This passage of scripture deals with who is the father of the unbelieving Jews. The answer concerning who Jesus was talking to can be found in John 8:31 and 33. These are the unbelieving Jews. This section of John 8 deals with why these Jews do not believe in Jesus. It reveals that they are not the children of Abraham, but of the Satan.
In verse 33, they claim to be the seed of Abraham. This is an important fact because it will serve as the foundation for Jesus’ discussion of who their spiritual father is. Starting with Verse 37, Jesus says that He knows they are Abraham’s seed. He says “…but ye seek to kill me… If they were truly Abraham’s seed, they would recognize who Jesus is, and would readily receive Him. The reason for this being Jesus’ words have no place in them. They are constantly debating with Him. Jesus speaks what He has seen and heard of the true Father. In verse 38, Jesus says that they have a different father. Jesus will bear this out later. They needed a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. This is necessary in order to become a follower of Jesus.
Jesus had been talking to these people concerning spiritual things. Whenever He suggested that there might be a lack in their lives (which He could fill), they reacted violently and defensively. Toward the end of this chapter, they attempt to stone Him.
They claim they have all they need. They did not understand what Jesus was trying to tell them. Their thought their religious traditions were enough. They claimed they were alright because their ancestry reached back to Abraham. God’s promises were made to Abraham and his descendants. http://ref.ly/Ge17.7 and http://ref.ly/Ge22.16-18. They did not possess the faith that Abraham had.
In response to their statement, Jesus made a number of penetrating statements. Such statements were not accepted by these Jews. They thought they were “safe.” There was an inconsistency concerning what they professed to be, and what they actually were. On the one hand, they professed to be religious people. Abraham was a man approved by God because he walked with God. He was a friend of God. They claimed the same facts.