37 "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father." 39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father--God." 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." 48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" 49 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death." 52 Then the Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.' 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom do You make Yourself out to be?" 54 Jesus answered, "If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, 'I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
Question to Consider:
It is difficult to correct a person who is convinced that they are right. Where do you even begin? This was the daunting task that Jesus faced. The Pharisees were convinced of their own goodness; and acted as the self-appointed voice of God. Their self-righteousness made them spiritually deaf.At this point in Jesus' public ministry, He still engaged the Pharisees in conversation and debate. But one thing is clear, the Pharisees never gave Jesus a chance. They continually tested Him, argued with Him, accused Him, plotted against Him and maintained an adversarial relationship that eventually led to Christ's death.
Jesus begins this discussion by acknowledging the Pharisees as descendants of Abraham, but let them know that they were being unreasonable. To kill the messenger that was sent by the God of Abraham did not make any sense.
Even though they were the descendants of Abraham they were acting as if they were the children of the devil. v.44 Jesus reasoned with them that if they were in step with God they would love and accept Jesus as the Christ. Instead, they plotted, schemed and even lied about Jesus. This means that every Pharisee was headed towards the breaking of the 9th Commandment. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor."
The Pharisees remind me of the political climate of today. Where politicians will do and say anything to stay in power. If the truth does not support their narrative or agenda, they will reject it. (I am incredulous at the plain truth that is rejected and traded for an obvious lie) This is the type of self-deception that the Pharisees were practicing.
Christians need to place a higher value on truth. We should believe the truth. Stand for the truth. Speak the truth. Live by the truth. Hold on the the truth. That is the gist of 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
The Pharisees descended to the level of adolescent insults as they rejected Jesus. v.48 "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" Talk about true blasphemy. They are insulting Jesus' heritage and accusing Him of being possessed by a demon. Attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to demonic powers is entering dangerous territory.
Jesus talked about Abraham as if He knew Him personally. Which is true. Even Abraham's journey to sacrifice Isaac, was a foreshadowing of God giving His only begotten Son. Jesus mentioned that Abraham saw the day when Jesus would came and act as the ultimate atonement for the sins of the world, and that Abraham rejoiced! The Pharisees called Jesus a liar, because it would have been impossible for Jesus to know Abraham.
Impossible...unless Jesus was God. Jesus let them know who He was. v.58 "I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
The Pharisees wanted to stone Jesus.
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