“You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.” (John 8:44 HCSB)
This statement from Jesus drops like a bombshell right at the feet of his opponents. When it came to truth, Jesus was uncompromising and interested only in speaking the truth as it was. Is there anything more intolerant than pointing out that your opponents are serving the Devil? Obviously Jesus felt there was more at stake here than making his opponents feel good about themselves and their theological positions, and their certainly was: eternal life was at stake.
Christ’s Jewish opponents thought that they were on the side of their father, Abraham. They thought that they were in good standing with God. Indeed, they thought that of all the Jews, they were the most pure and most righteous and most worthy of eternal life. Jesus tells them that everything they think is wrong.
It’s hard to imagine the reaction by Jesus’ opponents when he tells them that “you are of your father, the Devil.” Yikes! Talk about dropping a hand grenade into their theological assumptions.
Here’s the thing though. Only a hand grenade would do (or maybe a claymore mine, what Jesus says here was huge!). Jesus was dealing with men who were absolutely, 100% convinced that they were right, when they were absolutely, 100% wrong! How do you crack the psyche of people like this? You cannot do it without blowing up their assumptions and beliefs. This is why Jesus is so forthright and direct when he tells them that they are of “your father the Devil.” It was the only way of shocking them enough to make them think through their beliefs.
Not that it did any apparent good, mind you. The response of Jesus’ opponents is to claim that Jesus is the worst thing in the eyes of a good Jew: A Samaritan possessed by a demon! However, none of Jesus’ opponents can stand before God and claim that they didn’t know the truth, that they were mislead, that they didn’t understand. Jesus will be a witness against them.
Will Jesus, dear reader, be a witness against you when you stand before God?