Four characteristics of the devil’s children, who are all around us
Jesus fought the devil’s children and so do we. There are a lot of them in today’s world.
The Lord himself identified this scurrilous fraternity when he leveled the following charge against a group of Pharisees: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Jesus spoke these words in the temple during a heated exchange with the Pharisees. But this was one of several exchanges that took place between them over the course of some days (cf. John 7:10—10:21.) When we put all of the encounters together, we get a good picture of what the children of the devil are, and what they do.
The four primary characteristics of Satan’s children are these: they are murderous, liars, blind (unbelieving), and thieving. Let’s look at each separately.
First, the children of the devil are murderers. In John 7:19, Jesus exposed the Pharisees murderous intentions when he asked the Jews why they wanted to kill him. (The word “Jews,” here and elsewhere in John’s Gospel, effectively means Jewish leaders.) In 7:19 the Jews’ intent to kill Jesus appears to be something of a known fact in Jerusalem. In John 8:37 Jesus again confronted the Pharisees for their desire to kill him, and in that confrontation called them the children of the devil (8:44). Eventually the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders proved the veracity of Jesus’ words by playing a major role in his unjust arrest, condemnation, and crucifixion.
How do we find out the murderers in our day? By following the blood trail. Wherever there is murder, the devil’s children are the executioners.
While it is true that individuals and crime syndicates have murdered many people, but over the last century an overwhelming number of murders have been committed by those who run the machinery of state. The Nazi regime in Germany, the Communist regimes in China and Russia, not to mention those of certain (but not all) Islamic states, were or are murderous. The numbers are staggering, and reach or exceed 100,000,000 people.
The abortion industry, which in the United States has murdered in excess of 50,000,000 unborn children since the infamous 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, has soaked our nation’s soil with blood. It is a satanic enterprise. All its many co-conspirators are guilty of murder.
Second, the children of the devil are liars. The Jewish court that condemned Jesus was packed with false witnesses. It was also conducted in opposition to all standards of Jewish jurisprudence. Lies and lying are essential threads in the fabric of any society dominated by the devil’s children.
Liars and lies are nearly everywhere in our world. One finds them in government, media, education, business, cultural expressions, religious institutions, neighborhoods, advertizing, and more. Lying is a main street enterprise in today’s world because the devil’s kids live and work there.
Three, the children of the devil are blind to the manifest evidence of the truth. As his confrontation with the Pharisees escalated from one scene to another, Jesus finally declared them to be blind (9:41). The blindness that the Lord had in mind described the Pharisees’ persistent refusal to believe in Jesus despite the empirical evidence of his legitimacy that was offered by his healing of a man who had been blind since birth (See John 9 for the whole story). Blindness, of course, is essentially unbelief.
Blind faithlessness is all around us in today’s world, and declares its heresies from a thousand different platforms, from media to street level conversations to the refusal of politicians to deal honestly with empirical evidence that declares the truth. It’s not that the proofs for Christ and God and the Christian church aren’t on display. They are. But the faithless of today, like the Pharisees of Christ’s day, refuse to reckon with, believe, and act on empirical evidence.
Because the faithless see but refuse to believe, Christ condemns them (cf. 9:41).
Four, the children of the devil are thieves. In John 10 Jesus continued his prosecution of the Pharisees, calling them thieves (10:1-10). He wasn’t talking about petty theft. He was addressing the kind of theft that kills and destroys (10:10). The children of the devil are life-destroying crooks.
Storeowners report that theft by individual consumers is disturbingly widespread. But as with murder, the vast amount of theft in our day is perpetrated by civil governments whose ungodly taxing, regulatory policies, and meddlesome cronyism plunder the pocketbooks of their own people. Why? The devil’s kids are running the governments.
The devil’s kids are like their father, in word and deed. They’re all around us. However much they may refuse to believe there is a devil, we cannot refuse to believe that they are his children. Their active presence explains why the world is in the bad shape that it is in. The more Christian the world becomes the less we will see of murder, lying, faithlessness and theft. So, by means of the gospel of Christ let us continue to build a more Christian world. †