Tuesday, May 5, 2009

John, chapter 8 part 2

Today we see one of the most confrontational pictures of Jesus found in Scripture. IN today’s passage he is speaking directly to the Pharisees in the Temple and essentially tears down their entire belief structure. He accused them of not being children of Abraham, a man revered in almost God-like status tot hem. He also called them children of the Devil. As usual, Jesus easily deflects their arguments in an attempt to direct them back to the path they had lost.

So why is Jesus so confrontational here? Why did he bicker with the Pharisees, while He simply spoke with the common man. Along that line, many times the common man is what followed Him, while the spiritual leaders (the ones that should have known Him) stayed away. They even ended up being the ones that killed Him. I think he was so confrontational because the Pharisees weren’t going to listen to anything else. When Jesus spoke with the common man, like the woman at the well a few chapters ago, They were often already receptive to what He had to say. The Pharisees feared losing their power. They needed more drastic measures if they were going to listen.

34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” – John 8:34-38

This is just before Jesus calls them children of the Devil. He was right, of course. As humans, we are children of the Devil because we are born in bondage to sin. Jesus’ words about sin here are 100% accurate. I have seen the effect sin can have in life and it is not pretty. To this day I still battle my own sin even though I have done my best to stay away from it. As Jesus promised, however, He as the Son sets us free.

Another important point from the rest of this chapter is that Jesus does not accept the recognition and glory for Himself. He always directs it tot eh Father. Yes, Jesus was the Son of God and had extraordinary power. Still, even He recognized that He was nothing without the Father behind Him. All glory was given to the Father, and when we glorify Christ we glorify the Father through Him because of His humble nature.

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