The Children of the Devil


In our daily meditations, we are looking at the confrontation between the Lord Jesus and the influential religious leaders of the day. They didn't like the fact that Christ claimed to be THE Light of Israel (John 8:12), so the leaders began attacking Him vigorously. Jesus responded by shining light into their dark hearts.

There is a general philosophy in our day that God is the Father of all humankind. In a certain sense the statement is true, for He created our physical bodies and gave us a spirit, mind, will, and emotions, but it is not true that He is our Father until we are born again (John 3:3). Jesus said that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who are on His side, and those who belong to the devil and are deceived by him, and do his work:

He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters (Matthew 12:30).

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2:1-2).

The Lord now informed the religious elite that, just because they could count themselves as descendants of Abraham, this did not make them children of Abraham, the man of faith. Christ sought to draw them from the shackles of Satan by telling them the truth of their spiritual condition:

38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father." 39"Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. 40As 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. 41You are doing the things your own father does." "We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself." 42Jesus 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. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire (John 8:38-44 Emphasis mine).

Those arguing with Jesus said that their father was Abraham (v. 39), but Jesus told them the truth—they were under the control of the enemy. The leaders retaliated with character assassination and terrible words of defamation towards Christ’s birth and His mother: "We are not illegitimate children," they protested (v. 41). They spoke in an insulting manner of their belief that He was born illegitimately and probably was a Samaritan since they had no evidence as to who His father was. Perhaps, they had sent their spies out to Nazareth where Jesus grew up and found out that Mary was carrying Him before her marriage to Joseph, her husband. They said to Him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” (v. 48). If they had checked the records, they would have found out about His very noble birth in Bethlehem, His ancestry of King David, and the tribe of Judah. The enemy loves to defame Christ and damage the reputation of His name, the name above all names, and drag it through the mud. Many of us see this defamation played out around us. It is not the name of Buddha or Mohamed that is spoken in vain. It is the name of Jesus that is defamed. Jesus had spiritual opposition from the enemy, and we should not be surprised if we also will be slandered and persecuted.

Jesus told them clearly, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire” (v. 44). Because sin dominated their lives, the outflow of their lives, words, and actions showed that it was Satan who wholly owned them.

Christ was faithful to tell them exactly what He saw, “You belong to your father, the devil” (v. 44). Sometimes, the truth must be spoken so that we may awaken people from the slumber of spiritual death. Some suggest that we should not say hard things and hurt people's feelings about their sins to awaken them to their spiritual condition. I do not agree. We are responsible for telling the truth of the Scriptures. We are in a battle, and eternal lives are at stake. If Jesus spoke plainly about where He saw these religious elite heading, then so should we to those around us. Keith Thomas

Shortened from the more extended study at the following link: The Light Challenges the Darkness