Summary: Has anyone ever told you that you look like your Mom or your Dad? It is a wonderful thing that God has made us in such a way that we bare resemblance to our family
A Family Resemblance
For several weeks now we spent a great deal of time in the Old Testament learning about the origins of our faith and the Fathers of the Faith (the Patriarchs). Some of you may have enjoyed all that history and all the dirty laundry that is in our spiritual family tree.
Today we are just eight weeks away from Easter celebrations so I thought we should move into the New Testament and prepare our hearts for Easter with messages from Jesus.
The ironic thing is that even though we moved some 2,100 years forward in time to when Jesus walked on the earth we find that Abraham is still a topic of discussion. Yes Abraham lived about 4,115 years from our present time and about 2,100 years before Jesus time.
I know how some of you must feel, enough already with Abraham! But as you can see from scripture Abraham and his connection with our faith is very much a part of us. So much so that Jesus spent time discussing Abraham and our bible records it so it must be important to know and understand.
So what is this conversation all about between Jesus and the Jews who believed in Him?
This is a very interesting and practical piece of scripture that helps us distinguish our family resemblance.
Has anyone ever told you that you look like your Mom or your Dad? Maybe they said you liked like your grand-mother or grand-father or an uncle or aunt. It is a wonderful thing that God has made us in such a way that we bare resemblance to our family members.
I happen to look a lot like my Dad, so much so that people often call me by his name and then apologize and correct themselves thinking they might have offended me. I dont mind being thought of as my Dad. I am happy to be mistaken for him. For me it means that people still think of him and remember him. They remember him for who he was and for how he was.
My Dad had his own character and personality and accomplished his own things in life. But he also had his own sins to contend with and he needed to make his own peace with God through Jesus for being a sinner. This is the fact that the Jews in todays scripture missed.
Jesus is near the end of his ministry when this encounter takes place. He has been preaching and teaching for almost three years and the word about Jesus had spread far and wide. Many people besides the chosen 12 Disciples had started to follow Jesus. The people in this passage are such followers. They had believed that Jesus was the Messiah but they were not ready to believe that Jesus was God dressed in flesh.
For them the family resemblance just was not there. Instead they got into an argument about just who was related to God as one of His sons.
The argument began with a caution by Jesus that said if you are one of my disciples then you will hold to my teaching and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32
You see it is not enough to walk where Jesus walked or to talk with those whom Jesus talked to but you had to hold to the truth of what Jesus said. Your character needed to be fundamentally and eternally changed from that of a lost sinner to that of a saved saint.
The Jews resented Jesus putting them down and calling them Slaves. Them was fighting words and they got out the brass knuckles.
The Jews said well hold on a minute Jesus, how dare you of all people challenge our right to claim we are true disciples of the truth.
We are Abrahams descendants - we have a family pedigree - we were never slaves belonging to anyone. A slave can not inherit what belongs to the son since the slave is not born from the father of the house.
Jesus was putting forward the argument that no one can truly be a disciple if they are a slave to sin. The truth of God which is the word of God which is Jesus must be present in the believer or there can be no truth in them. It is not enough to look like Jesus on the outside you need to have Jesus living in you on the inside.
The Jews in this group of believers felt they had enough of God living in them through their ancestor Abraham for them there was no greater human being to be related to than Abraham so how dare this Jesus suggest they were not true sons of God.