ENGLISH SERMON

Your Own Father (John 約翰 8:37-44)

Your Own Father – Sermon by Egan Yip

I’d like to start our message by reading Scripture. The passage we’ll be looking at today is found in John 8. Allow me to briefly introduce what we are about to read. In this chapter, we will see Jesus arguing with the Pharisees. Jesus has just declared that He is the light of the world. He brings the words of God to the people. The Pharisees challenge him. They say his testimony is not valid. There is no one to verify his claims. The truth of Jesus is in conflict with what they believe. How can two groups who claim to follow the same God speak a different truth? Jesus explains why, and we’ll look at his explanation here in verses 37-40. It begins with Jesus speaking. The Holy Scripture reads:

37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.[b]

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would[c] do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.

As you can see here, the Pharisees said that Abraham is their father. They keep saying it. They keep repeating that they are children of Abraham. For them this is a source of pride. The peoples of every nation tend to have pride in where they come from. The Jews were no different. If anything, their origins and their history made them even more prideful. They believed they were special among all the peoples of the earth, since they were the ones chosen by the one true God.

In verse 37, Jesus does not deny that they are descendants of Abraham. He tells them, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants.” But then he goes on to make a distinction. Though they are descendants of Abraham, they are not children of Abraham. If we were to look at this literally, it doesn’t make sense. But Jesus explains what He means. They don’t act like they are children of Abraham. It seems they don’t understand the person of Abraham at all. They don’t truly follow Abraham. They persecute Jesus and despise Jesus according to what their beliefs about Abraham. But Jesus tells them they are completely wrong. By persecuting Jesus, they reveal who they truly belong to. It appears that they have another father. Who is this “other father” that Jesus speaks of?  Let us see together by continuing with our reading. Verses 41-44.

41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 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.

Now these words are quite harsh. Jesus basically calls them the children of the devil. “You are doing the works of your own father.” “You belong to Your father, the devil.” Now, if we think about it, this also paints a grim picture. Who belongs to the devil? When Jesus says “YOU belong to your father, the devil”, is Jesus only speaking about THAT group of Pharisees? That doesn’t seem to be the case. What Jesus speaks about here is a situation we have to consider even to this very day.

I remember one time hearing the Pastor of the Arabic church in Lilburn show concern over a certain idea sung about in Christian songs: the idea that God is King or Lord over this world. The Pastor said that God is not really the king over this world. Now, when I heard him say this I was confused. Isn’t God the king? Isn’t He Lord over all? What’s wrong with saying that God is the king over this world? The problem is apparent when we look at our world—when we just open our eyes and gaze upon this world. What do you see? I see pain and heartache and depression. I see sickness and hatred and fear. I see sin and death.

Does it look like this world is under the reign of God? Is He the king over this madness?

You ever hear that old hymn This is my Father’s world?

This is my Father’s world. Oh, let me never forget. That though the wrong seems oft so strong. God is the ruler yet.

It’s a nice hymn. It’s hopeful and encouraging. It reminds us that God is sovereign over it. But in his sovereignty, we also have to face the grim reality. In Genesis, God created this world and said it was good. But it’s not good anymore. It is corrupted.

We speak of God as our father. But Jesus warns us that there is another father in this world—one who corrupts, deceives and destroys. And the people are blind to him. They do not see him. They do not know him. Yet they belong to him. These Pharisees that opposed Jesus, they belonged to the devil. They did as he commanded. And they had no idea what they were doing. They believed they were children of God. They believed they were doing what was right. But all along, they belonged to the devil. They belonged to their own father.

I fear for the children of this age. As one who has grown up into this modern time, I fear for them. And it’s not only because of all the madness of the world we see every day. It’s not only because of the shootings. It’s not only because of the terrorism or the wars. It’s because these are only symptoms of the greater problem: the father of lies. The devil’s lies are so strong now and they grow ever stronger with each passing day.

For I thought I knew what was right. But in reality I was very wrong.

There is so much to learn about this world when you are growing up. Everything is new. That’s why it’s fun to see a child’s reaction to many things in this life. As you get older, most things just start to get boring. When you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a thousand times. People don’t react as much to things in general as they get older.

But kids are different. Thank God for innocence and curiosity. It’s beautiful and just warms your heart to see how kids react to something new and exciting. Their eyes become wide open and their faces brighten. Sometimes they’ll scream, shout or dance. It can be so fun to watch them get excited for something.

All the while, their minds are like little sponges. People like to use that comparison when describing the brain of a child. They’re just soaking everything up. They can learn so much so quickly. They can grow up so fast. The problem is… we are living in a world of darkness and chaos. Do you know what are they learning? Do you see everything that they experience? You can’t. You’re not like God. Most of what they will learn from this world will be out of your control.

They will be overwhelmed by all the knowledge this world gives, just as we all can be. They’ll have to sort things out. They’ll have to make a stand on their beliefs about this world, about morality. How can one tell the truth from the lie? How can one know the right from the wrong?

The world is constantly pulling at us from every direction. It tells us what it means to be right. And it makes us feel good about it. It makes us feel good about ourselves. It tells us to have pride in everything that makes us who we are. It tells us to have pride in everything we were born with. That sounds good, doesn’t it? In fact, that sounds very similar to what we actually teach in church. We tell you that God made you special and you should be satisfied with the life that God gives you.

But there’s a problem. You were born with something that God never wanted to give—and here at church, we call it sin.

We were sinners from birth. We were evil from the beginning. The Bible tells us we were enemies of God. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. In spite of what your father or mother may tell you, you were not born perfect. Far from it. You were born with your sins, with the sinful nature.

The prince of darkness calls to you. He calls to all of us. He, being the father of lies, appears as an angel of light. He tells you to embrace your sins. He tells you to be proud of them. You were born with it! You were born with these desires! Shouldn’t all our desires be good? After all, that is what we were born with. And we are taught by the world to love what we are born with. But that’s not what the Bible teaches. Our hearts are from God. But our evil desires are from ourselves.

As it is written in Matthew 15:19 – For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

It’s so confusing. This world is so confusing. Who are we to believe? What are we to believe?

Even now, as I say these things to you, do you doubt my words? Do you doubt the Scriptures themselves? When Jesus told the Pharisees His truth, the Pharisees denied it. The light of the world, Jesus Christ, with all his wisdom could not convince the Pharisees to believe in him. He told them the Truth. And they wanted to kill him.

That’s why I fear for the children of this age. I fear especially for the children of the church. Now, more than ever, godly parents must be involved in the lives of their children. Do not let the world be the primary source of their education. Do not let the world become their fathers and mothers. Because the world, in its present time, is of the devil. He will deceive. He will not rest until the end of days.

We live in a fast-paced world, where ideas spread like wildfire.  Social media means you can hear what everyone thinks instantly. And many of those thoughts will be tempting and sweet. But will they be truth? Will they be salvation?

The devil wants us to feel righteous in our own eyes that we may not have to worry about sin. He wants us to think that we don’t need God or want God. He wants us to believe that we have all the truth we need.

But the truth that sets us free is found only in the Bible.

May God reveal to you His Truth. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says.

 

John 8:37-44

37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 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.

約翰福音 8:37-44

誰為亞伯拉罕的真子孫

37 「我知道你們是亞伯拉罕的子孫,你們卻想要殺我,因為你們心裡容不下我的道。 38 我所說的,是在我父那裡看見的;你們所行的,是在你們的父那裡聽見的。」 39 他們說:「我們的父就是亞伯拉罕!」耶穌說:「你們若是亞伯拉罕的兒子,就必行亞伯拉罕所行的事。 40 我將在神那裡所聽見的真理告訴了你們,現在你們卻想要殺我,這不是亞伯拉罕所行的事。 41 你們是行你們父所行的事。」他們說:「我們不是從淫亂生的。我們只有一位父,就是神!」

出於神的必聽神的話

42 耶穌說:「倘若神是你們的父,你們就必愛我。因為我本是出於神,也是從神而來;並不是由著自己來,乃是他差我來。 43 你們為什麼不明白我的話呢?無非是因你們不能聽我的道。 44 你們是出於你們的父魔鬼,你們父的私慾你們偏要行。他從起初是殺人的,不守真理,因他心裡沒有真理。他說謊是出於自己,因他本來是說謊的,也是說謊之人的父。

 

 

 

 

Categories: ENGLISH SERMON