What does John 8:47 mean?
ESV: Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
NIV: Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.'
NASB: The one who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.'
CSB: The one who is from God listens to God's words. This is why you don't listen, because you are not from God."
NLT: Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.'
KJV: He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
NKJV: He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
Verse Commentary:
Jesus has been consistent in His message, even in the face of criticism (John 8:25). He has also provided reasons to accept His message. These have included miracles (John 5:36), prophecies from the Jewish Scriptures (John 5:39–40), and the testimonies of others (John 5:32–33). Further, Jesus has displayed a life of moral perfection—even His enemies can't point to an example of Him doing something wrong (John 8:46). For all of that, these men have not only rejected His message (John 8:43), they have attempted to kill Him (John 5:18).

Earlier in this discussion, Jesus used the analogy of fatherhood to explain why the religious leaders could not claim to be "true sons" of Abraham. Spiritually speaking, children inherit their nature from their fathers, and do what their fathers do. Abraham obeyed and honored God (John 8:39), but these men deal in lies and violence (John 8:44). This, according to Jesus, proves that they're the spiritual children of the devil instead! This also explains their attitude, which refuses to accept anything they do not want to hear (John 7:17). This is why Jesus says that they "do not hear" His message: as spiritual children of the devil, they don't want to hear it.
Verse Context:
John 8:31–59 is a passage which dovetails with John 2:13–22, where Jesus drives corrupt businessmen from the temple. These Scriptures disprove any myths that Jesus was weak, timid, passive, or soft. In this exchange with the Pharisees, Jesus pulls no punches. Jerusalem's religious leaders, and their followers, continue to resist Jesus' preaching. They rely on arrogance and insults, to which Jesus responds with blunt, unfiltered condemnation. This culminates in Jesus making an overt statement of His own divinity, punctuating the debate by declaring ''before Abraham was, I am!''
Chapter Summary:
John chapter 8 includes the story of the adulterous woman, a well-known but controversial passage. Most scholars believe this story is authentic, but not originally found in this exact spot in Scripture. This chapter continues Jesus' preaching during the Feast of Booths, where He once again comes into conflict with local religious leaders. Here, Christ will make His second ''I AM'' statement, using the analogy of light, which is a common theme in Hebrew theology. This conversation will become more and more heated. Eventually, Jesus' opponents are enraged enough to attempt killing Him right then and there.
Chapter Context:
Jesus is attending the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem, and has once again come into conflict with the local religious authorities. In the previous chapter, Jesus referred to Himself as a source of living water, playing off of the festivals' ritual pouring of water in the temple. In this chapter, Jesus will use the imagery of lights, also related to festival traditions. This chapter demonstrates Jesus' willingness to be direct, even aggressive, with His critics. The next few chapters will complete Jesus' public ministry, as He prepares for His impending death.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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