John Day 16: Who's Your Daddy?

Pharisees by James Tissot

Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 16 Reading:
John 8:31-59

Bringing the Word to Life
Look at some family pictures. Who do you resemble? How do you resemble your Heavenly Father?

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. – John 8:42 (NRSV)

Observation
Every good quality runs into a defect; economy borders on avarice, the generous are not far from the prodigal, the brave man is close to the bully; he who is very pious is slightly sanctimonious. – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Jesus is talking to Jewish leaders who have not believed him. Jesus uses images and language they would recognize to make a distinction between three types of people and how each would respond to him:

  • Child of God– those who believe him
  • Child of Abraham– those who claim a connection to God because of they are descendants of Abraham, not through belief in Jesus. This is faith borrowed or rented from others. This becomes problematic when the person thinks they do not need to seek and claim faith for themselves. I heard a pastor once who said, “God makes spiritual children through conversion not conception.”
  • Child of the Devil– those who do not believe Jesus and are actively trying to kill him

Side note: This conversation was confusing to me when I read it, so I took the time to read it again in another translation. Then I found it online and pasted it into a word document. From there I could color code it in order to finally follow it and understand it: yellow for child of Abraham, green for child of God, and blue for child of the devil. My favorite site for online Bible translations is http://www.biblestudytools.com/

Application
Jesus reminds us that the words and actions of children often reflect their parents’ position. In this case he is using this tendency as a metaphor for the state of a person’s faith. Words and actions reveal a person’s spiritual parent.

  • Child of Abraham – Do I have an inflexible faith in which salvation is based on cultural tradition, heritage and habit? Have I made faith my own?
  • Child of the Devil– Am I a victim of lies? Am I working against the purposes of God?
  • Child of God– Do my words and actions reflect a faith alive and well in Christ?

Prayer
Author of Life, as our Heavenly Father, fill us with truth and protect us from lies. As our Heavenly Mother, keep us grounded in things that last, yet flexible to new birth and growth. Thank you for making us your children through Jesus Christ. May our words and actions reflect our deep love and trust of you, now and always. Amen.

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