Summary: This passage shatters man’s concept of himself, but it’s a passage that has to be studied very carefully because it is one of the shocking truths revealed by Jesus.
READ passage. This passage shatters man’s concept of himself, but it’s a passage that has to be studied very carefully because it is one of the shocking truths revealed by Jesus. To outline tonight’s study.
I. Man is a sinner and short of God’s glory.
II. Man sins because he is depraved, that is, born illegitimately. (I’ll explain that in a minute.)
Depravity means that a person is always short of God’s glory, and is always coming short of God, and is always failing to measure up to God. Very simply, man is not holy as God is holy. He’s not perfect like God. That’s because man is born with a sinful nature—a nature that is imperfect and as radically different from God’s perfect nature as it can be.
READ v. 41. Jesus is stating the fact that man sins by doing the deeds of and following after a father other than God. That’s because sin is not of God. Evil deeds are not of God. So they must be of another father.
A person who sins and does evil is following another father, an illegitimate father. After all, aren’t sin and evil due to the nature of the devil? Man sins because he is in the family likeness of that father, the devil. Like we said last week, man still denies that fact.
These religionists that Jesus was talking to knew exactly what Jesus was saying. They knew He was speaking spiritually and that He was charging them with being sinful and depraved, always coming short. They knew He was charging them with following some father other that the Father of heaven. How do we know they knew that? Because they immediately come back and say, “We are not illegitimate children. The only Father we have is God himself.” So they knew what Jesus was saying.
These Pharisees, like most people, denied that they had an idolatrous father. In their minds God was their Father and they were children of God, and there was no question about it. If you had talked to them one on one, you would see that they claimed:
• They believed in and professed the God of the Bible.
• They worshipped the true God.
• They followed the true God.
• They did enough good to be accepted by God.
• They had not done enough evil deeds to be rejected by God.
• They had done the best they could do to please God.
• They had enough godly heritage to be accepted by God.
The tragic fact is that the vast majority of people make the very same claim, refusing to accept the truth. What Christ was doing was trying to get men to see the truth. Men desperately need to turn away from their evil deeds to God, to genuinely believe and diligently seek God.
READ 42-43. The first proof of man’s depravity is that man doesn’t love Jesus. Picture the scene. God sent His Son into the world and man doesn’t recognize him, doesn’t recognize His words, or His works.
If man were of God, that is, of the same spiritual world and dimension as Jesus, he would recognize Jesus, His words and His works. That’s what Jesus was saying. He came from God. And any person who is of God is bound to recognize Him will love and welcome Him and not reject and oppose Him. The person who wants nothing to do with Jesus is not of the family of God, they’re not a child of God. They are a child of some father other than the Father of Jesus.
Quick note: A person cannot possibly be of God if they don’t understand the teachings of Christ OR who doesn’t open their heart to His Word.
In verse 43 we have the word “unable” or “cannot”. READ v.43. They could have understood and heard His Word, but they wouldn’t, they refused His Word.
READ v. 44. WOW! Here’s the 2nd proof of man’s depravity and that is that man shows that his father is the devil. The person’s works reveal his true father. That was last Sunday morning’s message. You should show your salvation by your works. If you are conniving and try to gloss over on the outside something that you know is not following God’s will, then you are showing the works of your REAL father, the devil.
Many may say, “That’s a terrible thing to say.” And it is. But it’s just what Jesus wants us to recognize. The fact has to be faced. The point is this: man’s sinful behavior and evil works prove that his father is not the Father of Jesus. Sinful behavior, under the table conniving are evil deeds not of the Father in heaven but of the father in hell. And all you have to do is think about it for a minute and you will see clearly what Jesus was saying.