(Recommended Reading: John 8)
I enjoy reading Bible passages that seem to show the humanity of Jesus. He was 100% God but He was also 100% human. The human side of Jesus experienced everything that all humans experience. I cannot imagine how frustrating it must have been for Him at times when as God, He spoke truths to the people only to have them argue with Him about them; try to set Him up by stating absurd things; or, asking questions with obvious answers thinking they could trick Him. Even then many of them would deny and ignore the truth that had been spoken.
This passage – John 8:31-47 (TLB) – is one of those times when Jesus must have been very frustrated. Before this passage in John 8, it tells how He was in the temple speaking to the people and some of them accused Him of boasting – even of being a liar. However, He always had an appropriate response that would put them in their place. It says in verse 30: “Then many of the Jewish leaders who heard him say these things began believing him to be the Messiah.”
It goes on from there – “Jesus said to them, ‘You are truly my disciples if you live as I tell you to, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ ‘But we are descendants of Abraham,’ they said, ‘and have never been slaves to any man on earth! What do you mean, ‘set free’?’ Jesus replied, ‘You are slaves of sin, every one of you. And slaves don’t have rights, but the Son has every right there is! So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free—(Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham!) And yet some of you are trying to kill me because my message does not find a home within your hearts. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.’ ‘Our father is Abraham,’ they declared. ‘No!’ Jesus replied, ‘for if he were, you would follow his good example. But instead you are trying to kill me—and all because I told you the truth I heard from God. Abraham wouldn’t do a thing like that! No, you are obeying your real father when you act that way.’ They replied, ‘We were not born out of wedlock—our true Father is God himself.’ Jesus told them, ‘If that were so, then you would love me, for I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you are prevented from doing so! For you are the children of your father the devil and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and a hater of truth—there is not an iota of truth in him. When he lies, it is perfectly normal; for he is the father of liars. And so when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe it! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of one single sin? No one! And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone whose Father is God listens gladly to the words of God. Since you don’t, it proves you aren’t his children.’”
Now that right there represents some harsh realities! He told them right to their faces that they were children of the devil, then followed it up by clearly stating that they are not children of the God they kept trying to claim as their Father! Ouch!
Before we get too sure of ourselves and wonder how those people could look at all the Son of God had done and said and still accuse Him of being conceited and a liar, etc., we need to look in the mirror. At times we are guilty of ignoring the lies that are whispered in our ears that we do not prove out before we accept them as fact. It can be very difficult at times to clearly discern the difference between the truth and a lie. The devil is very sly in that way. This is what Chris Tiegreen (the author of my daily devotional book) says: “The best lies are slight variations on the truth. Anyone can pick out an obvious counterfeit. The ones closest to reality are the most difficult to detect. So it is with the father of lies. He is only overt when no discerning eyes are around. But the more we discern, the more subtle he gets in his perversions of truth.”
The only way that we can pick upon the subtle lies the devil tries to get past us is by knowing what God’s Word has to say about it – learn discernment. If something comes to us in an idea or a spoken word and we are uncertain about how factual it is, then it is time to do some research in the Bible.
Never forget – the devil is not some fictitious character that we just hear about, or imagine as this little red character with horns, a long tail and a pitchfork. He is a real spiritual being that hates God and hates everyone that loves God; and, he has an army of demons that follow his orders to go after believers as hard as they can.
Jesus speaking to His disciples says in Matthew 10:16 (NASB): “‘Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves.’”
Paul speaking in 2 Corinthians 2:11 (Voice) says: “‘It’s my duty to make sure that Satan does not win even a small victory over us, for we don’t want to be naïve and then fall prey to his schemes.’”
In Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul tells how we can protect ourselves – verse 11 specifically says: “Put on the full armor of God to protect yourselves from the devil and his evil schemes.” Read that whole passage in an easy-to-understand translation so that you can discover what you need to do in order to protect yourself from the evil all around us.
I just know that I would not want to come to the end of my time on this earth and potentially face a harsh reality that I am a child of the devil. To eliminate that possibility we need to be assured that Jesus is our Savior. He died and suffered in our place so that we will have a place in eternity with our Father God. In the meantime, do not allow the devil to gain any kind of advantage. Be wary and alert to his lies. We need to gladly listen to the words of God and do our best to live our lives accordingly.
Written by Karran Martin – May 27, 2022
[All bold emphasis is mine]