Who's Your Daddy – John 8

Who's Your Daddy – John 8

"Who's your daddy" is a phrase that has taken on almost a life of its own, being used in many different movies, tv shows, and even as the name of a reality television show. It was coopted during Bobby Knights tenure as basketball coach of Indiana University: Hoosier Daddy. While the phrase is not biblical, the reality of its question is. The answer to this question figures prominently in a discussion Jesus had with certain Jews in John 8.

Abraham was considered to be the father of the Jews. We have memorized: "Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat 12 sons who became the 12 tribes". Thus, the linage of any Jew was traced back to Abraham. Matthew begins his gospel to the Jewish people: "The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matt. 1:1). It is no small thing then that the Jewish people would bring up the 'fact' that they are Abraham's children and Abraham is thus their 'father': "We are offspring of Abraham " (Jn. 8:33).

I find it interesting that the concept of 'sonship' and 'fatherhood' had also taken on a different idea: identifying character. We too often speak of one 'being just like his father'. Thus, the Jewish people would use the phrase 'son of' to identify one's character. Barnabas was 'the son of consolation' (Acts 4:36). James and John were 'the sons of thunder' (Mark 3:17). Christians are to be 'children of light' (Eph. 5:8, 1Thess. 5:5) and to no longer walk in darkness. To be 'the son of' was understood not only as a statement of physical descent, but of character.

While Jesus acknowledge that these Jewish people had Abraham as their father in the physical sense (vs. 37), He also pointed out that they totally lacked the character of Abraham. "If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did" (39). He was even more pointed in saying: "you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did" (vs. 39).

Physically they were the offspring of Abraham; spiritually they were the offspring of Satan. Like father, like son.

1) Satan was a liar, a being that played fast and loose with truth. Speaking lies was 'his native language (NIV); he "speaks from his own nature" (NAS95), he "speaks out of his own character"(ESV).

2) He was a murderer from the beginning causing death to enter our world by deceiving Eve.

3) He opposed God throughout the Old Testament, and now was opposing Jesus, the Son of God.

The Jewish leaders were indeed of their father the devil. They were willing to lie about Jesus and His words in order to fabricate the excuse to execute Him. They thus became murderers, even as Satan. In all of this, they opposed and withstood the word of God as they refused to hear the words of Jesus. If they were children of Abraham spiritually, they would have walked in the steps of Abraham (cp. vs. 39 and Romans 4:12). Following the character of Abraham, they would have been children of God. They were neither.

Now, the question comes to us: "Who's YOUR daddy"? Being children of God by creation is common to all men, even those who are evil. Being children of God spiritually is being LIKE God in our character. We begin this relationship by being born again (John 3). Having been buried in baptism, we are raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4). Being baptized into Christ, we became not only children of Abraham but also sons of God (Gal. 3:26-29). That is the beginning, then, like new born children, we grow up in our character to be LIKE our Father by thinking and acting like our Father. In our actions and words, we are to reflect the very glory and honor of God's character. Such is a tall order indeed. So, as people watch you live out your faith, how do they answer the question; "Who's your daddy"?  

Hugh DeLong