When asked, many little boys will say, “When I grow up I want to be just like my father.” Certainly, any father would be honored to hear this statement from his son, especially if he were setting an exemplary model for his son to follow. Imagine the father’s joy as he sees his son doing things just as he taught him.
In our text, Jesus points out to those who claim to be children of Abraham that they are not living faithfully according to their Father’s example. Rather than recognizing the promised Messiah and following his teaching, they take umbrage, and begin plotting and devising ways to have him arrested and killed. True children of God do as the Father teaches. The scribes and Pharisees, though claiming a relationship with God through Abraham, failed in this respect, for Jesus and the Father are one.
Christians today struggle with this same concept. Many claim to be children of God, yet they continue to point to their own self-righteous living, highlighting their good works while judging others. All too often their actions are more in tune with the ways of our sinful world.
In order to be known as children of God, we must strive to do as our Lord teaches. Only then can we say “I want to be like my Father.”
Prayer: Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word, that we may follow the example of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
Image: Summerall Chapel, The Citadel – Charleston, SC (2015)