John 8:43 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:43, NIV: "Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say."

John 8:43, ESV: "Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word."

John 8:43, KJV: "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word."

John 8:43, NASB: "Why do you not understandwhat I am saying? It is because you cannot listen to My word."

John 8:43, NLT: "Why can't you understand what I am saying? It's because you can't even hear me!"

John 8:43, CSB: "Why don't you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to my word."

What does John 8:43 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

message of God, are those who do not want to understand. The problem is not their intellect or their learning. The problem is that they are committed to rejecting what they do not want to hear. Their intent overrides all evidence, logic, and spiritual humility (John 7:17). Jesus has pointed out that these men have access to the Scriptures (John 5:39–40), have witnessed His miracles (John 5:36; John 8:18; John 3:1–2), have heard human testimony (John 5:33–34), and have heard the very words of One who came from heaven (John 8:23).

This obstinate attitude is rooted in their nature; nature is something man inherits through a father. According to these religious leaders, their father is Abraham (John 8:33). As Jesus pointed out, however, their actions suggest something very different. Abraham might be their earthly ancestor, but he is not their spiritual father. Those who are "true sons" of Abraham would do what Abraham did—obey God (John 8:39–41). These men deal in lies and violence (John 5:18). Jesus has made several subtle references to some "other" father (John 8:38), and His critics have responded by calling Him an illegitimate child (John 8:41).

In the next verse, Jesus will complete His crushing condemnation of these men by pointing out their true spiritual father, who is both a liar and a murderer (John 8:44).