John 8:31-59Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Truth Will Set You Free
31 Jesus told the people who had faith in him, “If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered, “We are Abraham’s children! We have never been anyone’s slaves. How can you say we will be set free?”
34 Jesus replied:
I tell you for certain that anyone who sins is a slave of sin! 35 And slaves don’t stay in the family forever, though the Son will always remain in the family. 36 If the Son gives you freedom, you are free! 37 I know that you are from Abraham’s family. Yet you want to kill me, because my message isn’t really in your hearts. 38 I am telling you what my Father has shown me, just as you are doing what your father has taught you.
Your Father Is the Devil
39 The people said to Jesus, “Abraham is our father!”
Jesus replied, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did. 40 Instead, you want to kill me for telling you the truth that God gave me. Abraham never did anything like that. 41 But you are doing exactly what your father does.”
“Don’t accuse us of having someone else as our father!” they said. “We just have one father, and he is God.”
42 Jesus answered:
If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own. 43 Why can’t you understand what I am talking about? Can’t you stand to hear what I am saying? 44 Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.
45 Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me. 46 Can any of you accuse me of sin? If you cannot, why won’t you have faith in me? After all, I am telling you the truth. 47 Anyone who belongs to God will listen to his message. But you refuse to listen, because you don’t belong to God.
Jesus and Abraham
48 The people told Jesus, “We were right to say that you are a Samaritan[a] and that you have a demon in you!”
49 Jesus answered, “I don’t have a demon in me. I honor my Father, and you refuse to honor me. 50 I don’t want honor for myself. But there is one who wants me to be honored, and he is also the one who judges. 51 I tell you for certain that if you obey my words, you will never die.”
52 Then the people said, “Now we are sure that you have a demon. Abraham is dead, and so are the prophets. How can you say that no one who obeys your words will ever die? 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I honored myself, it would mean nothing. My Father is the one who honors me. You claim that he is your God, 55 even though you don’t really know him. If I said I didn’t know him, I would be a liar, just like all of you. But I know him, and I do what he says. 56 Your father Abraham was really glad to see me.”
57 “You are not even fifty years old!” they said. “How could you have seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that even before Abraham was, I was, and I am.”[b] 59 The people picked up stones to kill Jesus, but he hid and left the temple.
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