Up to this point John has recorded that Jesus called himself “the Bread of Life” (6:34, 48), the Water of Life (7:37-38), and now, in chapter 8, he records that Jesus said he was “the Light of the world” (8:12).
One of the main themes in chapter 8 is identity. Jesus is identifying himself through his relationship with his Father.
The Father sent me (8:16)
The Father bears witness about me (8:18)
The Father is the same as Jesus (8:19)
The Father has taught Jesus (8:28)
The Father is with Jesus (8:29)
Jesus was saying: “Life Father like Son.”
Of course, such claims will not go unchallenged by the Pharisees. They chafe against such statements and retorted that “We are offspring of Abraham” (8:33), and that “Abraham is our father” (8:39).
Jesus points out that there is a natural and logical character or identity connection between a father and his son. That’s why we have sayings like “Life father, like son” or “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Jesus points out that the Pharisees “works” are not consistent with Abraham’s character, but are in fact consistent with the works or character of the devil! Yikes. So much for winning friends and influencing people😊. I find it refreshing that Jesus is not concerned with being popular.
In response, the Pharisees fire back with a couple stinging statements; “We were not born of sexual immorality” (referring to the apparent immorality of Mary and Joseph), “you are a Samaritan”* and “You have a demon.”
Name calling always means you are losing the argument.
Here’s the question: How do you define yourself? Where do you go for your identity? Do we find it in our lineage? Our work? Our zip code? Our 401K? Our cars? Etc, etc.
As believers in Jesus, our truest identity, the most real definition of ourselves is that we are a beloved, adopted child of God. Rest in that.
Enjoy Walking with the Savior Today, John
*for a brief explanation of the Samaritans, see my post on John 4 “The Sketchy Samaritan Woman”