Summary: He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
In the first eleven verses we see that the woman is caught in adultery and brought before Christ. The rest of chapter eight builds on that story. She is a sinner who deserves judgment, but Christ shows that He is the Light; anyone who follows Him will walk in the light of life. This sinner who deserves punishment instead receives mercy, and the Pharisees can’t stand it. He says, “If the Son shall set you free you are free indeed. They try to refute this by saying they have never been slaves, but He shows that anyone who sins is a slave to sin.
They also think that being Abraham’s seed somehow exempts them from needing the Son, and His answer to them is where we’ll pick up today.
Before we get into the passage I want to remind you that this is not a Doctrines of Grace proof text. It does indeed support what we call the Doctrines of Grace, but these Pharisees had no trouble with predestination or election. They didn’t even have any trouble with reprobation. The main purpose here is to show that the gospel is confirmed to Abraham’s true seed. There will be some who assume to be God's sons but they are shown false by their works.
Now, let’s deal with their assumption of being Abraham’s seed. To get an idea of what they mean, let’s turn back to Genesis 22. Abraham prepared to offer Isaac on the altar and the Lord stopped him just in time. This test proved Abraham’s faith and God says, “By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (v.16-18).
They believe that because they have the DNA of Abraham that this passage speaks of them. Jesus answers,
37I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me,
Obviously they’re his descendants, but they want to kill Christ. These two things don’t go together. Abraham’s seed loves God and God’s Son. But they don’t,
because my word hath no place in you.
They want to kill Him because there’s no room for His word. Now remember, His word is the testimony He’s given about being the Son of God. There is “no place” in them for this. If you look up “place” in Greek you’ll find that there are eight other times this word is used in the New Testament. Largely it means to receive something or to contain it. John says the whole world wouldn’t be big enough to “contain” all the books that could be written about Christ’s miracles (Jn. 21:25). They can’t contain His word. There’s no place for it. It doesn’t fit.
38I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Note the contrast here between the two fathers. All the things Jesus said and did were patterned after what the Father wanted. The Pharisees, however, said and did the things patterned after their father’s will. We’re not told yet who this is but it’s made clear in a moment.
39They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
When Abraham heard the gospel he believed and rejoiced. “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be” (Romans 4:11-18).