“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.’” (John 8:42 NKJV)
There was no one who showed more compassion for the downtrodden than Jesus. There was no one who showed more contempt for the religious leaders than Jesus. As He continued this discussion with Him, they sought to show how great they were. He noted that they were slaves of sin and they sneered that they had never been slaves because they were descendents of Abraham. After Jesus doused that argument they took the spiritual high road and claimed to be sons of God. Jesus, noting that their pictures weren’t in the family reunion album let them know that IF they were sons of God, they’d know Him. Then Jesus laid the kicker on them – they weren’t sons of Abraham or of God, their father was the devil.
Paul developed this idea when he talked about people either being slaves of sin or slaves of obedience leading to righteousness. Jesus and Paul would divide humanity into two groups: there are those who are slaves to sin and are of the same mindset as their father the devil or there are those who are slaves to obedience leading to righteousness who are the adopted children of God. We don’t say things like that out loud, of course, because we know many people who don’t know and follow Jesus who are nice people – from a human perspective. There are other religions that have some great teachings – from a human perspective. But, if they have not recognized that Jesus is the Son of God the Father, they are, in Jesus’s words, children of their father the devil. How do we deal with them? We show them the joy of living as the adopted children of God knowing that we too were once living in slavery to sin and of our father the devil. Show them the love God has for all His children and invite them into His family.
Lord, thank You for Your grace that made me a member of Your family. As I work among people who don’t know You and aren’t part of Your family, let me show them Your love and grace and let them know how to become a child of God.