Why unbelief runs in the family (John 8)

Have you ever thought that if you could just have met Jesus that there’s no question, you’d definitely have believed in him? Yet in John’s gospel we learn that in Jesus’ own lifetime many people, including those who you’d think were the most likely candidates, simply refuse to believe what Jesus tells them, even when all the evidence in front of them.

Why is that? Why is it that some people believe in Jesus and others want absolutely nothing to do with him? In John 8 we get the answer as Jesus explains to us that it’s all about which family you belong to; the family of God or the family of the devil.

Jesus’ diagnosis is tough listening and focussing on the negative reactions that so many people have to the gospel isn’t a light, airy way to spend half an hour, but it is vitally important. As we make sense of unbelief it allows us to better make sense of our world and also shows us that there is an antidote to unbelief and gives us great motivation to want to take it.

Listen now to this week’s talk on John 8 by clicking here.

You can also view the Truth at Work notes on John 8 by clicking here.

And here are some questions you might like to chew over as you consider this passage.


1) What reason does Jesus give in John 8:39-59 for the people not believing believe him?
2) How does their behaviour vindicate his claims?
3) What is Jesus actually claiming in this chapter about himself?
4) What is on offer for those who hear Jesus’ words and believe in / trust him?