The Hearer of God's Word
John 8:38-47
I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.…

The word "hear" signifies serious attention and regard (Matthew 17:5; Leviticus 16:29; John 10:3: Revelation 2:3). It is clear that all other hearing must be unprofitable, and in respect to the Word of God condemnatory. When man speaks, to hear without attending is useless; when God speaks, sinful.

I. WHO THEY ARE WHO HEAR THE WORD. "He that is of God."

1. All God's true children. Not all who are brought into covenant with God, for such were the Pharisees. Holy ordinances do not necessarily convey the continuance of sonship.

2. All who are girded and governed by God's Spirit (Romans 8:14).

3. All who love God (Luke 10:27).


1. It is not merely because they know them to be words of wisdom and life, bringing happiness here and hereafter: there is rooted in their hearts an intense desire for all good and holy things, a profound respect for all that belongs to God. It would be repugnant to their new nature to do otherwise.

2. Their own mind immediately draws a distinction between the Word of God and that of man. The latter has to be considered before it is received; the former permits no consideration.

3. Nor can there be the least evasion or compromise, no distinguishing between great and small.

4. There is no consultation of flesh and blood. It is the Word, and that is sufficient (1 Thessalonians 2:13).


1. It condemns many worldly pursuits and pleasures, and insists upon self-denial and the daily cross. Assuredly none who are not of God will listen to this, and follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.

2. They do not understand the nature of spiritual truth; its promises and threatenings appeal to them in vain (1 Corinthians 2:14).

3. In proportion as men are governed by natural maxims and feelings and principles, and by their own self-will, they deprive themselves of the capacity of appreciating God's Word.

(J. Slade, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

WEB: I say the things which I have seen with my Father; and you also do the things which you have seen with your father."

The Folly of Unbelief
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