Things get pretty acrimonious in this exchange between Jesus and the Jews. And it came down to this question, “Whose child are you?”
It was a question that swirled around Jesus, and it’s possible that when the Jews protested, “We are not illegitimate children” (41), they were intimating at the rumor that Jesus himself was an illegitimate child, as Mary had gotten pregnant with Jesus before Joseph married her. There were doubtless many questions about his true father since they had no way to know that Jesus was placed in Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.
But to get back to the question, whose child are you?
Jesus talks about the characteristics of a true child of God. First, they would act like Abraham did. (39) How did Abraham act?
He believed in God. He trusted God implicitly. (Genesis 15:6)
He acted on his faith. Both in leaving his own homeland to go where God led him. And in being willing to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice.
He had room in his heart for God’s word. When God spoke, he listened. Children of God are children of truth. That is, they love the truth, and will hold to it. Though the truth may hurt sometimes, they don’t close their ears because of it. Rather they hear, they listen, and they grow. (John 8:44-47)
The final characteristic of a child of God is that they love Jesus, and out of their love for him, they follow him. (42) How can we not love the one who gave up heaven to die on the cross for our sins.
But the Jews in this passage did none of these things, and so proved who their true father was.
How about you? Whose child are you?