The Children of Abraham
Today’s Gospel takes up where we left off yesterday, but this time Jesus is addressing the Jews who have come to believe in Him. He invites this group to make His word their home because from this word they will learn the truth and the truth will set them free.
The invitation is rejected as it demands that they leave aside their traditional ways of thinking, so He tries again to assure them that He has secured them a place in His Father’s house and so they will be safe and moreover they will be free.
I wonder was His reassurance met by skeptical eyes, so He evokes what lies behind this skepticism, and names it as the desire to kill him. Jesus then confronts the origins of this desire which lie in their inability to hear and understand what he is saying, their failure to take the word of God into their hearts.
The members of this group try to defend themselves by calling themselves “children of Abraham” Jesus does not query that they are the children of Abraham. He rather confronts this commitment to “Father Abraham” their father in faith, as merely formal since their desire in wanting to kill Him, cannot be aligned with the desires or the actions of Abraham: Abraham who responded in his time with all his heart and soul and understanding to the commands of God. This confrontation reaches it conclusion when Jesus asserts that they simply do unquestioningly “what your own father does”
Under pressure now they reply that “have one Father: God” Jesus again challenges their relationship with God the Father. This challenge is grounded in their inability to love Jesus. He uses this moment to reiterate that He has come from God, to carry out the work of God not of His own choice but in response to the command of God the Father who sent Him into the world.