Father Abraham

Jesus and the Jews discuss their origins. The Jews argue they are sons of Abraham, but Jesus asks why they do not behave like Abraham if they are his descendants. The math points to a similar case made by Paul in the book of Galatians.

John 8:28-59

28Again Joshua said to them, Whenever you have lifted up the son of man then you will understand who I am and I do nothing of my own accord, but as my father has taught me so I speak just like him. 29He who sent me is with me and my father has never left me alone, because I always do what pleases him. 30While he was speaking these words a great many believed in him. 31Joshua said to the Jews who believed in him, If you stay in my word you are truly my disciples 32and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. John 8:31-3233They said to him, We are the seed of Abraham and we have never been enslaved to any man. How do you say, You will be free people? John 8:33FA 34Joshua said to them, Truly truly I say to you whoever commits sin is a servant of sin. 35A servant does not remain in the house forever but the son remains forever. 36Therefore if the son will make you free you will be free. 37I know you are the children of Abraham, but still you want to kill me because you have no room for my word in you. 38I speak what I have seen with my father and you do what you have seen with your father. John 8:34-3839They answered saying to him, Our own father is Abraham. John 8:39Joshua said to them, If you were the children of Abraham you would be doing the works of Abraham, 40but now you want to kill me, FA even a man who has told you the truth which I heard from god. Abraham did not do this, 41but you do the works of your father. A Genesis 21:9 John 8:39-41They said to him, We are not born of fornication. We have 1 father, god. John 8:4142Joshua said to them, FA If god were your father you would love me for I proceeded and came from god. I did not come of my own accord but he sent me. 43Therefore, why do you not understand my word? Because you cannot hear my word. 44You are from the father of accusation and you want to do the lusts of your father who was a killer of men from the beginning and who never stands by the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks he speaks his own lie, because he is a liar, also its father. A Genesis 3:4-5 FA 45Because I speak the truth you do not believe me. 46Which one of you can rebuke me because of sin? If I speak the truth why do you not believe me? 47He who is from god, hears god's words. For this reason you do not hear, because you are not from god. John 8:42-4748The Jews answered and they said to him, Did we not correctly say that you are a Samaritan FA and a demon is in you? John 8:4849Joshua said to them, FA A demon is not in me but I honor my father and you dishonor me. 50I do not seek my glory. There is one who seeks and judges. 51Truly truly I say to you whoever preserves my word will never see death. John 8:49-5152The Jews said to him, FA Now we are sure that a demon is in you. Abraham and the prophets have died yet you say, Whoever preserves my word will never taste death. 53Are you greater than our father Abraham who died and the prophets who died? Whom do you make yourself? John 8:52-5354Joshua said to them, FA If I honor myself my honor is nothing, but it is my father who honors me, the one of whom you say, He is our god. 55Yet you have not known him but I know him and if I should say, I do not know him, I would be a liar like yourselves, but I do know him and I obey his word. 56Your father Abraham desired to see my day and saw it and was glad. John 8:54-5657The Jews said to him, You are not yet 50 years old and you have seen Abraham? John 8:5758Joshua said to them, FA Truly truly I say to you, before Abraham was born I was. John 8:5859They took up stones to stone him and Joshua hid himself and went out from the temple and passed through the middle of them and went away. John 8:59 (John 8:28-59 BRB)


1+50 = 51 = Galatians


The middle third of the book of Galatians deals exclusively with Abraham, his sons, and the relationship between Jews and Gentiles. The point is made that physical descent is not as important as living like Abraham. Someone who lives like Abraham, but further away genetically, is a son of the promises to Abraham. Here's a part of the longer discussion.

21Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22For it is written that Abraham had 2 sons, 1 by a slave woman and 1 by a free woman. 23He who was born of the slave woman was born after the flesh. He who was born of the free woman was born by promise. Galatians 4:21-2324These things are a symbol of the 2 contracts. The one from Mount Sinai gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar. 25For Hagar is the mount of Sinai in Arabia and surrenders to Jerusalem which now is and is in bondage with her children. 26But, the Jerusalem which is above, is free, and is the mother of us all, 27for it is written: Make merry you barren who do not bear, rejoice and cry you who do not travail, for the children of the desolate are more numerous than the children of the wife. Q Isaiah 54:1 Galatians 4:24-2728We, my brothers, are the children of promise, as was Isaac. 29As then, he who was born after the flesh, persecuted him who was born after the spirit, so even now. 30Yet, what does the writing say? Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the female servant will not inherit with the son of the free woman. Q Genesis 21:10 31We, therefore, my brothers, are not children of the female servant, but children of the free woman. Galatians 4:28-31 (Galatians 4:21-31 BRB)

The point behind both this passage in Galatians and that Jesus was making with the Jews is that it's more important to live like Abraham than to rely on special privilege based upon ancestry.