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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 8 - Verse 44

Verse 44. Ye are of your father the devil. That is, you have the temper, disposition, or spirit of the devil. You are influenced by him, you imitate him, and ought therefore to be called his children. See also 1 Jo 3:8-10; Ac 13:10: "Thou child of the devil."

The devil. See Barnes "Mt 4:1".

 

The lusts. The desires or the wishes. You do what pleases him. Ye will do. The word will, here, is not an auxiliary verb. It does not simply express futurity, or that such a thing will take place, but it implies an act of volition. This you will or choose to do. The same mode of speech occurs in Joh 5:40. In what respects they showed that they were the children of the devil he proceeds to state:

1st. in their murderous disposition;

2nd. in rejecting the truth;

3rd. in being favourable to falsehood and error.

He was a murderer from the beginning. That is, from the beginning of the world, or in the first records of him he is thus represented. This refers to the seduction of Adam and Eve. Death was denounced against sin, Ge 2:17. The devil deceived our first parents, and they became subject to death, Ge 3:1-24. As he was the cause why death came into the world, he may be said to have been a murderer in that act, or from the beginning. We see here that the tempter mentioned in Ge 3:1 was Satan or the devil, who is here declared to have been the murderer. Comp. Re 5:12; 12:9:

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent

called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the

whole world."

Besides, Satan has in all ages deceived men, and been the cause of their spiritual and eternal death. His work has been to destroy, and in the worst sense of the word he may be said to have been a murderer. It was by his instigation, also, that Cain killed his brother, 1 Jo 3:12: "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother." As the Jews endeavoured to kill the Saviour, so they showed that they had the spirit of the devil.

Abode not in the truth. He departed from the truth, or was false and a liar.

No truth in him. That is, he is a liar. It is his nature and his work to deceive.

He speaketh of his own. The word "own" is in the plural number, and means of the things that are appropriate to him, or that belong to his nature. His speaking falsehood is originated by his own propensities or disposition; he utters the expressions of his genuine character.

He is a liar. As when he deceived Adam, and in his deceiving, as far as possible, the world, and dragging man down to perdition.

The father of it. The father or originator of falsehood. The word "it" refers to lie or falsehood understood. From him falsehood first proceeded, and all liars possess his spirit and are under his influence. As the Jews refused to hear the truth which Jesus spoke, so they showed that they were the children of the father of lies.

{r} "Ye are" Mt 13:38; 1 Jo 3:8 {s} "abode not in the truth" Jude 1:6

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