In John 8:35-36 Jesus said, "And the servant abides not in the house forever: but the Son abides ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." Jesus used the symbolism of a son compared to a servant to present another reason why we can count on the complete and eternal liberty from sin that He can give. If in a certain rich manís household, you had both a servant and a son, there would be a big difference between the servant and the son. The servant would be in the household for only a limited period of time. The day would come when the servant would retire or would take employment elsewhere. Anything that the servant could do for you in regards to that household would be limited in scope. But the son of the rich man would be the son forever: he would never retire from being the son, and because he was the heir of the rich man, he would have a much greater authority than any of the servants in the household. Because Jesus is the Son of God, He has much more authority and He can do much more for you than anyone else who is only a servant of God, such as Abraham or Moses. If you want to find true freedom then you must go to Jesus the Son of God. Youíll never find the freedom that you need, not even from one of the servants of God, who is just another human.
In John 8:37-38 Jesus said, "I know that you are Abrahamís seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father." Jesus began to speak with the Jews here in Jerusalem about the origin of their spiritual heritage. If a person is involved with religion and claims to have a connection with God, what is their basis for thinking so? If you do not have the right connection with God, then you have no connection. Abraham was a great person because he was the friend of God and because he was the father of faith. Unlike many other people in his day, Abraham had faith in God. Abraham was a man like others with weaknesses and failures. But his faith made the difference. Abraham believed God, and God made him a promise. God said to Abraham, "In your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." The seed of Abraham refers to the descendents of Abraham. But the thing that some people do not realize is that that there are two different kinds of descendents from Abraham. There are the physical descendents of Abraham, and there are the spiritual descendents of Abraham. The physical descendents of Abraham are related to him by human lineage. If you are a spiritual descendent of Abraham, then you have something that is far better. If you are a spiritual descendent of Abraham, then by faith you have a relationship with the same God with whom he had a relationship by faith.
When Jesus mentioned their father, they thought that he was talking about Abraham, but he wasnít. He was talking about their spiritual father, who turned out to be the devil. Everyone in the world has one of two spiritual fathers. Your spiritual father is the spiritual force that guides you. You are either guided by the force of evil and kept in darkness by it, or you are guided by the force of good and enlightened by it. Thatís one of the reasons that coming to Jesus is a spiritual birth. One is born spiritually into the kingdom of God, and thereby leaves the spirit of darkness and enters into a relationship with the spirit of light. In John 8:39-41a the Bible says, "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were Abrahamís children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. You do the deeds of your father."
Everyone in the world has a physical father and a spiritual father. You have no control over who is your physical father, but you have a definite part in deciding who your spiritual father will be. Itís not very important who your physical father is, because you will ultimately make your own decisions and your life will be a result of what you have done and not what your parents have done. But itís very important who your spiritual father is. Your eternal destiny will be determined by who is your spiritual father.
The Bible says in John 8:41b-43, "Then said they to him, We were not born of fornication; we have one father, even God. Jesus said to them, If God were your father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word." Either the devil is your spiritual father or God is your spiritual father. In these verses in John Chapter 8, Jesus gave three ways by which you can determine if God is your spiritual father or not. First Jesus said that you can tell by the things that you do. If you can do evil things and enjoy them, then the devil is your father. There is a great contrast between good and evil in the world. You are either pursuing that which is good because you are attached to God, or you are pursuing that which is evil. Second Jesus said that you can tell if God is your father or not by if you love Jesus or not. Since Jesus was sent by the Father, those who are spiritually connected to the Father will love the Son who they now know was sent to be the sacrifice for their sins. The third way that you can know if God is your father, is by if you understand and receive the Word of God. The Word of God is a spiritual book, and it can only be understood spiritually. The teachings of Jesus are spiritual teachings, and they can only be understood by the Spirit of God. Someone who does not hear and does not receive and does not understand the Word of God, does not have God as their father.
Jesus said in John 8:44, "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it." When Jesus spoke of the devil, Jesus used three descriptive words about the devil. Jesus spoke of lust, murder, and lying to describe the devil. Lusts are normal desires that have gone over the bounds that are set for them. Many of the sinful things of life are actually good things that were created and designed by God to be enjoyed. They only become sin when they are taken beyond the bounds and the limits that God has set for them. Thatís lust. Normal desire becomes lust when the desire is fueled by the selfishness and self-centeredness of man. One obvious example is sex: a normal and good thing when a part of the marriage of a man and a woman, but outside of the marriage between a man and woman, itís not a good thing: itís lust. Another example is the acquiring of material things. Itís a good thing to work and to reap the fruits of oneís labors and to save for the needs of the future. Even the ants do that. Material things should be acquired so that they can be used for the glory of God; but if anyone acquired things just so that they could build larger and larger barns to store their possessions and then brag about their possessions, they would cross the line from normal acquisition to the lust for money and material possessions. That would be sin.
Jesus said that the devil was a murderer from the beginning. God brought life into the world, but the devil brought death: spiritual death. Itís the will of God that man would enjoy life and then live forever. Itís the will of the devil that man would die and die spiritually. Adam and Eve lost their spiritual standing because they believed the lies that were told to them by the devil. The same relationship between lying and death, and between truth and life has existed ever since. If you are held by darkness and the lies that are told by spiritual darkness, then you will die. On the other hand, if you are enlightened by the truth that is in Jesus, then you will live forever. Falsehood brings death, and truth brings life.
Jesus called the devil a murderer. The devil murders humans. He does it by the hand of other humans. The better that you understand God, the more that you will value and appreciate life, all life. Life is precious, and it was meant to last as long as possible because it was created by God. No man should take away that which God has given. Humans are most like the devil when they take the life of other humans. Look at the wars that have plagued mankind through the centuries. So many innocent and young have been butchered in the battlefields, not to speak of the others who have been ravaged and tortured as armies destroyed village and town. The old men sitting in the luxury of their palaces have sent the young men to die time and time again. How easily we forget. When you see the crosses row on row, when you measure the tears that were shed and the hearts that were broken, and the masses of humanity how they suffered: if you could go back to the beginning of any of the wars, you would find the devil at work at his very best, stirring up the hatreds to the point of no return, causing the injustices to the point where in some cases, war was the only answer. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that until He returns there will always be wars and rumors of war. People will cry out for peace, but there will be no lasting peace. Why? Because the devil will be there, and he was a murderer from the beginning.
Sometimes it appears as though the devil has conquered the humans that God made by causing the horrible death that he caused that we all are now heir to, and by stirring up humans to cause more and more deaths even sooner than their appointed times by the hatreds and murders and wars. Where you find dreams that have been broken, where you find lives that have been twisted by lust, and where you find the mind of man enveloped by spiritual darkness: there you will find the work of the devil. But good is stronger than evil, and God is the strongest of all. The devil will one day be cast into the lake of fire that was prepared for him, and the day will come when death will be swallowed up in victory, and when the broken dreams of humanity will be resurrected by the goodness of God, and the smiling face of the loving Father will shine across the face of the entire earth. The energy and desire of God will perform it. When the darkness of evil is at its greatest upon the earth and all hope seems lost, then Christ will come with healing in His wings, and death will die, and lies will be told no more, and the desires of the human race will find their final fulfillment in Jesus the Christ.
But until that time comes, we attempt to do just a little of what Jesus did when He was on the earth. In contrast to the devil who tells lies to humans, Jesus told the truth. In John 8:45-47 Jesus said, "And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not. Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me? He that is of God hears Godís words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God." Jesus said, "Because I tell you the truth, you believe me not." Itís not supposed to work that way, is it? You would think that someone who would be brave enough and wise enough to proclaim the truth, would see the result that people would believe. But sometimes it happens the way it happened here in Jerusalem to Jesus. You speak the truth, and those who hear do not believe you, because of who their spiritual father is. If you had told them a lie, then they would have believed you. When you tell people the truth, sometimes the same thing will happen to you that happened to Jesus here in Jerusalem: they will not believe because they have the wrong spiritual father.
In John 8:48-51 the Bible says, "Then answered the Jews, and said to him, Say we not well that you are a Samaritan, and have a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. And I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeks and judges. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." The Jews hated the Samaritans and looked down on them. Jesus was a Jew, and for the Jews to call Jesus a Samaritan, they were trying to give Him the ultimate insult. Of course, we know that Jesus loved the Samaritans like He does those of any race, and we know that in the teachings of Jesus, several times Samaritans were used in a positive way: probably to shame the Jews and to make it clear that God does not approve of any kind of racial prejudice. In our day and age we think of a Samaritan as being a good person, because Jesus told us the story about the good Samaritan. Because Jesus stood up against the racial hatreds of His day, a word that was once considered negative and insulting to call someone: "a Samaritan", is now considered to be good and complimentary.
One of the biggest contrasts between the devil and Jesus is seen by looking at the end of verse 51 in John Chapter 8 where Jesus said, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." This is very good news to mankind, because the last enemy of mankind is death, and itís the worst result of what the devil led us into. When you visit a graveyard and stand with a broken heart over the grave of someone you love, you might think that the devilís victory over the human race is very secure; but not if you listen to the teachings of Jesus. The harshness and bitterness of death has been changed by Jesus into comfort and joy. Because of Jesus, death is now simply the passageway from this life into the glorious freedom of the Kingdom of God. Instead of death being the end, itís now the beginning of the best kind of life possible: life with God in way that is more real and more enjoyable than we can ever imagine. "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him."
Which do you prefer, lying and lusting and death that the spirit of evil and the forces of darkness will bring to you, or love and truth and eternal life that the Spirit of Christ will give to you? Jesus promised, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."
Copyright; 2000 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved