“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.'” John 8:42-43 (NIV).
Now that’s a penetrating question! ‘Why is my language not clear to you?’ There is nothing complicated about the language Jesus used. He was probably speaking Hebrew, and His hearers would have understood His words, but there was a reason for their not understanding what He was saying. They were not able to hear what He said.
Their ability to understand was connected to their belief and their choice. They had chosen not to believe that He was speaking the truth and they could therefore not understand what He was saying. They filtered His words through their belief system which was programmed according to a certain expectation – and Jesus did not fit their expectation.
The bottom line was that they did not want to believe Him because it demanded a different way of life. It didn’t suit them to believe in Him because they loved the money and the acclaim they got from their exalted position as religious leaders. If they accepted the truth of what He taught them, they would have to step down from their privileged position and place themselves under His authority, and that was unthinkable!
But there was an even more fundamental problem. “‘You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet, because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me.'” John 8:44, 45(NIV).
Jesus zeroed in on the real reason for their rejection of His words. There was no affinity between Him and them because they belonged to a different family. The nature of their source was completely different from His. They were the offspring of the devil because they were acting and speaking just like their father! The fruit reveals the root.
Jesus gave us the clearest thumbnail sketch of the character of Satan. He is a liar, the originator of lies and speaks only the language of lies. Therefore, those who imitate him are aligned with him. That does not mean that he gave birth to those who resemble him. That would make it impossible for people to be rescued from slavery to him.
The Apostle Paul, quoting a Greek poet, declared that we are God’s offspring (Acts 17:28); we are God’s children, created in His image with the potential to reflect Him. When the devil lured Eve into disobedience, she was deceived. Adam disobeyed God, gave his allegiance to Satan and dragged the human race into slavery to the devil.
Jesus mounted a rescue from Satan’s dominion by buying us back from the slave market of sin, but it demands our choice to walk away from our old master by believing and receiving our new Master, Jesus.
Since these religious leaders chose not to accept Jesus’ offer of freedom, they remained under the dominion of their “father”, the devil and therefore could only speak his language – lies.
If we really want to get out of the devil’s clutches and live in the freedom of God’s loving rule, we will have to hate our sin. As long as we love darkness rather than light because of our evil deeds, we will have the same attitude to Jesus as the scribes and Pharisees had. We will hate Him, reject Him and want to get rid of Him so that we are not accountable to Him.
The lie of the devil is that we can escape the penalty of our unbelief. We may be able to get away with it in this life, but the day of reckoning is coming when we will have to give an account of what we did with the lives God gave us. No one will escape that day. If we are foolish enough to believe the devil’s lies, we will have to pay the penalty of our foolishness.
Truth is truth. It cannot be tampered with or changed and it will never be destroyed. Jesus said, ‘I am the truth.’ And proved it by rising from the dead. Why not believe Him?
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.