What does it mean to be son or daughter? Again we seem to use the phrase "God's Children" without much thought as to what it actually means.
In life we're born to or adopted by our parents and we are their children, period.
Jesus in today's gospel reflects on two aspects of the parent/ child relationship: permanence and responsibility.
A child unlike a servant is always in relationship to the parent and nothing can change that. That's the good news.
The less attractive part is that a child also has a responsibility to the parent. Until our modern age, sons followed in their fathers' footsteps with regard to work. The many occupational last names(i.e. Miller, Fuller, Shoemaker, Wagoner, Wright) have come from this tradition. He goes one step further says that we show whose child we truly are through the work we do. As is always the case in John's Gospel it is a simple binary choice: child of God, child of Satan.
While we may not find the imagery to our liking, it is sometimes helpful to cut through our tendency to nuance and rationalize our way out of calling something just plain sin.
At the end of the days whose child will we show ourselves to be. If we were judged by our words and actions of the day,could we truly say they were Our Father's work.