does do the big reveal concerning their true father.
Here is what Barnes has to say in his notes on this passage: “Jesus repeats the charge, and yet repeats it as if unwilling to name Satan as their father. He chose that they should infer whom he meant, rather than bring a charge so direct and repelling. When the Savior delivered an awful or an offensive truth, he always approached the mind so that the truth might make the deepest impression.”
In other words, He is letting them infer who He is talking about, allowing their minds to really think over His words.
B. You may ask, I thought we were saved by grace through faith, and not of works, so what does Jesus means by this works statement?
Well, it is true we are saved by grace through faith, apart from works. But works reveal the true condition of someone’s heart. Someone who truly puts their trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, becomes born again by His Spirit. And through this born again process, we serve a different Father, and the fruit or proof of this change will be good works.
James 2:18-20 ESV – 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?
2. Mankind denies their true condition.
John 8:41b ESV – They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father–even God.”
A. Most scholars that I looked at said the phrase, “born of sexual immorality,” may have been a personal attack on Jesus.
They may have have been saying, “we weren’t a product of adultery, like you are.” If this is true, they have gone from a superficial belief to downright blaspheming Christ.
B. They are now going deeper into their denials.
Earlier, they claimed Abraham as their father (v. 33). Now that Jesus has made claims as the Son of God, I feel that they too have stepped up their claims, as well as their being deceived. Now they claim that they have one Father – God.
C. Jesus is now going to bring up proofs that that the Heavenly Father is not their true Father, but Satan is. And by doing this, He is going to expose the true condition of their hearts.
3. Proof #1 – Their lack of love for Christ.
John 8:42 ESV – 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.
A. They may of had a superficial belief at the beginning of this conversation, but they don’t have a true love for Christ.
Their lack of love proves that they do not belong to the Father. How can you truly love God if you don’t love the One Whom He sent to redeem us. There are many religions that claim to love God, but their god is not the one true God of the Bible, but it is the god this world, Satan himself. To truly love the one true God is to deny yourself, and trust in the substitutionary death of Christ Jesus, and to follow His teachings, to accept His claims as being who He said He is.
4. Proof #2 – Their inability to hear and understand what Jesus is saying.
John 8:43 AMP – Why do you misunderstand what I say? It is because you are unable to hear what I am saying. [You cannot bear to listen to My message; your ears are shut to My teaching.]
A. I wanted to use the Amplified Bible on this verse because I like the way it is translated.
B. Why do they misunderstand what Jesus says?
Most scholars feel that it is because of the figurative language Jesus uses. Since He uses a lot of parables (stories) and metaphors, they cannot understand Him.
I personally feel that they cannot understand because of what the passage goes on to say: “You cannot bear to listen to My message; your ears are shut to My teaching.” The NET translates it as, “You cannot accept my teachings.” They are of their father the devil, and because of that, the spiritual language that Jesus is using can only be understood as the Spirit gives illumination. Since they are of their father the devil, they are literally spiritually deaf to what He is saying and cannot bear it.
How many of you have ever met someone who just couldn’t understand the gospel, no matter how plain and simple you made it? It is because they are spiritually deaf and cannot bear the truths of the message. Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring illumination, or understanding, to the gospel message you are presenting.
5. Proof #3 – Their works prove whom they belong too – Satan.
John 8:44 ESV – 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 he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
A. Before Jesus inferred who their father is; now He comes out and says it, “the devil.”
I like what Barnes as to say about this passage in his notes: “That is, you have the temper, disposition, or spirit of the devil. You are influenced by him, you imitate him, and ought therefore to be called his children.”
B. Jesus is not referring to their origin here, meaning, they are Satan’s offspring, but that they prove that Satan is their father because they imitate his actions.
C. What are Satan’s actions:
1. He is a murderer from the beginning.
2. He has nothing to do with the truth because there is no truth in Him.
3. He speaks out of his own character, which are lies.
4. He is the father of all lies.
D. How do they imitate Satan’s actions?
1. They have murder in their heart toward Jesus.
2. They cannot accept the truth that He is teaching.
3. They would rather believe the lies coming from Satan.
6. Proof #4 – They do not follow the truth of God.
John 8:45-47 ESV – But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. (46) Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? (47) Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
A. Since they cannot hear and understand the truths Jesus teaches, they cannot follow and obey.
There are only two ways that we can walk. We can either walk the way that Jesus has revealed, through Him, or the way of the devil.