|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:41-47 Satan prompts men to excesses by which they murder themselves and others, while what he puts into the mind tends to ruin men's souls. He is the great promoter of falsehood of every kind. He is a liar, all his temptations are carried on by his calling evil good, and good evil, and promising freedom in sin. He is the author of all lies; whom liars resemble and obey, with whom all liars shall have their portion for ever. The special lusts of the devil are spiritual wickedness, the lusts of the mind, and corrupt reasonings, pride and envy, wrath and malice, enmity to good, and enticing others to evil. By the truth, here understand the revealed will of God as to the salvation of men by Jesus Christ, the truth Christ was now preaching, and which the Jews opposed.
Verse 43. - Why do ye not understand - come to appreciate and penetrate the significance of - my speech? There is delicate subtle distinction between λαλιά and λόγος, corresponding to that between λαλέω and λέγω. The former word connotes the form, manner, and tone of utterance, and the latter its inner substance and power. Λαλιά is a, word used for any manifestation of sound, a voice, the babble of children, the cries and songs of beasts or birds, for which purpose λὲγω and λόγος are not used (Trench, 'Syn. of N.T.'). Peter's λαλιά betrayed him to the Jerusalem crowd (Matthew 26:73). Λόγος is the substance of the message, the burden of the revelation. The speech (λαλιά) of Christ refers to the appropriate and significant clothing which he gave to his word (λόγος). He mournfully asks why they had failed to get to understand the method of his converse; why they perpetually failed to appreciate his discourse; why they persistently put wrong constructions upon his phrase, and imagined him to be speaking of earthly things when he was discoursing to them of heavenly ones. Why? Because ye cannot hear my word - the Divine communication I have made to you. They were morally so far from him that they could not listen so as to receive his revelation. The inward organ of receptivity was lacking, and "so the spiritual idiom in which he spake was not spiritually understood" (Alford). The Divine significance of the whole word of Christ, the new and strange doctrines of Messiah, of redemption, of the Father, of a sacrifice and death on the part of the Son of man for the salvation of the world excited their animosity and bitter antipathies. They were not conscious of any of the need he came to satisfy, and so they failed to apprehend the entire manner of his revelation. They were from beneath (ver. 23). He is disclosing heavenly things. "Their ears have they closed, lest they should hear."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Why do ye not understand my speech?.... Language, idiom, dialect, and form of speaking, in a figurative way; for they did not know what he meant by liberty, and bondage, and by having another father than Abraham, or by his own procession and coming forth from God:
even because ye cannot hear my word; as they had no spiritual discerning and understanding of the doctrine of Christ, which showed them to be carnal, and natural men, and not regenerate ones, and the children of God; so they had an aversion to it, and could not bear to hear it.
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