John 8:47
He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
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(47) He that is of God heareth God’s words.—Again He answers the question which He has Himself asked, and gives more fully the same reason which He gave in John 8:43. In John 8:44 He asserted that they were of the father the devil, and therefore lived to do the lusts of the devil. In the same way he who is of God does the will of God, and hears the words of God. The words of God are those which He has been speaking unto them (John 8:26). Here, then, is the answer to the question, “Why do ye not believe Me?” Rabbis and priests, teachers of the Law, judges of truth, offerers of sacrifice, keepers of feasts, worshippers in synagogues and Temple—they were all this; but they were not “of God.”

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.He that is of God - He that loves, fears, and honors God.

Heareth God's words - Listens to, or attends to the doctrines or commandments of God, as a child who loves his parent will regard and obey his commandments. This is an evidence of true piety. A willingness to receive all that God teaches us and to obey all his commandments, is an undoubted proof that we are his friends, John 14:21; 1 John 2:4; 1 John 3:24. As the Jews did not show a readiness to obey the commands of God, it proved that they were not of him, and to this was owing their rejection of the Lord Jesus.

46. Which of you convinceth me of sin—"Convicteth," bringeth home a charge of sin. Glorious dilemma! "Convict Me of sin, and reject Me: If not, why stand ye out against My claims?" Of course, they could only be supposed to impeach His life; but in One who had already passed through unparalleled complications, and had continually to deal with friends and foes of every sort and degree, such a challenge thrown wide among His bitterest enemies, can amount to nothing short of a claim to absolute sinlessness. He that is of God; to be of God, here, is opposed to a being not of God, and so may be understood to comprehend election, as well as regeneration.

Heareth God’s words; he heareth, acknowledgeth, believeth, and patiently submits to the will of God revealed in his word.

The reason why you, though with your ears ye hear the word of God, yet do not in heart receive, and embrace, and believe it, nor can submit to it, is

because ye are not of God, not chosen of him, not savingly enlightened and regenerated by him. So as this text affords us an excellent note, by which we may know whether we be regenerated, and of God, yea or no. That is, our believing and yielding obedience to the will of God revealed in his word. By this saying of our Saviour, he seemeth to acquiesce in the will of God, concerning these refractory and unbelieving Jews, notwithstanding all the pains he had taken with them to enlighten and bring them to the saving knowledge of the truth. It pleased not his Father to open their eyes that they might see, or their hearts that they might understand. This ought in like manner to satisfy all the true and faithful ministers of the gospel, when they see they have laboured in vain, and spent their strength for nothing and in vain. When they have done all they can, they will find this of our Saviour true, That the work must be God’s, and not theirs; and no more hearts will be changed, than theirs who are of God.

He that is of God,.... Who is born, not of blood, by carnal descent from any person, or of the carnal will, or by the power of freewill, or of the will of the best man in the world; but of God, according to his abundant mercy, of his own will, by the power of his grace; and so has God to be his Father: such an one

heareth God's words; the doctrines of the Gospel, which have God for their author, being of his ordaining, sending, and publishing; and his grace for the matter of them, displayed in election, redemption, justification, pardon, adoption, and eternal salvation, and his glory for the end: now a regenerate man has eyes to see into the glory, loveliness, excellency, suitableness, and usefulness of these things; and he has ears to hear, and a heart to understand them, which others have not; and therefore hears them with pleasure, receives them in the love of them, cordially embraces them by faith, and distinguishes them from the words of man; and puts such of them in practice, as requires it:

ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God; because God was not their Father, or they were not born of him, as they boasted; therefore they had not eyes to see, nor ears to hear, nor hearts to understand: and it may as fairly be inferred, that because they did not hear the words of God, therefore they were not of God; for these two necessarily imply each other; it looks very dark on such persons, who neither hear the doctrines of the Gospel externally nor internally.

He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
John 8:47. Answer to the question in John 8:46,—a syllogism whose minor premiss, however, needs not to be supplied in thought (De Wette: “Now I speak the words of God”), seeing that it is contained in (ὑμεῖς) ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἐστέ. That Jesus speaks the words of God is here taken for granted. The major premiss is grounded on the necessary sympathy between God and him who springs from God, who hears the words of God, that is, as such, he has an ear for them. The words, ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ εἶναι, in the sense of being spiritually constituted by God, do not refer to Christian regeneration and to sonship,—for this first begins through faith,—but merely to a preliminary stadium thereof, to wit, the state of the man whom God draws to Christ by the operation of His grace (John 6:44), and who is thus prepared for His divine preaching, and is given to Him as His (John 6:37). Compare John 17:6.

διὰ τοῦτο

ὅτι] as in John 5:16; John 5:18. See on John 10:17.

Note in connection with John 8:47, compared with John 8:44, that the moral dualism which is characteristic, not merely of John’s Gospel, but of the gospel generally, here so far reveals its metaphysical basis, that it is traced back to the genetic relation, either to the devil or to God—two opposed states of dependence, which give rise to the most opposite moral conditions, with their respective unsusceptibility or susceptibility to divine truth. The assertion by Jesus of this dualism was not grounded on historical reflection and a conclusion ab effectu ad causam, but on the immediate certitude which belonged to Him as knowing the heart of rom. At the same time, it is incorrect to suppose that He assumes the existence of two classes of human nature differing radically from each other at the very outset (Baur, Hilgenfeld). On the contrary, the moral self-determination by which a man surrenders himself either to the one or the other principle, is no more excluded than the personal guilt attaching to the children of the devil (John 8:24; John 8:34); though their freedom is the more completely lost, the more completely their hearts become hardened (John 8:43). The problem of the metaphysical relation between human freedom and the superhuman power referred to, remains, however, necessarily unsolved, and, indeed, not merely in this passage, but in the whole of the New Testament (even in Romans 9-11); comp. also 1 John 3:12; 1 John 4:4. But the freedom itself, in face of that power, and the moral imputation and responsibility remain intact, comp. John 3:19-21.

John 8:47. He is believed by those who have another moral parentage, ὁ ὢνἐστέ. “He that is of God listens to the words of God,” implying that the words He spoke were God’s words. Their not listening proved that they were not of God. At this point the Jews break in: Οὐἔχεις; “Say we not well that Thou art a Samaritan and hast a demon?” “In the language in which they spoke, what is rendered into Greek by ‘Samaritan’ would have been either Cuthi, which, while literally meaning a Samaritan, is almost as often used in the sense of ‘heretic,’ or else Shomroni. The latter word deserves special attention. Literally, it also means ‘Samaritan’; but the name Shomron is also sometimes used as the equivalent of Ashmedai, the prince of the demons. According to the Kabbalists, Shomron was the father of Ashmedai, and hence the same as Sammael or Satan. That this was a widespread Jewish belief appears from the circumstance that in the Koran Israel is said to have been seduced into idolatry by Shomron, while in Jewish tradition this is attributed to Sammael. If therefore the term applied by the Jews to Jesus was Shomroni—and not Cuthi, ‘heretic’—it would literally mean ‘Child of the Devil,’ ” Edersheim. The ordinary interpretation of “Samaritan” yields, however, quite a relevant meaning. To His refusal to own their true Abrahamic ancestry they retort that He is no pure Jew, a Samaritan.

47. Christ answers His own question and at the same time gives a final disproof of their claim to call God their father (John 8:41).

heareth God’s words] Christ here assumes, what He elsewhere maintains explicitly, that He speaks the words of God (John 8:26, John 3:34, John 7:16, John 17:8).

ye therefore hear them not] Better, for this cause (John 12:18; John 12:27) ye hear not. It is not S. John’s favourite particle ‘therefore,’ but, as in John 5:16; John 5:18, John 6:65, John 7:22 (see notes there), a preposition and pronoun with which he not unfrequently begins a sentence to prepare the way for a ‘because’ afterwards. These characteristics of his language should be preserved in English, and kept distinct, so far as is possible. In the First Epistle he uses the very same test as Christ here applies to the Jews; ‘We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth and the spirit of error’ (John 4:6).

John 8:47. Ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ) of [from] God, as of a father.—τὰ) he alone heareth the words of God.—διὰ τοῦτο, therefore [on this account]) The conclusion, Ye are not of God, John 8:42, is proved by the effect; inasmuch as ye do not hear; John 8:42, “If God were your Father, ye would love Me.”

Verses 47-58. -

(6) THE I AM. The claim to be the Source of liberty and life, in reply to those who appealed to their Father God and their father Abraham, led Jesus to assert his anteriority to Abraham. Verse 47. - There was some pause after this searching inquiry. Silence showed that, if they could not convince him of sin, they were ready with no answer to his question. He assumes that his word is unanswerable; he is what he says he is, and is able to set men free from sin and to give them eternal life. Their position is still further explained by a distinct syllogism, of which the major premiss is: He that is of God heareth the words of God; words which it is obviously taken for granted he is freely, surely uttering. Who are the persons referred to? Some, like Hilgenfeld, discover here a Manichaean, Gnostic sense - "those who are essentially of a Divine origin and spiritual nature," are absolutely different from those who are of the psychic or hylic nature. Thus they cut away all force from the moral reproof which follows. Others insist that here Jesus speaks of the regenerated man, the true child of God, who has power to believe, who has come to the Father, being predestinated unto eternal life. Even this interpretation does not leave sufficiently ample play to the human freedom, and the personal self-responsibility, which pervades the teaching of the gospel. Elsewhere he speaks of these who are "of the truth" and "hear his voice," of "those whom the Father draws" to him by the very love and grace which he, the Son, lavishes upon them (see notes, John 6:37, 44; John 18:37; John 17:6, 9, 11). He also speaks of those who come to him being given to him. He is here contemplating this wide class, who are scattered through all time and places, with susceptible minds capable of hearing freely, and believing when they hear, the words of God. For this cause ye hear them not, because ye are not of God; i.e. seeing that ye do not hear the words of God, it is evident that ye are not of God. They are not excluded from becoming so by any irreversible fate, but their present obtuseness of spiritual perception, their refusal to accept truth on its clearest exposition, shows that they are not born of God; they are not being drawn to him by inworking of the Father's grace. The very form of the expression was once more meant to touch their conscience. John 8:47He that is of (ὁ ὣν ἐκ)

The familiar construction. See on John 1:46.

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