by Warren Berkley
If you watched the classic Andy Griffith TV Show, you remember Barney, Thelma Lou, Opie, and Goober. How about Earnest T. Bass? He appeared on several episodes, always in trouble for throwing rocks or bricks. “Bless his heart,” Andy once said, “he’s so ignorant, all he knows to do is throw rocks.” We laugh.
However, while not that dramatic, we all know people who are ignorant and immature. Their only reaction to what they don’t like is to throw an insult or spit out some abusive description. In acting that way, they identify themselves with a long line of “rock throwers.”
I was teaching from John chapter eight a few days ago. As I was wrapping up the class period, I said to my class: “Here is a chapter that starts and ends with rocks (see John 8:5 and John 8:59). In between, the scribes and Pharisees show their real father is not Abraham or God, but the devil. They also show they are related to Earnest T. Bass.” Those in the class familiar with the Andy Griffith series loved it. But after we laugh, we can reflect.
The scribes and Pharisees referred to in John chapter eight boasted of their connection to Abraham. Jesus answered, your efforts to kill me do not reflect any influence of Abraham (John 8:39). After that, they claim God as their Father. Jesus said, “If God were your Father, you would love me,” (John 8:42). Then Jesus kindled a shorter fuse when He said, “You are of your Father, the devil…,” (John 8:44). Jesus went on to affirm His divine existence before Abraham was. He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” This is where they identify with Earnest T. “They picked up stones to throw at him.”
Our behavior identifies us with others (good or bad). Ultimately, Christians should exhibit behavior that identifies them with God and His Son. Is God really your Father? Is there behavior to prove it?