As the Jewish people listened to Jesus speak, they became defensive; self-protective. They were proud of being Abraham’s children. Yet, what was, this, who knows who, telling them? As Jesus continued His teaching, He went straight to the heart; who is your father? Jesus revealed to the Jews in the synagogue, their sinful hearts, explained who their father was, then declared His identity.
Jesus saw murder in their hearts. They wanted to kill Him because there was no place in their hearts for His Word. They claimed to be Abraham’s children and yet this encounter was not like the relationship His Father had with Abraham. They could not believe the words of Jesus, nor love Him.
The Jews argued, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father – God.” It was the plea of self-righteousness so Jesus diffused it. He discussed two contrasting fathers. How could they claim God as their father? They didn’t understand what He said. His words were a foreign language. They heard words they thought they understood, yet the words held concepts beyond their understanding.
Their desire to kill Him came from their father the devil; a murderer from the beginning. Along with that, the devil is a liar. As the father of lies, no truth is in him. All untruth comes from him. And so, here, when Jesus declared truth, they could not believe. It proved who was their father.
Who He Really Is
As a result of this revelation, they hit back. Accusation. They threw the worst things they could think of at Him. Here they illustrated another quality of their true father, the accuser who stands before the father accusing the brethren night and day. Jesus told them He honoured His Father, while they, dishonoured Him. Then He adds, “If anyone keeps My word He shall never taste death.” They tried to reconcile the words with the concepts. He wasn’t even fifty, how was this possible? Was He saying He was greater than Abraham?
Jesus continued to reason with them. It is not good if I honour Myself, but My Father honours Me, and you say He is your God. You are liars. Your words and actions don’t match. You don’t even know Him. Then He spoke of Abraham as a peer, one whom He had witnessed finding pleasure in seeing “His day.”
In the midst of this mind boggling statement, Jesus declared, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” In Exodus 3:14 we read, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, I AM has sent me to you.” With this declaration, a bong shattered the timeline. In their anger, they picked up stones to kill Him.
Two different ball games, apples and oranges, oil and water don’t mix, whatever the simile, the flesh and the spirit are at war and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Jesus revealed to the Jews in the synagogue, their sinful hearts, explained two different fathers and declared His Identity. Who is your father?