In everyday life we learn by comparing one thing with another. Most likely in your community you have certain sayings like, “hard as stone” or “dark as night.” These are comparisons we are all familiar with.
To make comparisons is a good way to learn because what we do not know we can compare with that which we do know. Sometimes we may see someone who reminds us of a friend, or a member of our family. If we watch carefully we can observe traits that identify that person or object, but we must know what we are looking for. We have a saying in English like this: “Birds of a feather flock together.” No matter what kind of bird, stork or whatever, they usually travel together, don’t they?
So, it is true in other considerations of life. We learn by COMPARISONS. The same things go together. Let us see what we find in John 8:37-47.
37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39 They 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.
40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
From our text I mean to examine certain areas which should help us to understand which COMPARISONS are very important.
The first Comparison:
We may say this is family identity. Each of us have certain traits that make us clearly a part of our family. You have yours, I have mine. And Jesus drew a comparison on that very point. He said to the Jews who were questioning Him, “You do what your father says, I do what my Father says.”
Yet Jesus went beyond the physical likeness. He took it to the moral and spiritual dimensions, to that part of life which controls conduct. For the most part conduct is controlled by the model we follow. Jesus said He does the Father’s will and they do their father’s will.
They appealed to the fact that Abraham was their father. While they said Abraham was their father, they were thinking only of the physical. Jesus answered them that what they were seeking to do to Him their father Abraham, if indeed he was their father, would not have done.
No claim will do in family lines until the deeds match the claim. So here is one comparison: father likeness.
There is a second Comparison:
Here they made a very futile proposal. They said God was their Father. They implied that Jesus was born of fornication because He was born of the virgin. They said, “We are not born of fornication; God is our Father.” They tried to make a spiritual appeal. Jesus tested them with a proof. He said, “If God were your Father you would love me, but you do not love me. I came from God and I am going to God but you do not love me. I proceeded forth and came from God, neither did I come of myself, but he sent me.”
Heart attitude is so very important. He said, “Why do you not understand my words? Because you cannot hear my word.” Heart attitudes are so very, very important. Empty claims are useless unless backed by proper conduct. No one can claim to be God-like and not love Jesus.
Say, I think I’d better run that one past again: no one can claim to be God-like and not love Jesus.
There is a third Comparison:
Here Jesus sets forth a very significant exclusion. He excludes the devil. He says there is no truth in him; there is no peace in him; he is a murderer and a liar from the beginning; and all who follow him are like him. He never knew what it was to walk in truth. He speaks a lie and when he does, he speaks of his own because he is the father of lies. The conclusion is a very sober one, all who follow the devil are like him. So there is also the exclusion of unbelievers.
I discovered something here, my friend; truth divides. The truth of God divides. “Why do you not believe me? I tell you the truth but you do not believe me,” Jesus said. He went on to explain that truth has its source in God. God’s words are truth.
I want you to be sure and understand this. “Which of you convicts me of sin,” Jesus asked. “If I say the truth why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears God’s word.” I must insist, my friend, that truth divides. It separates error from truth. Only those who follow God can have any claim on truth.
These comparisons strike home to us, do they not? What does your conduct reveal about you? Your father likeness is showing. I appeal to you, believe God, accept the truth, and your God likeness will be showing.