Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
Who’s Your Daddy?
Jesus had just said the famous verse about knowing the truth and the truth setting you free (John 8:32), but the Jews had said that they were Abraham’s children and had never been slave to anyone (John 8:33). That was not true. The Jews had been enslaved for hundreds of years by the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Babylonians and now by the Romans. So how could they say that they had never been enslaved by anyone!? That was clearly a lie. Jesus did acknowledge that they were Abraham’s children (John 8:37), but since they had been seeking a way to kill Him, He told them that they were actually the Devil’s children (John 8:44) because they were doing the works that Satan had been doing from the beginning (John 8:41).
Not Bearing Jesus’ Words
Obviously they didn’t bear Jesus’s words very well. When He told them that He had existed before Abraham did, they sought to stone Him since they considered that blasphemy (John 8:58). Jesus plainly tells them in a language they can understand that they are liars (John 8:55). They wanted Jesus dead because He spoke the truth, but they were related to their father, the Devil, who always speaks lies. They might have understood, but they surely couldn’t bear His words. People today who are not saved cannot bear Jesus’ words, but they can’t bear the thought of God either.
Do We Understand
I wonder how often we have heard or read the Word of God yet couldn’t bear those words, as the Word of God is like a sharp, two-edged sword that cuts two ways, both to the hearer and to the one speaking it (Heb 4:12). The difference between human words and the Word of God, though, is that the Word of God cuts in order to heal. The words of men cut only in order to hurt and destroy. These are hard to bear, too, and we can all too easily understand them. Jesus warned the Jews that they would die in their sins without believing (John 8:24), but their pride kept them from doing that. They could hear Jesus’ words, but they couldn’t bear them. It wasn’t that His language wasn’t clear; it was all too clear to ignore and cut them to the bone.
A Closing Prayer
Great God in heaven, You are so good to us to have given us Jesus and His Words, which impart or bring eternal life to the hearer. There is no way that I deserve such mercy, but You sent Jesus to the world to die for the world (John 3:16), that whoever believes in Him will no longer be condemned (John3:18), and I thank You so much for Him. In His holy name I pray.
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