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Weekly Devotion – John 8:19

By Mike Caton

John 8:19, Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

These religious leaders ask Jesus where his father is. What do they mean by this? Jesus has been referring to God as his father, these men completely reject that idea. But maybe they are asking where God is in the trouble Jesus is facing, as a test or a taunt. We assume Joseph, Jesus’ earthly and adoptive father, has already died. So that might be a stab at Jesus’ feelings as well. Or maybe they have in mind the fact that Joseph admitted to not being Jesus’ father and this is another jab at Jesus’ illegitimacy. These men are not interested in Jesus’ father or his whereabouts. Their only interest is getting rid of Jesus.

But Jesus’ answer is still calm and controlled. You don’t know me or my Father. Jesus and the Father are one, so to know one is to know the other. The question then that demands to be answered is how well do we know them, both Father and Son? Do we know them like we know a TV star? We see them on TV all the time, and if we ever ran into them in town, we’d know who they are, and might even be so bold as to speak to them. Or do we know the Father and Son like a quiet neighbor? We see them in their yards, we wave at them when we pass by, we might even speak on occasion, like when the trash cans get blown into each others’ yard. Or do we know them like old and intimate friends? We’ve been together through thick and thin, through good and bad, and we came out of those situations better for it.

You see, we get to choose how close we are to God, how intimate and personal we want our relationship to be. God is not going to force himself on us. He loves us dearly, but he loves us enough to allow us to choose. How well do you know the Father and the Son?

Father, help us to get even closer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.

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