Jesus in the Gospels (11)

Who can hear God?

“‘He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.'” John 8:47, NIV. The Jews did not believe that Jesus came from God the Father. Jesus asserts that the reason they do not know Him is that they do not know the Father and do not belong to God, but their Father, the devil. Jesus reminds the Jews again that He did not come of His initiative, but the Father sent him. John 8:42. Jesus justifies His assertion that the Jews belong to the devil by reminding them that they want to do the work of the devil; they want to kill Him. So, Jesus asks them, “‘ Can anyone of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?'” John 8:48, NIV. Jews did not even acknowledge that Jesus is a descendent of Abraham, but that He is a Samaritan. Jesus, because He loves them, is trying to convince them that He is their life; God the Father with them, in human form, their only source of life. He tries to impress on them that He came to save the world, which is dead in sin. Ephesians 2:4, 5.

“‘ I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”‘ John 8:51, NIV. At this, the Jews reaffirmed their claim that Jesus is demon-possessed. They refused to understand and believe that, if they accept the Savior of the world, they would, there and then, experience the eternal life in Jesus Christ. They refused to accept that without Jesus, who is the life of the world, no one could ever live. The Jews reminded Jesus that their Father Abraham died, so they ask Him, is He greater than Abraham? John 8:52, 53. The Jews, contrary to the Torah, the Law, did not realize that God reckoned Abraham righteous because he believed God, not because of his greatness. So, Jesus reminded the Jews: “‘Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”‘ John 8:56, NIV. When Jews reminded Jesus that He is not old enough to have seen Abraham, Jesus told them then who He really is. “Jesus answered, ‘Before Abraham was born I am.'” John 8:58, NIV. Jesus was not just a messenger God sent to the world, but God, who is above all, in the human form, in a sinful world, who came to save His enemies, the sinners.

A similar misconception persists today, notwithstanding God’s clear announcement. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, …And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9: 6, NIV. Jesus reaffirmed this message. “‘I and the Father are one.”‘ John 10:30, NIV. The literal reading of this verse is, “The Father and I are one and the same.” Therefore the apostle Mathew emphasized, “‘ The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.'” Mathew 1:23, NIV. The apostle Paul confirmed the same, “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” 2 Corinthians 5:19, NIV. Only God could do this, and He accomplished it through the body of Jesus on the cross at Golgotha. The newborn yielded believers always hear God.

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Dan Lazich

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