Who Was Jesus Calling Children Of The Devil?

Q. Your website is a blessing to me. I listen to your mp3’s nearly all night while I’m working. Someone I know questioned me about John 8:31. This verse speaks of “the Jews who believed in him (Jesus) and then in the next few verses Jesus calls them children of the devil that wanted to kill him. If they believed in him I don’t understand how this could be.

A. It was the time of the Feast of Tabernacles in John 8 and Jesus was teaching large crowds in the Temple precincts. There were many in the crowd who believed in Him, and also some Pharisees who were challenging Him. In John 8:31 Jesus was addressing the believers, but in verse 33 it was the Pharisees who answered Him. They are the ones he called children of the devil (John 8:44).

This would shortly turn into a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees that would result in their attempt to stone Him to death. When He exclaimed, “Before Abraham was, I am!” in John 8:58 He was claiming to be God, which to the Pharisees was a crime punishable by immediate death.

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