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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

“Living in the Light”

John 8:39-47

The conflict between Jesus and his critics has become more tense.  Jesus confronts them with their intention now to put him to death (John 5:18; 7:1).  This fact underscores the continuing theme in John’s writings between light and darkness.  No one can be undecided.  There is no neutrality.  Jesus contrasts these Jewish leaders with Abraham.  In effect Jesus is saying that Abraham was open to receiving God’s Word even when God did not make sense to him.  Jesus’ opponents however have rejected everything but their own understanding.

By opposing Jesus they have identified themselves as children of the devil.  Once again we have to note that these texts have been twisted to promote animosity and indeed hatred of the Jews.  This is completely unjustifiable.  As Paul says, “I ask, then, has God rejected his people?  By no means!” (Rom. 11:1).

Jesus confronts his critics with the fact that they are under the leading of the devil.  The same thing happens with Peter (Matt. 16:22-23).  The origin of Satan remains a mystery.  Jesus says that he was a murderer from the beginning.  There is a Jewish myth that Satan once was an archangel in heaven who fell because of pride.  However this is not found in scripture (Isaiah chapter 14 is dealing with the King of Babylon not a celestial or spiritual figure),

Yet Satan is real and he is “the father of lies”  On the other extreme Jesus is the truth.  In Christ we need not fear the devil.  At the same time we need to be aware of him and his continuing efforts to deceive us.  He disguises himself as an angel of light (II Cor. 11:15).   Our assurance lies in the fact that “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8).  We are not caught in the devil’s lies.  We have the truth that is in Jesus (Eph. 4:21).

Merciful and gracious God may I, like Abraham, have a strong faith in you.  Free me from the power of Satan and keep me in your truth.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.