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Did Jesus Really Just Say That?

"You are of your father the devil."
Text: John 8:35-47

Contrary to popular belief, Jesus wasn't always nice.

 
Jesus made it crystal clear: "Whoever is of God hears the words of God." Whenever Jesus spoke of hearing, he didn't mean simply perceiving sound by the ears. The people who believed in Jesus, those born again of God, were given spiritual insight and understanding. The unbelievers could not "hear" the words of God because they did not belong to God. 

Those not of God do not have God as their Father. According to Jesus, if God is not their father, the devil is. This was difficult for people (especially religious people) to hear in the 1st century. And it isn't easy for people to hear today.

People can be nice, generous, kind, conservative, and good parents. But if they are not born again, their father is the devil. Jesus describes the devil as "...a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in 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."

And Satan's biggest lie is that people are basically good.
 
The number one reason I hear, when asking people if they are accepted by God, is that they are basically good. But even "good" works are not good if they do not bring glory to God. And the one who is not born again cannot bring glory to God, regardless of how noble and sacrificial their service appears to be.

The Jewish people thought they measured up to God's standard because they were descendants of Abraham. And they were very religious. In many areas, they were meticulous law-keepers. They knew Scripture. But they did not know Jesus so God was not their father. The devil was their father and he convinced them to reject Jesus as an imposter and His words as lies.

How could they get it so wrong? Here is how: "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Jesus' words were strong and they weren't nice. But His words were good and true.

How do we guard against our own spiritual blindness? We can't see what we can't see. God's Word has the answer:

"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12-13).

Find a group of believers with whom you can share your struggles and to whom you can give encouragement.

It's All About Jesus,
John
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