There’s No Middle Ground
Who is your father, friends? Jesus makes it clear that there are two fathers. One is the Heavenly Father and the other is the enemy of our souls. There’s no middle ground.
Bible Reading of the Day: John 7-8
Jesus speaks to the Pharisees and the scribes about where He is from and where they are from. He tries to get them to stop judging by outward appearances.
There’s No Middle Ground—Follow Jesus, Not the World
Jesus’ brothers offer counsel to Jesus at the beginning of our reading today.
“3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples can see your works that you are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he’s seeking public recognition. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.)
6 Jesus told them, “My time has not yet arrived, but your time is always at hand. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it does hate me because I testify about it—that its works are evil. 8 Go up to the festival yourselves. I’m not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said these things, he stayed in Galilee.”
The world will try to get us to do things in a worldly way, but there’s no middle ground. We either are worldly or godly.
There’s No Middle Ground—Walk in the Light or the Darkness
What is popular with the world is not popular with God. Jesus’ brothers were operating in a secular mindset, how Jesus could be famous. Jesus was not seeking fame. He was seeking hearts. He spoke truth and called out their sin. The religious leaders had a problem with that. When we speak truth, friends, we will not be popular in the world, either.
John 8:12 “Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
John 8:23, “You are from below,” he told them, “I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.”
What Jesus said was a slap in the face to the religious leaders who were supposed to teach others about God. But we are either in the light or in the dark. There’s no middle ground.
There’s No Middle Ground—Be in God’s Word
Jesus painted a picture of what it means for the leaders to have Satan as their father and what it means to have God as their Father.
Those whose father is the devil don’t believe in God’s word. Those who believe in the Heavenly Father continue and keep God’s word. Those who have Satan as their father are slaves to sin.
31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 “We are descendants of Abraham,” they answered him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus responded, “Truly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. 37 I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill me because my word has no place among you. 38 I speak what I have seen in the presence of the Father; [e] so then, you do what you have heard from your father.”
There’s No Middle Ground—Keep God’s Word
The religious leaders did not appreciate being told that their father was Satan. So they called Jesus a devil.
John 8:48-49, “The Jews responded to him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you’re a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 “I do not have a demon,” Jesus answered. “On the contrary, I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and judges. 51 Truly I tell you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
54 “If I glorify myself,” Jesus answered, “my glory is nothing. My Father—about whom you say, ‘He is our God’—he is the one who glorifies me. 55 You do not know him, but I know him. If I were to say I don’t know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.”
If we are in Christ, we will not just say God’s word. We will keep it and live by it. There’s no middle ground. We will either be in His word and live by it or we won’t.
[Most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11.] This is also the case for Mark 16:9-20. Got Questions.org has this to say about these verses:
“The occasional phrase, verse, or section may come under scholastic review and debate, but no important doctrine of Scripture is put in doubt due to these uncertainties. That the manuscripts are the subject of ongoing scholarship does not prove there is something wrong with God’s Word; it is a refining fire—one of the very processes God has ordained to keep His Word pure. A belief in inerrancy underpins a reverent, careful investigation of the text.”
Scripture of the Day:
“16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies.”
- Who is your father, friends?
- There are many in the Christian culture who do not continue in God’s word. They don’t keep God’s word, either.
- How can we claim Christ if we do not obey Him?
- If the religious leaders were called out back then, we will be called out, too.
- If God is our Father, we will look like our Father.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #216: John 7-8
Scripture of the Day: John 7:16-18
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