John 8:37-59 If God Were Your Father

by | May 16, 2024 | John, New Testament

V. 37 Though they were physically related to Abraham, they were not spiritual related to him.

They took pride in their spiritual ancestry, but were themselves strangers to God.

As a result, the words of Jesus infuriated them.  They didn’t deny that they wanted to kill Him.

NOTE- If they had Abraham’s spiritual DNA, they would have welcomed Jesus’ words.

V. 38 Jesus resembled His father, and they resembled their father.  Compare with John 8:23

V. 39 Abraham was a man of faith who obeyed God.

If they were spiritual children of Abraham, they would obey God as well.

In Genesis 18, we read that “The Angel of the Lord” came to Abraham, and informed him of the upcoming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Abraham received these messengers of God, but these leaders would not receive Jesus, God the Son.


APPLICATION- You don’t get into the family of God by borrowing someone else’s relationship with God.  Each person must decide to become a believer and a continued follower (disciple) of Jesus.

V. 40 It is an amazing yet true fact that religiously zealous people can be ready to kill someone who speaks the truth of God. Jesus spoke the words that God the Father gave Him.

V. 41 Physical family resemblance is an amazing thing. The same is true spiritually.

God was not the spiritual Father to these men.

That is why Jesus said, “You must be born again”.  They needed a new spiritual family connection.

In their rebuttal, they attack the messenger, a method of those who are not inspired by God.


We were not born of fornication- Either a reference to their physical/spiritual lineage, or a slanderous insinuation about Jesus’ questionable birth.

V. 42 If these men were in right relationship with God, they would recognize and embrace the things that God was doing. They would have loved Jesus, who was sent by God the Father.

Jesus was sent forth by the Father, and did not promote Himself, but represented the Father.

APPLICATION- If God is truly your father then you will love Jesus.


J.C. Ryle- We can only come to one conclusion, where there is no love for Christ, there is no Sonship to God.


1 Timothy 2:5, 6a For there is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for us all…

V. 43 Jesus began to interrogate them with questions which they could not answer.

1 Corinthians 2:14  But the natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.

V. 44 He tells them that their spiritual father was the Devil.  They bore his spiritual resemblance.

The devil is the enemy of life and truth.

In Genesis 3, the Devil lied to Eve, and convinced her to disobey God, which brought physical and spiritual death to mankind.

The Devil was a physical and spiritual murderer from his first actions.  

He inspired physical murder in the human race.

He also does not stand for the truth, but was the originator of lies.

Therefore, they wanted to kill Jesus and resisted the truth.

V. 45 It wasn’t in their nature to believe the truth. The Christian is blessed to have a new nature.

V. 46 This I the second question Jesus asked them.

Could any of them convict Jesus of sin?  No, they could not find fault with Him. 

If not couldn’t find fault with Him, then why wouldn’t they believe Him?

v. 47 Their spiritual orientation didn’t come from God, therefore, they didn’t understand.

Jesus answers the question that they could not answer.


Their spiritual inability to understand is twofold.

  1. They loved darkness.  John 3:19, 20
  2. They were not (yet) drawn to the Father. John 6:44
  3. People ask which aspect is true.  Both of them are true. It is a holy tension.

We must ask ourselves, “Do we love darkness more than we love the light?”

v. 48 This is the response of the spiritually blind. Samaritan was a derogatory term of hatred.

v. 49 They presented no credible evidence of Jesus having a demon.

They spoke in this way to malign Him, having no substantive answer to offer.

These people dishonored the Creator of all things.

v. 50 Jesus didn’t counter attack.  He left His defense to the Father.

v. 51 Jesus here spoke of spiritual death.  Compare with John 8:31

NOTE- Though they call him illegitimate, demon possessed and are ready to kill Him, He still offers them eternal life.  He loved them.


Vs. 52, 53 If these words are understood on a physical level, then Jesus would have been rightly considered insane.  But He spoke to them of spiritual and eternal life and death.

V. 54 Jesus did claim to be greater than Abraham, but in His incarnation and submission to His Father, Jesus the God man didn’t seek to honor Himself. His Father would vindicate Him.

V. 55 Jesus knew the Father; these Jewish leaders did not.

V. 56 This speaks of the Christophany that Abraham had with Jesus. Genesis 18 and other places.


Vs. 57, 58 This is a claim to deity. Compare John 8:24; 8:28

Before Abraham was ever born Jesus said that He already existed.

This is the name God gave to Himself when He spoke to Moses from the burning bush.

It is also quoted in Deuteronomy 32:39 and Isaiah 43:10

V. 59 They understood that Jesus was taking upon Himself the name of God, and they considered it blasphemy, so they sought to kill Him.