October 12, 1986
by Alistair Begg
When confronted by Jesus’ claims, each of us must come to a conclusion about who He is. When Jesus confronted the religious leaders of His day, He told them that the children of God will model their Heavenly Father in attitude and behavior, just as the children of the devil will exemplify their father. As Alistair Begg walks us through some distinguishing features of the children of God, we are faced with a poignant question -- whose child am I?
37I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
39They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42Jesus said to them, “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. 43Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
48The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’3 55But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”4 58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.