42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
Jesus said to them,
Jesus in the following section denied the argument of the Jews’ appeal to the Old Testament. The application of their biblical references did not apply to them.
“If [and it is not true] God were your Father,
This premise was not true, but Jesus assumed it was true to make a point. He used it to argue hypothetically against His opponents.
you would love Me,
“Love” is a family issue. If God were the Father of these Jews, they would have loved Jesus. That is the one criterion that measures truthfulness of one’s spirituality. Fake religion always believes in God but not in Christ.
for I proceeded forth and came from God;
God the Father sent Jesus as His personal representative. Christ came from His preexistent eternal state with the Father. He was divine and that issued in reality; His divinity authenticated itself.
nor have I come of Myself,
Jesus did not make the decision to come as the Messiah under His own authority but that of the Father.
but He sent Me.
The Father made the decision to commission Christ to be the Messiah. If the Father sent Jesus and the Jews rejected Him, then it was because they did not know the Father.
Why do you not understand My speech?
Jesus answered His own question in the next verse. The Jews were obstinate toward Christ. They were negatively shut down toward what He had to say. As an example, when Jesus spoke of water they took it literally rather than as the eternal life He offered.
Because you are not able to listen to My word.
There is a difference between Jesus’ “speech” in the previous clause and His “word” in this clause. His speech is the way He expressed the truth. His word refers to the content of what He taught.
The spiritual condition of the Jews prevented them from being open to Jesus’ message. They had a capacity problem. They had no openness to what God said. Their problem was a volitional issue. That negative volition came from their spiritual heritage. The Jews were unwilling to tolerate the content of the truth of which He spoke.
People who are spiritually dead cannot hear spiritual truth.
The reason people do not respond to what God has to say is that they are prejudiced against Him. Those who are spiritually dead cannot hear spiritual truth (Mt. 11:15; 15–16, 43; Mr 4:9, 23; 7:16; 8:18; Lu 8:8; 14:35; Ac 7:51; 28:26–27). Their preconceptions keep them from it.
People allow themselves to be blinded by their personal prejudices. If God is going to speak to anyone, that person needs to be open to what He has to say. The initial onus for our salvation lies on God Himself.
The reason people reject Christ is because they harden their hearts against Him. The reason this happens is that the devil subtly deceives them.