Jesus was speaking to the Jews. Earlier verses indicate He was in the temple courts (vs. 1). While some of the Jews believed in Him, others believed He was demon-possessed and lying about who He was and His purpose for being there. They sought to kill Him.
What’s interesting is these are seasoned, practicing Jews (including religious scholars). They KNEW the scripture and PROFESSED to be sons of Abraham, yet didn’t recognize the Christ right before them.
The other thing that stood out is Jesus calling them “children of the devil” (vs. 44). That reminds me of what I’ve encountered in some churches and what I’m sure we have all encountered or heard stories of; evil or hypocritical Christians. I think about how many Pastors and Prophets enter churches to tickle the ears of those who are seeking the things of God; a home, job, marriage, cars and of course…the money that’s always coming…that new “level” that is always promised. When looking over the teachings of Jesus and the prophets of old, they never did that.
If we are to follow biblical principles, we first need to learn them by opening our bibles and receiving the guidance given from God Himself. Do not trust just anyone because their charismatic ways capture your attention. Remember, Satan offered Jesus everything, “all the kingdoms of the world in all their splendor,” (Luke 4:5,6). Satan IS the ruler of this world (John 12:31, Ephesians 2:2) and He is smart enough to learn your true desires. Don’t you think he is able to give you all that you want, knowing that once you get that “blessing”, you’ll no longer have need to seek God? He is a liar and the father of lies (vs. 44)! The only way to know truth is to know God and line up everything according to His Word.
How many “children of the devil” do you entertain? Is who you entrust your spiritual teaching to actually a child of God, or of the devil? Satan is cunning. You have to seek the truth to find it. Who’s child are you? Remember, even the Jews in the text thought they had it right…