Welcome to our online Bible study on John!
— Read: John 8:21-47 —
I recently listened to a woman share about her life — where she’s from and the things she enjoys. I noticed, too, how much she talked about her parents. She was obviously very proud of her parents and the family she came from.
Listening to her share was very encouraging, because her words reminded me of that which is truly most important in life — the people we love. And I sincerely want to be the kind of parent my kids can be proud of. Her words also reminded me how much our identity stems from our family of origin.
In biblical times, your identity was directly related to your family . . . which was part of a larger clan, which was part of a larger tribe. To be an Israelite, you belonged to one of the 12 tribes. This was core to your identity.
So it was important who your father was. And John records in his Gospel a conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees when they talked about this very thing.
“Who are You?” they questioned Jesus. (John 8:25)
And Jesus responded:
I speak what I have seen in the presence of the Father; therefore, you do what you have heard from your father.” (John 8:38)
“Our father is Abraham!” they replied. (John 8:39)
“If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do what Abraham did. But now you are trying to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this! You’re doing what your father does.” (8:39-40)
“We weren’t born of sexual immorality,” they said. “We have one Father—God.” (John 8:41)
Do you catch that?
When the Pharisees exclaim that they weren’t born of sexual immorality, they’re reminding Jesus that everybody knows Joseph wasn’t His real father. The sting of Mary’s pregnancy before her wedding is ever before Him. And they won’t let Him forget it.
The Pharisees are pointing their ever-accusing fingers at Jesus. They’re using what they perceive as sin to shame Him.
The Pharisees use the past to shame Him in the present.
But those voices are not from God. Those voices are from the evil one. And the enemy of our souls continues to play this broken record today. The voice of evil loves to remind us of past sin. The voice of evil loves to shame us into hiding.
But that is not God’s way. For He is the way, the truth, and the life. God’s way is freedom from sin and freedom from shame.
So the next time your past is thrown in your past, remind the devil of His future. Because whoever the Son sets free, is free indeed.
— Diving Deeper —
Do you know that there is no shame,
no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus?
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