Jesus answered them:
“If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own. Why can’t you understand what I am talking about? Can’t you stand to hear what I am saying? Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.
“Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me. Can any of you accuse me of sin? If you cannot, why won’t you have faith in me? After all, I am telling you the truth. Anyone who belongs to God will listen to his message. But you refuse to listen, because you don’t belong to God.” (John 8:42-47)
No one wants to hear that it’s not the pants that make them look fat. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were not so much interested in the truth as in maintaining their position and authority. The lies they’d lived with so long were comfortable. The truth was not.
The religious establishment received the harshest criticism from Jesus of anyone that he ever came in contact with. They claimed that the only Father they had was God. Jesus responded harshly by telling them that God was not their Father at all, since they hated his Son.
Jesus announced that their father was Satan rather than God. Jesus was not speaking literally. He meant that their actions and beliefs were those of Satan: they were liars and murderers.
Throughout the history of Israel, the religious establishment had been guilty of rejecting God’s prophets and killing them. They were at least being consistent by conspiring to kill Jesus. As to lying, they refused to believe the truth. They chose to accept false ideas about who the Messiah was and what he was supposed to do.
Those that belong to God recognize God. They believe what God believes. By not recognizing Jesus for who he was, Israel’s religious leaders demonstrated that they had nothing to do with God at all. Their claim to be faithful followers of God was demonstrably false. They were lying.