Scripture: “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” – John 8:47
Observation/Application: Jesus is talking with the chief priests and Pharisees. They are peppering him with questions, and Jesus is standing toe to toe with them and their attacks. They are relentless, and although Jesus is telling them the truth, they refuse to listen or understand. They are too caught up in the world, in their agenda, to even be open to his words.
As I read through these scriptures today, I could just feel the tension of the moment. The chief priests and Pharisees just attacked and attacked, and really didn’t listen to anything that Jesus had to say. They just went after Him, trying to prove that they were right and that Jesus was wrong. They were not at all open to anything that He had to say. Jesus was perfectly clear and direct, laying out the facts.
I think we can all relate and have been in a situation similar to the one Jesus was in. Call it a heated debate, a fact-finding discussion, a passionate conversation, or just call it a disagreement, you do your best to have a fact-based discussion, but the person simply refuses to acknowledge those facts, and responds with emotion and conjecture. Like the Pharisees, no matter what the facts are, they cannot and will not listen because the truth doesn’t serve their agenda. They just argue for the sake of arguing until they get what they want.
This scripture totally reminds me of that kid Mateo on YouTube who is making his case for his cupcakes. God love Him, but his arguments remind me of some fact-sharing sessions that we can have as adults. If you haven’t seen the video, it is a “must watch” – here is the video:
Mateo is going after those cupcakes and no matter what we is not going to listen to his mother because her arguments don’t serve his agenda to get those cupcakes into his belly. Just like the Pharisees that were not going to be swayed because he threatened their status and position of authority. Most of them were not really seeking the truth. Those Pharisees just wanted cupcakes. And Jesus called them out on this. He basically said, “you are not listening because it doesn’t serve your agenda.”
Long story short, it was quite a debate that ultimately ends with Jesus presenting the brutal facts. They are not children of Abraham, because Abraham did not do such things. “If you were Abraham’s children, then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.” – (John 8:39,40).
And because they are trying to kill Jesus, he lets them know who they really belong to, the devil who is a murderer, the father of lies, the one who does not have any truth, for they want to carry out the devil’s desires. – (John 8:44) If they were children of God, they would love him. If they were children of God, they would hear what Jesus had to say. They cannot hear from God because they do not belong to God. (John 8:47) If we want to hear from God, we have to be His children.
And in the end, the Pharisees resorted to physical violence and “they picked up stones to stone him,” but Jesus got away. – (John 8:59) I think another great lesson that I can learn from and apply here is the realization that we can’t win every battle. We can’t always get the breakthrough that we want. And that’s alright. If Jesus couldn’t get through to everyone, how could we expect to? We just have to do our part, to trust God for the result. If we can’t help open their eyes, we have to trust God to reveal the truth.
Let us pray that all believers seek him, and walk with him, and are so close to him, that we hear his voice above all of the noise – as clearly as we see the sun shine.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word. Let us seek you first Lord, and be so close to you that we hear you loud and clear, amidst all of the chaos of life, and above all of the noise. Let your peace fill us, and your love overflow. Let us be so full of your Spirit and goodness that nothing disturbs our peace of mind. We cast off worry and stress, anger and hate, fear and frustration, everything that is not pure and holy. Help us to be more like you. Guide our every step, our every thought, our every deed. We give you all the honor and glory in Jesus mighty name. Amen.