Every person leans either towards truth telling or pastoral grace. Both have advantages and disadvantages: I lean towards grace, which is ideal for pastoral issues where someone requires encouragement and support, but is difficult when someone needs to be told the truth. Jesus managed to walk that fine balance, at times He was full of pastoral grace-for example, not only healing the woman with the issue of blood, but speaking so graciously to her and giving her back her status as no longer unclean (Luke 8 v 43-48) and at other times He appeared rude to me and this is one of those passages. We must note that Jesus is speaking to the people who believed in Him, those who might well become His disciples, yet He asserts that their father is the devil! He attacks them where they are most vulnerable when He calls them slaves, because although they had the Romans as occupiers, they were in a constant state of rebellion against that huge empire. What I must emphasis here is that Jesus spoke the truth. All those who commit sin become slaves to sin. We think we are free, but we are addicted and sin rules over us rather than us remaining free (Romans 7 v 5, 6). I would say that these people are from those who always appear genuinely interested in spiritual matters, yet ultimately they never commit to anything. I've known examples of this in my years in church, those who seem on the brink of full commitment, but never quite get there, there is always something that distracts them. They liked the idea of following Jesus, but when Jesus challenged them they revealed to Him that there was no spiritual life going on in them at all. We've said previously that Jesus spoke to large crowds, but it was to the few who were spiritually alive to whom He really spoke. When He declared: ''Before Abraham was even born, I AM'', the spirit within some would have responded to that by further reaching out to Jesus. Jesus, it is clear, was interested only in those who were willing to give their lives to Him ''Who do you think you are?'' the crowd exclaimed. And Jesus answered in effect, ''I am the eternal Son of the Father God''. Do you believe that?