Why do you misunderstand what I am saying? It is because your spiritual ears are deaf and you are unable to hear the truth of my word. You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what his natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me and continue in your unbelief.
I was just like many children growing up in a house where the rules were not exactly as I would have liked. I would test the boundaries and try to get my parents to stretch and bend their regulations ever so slightly wherever I could. When I was found to have broken a rule, I had every excuse in the book to explain why my infraction was really no infraction at all. I also would try to argue my reasoning for why the rule was not sound to begin with. This was not the heart of an obedient child who wanted to honor the desires of his parents. This was the heart of a child who wanted his own way and simply did not trust that his mother and father knew the right way. I had chosen not to believe or trust in my parents’ words of correction and wisdom.
Earlier in this passage, Jesus was explaining to some of God’s people their need for a savior to free them. He was speaking words of absolute truth which carry with them the implication of eternity. Their response was to argue against every word Jesus said. He told them that He was there to set them free, but they claimed to be free already. They professed that the Almighty God is their Father, yet they rejected what the Father spoke through the Son. For every one of Jesus’s words of correction and wisdom, they had a reason not to believe him. These men were not who they thought they were. They claimed to be children of God, but their lack of belief in his word showed that they were children of Satan. Instead of having faith in God’s truth, they decided to rest on a truth they created themselves, which was a lie.
The word of God can be difficult and uncomfortable for us to accept. Even for those who carry discernment through the Holy Spirit, they will be challenged by God’s truth. The children of God will accept and stand on that truth even before understanding arrives. They will trust that the Lord cannot lie and will exercise faith in his word unconditionally. Those who argue against God’s truth, try to manipulate it, or even create their own truths as a substitute are not behaving as God’s children should. Those are the actions of the children of Satan. The children of God are to have faith in his word simply because it is his. Father, increase our faith that we would behave as your children and trust in your word even when we lack understanding because we know your word is always true.