John 8:48

The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” (ESV)

  1. The tone and nature of this conversation takes a significant turn. This crowd is no longer just doubting his identity and questioning his claims but now they turning to name calling and insults.
    At this point, the crowd has run out of ways to respond to him and so now they simply question his character and his sanity.

    For a crowd to call him a Samaritan is a huge insult coming from a Jew. The Jews hated the Samaritans. The Samaritans were a group of people who had Jewish roots but centuries earlier had intermarried with Gentiles and so they were considered half-breeds. Not true Jews. But not only that but they had had a religion that was part rooted in the Old Testament and part their own made up religion. And so the Jews wanted nothing to do with the Samaritans. And so for a Jew to call another Jew a Samaritan—these were fighting words, these were throwing down the gloves words. They were saying you are not really a Jew and your teaching is false and your God is false.

    But not only did they call him a Samaritan but they called him demonic. They were saying the words that you are saying are of the devil. The only way you could be saying these thing is if you were not in your right mind, if you were demon-possessed.

    I think a big part of their response is they were pushing back on Jesus from the words that he had just said to them. He just told them that their father was the devil. And so when we read verse 48, it is almost like we are hearing them saying, “oh yeah, well, you of the devil.” They have no real response Jesus. He condemns their sinful and selfish hearts and they have no response. And when you have no real response. You attack the character of the one who is speaking.

    When we begin throwing out insults and accusations to people, what really ends up happening is that we are revealing our own inner wounds and inner hurts. When we reach that point where we want to verbally attack people and hurt people we are speaking out of our own pain.

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