Your Father Abraham – John 8

The first book of the New Testament, Matthew, begins with this:

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.  2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.  Matthew 1:1-2 ESV

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons are referred to as the Fathers of the Faith or the Patriarchs.  Jesus referred to them often, and his disciples and the crowds He spoke to were well acquainted with them and their importance in the family of God. 

For example, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus spoke of their presence at a future heavenly banquet:

11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 8:11 ESV

Abraham is mentioned throughout the New and Old Testaments.  Jesus referred to him on multiple occasions, as did Paul in his letters, or epistles.  The writer of Hebrews includes Abraham in the faith “Hall of Fame” in Chapter 11.  Though clearly a person of great prominence in the word of God, many today are not quite sure who Abraham was or why he is so important.

Abraham is significant because he was the first person to be called out to begin the restoration of the family of faith in God. His lineage would become the royal line of Jesus Christ, who saves believers throughout all the world from our sins.  Abraham is the father of all in the family of God.  If you are a Jewish worshiper, you may have a blood connection to Abraham, though the rest of us are spiritually connected to him through our faith.

In the New Testament books of Romans and Galatians, the apostle Paul writes how we are all joined together as one after the Man of Faith, Abraham.  In the next few meditations, we will see how Abraham demonstrated his faith, most notably with his son Isaac at Mt. Moriah.

Abraham also plays a critical role in the ministry of Christ. Jesus had many discussions with opponents who sought to kill him because He “claimed” to be God. He is, but they did not believe or receive Him. One of theIr discussions centered around the person of Abraham:

31 Jesus said… “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”  34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.  John 8:31-37 (ESV)

Jesus’ opponents were angered by his statements and angrily protested:

53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets who died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered… 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So (they) said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”  58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.  John 8:53-57 (ESV)

Jesus claimed both an intimate personal relationship with Abraham and that He existed even before Abraham.  Furthermore, Jesus used the term “I am,” which his audience knew was the name God revealed about Himself to Moses at the burning bush in the desert.  Jesus was referring to himself as God.  Hearing this, those who rejected Jesus were enraged enough to seek to stone him to death.

Later, they would crucify Jesus unto death. But His voluntary sacrifice was an essential part of God’s eternal plan of salvation.  The blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament Jewish ritual sacrifices were important expressions of obedience and faith, but could not truly atone for the sins of mankind that separate all of us from God.  Only the pure sacrifice of Jesus Christ could fulfill the requirement of holiness needed to remove our separation from God and to make us holy to allow His Holy Spirit to reside within us.  The Holy Spirit cleanses believers daily through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the washing of the word of God.


Jesus said that the truth will set us free if we abide in his word.  To “abide” means to accept, act in accordance with, obey, and remain in. 

What areas of obedience do you struggle with the most?  We ask God to help us. He loves us deeply even when we fail with our word and actions.

Father God, forgive and purify us from the sin we confess to You. Help us to turn away from our sin.  Thank You for not condemning us, and help us to turn to You to become a stronger and more fruitful believer.

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