Jesus says, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The only source of truth that we have is the word of God. And truth is what releases people from the bondage of sin and the enemy.
But the Jews say they have never been in bondage because they are descendants of Abraham. Jesus responds, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you… If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.”
Jesus explains to them who their father is – “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
There are only two walks of life: one of faith in Jesus (the righteous) and one of unbelief (the unrighteous). There is no in-between. You either belong to God, the Father of truth, or to Satan, the father of lies.
The unbelieving Jews ask Jesus if He is greater than their father Abraham. “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’” Jesus calling Himself “I AM” is Him once again declaring to be the eternal God that existed before the life of Abraham. Remember I AM is the same name that God used to describe Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). Therefore, the Jews know that Jesus referring to Himself as I AM is the same as Jesus calling Himself God, which infuriates them. So “they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
Then Jesus sends out seventy disciples two by two and says to them, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” When the disciples return full of joy, they say, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Jesus responds, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
We end the reading with Jesus once again teaching the disciples about prayer. “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?… If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
The best gift anyone can receive is the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who seals the believers’ salvation, sanctifies us, provides wisdom, convicts us of sins, empowers us to be bold witnesses, and gifts us for the work of the ministry! So if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and received the gift of the Holy Spirit and eternal life, repent of your sins and ask to be saved, and salvation will be given to you. Then you too will have your name written in heaven, just like the disciples we read about today.
More teaching from Jesus tomorrow, so keep reading. (John 8:21-59, Luke 10:1-11:13)