The truth that hurts. The discussion in which Jesus finds himself in this text is unpleasant. It is uncomfortable because Jesus is not arguing with some Gentile philosophers but with representatives of the Jewish people.
Lent Daily Devotional
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (full text at John 8:37-46)
These are people who are only interested in defending the truth and holiness of the Scriptures and their faith.
Now, these people have an intense debate with Jesus about the truth.
The truth that hurts
Jesus is ruthless, almost cruel when he makes a shocking statement to his listeners: your ancestor is not Abraham, of whom you are so proud, but the devil (v. 44).
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And yet this sentence is true! It applies to every person, even the godly. This truth is painful.
Jesus says that the devil is a murderer and the father of lies from the very beginning, and all people, believers and unbelievers alike, who do not accept the inconvenient truth that they are sinners, are subject to the lies of this seducer.
Do we understand how uncomfortable these words of Jesus are?
Why does Jesus say this?
Jesus makes it clear that his Father is truly God, and therefore he is speaking the truth:
- He speaks the truth (v. 38, 40, 45, etc.),
- he comes in the name of God (v. 42),
- and he lives without sin. (V. 46).
The opposite is true of the pious Jews who believe that their father is God, but in reality, their father is the devil:
- They want to kill Jesus (v. 37),
- they ignore Jesus’ words (v. 37),
- they cannot stand the truth (v. 41, 45),
- they cannot love Jesus (v. 42),
- and they cannot understand Jesus (v. 43).
Those who cannot stand the truth begin to lie to themselves and fight the one who tells them the truth.
Is this what happens to us? Could it be that behind some pious scenes, it is not always about truth and justice but about one’s own honor and success? Is it possible that under the guise of forgiveness and love, sin is tolerated, untruths are lived, power is abused, and people are exploited?
Prayer for Today
Lord, we are imperfect people. Therefore, please help me today to seek the truth. Please help me see it in things that I would not even notice myself. Help me see that the truth will set me free and give me wisdom and understanding. With your help, I will overcome my fears and frustrations. Amen.