The Faith of Abraham

We are coming to the end of the conversation that took place between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day as recorded in John 8. This is an important part of John’s Gospel.

The early chapters of John 1-4 serve to introduce the Lord Jesus Christ. The reception of Jesus by the people of Jesus’ day is, for the most part, favorable. There is no hostile reaction–yet. In the present section–John 5-8, this initially open reception turns to one of increasing hatred on the part of the leaders. These chapters begin with the controversy over the Sabbath. They end with the conversation, which is recorded in John 8. The conversation centers on the personality and example of Abraham. He is mentioned by the religious leaders and Jesus eleven times in this chapter. Abraham is not mentioned anywhere else. The first time he is mentioned is in verse 33. The leaders claim their ancestry from Abraham. God had promised to bless Abraham and his seed. They were his seed physically. Therefore, they are blessed, and they had nothing to worry about.

Against this kind of deceptive spiritual reasoning, Jesus points out that what matters with God is not physical but spiritual descent. The question that arises from this viewpoint is whether they are walking in the faith of Abraham. Do they believe in Him like Abraham did?

This point is prominent in the verses that are studied now. We have to look at the example Abraham left. What is God impressed with? How did Abraham please God? The following answers this:

1.     Abraham put the calling of God above earthly honors;

2.     Abraham believed God in spite of circumstances;

3.     Abraham placed his ultimate hope in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he rejoiced in His coming.


These religious leaders were out to retain their own honor. Jesus was honored by God. They had honor, but Jesus spoke the truth. They had power, but Jesus causes the blind to see, and the lame to walk. He honored God by knowing and obeying the Father (v. 55).

They wanted to know who Jesus thought He was. It may have been spoken in an insulting way. The religious leaders were implying that He wrongly was making Himself greater than He wrongly was making Abraham.

Jesus responds by saying “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies Me. Though you do not know Him, I know Him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep His word.” (Verses. 54-55). The world honors the successful and the ambitious man. Real honor is the honor which only eternity can reveal; and the verdicts of eternity are not the verdicts of time.

This was the example of Abraham. Read



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