Lenten Devotional – Day 17 – Tightening the Screws
Key Bible Verse: (Jesus said) “‘You are of your father the devil.’ …” – John 8:44a
Bonus Reading: John 8:31-45
Jesus stands firm. But His enemies are standing firm too. The only way He can save them is by bringing them out of their darkness into His light. So Jesus first offers a promise, then He tightens the screws.
He begins with the promise, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” But in pride and arrogance they claim they are already free.
So Jesus explains their true condition, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” They just aren’t getting it. So, slowly, Jesus knocks each prop of self-righteousness out from under them.
They claim to be Abraham’s children, but they are not because Abraham would have welcomed Him, not seek to kill Him as they are.
They claim God is their father, but if they were God’s children they would love Him and receive Him as God’s Son.
There is only one reason why they cannot stomach what Jesus is saying: their father isn’t God; their father is the devil!
Just as he murdered Adam and Eve by his lies, and brought darkness and death on all God’s good creation, so are they now seeking to murder Jesus— God’s only begotten Son.
How could Jesus have been any more clear and to the point? Their thoughts and desires, their words and their deeds were making that very clear.
And what about us? Jesus asks you and me to examine our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions. Do they look more like God or like Satan?
Who is your father?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I was born a child of Satan through my sinful nature, but You gave me new birth as Your child in Baptism. By Your Spirit empower me to live as Your child and love what You command. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.