“Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my Word.” “He that is of God, heareth God’s words. Ye, therefore, hear them not — because ye are not of God.” [Jn.8:43,47]
These two verses are found in a context that involves a conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees. They declare and underscore an important spiritual reality. They reveal an immutable divine principle that determines who has and who has not received God’s sovereign grace among sinful, fallen mankind. This is why pure gospel preaching ministries are, for the most part, seed sowing ministries.
Earlier in Jn.8:21 Jesus told them: “I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go — ye cannot come.” Then He said to them from vs.23-24: “Ye are from beneath; I am from above. Ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins — for if ye believe not that I am — ye shall die in your sins.” This is an astoundingly poignant descriptive declaration! It elicits from them the most relevant question: “Who art thou?” Which Jesus answers: “Even the same that I said unto you — from the beginning”.
Now that which our Lord is referring to here is everything that He had been saying about Himself from Jn.2:23 down through Jn.8:12. In this portion of scripture a definite distinguishing line is continually being drawn between those that do hear, see and believe the truth as to whom the Lord Jesus really is as being the eternal Son of God incarnated into the likeness of fallen human flesh, and those who do not.
Observe what is said from Jn.2:23-25 about certain ones that believed in Jesus because of the miracles that He did. Their faith was not genuine! It was based simply on sensationalism! Jesus did not close on their hearts so that they truly did believe in Him. Not like Nicodemus exemplifies in Jn.3. Nor like the woman at the well, or the other Samaritans from Sychar in Jn.4. Nor was it like the lame man in Jn.5 whom Jesus singled out from among all the other sick and infirm folk to be healed by Him. Jesus revealed Himself to only that one, and told the persecuting Jews who sought to slay Him, “My Father worketh hitherto – and I work.” They knew, right then, that He was saying that God was His Father, and that He was equal with God [Jn.5:18]. In Jn.6 Jesus explains that it is the particular work of His Father to cause lost and fallen men to believe on Him whom He had sent [6:29]; and that it is these — that make up all that the Father has given to Him – and they most certainly shall come to Him – and not one of them will be lost [6:37-40, 44-45]. Nevertheless, right before, Jesus tells them from vs.36, “You also have seen me — and believe not.” Jn.7 continues to unfold the line that divides and distinguishes the true believers from the false [observe 7:30-31 and 40-44]. Ch. 7 ends with Nicodemus showing up again as defending Jesus against the unbelievers [see 7:45-53]. Then in Jn.8:12 Jesus rescues the woman caught in adultery from being stoned to death, and declares Himself to be the sin cleansing Christ of God and the “Light of the world”.
For Christ’s Glory Only!
– John Carpenter