Lesson 51

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father, God." 8:42 Therefore Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came forth and have come from God. For neither have I come of myself, but he sent me. 8:43 Why don't you understand my speech? Because you can't hear my word. 8:44 You are of your Father, the devil, and it is your desire to do the lusts of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn't stand 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. 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you don't believe me. 8:46 Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 8:47 He who is of God hears the words of God. For this cause you don't hear, because you are not of God."

 Today's Lesson

Jesus had been telling these men of the Pharisees that He was from above, they were from below. Jesus also said that He did the work of His Father, and they were doing the work of their father. To this they declare that they only have one Father, and that is God. This difference forms the core of today's scripture. If they were not children of God, as Jesus says they are not, then whose children were they?


Jesus begins by asserting again that if they were children of God, then they would love and follow Him. God had sent Him into the world. He had placed His chosen people into the hands of His Son. Jesus has said that God would teach those who desire to seek after God and that God would lead them to the Son. So, if they rejected the Son, they could not be children of God.


If they could not understand the teachings of the Son and could not hear His words, then it must be that they were children of the devil. Jesus leaves no other option. One is either a child of God or a child of the devil. There does not seem to be any middle ground. The children of the devil are in conflict with the children of God. They oppose the work of the Spirit in this world. In denying and rejecting the Chosen One of God, they sought to deny the work of God in this world.


What are the aspects of these men that oppose themselves to God? They are filled with lust. They desire to do the lusts of their father. He is a murderer and they seek to murder in his name. Most importantly, they do not have and cannot comprehend truth. The truth is not in their father, so it is not in them. When they reject the truth, they display their true character.


And, what does it mean to be a child of God? The children of God recognize truth. They respond to the truth of God's words. The children of God accept the Chosen One of God because they can recognize the truth of His words. The children of God are taught by their Father and do the things that the Spirit of God tells them to do. They seek peace and desire that all men should be free and serve God.


How can we be sure that we are children of God? Only God Himself can testify to us that we are His. If we open ourselves to God and seek after Him, then He will come into our hearts. The problem is, seeking after God, being open to Him, takes great courage. We must admit that we are inadequate as we are now. We must realize that we are dependent on God to save us. We cannot save ourselves. And, we must be willing to allow Him to be God. We must be obedient when He does speak. We must desire truth and righteousness. God must be the most important priority in our lives.


The children of God see the pursuit of God as the purpose of all their lives. The pursuit of God never ends. Our desire must be to draw closer to God every moment of our lives. When the pursuit of God becomes the focus of our lives, then we can be sure that God has touched our hearts.


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