Letters to the Prison - Week 86

Hello, everyone!
Last week, there was a quote from Paul saying, “…it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise… .” This quote came from Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter 9, verses 7-8.  Sorry to have omitted the reference.    
Anyway, we’re continuing our slow tour through John 8… and an important conversation between Jesus and the “Jews who had believed in him” (John 8:31).  One would think that, since they supposedly believed in Jesus, this would be a friendly conversation.  But Jesus is challenging them to live according to his word if they truly believe in him… and they don’t want to.  They’d rather lean on their heritage than change their behavior.  But Jesus won’t let them.  He shows that, if they were children of Abraham, they would “do what Abraham did” (John 8:39).  Jesus therefore shows that our earthly lineage doesn’t matter.  What matters is that we believe in Jesus and then live according to that belief by trusting and obeying his word.  Since the people listening to Jesus didn’t want to do that, Jesus accused them of having a “different father…” twice (John 8:28, 41a).  But these superficial believers weren’t getting it.
We saw last week how, rather than accept Jesus’ rebuke and repent, they went on the offensive and smeared Jesus’ own lineage (“we were not born of sexual immorality…” John 8:41b).  Then, they made quite the claim for themselves:
•“…we have one Father – even God.”-John 8:41c
We could spend a long time discussing how they could support this claim Scripturally –and they could.  But they are still resting on their cultural, national, and biological heritage which completely misses Jesus’ point, which he reinforces by saying:
•“If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.-John 8:42
What Jesus says about himself here is not necessarily new to us.  We’ve seen in the past how he claims to have been sent from God and that he always acts in perfect accordance with the will of God because of his unique relationship with God the Father as part of the trinity.  What matters more for the purpose of our study at the moment is what Jesus says about us here.  Once again, Jesus directly ties our spiritual status to our behavior.  Children of God love Jesus.  Those who don’t love Jesus have a different father…
So, what we choose to do matters.  Not that it determines our spiritual status.  We don’t work our way up to being children of God with our good behavior.  Rather, our behavior reflects our spiritual status.  Children of God behave in a way that is consistent with the way Abraham behaved… he trusted, obeyed, loved, and honored God.  Not perfectly, by any means… and neither do we as Christians.  We still make terrible mistakes.  Still, while we may not love God perfectly, we still love him… and his Son, Jesus.
Those who don’t love Jesus have a different father altogether, as we will see soon enough.  Until next week!  We love you!

Dean A.

Recent

Archive

 2022
 November
A Day of Celebration?Letters to the Prison - Week 25Letters to the Prison - Week 26Letters to the Prison - Week 27Letters to the Prison - Week 28Letters to the Prison - Week 29Letters to the Prison - Week 30Letters to the Prison - Week 31Letters to the Prison - Week 32Letters to the Prison - Week 33Letters to the Prison - Week 34Letters to the Prison - Week 35Letters to the Prison - Week 36Letters to the Prison - Week 37Letters to the Prison - Week 38Letters to the Prison - Week 39Letters to the Prison - Week 40Letters to the Prison - Week 41Letters to the Prison - Week 44Letters to the Prison - Week 45Letters to the Prison - Week 46Letters to the Prison - Week 47Letters to the Prison - Week 48Letters to the Prison - Week 49Letters to the Prison - Week 50Letters to the Prison - Week 51Letters to the Prison - Week 52Letters to the Prison - Week 53Letters to the Prison - Week 54Letters to the Prison - Week 55Letters to the Prison - Week 56Letters to the Prison - Week 57Letters to the Prison - Week 58Letters to the Prison - Week 59Letters to the Prison - Week 60Letters to the Prison - Week 61Letters to the Prison - Week 62Letters to the Prison - Week 63Letters to the Prison - Week 64Letters to the Prison - Week 65Letters to the Prison - Week 66Letters to the Prison - Week 67Letters to the Prison - Week 68Letters to the Prison - Week 69Letters to the Prison - Week 70Letters to the Prison - Week 71Letters to the Prison - Week 72Letters to the Prison - Week 73Letters to the Prison - Week 74Letters to the Prison - Week 75Letters to the Prison - Week 76Letters to the Prison - Week 77Letters to the Prison - Week 78Letters to the Prison - Week 79Letters to the Prison - Week 80Letters to the Prison - Week 81Letters to the Prison - Week 82Letters to the Prison - Week 83Letters to the Prison - Week 84Letters to the Prison - Week 86Letters to the Prison - Week 87Letters to the Prison - Week 88Letters to the Prison - Week 89Letters to the Prison - Week 90Letters to the Prison - Week 91Letters to the Prison - Week 92Letters to the Prison - Week 93Letters to the Prison - Week 94Letters to the Prison - Week 95Letters to the Prison - Week 96Letters to the Prison - Week 97Letters to the Prison - Week 98Letters to the Prison - Week 99Letters to the Prison - Week 100Thanksgiving Blessing

Categories

Tags