In John 8, the religious leaders are again ready to kill Jesus. It wasn’t just that they wanted to kill Jesus because of blasphemy. They wanted to kill Him because He told them the truth — that they were sinning. They also weren’t following the Law.
No one wants to be told they’re sinning, or that they aren’t following God in truth, but especially those who have high religious positions.
Maybe if Jesus approved of them and told them so, then they would’ve decided He was the Christ.
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.” (John 8:39-40)
Jesus refers to Himself as a man here. He’s not proclaiming His Messiahship, just that He told them the truth. And the truth was that they were sinning.
Abraham followed God. If they truly were Abraham’s children, then they would follow God. As it was, they were adding to the Law, stealing and cheating, and burdening the people whom they were to be helping. When called on it by Jesus, they got angry.
They hated Jesus in their hearts. They certainly weren’t listening to what He had to say. “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court… (Matthew 5:21-22). and Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer… (1 John 3:15).
They wanted to murder Jesus. Abraham heard the truth and wanted to follow God. He gave his offering to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20).
What do I do when I’m told I’m sinning, when the Holy Spirit puts His finger on that sin?
I’ve always seen this chapter as the Pharisees and religious leaders upset about Jesus calling Himself the Christ. After all, they picked up stones to throw at Him only after He said, “I am”.
But leading up to that, all He talked about was that they didn’t believe Him when He spoke the truth. They weren’t following truth. They weren’t following the Law. And Jesus had shown that over and over again.
They lied. They said they were Abraham’s children. But Abraham believed truth and followed God. Lying is of the devil.
They were following lies, not truth. Therefore, they were children of the devil, not Abraham. (John 8:44)
All this Jesus explained without calling Himself the Christ. And it was enough for them to want to kill Him. They hated the truth He revealed. And Jesus is truth. So they hated Jesus.
So again, I ask, what do I do when I’m told I’m sinning, when the Holy Spirit puts His finger on that sin?
I pray that I receive His correction with joy, that I repent in humility, that I’m just a little more like Jesus, with my light shining brighter. Lord, let it be. And I pray that I love more purely, more boldly, and more like my Father.