Thursday, July 2, 2015

John 8:38-45 comments: murderers from the beginning

38 ¶  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41  Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Jesus makes it very clear that there is a sharp distinction between Himself and these Jews. He first lays out the argument by saying that He is only speaking things He has seen with His Father, who is not their father. They, of course, don’t understand, so they state that Abraham is their father but Jesus denies that, saying that if they were really Abraham’s children they would do the works of Abraham. This reminds me of Jeremiah, chapter 35, when God applauds the children of Jonadab the son of Rechab who obeyed their ancestor’s commands. What was it about Abraham that brought this up for Jesus?

Romans 4:3  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:6  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

James 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Abraham believed God. Jesus continues to provoke these Jews’ thin belief and expose the lack of depth of it. They have responded to gracious words and miracles, as Christians respond to a good sermon at a revival meeting and come forward in a frenzy of emotional expectation. But, how real is their profession? He is still talking to the Jews spoken of in verse 31 remember. Hopefully, you can see that this is one conversation and is not broken up by anything that would lead one to believe that He is speaking to anyone else. Go back to verse  31 and read carefully.

In verse 41 the shallowness of their belief explodes as they, perhaps, imply that Jesus was conceived illegitimately. If this is what they are getting at it is hard for Americans to understand. We, as a culture, no longer regard being born of two married parents, who were married before they united their flesh and conceived us, as any big deal. Women even deliberately go out and get pregnant so they can have a baby. The value of the sexual bond between a man and a woman, as representative of Christ and His church, the love, joy, and purposefulness of a marriage before God (speaking nothing, of course, of the phony civil marriage where the state gains control over your most intimate relationship by demanding the power to license it) is lost on most of today’s citizens.  But, if this is a dig at Jesus’ birth by people who had a shallow belief in His words and were easily provoked out of that belief then that is something to consider.

The Jews claiming God as their father can be linked to statements in the Old Testament.  God instructs Moses to say to Pharaoh, in explaining what He is going to do to Egypt;

Exodus 4:22  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 23  And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

This is part of the conflict between Jews and Christians over Old Testament passages the Jews claim as a reference to them and Christians claim as a reference to Christ.

Proverbs 30:4  Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

Whereas the Jew sees prophecy as promising the restoration of Israel and its role as the dominant country of the earth, Christians claim this for Christ.

Genesis 17:7 ¶  And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

Galatians 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Hosea 11:1 ¶  When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Matthew 2:15  And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Jesus declares to them that if God was really their Father they would love Him because He came from God. Then, He drops a bombshell. Go all the way back to verse 31 to see whom Jesus is speaking to. Follow the conversation carefully.

Jesus said their father was the Devil, a murderer and a liar. The implication here links some aspect of these people with the first murderer, Cain, and another link is made by John in one of his letters that suggests something else more sinister.

1John 3:12  Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

Since we know that Noah was, “perfect in his generations,” in Genesis 6:9 then the bloodline must have come through his wife to his sons so that we all bear the blood of Cain somewhat and only Christ’s blood can save us from its deadly effects.

The essence of Jesus’ antagonistic talk with, “those Jews which believed on him,” is that the philosophy that murders people for religious belief is present with them and is long-standing in human history. It comes from Cain, who murdered Abel for nonconformity to his practice of faith. We cannot liken God’s using the Jews to cleanse Canaan (unless you claim God’s rights on humanity for yourself) because the Canaanites were cursed by Noah when his son, Ham, defiled him in Genesis 9. The Canaanites were not just expressing belief in their religion; they were practicing incest, homosexual and heterosexual prostitution, bestiality, and child sacrifice to gods as tokens of religious expression behind which hid Satan and his minions. This was carried on in the highly sexual content of all ancient religions including the Greek.

Deuteronomy 32:17  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

1Corinthians 10:20  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

Back to persecuting someone for their religious beliefs Jesus will warn His disciples;

John 16:2  They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

What we have here is Jesus indictment of these so-called believing Jews. He is building up, provoking the shallow believer, turning on the one who makes a weak profession of faith, even the Christian who is fooling himself but not God. He isn’t finished yet and the chorus of the rest of the Jews present will join in the fray.

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