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. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Who is your father? When you think through that question, it may stir lots of different emotions. You might remember your dad as a provider, caring and loving. He might have been your support through difficult days or often was your hero saving the day. It could have been that your dad was somewhat absent, so God gave you a loving grandparent or father figure who took that role.
During the time that the Bible was written, the religious leaders had a strong sense of their own families. They not only had a deep respect and honor for their fathers; they saw themselves as a direct relative of Abraham. They took pride in this fact and often shared their lineage with others. In this passage of Scripture from the Gospel of John, the religious leaders are locked in a serious debate with Jesus. Jesus has claimed to be the light of the world who has come down from God. They didn't like this claim at all and saw Jesus as a threat to their own way of life. They even claimed that Jesus was possessed by a demon. Seeing the religious leaders sink to this low level caused Jesus to point out what was going on inside their hearts. He flips the script and rejects the religious leaders as sons of Abraham, and instead, shares that they are children of the devil. This would have infuriated the Pharisees.
What Jesus was pointing out was that their behavior seemed more suited for Satan rather than for Abraham. They had refused to believe and gravitated towards the lies of the evil one. From the very beginning of time, Satan has been known as a murder, a liar, and even further, Jesus regards him as the father of lies. He has one path as a deceiver, and it is to detract us from the light and love of God. The religious leaders bought Satan's lies and rejected Jesus Christ.
In the same way, many people get caught up in the lies of Satan. They believe that God does not exist or that He might be holding out on them. They may get sucked into thinking that life is about gaining pleasure or happiness rather than holding God's precious truth. We can't get sucked into the webs cast by father of lies. We have to have a mind and heart open to the truths of God.
Think through your own life. When was a time where you got sucked into Satan's lies? What was it that tripped you up and was alluring for you? Work through in your notes what happened and how it made you feel to get sucked in. From there, write out some ways that we can break free from the lies of the evil one and hold tightly to Jesus.
Read John 8:31-59
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. 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 you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father.”
They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”
Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because 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’s because you can’t even hear me! 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. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?”
“No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”
The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”
The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.
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