Who’s Your Daddy? – John 8:37-47
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 24, 2015
One of the greatest detriments to our society’s stability is the dysfunctional makeup of families; namely the amount of absentee father’s in the home. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, “There is a crisis in America. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America—one out of three—live without their biological dad in the home. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the societal issues facing America today.” Children of absentee fathers are more likely to live in poverty, have emotional and behavioral problems, more likely to commit crime, use drugs, get pregnant, and more likely to face abuse and neglect. I see the affects of absent fathers daily where I work as a playground monitor.
While the absence of natural fathers in families is a terrible thing, the absence of having our Heavenly Father in a family can be far worse. Strong Christian fatherless homes fair far better than those without Christ. In fact, the effect is dramatic because there is a spiritual foundation that fosters respect, commitment, and personal integrity. Physically the Jews were the descendants of Abraham, yet they failed in their adoption as children of God. Here in John’s gospel Jesus bluntly confronts them about this by asking them, “Who’s your Daddy?” Let’s discover what occurred and what the result was…
Most children are curious about where they come from, but sadly in our day and age it seems fewer folks are concerned about their spiritual roots. We discover here that…
I. Abraham was not their father! (Vv. 37-41)
I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
1. While Jesus’ detractors wanted to discuss his heritage in order to detract from who Jesus said he was, he would have none of it and in fact tells them, “I know you are Abraham’s descendants.” Jesus knew because he was one as well! He could claim the same heritage they did and even more so because of whose son he was! He not only was God’s one and only son, born of a woman and the Holy Spirit, but he was also naturally born into the Hebrew nation! The Jews Jesus was speaking to may have been physically Abraham’s descendants, but they were not his spiritual children! Paul would write, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God. (Romans 2:28-29 NIV)” In reality they had nothing to be proud of in dismissing Jesus, God’s true son! Paul knew that God’s promise of our adoption as God’s heritage and children was fulfilled in Jesus, “In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. (Romans 9:8 NIV)” Jesus absolutely knew what he spoke of was true because he had experienced the truth of it in the presence of God himself, “I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” They knew only their true father’s lies and he was not Abraham! Like many in our day, they listen to one who deceives them! Like petulant children they respond, “Abraham is our father!” However, if they were truly spiritual children of Abraham, they “would do the things Abraham did.” They should have responded to Jesus just as Abraham responded to the godly messengers sent to him! But they rejected Jesus and he bluntly tells them, “As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.” How could they claim Abraham as their spiritual father when they did not do as he had done? Jesus tells them, “You are doing the things your own father does.” Jesus knew Abraham was not their father!
EXAMPLE: The fight on the playground began with the age-old argument about one another’s parentage. I asked the two boys who were involved in the fisticuffs if their parents would be truly proud of them fighting over what they called one another’s parents. They both looked at their feet and mumbled, “Probably not.” The Jews wanted to involve Jesus in a playground argument concerning their parentage. Instead of asking their Heavenly Father about Jesus they instead engage him in a verbal battle they could not win. Like many today who think they know God, they did not have the spiritual parentage they needed. Jesus knew Abraham was not their father!
The Jews tried to claim a false spirituality they did not have, “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” However, we discover that…
II. God was not their father! (Vv. 42-47)
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
1. You can tell a real family by how it acts and what the glue is that holds it together, it is filled with love and because God is love, his family would be filed with his love. Nothing could be further from this reality than this fact concerning the Jews; they were filled with bitterness and narrow-mindedness. Jesus tells them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.” If they had truly known God they would have known who Jesus was and that God had sent him! Jesus then asks them a rhetorical question, “Why is my language not clear to you?” Of course they would not like the answer he gives them, “Because you are unable to hear what I say.” Many in our world today have the same problem with their hearing as well, they are spiritually deaf! They cannot hear God because they are listening to the wrong spiritual father! Jesus gives them the reason for their deafness, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” All other spirituality that does not come from God comes from another father, Satan! Satan is the enemy of the truth and the father of lies! He has been since the very beginning of all things! It is his intrinsic nature to lie! Sadly, far too many swallow his lies as spiritual food. Jesus retorts, “Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” Since those who do not know God love to hide in the darkness of their sin and love deception rather than the truth, they do not believe it when they hear it! Jesus asks them, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” Of course Jesus had never sinned and yet they would not believe him because they would rather listen to a liar than God! God was not their father! When we are willing by faith to listen to what God actually says, then we will hear what he is telling us. This is why Jesus says, “He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Do you hear God; do you belong to God’s family? The Jews could not hear Jesus because their ears were spiritually plugged. God was not their father!
EXAMPLE: When she was asked to stop, she refused to do so and suffered the consequences of her actions and attitude. She had to go to the Vice Principal and explain her defiance and disrespectful attitude. Of course at first she denied any culpability in her actions. There are those who will try to deny their ungodly refusal to trust Jesus. Jesus would teach that God would know his family by the spiritual fruit they produce and in fact he would relate that just saying you belong to Jesus will not cut it in his coming kingdom, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21 NIV)” Sadly, like far too many in our day, we discover that God was not their father!
Jesus knew Abraham was not their father and God was not their father either!
This article is copyrighted © 2015 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.