CHAPTER 63 - Your Father’s The Devil
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
In addressing the Jewish Pharisees, Yeshua was tested as to His authority to absolve the woman accused of adultery as is also seen in verse 11 of this chapter.
John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Yeshua begins then to build the understanding of what it means to be “of your father the devil.”
In his diatribe directed at these Jews, Yeshua is anything but vague about His opinion of these heretical, self-righteous, prideful men. In verse 15 Jesus points out that they judge after the flesh, while he himself doesn’t. In verse 19 Yeshua points out they don’t even know the Father let alone Yeshua. Had they known Yeshua they would have known the Father. And to cap off his verbal tirade, Jesus points out these men are going to die in their sins. This statement is a very strong invective, which would have surely incensed the Pharisees who believed they were virtually free of sin. They were vigilant to perfect their religious observance and believed they kept the commandments of the Torah better than anyone else. Of course Yeshua was judging the motivation and intentions behind their rigid adherence to their law and their interpretation of Biblical law.
How would you like to be told you are going to die in your sins? I sure wouldn’t be too endeared to the person who told me such a seemingly outlandish and insulting thing. The pious Jews Yeshua was speaking with didn’t appreciate the remarks very much. They reacted sharply by claiming Yeshua was crazy. “How can this guy say such an off-the-wall statement, we are Pharisees, as close to perfect as anyone can get, of course we aren’t going to die in our sins.”
Yeshua goes on in His preliminary thoughts to reveal what is meant by “you are of your father the devil.” In verse 23 we see Yeshua say;
- these men are of this world
- they are not from above means they are not agreeing with the things of God. Jesus contrasts that with the next statement
- they are from beneath.
- He clarifies this by pointing out these hypocrites are scandalously enmeshed with things not of God. This charge is accusing the Pharisees of being of this world when the Pharisees thought themselves to be ultra-pious and connected to God
Yeshua had delivered a serious cutting remark aimed at the wicked and deceived heart of the Pharisees. His statement was intense enough and cutting enough that it is surprising the Pharisees didn’t rip Yeshua apart on the spot. Yeshua however spoke with such confidence that questions from those who heard His statements followed. His answer to those who claimed to be of Abrahams seed was the teaching on the meaning of, “you are of your father the devil." Some thought they could rely on being of the line of Abraham as their ticket to salvation. To most pious Jews, being the seed of Abraham meant you kept commandments well and had some kind of inside-track guarantee, to receive an eternal reward. To Jesus, it was they who desired to obey God and honor the Messiah who would be considered as recipients of the promise. There is much that can be said regarding the concept of there being neither Jew nor Gentile when it comes to inheriting the promise as was spoken to Abraham. Yeshua was the fulfillment of the promised seed to come through Abraham and any who accepted His Messianic role would agree to the commandments that were given to bring life, thus showing their faith by their works and showing they love Yeshua.
In John 14:15 Yeshua says “If you love me keep my commands.” To those who claim, just because they are Abraham’s physical descendants they get a special VIP pass to Graceland, He said being from the line of Abraham did not guarantee the free pass. Rather, the Messiah taught, if one does the commands Yahweh asks with a right motivation, out of love for God, they are seen as having God as their Father.
In this exchange it is pointed out the Pharisees are intent on wanting to kill Him. It would be clear then that God was not their Father because they don’t love this representative of God. They did not recognize the man who was the Messiah. Such inbred piety is a difficult thing to overcome in a group of men who are so full of pride. Yeshua’s summation of His statement culminates with the charge that these men are not of His Father Yahweh but that they are of their father the devil. They are inspired by false ideas, selfishness, and hypocrisy…these are the devil. To be of their father the devil meant they were religious offspring of heretical theology that they pushed on the vulnerable.
While He walked the Earth, Yeshua was implicitly clear on the fact there is no God but Him. Therefore, He was in no way inferring these self-absorbed, elitist men were from the lineage of another god known as the “devil.” They said their father is Abraham and Yeshua contrasts that by telling them their father is the devil. In no way does Yeshua mean they are physically descended from a literal physical devil. By using terms like “Father” in relating a message to the present company of Jews, Yeshua was frankly connecting their religion to a false religion. To “have the devil as one’s father” can be summed up by saying one is;
- judging according to the flesh,
- not knowing the Father,
- eventually dying in their sins,
- being of this world,
- and being a servant of sin.
With certainty it is stated Yahweh is not their Father and to say one has “the devil as their father” was a way of stating the complete spiritual disconnect a person has with God. Articulating the charge of having the devil as their father in another way might sound like this;
Yahweh is obviously not your father. You are totally spiritually disconnected from the Father and are really following the wickedness in your own hearts. It is the adversarial and accusatory nature that appears to be guiding you as if it is your father. You will act on the lusts that come from the wicked pride and judgment in your hearts. This is the force that drives you and it has always wanted to destroy that which represents righteousness. It is seen as a murderer. Just as Cain was envious of Able but was too prideful to humble himself, so too are you prideful and are submitting to the evil intentions of your hearts. That un-submissive and self-gratifying attitude is the part of a man that has always wished to do violence to righteousness. Your evil inclination has always been the part of man that resists the truth and builds a lie in the place of truth. If you are inclined to listen to the wickedness in your hearts and minds, you will only hear lies because the un-submitted fleshly nature in man has always been the origin of any lie. It is this potential to lie which is in every man that can be seen as the father of lies. John 8:43-52
Telling these Jews straight out they are not submitting to Yahweh the Father but are in league with their evil desires was hardly well received. And it was replied to by the Pharisees saying Yeshua had a devil. The prideful audience was so certain that they were in line with what God wanted that they said Yeshua was basically talking crazy. Yeshua rejected that notion and when He continued to speak words that identified Him as greater than Abraham, the Jews were even more convinced that Yeshua was lost and had a false doctrine and an erroneous concept, hence they stated once more that He had a “devil.” Had these men been more inclined to let a desire for rich food guide their thoughts and actions, Yeshua might have said their stomach is their father. However, it wasn’t their stomach that was their father, it was their wicked ideas, opinions, and judgments that led them. His view that these men were led by their own wicked thoughts and intentions was articulated in saying, “Your father is the devil.”
Now for a sneak peek at . . .
CHAPTER 64 - Who Is The Destroying Killing Thief?
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Before we get specific on what the “devil” is in the next passage, we will take a moment and talk about the destroying, killing thief. Many will turn to this passage and claim the thief in the story is Satan. Of course, they say, it is Satan who steals, kills, and destroys. Once again, they who claim this is the case are only correct when satan is recognized as the adversarial religious system or men who oppose the followers of Yeshua. The context of this statement is clearly referring to men as the thief. Notice the reference to men in the starting verses of this topic;
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
The thief is not a satanic being in this passage if we take the context to be our guide. So looking a little further, clarity is enhanced. The context is referring to men who are trying to get over the fence, men who have come before Yeshua arrived on scene and claimed to be the Messiah, as well as men who thought they were qualified to shepherd the people.
(To read more of this chapter, request your copy of Who's the Devil Jesus Knew?)
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