In a recent podcast, Mark Driscoll was defending his use of coarse language and humor by pointing out that, at times, Jesus also used such language. He refers to an instance where Jesus tells his opponents that, “their moms shagged the devil.” This is a line that he also repeats in his new book Vintage Jesus. Now is that what Jesus really said? Specifically, what Jesus said was “You are of your father the devil.” In the context of John chapter 8, Jesus is in conflict with his opponents in regards to his origins. Jesus refers to his relationship with his Father (whom he relates to God). They claim that their Father is God as well. Jesus says that how one relates to God reveals to whom they are related. If God were truly the Father of his opponents, then his opponents would love him. But their actions reveal whom they are truly related to and since they are plotting murder and lying, they belong to their father, the Devil. Now, Driscoll takes this to its shocking conclusion that Jesus says, “Your mom shagged the devil.” Here I think Mark is being shocking for the sake of shock. Jesus does not in any way imply that the mothers of these opponents of his had sexual relations with Satan. If that were true, and I take this to its logical implication, then Jesus, by referring to God as his Father, implies that God the Father shagged Jesus’ mother.
What did Jesus really mean by referring to his opponents as belonging to “their father the devil”? Jesus uses terms “father” and “children” in this passage in an ethical sense. They claimed to be children of God, not in a physical sense of being produced from a sexual relationship between their mothers and God but because they were members of the house of
As always, if you are going to be a shock jock, at least get the reference and the context correct.
(Brief shout out to F. F. Bruce for some commentary back up).