In John 8 there is a very unique dynamic that occurs between Jesus and a bunch of self-righteous Jews that can be very helpful and instructive for all who share the truth of God’s plan of salvation to an unregenerate world.
Throughout the chapter Jesus is presenting God’s plan of salvation. He begins by labeling the Jews as the slaves to sin and truth rejecters that they really are. He pulls them out of Abraham’s family tree and sticks them in Satan’s. He says that he will be lifted up and they may then recognize who he is.
He tells them that their claims of loving God are ludicrous because they do not love His Son. In verse 27, John writes that they did not understand Him.
Then in verse 43 Jesus asks and answers His own question. That makes it easy for us. He asks, “Why aren’t you getting it?” or “Why aren’t you understanding my language?” or “Why aren’t we connecting?”
Have you ever wondered that when you are presenting the gospel? Have you ever been there? You think “Man, this doesn’t get any clearer—why isn’t the person responding to the invitation to repent and believe?” Jesus answers this question in verse 43, “even because you can’t hear my words.” Now we know that Jesus wasn’t talking about a physical hearing issue. No this is far more serious—this is a spiritual hearing problem.
Do you realize that the Father had to open their ears to hear? John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” What did Jesus tell Peter when Peter declared that Jesus was the Christ? Jesus told Peter you didn’t get it on your own accord. No, God the Father revealed this to Peter.
Yet Jesus continues proclaiming the truth and encouraging these obnoxious, self-righteous, arrogant Jews to believe the truth. In the back of our Lord’s mind He knows why they aren’t getting it yet it doesn’t deter Him a bit from sharing the truth.
In fact it is only until they pick up stones to kill Him does He withdraw Himself. No one man or women knows when the Father is going to open eyes to see and ears to hear. That is not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to follow our Lord’s example and proclaim the truth.
We must reject any feelings of inadequacy or in adeptness, fully recognizing that we are completely dependent on the Father to draw our potential convert to the Son.
Paul says “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2.14). When your potential convert begins to get it you can be sure God is doing His work of salvation in their heart.
I want to follow Jesus’ example in John 8—don’t you? I will interact and interact with the unbeliever, provoking and encouraging them to repent, believe and follow Christ—but in the end I am completely dependent upon God to open their ears to hear the truth. The fact that the Father had not opened ears to hear did not deter my Lord and by His grace it will not determine me. How about you? Have you been deterred lately and need to recommit to sharing the truth without regard to whether you see fruit or not?