John 12:47 ( posted 4-14-14 )
“ And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. “
“ And if any man hear my words,”
The Greek word “ akouse “ translated “ hear “ means to hear in various senses. This word is used for something to be noised, to be reported and to be understood.
Here in America, we have an expression - “ I hear you “. When someone says something to us and we can relate to it and understand what was said, we sometimes respond by saying “ I hear you “. It means we understand what was said, not just merely heard what was said.
People can hear what was said and many times what someone said goes right over their head, as we also say.
This means we heard what was said but do not understand what was said.
This is why Jesus said;
“ Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:“ Matthew 13:13-14
Paul said there are people who hear the truth but never come to the truth.
“ Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. “ 2 Timothy 3:7
This is the problem with being opinionated. This results in diverse doctrines all claiming to be of the same goal. It may or may not result in the same goal.
The Lord knows.
While the gospel is printed in the Holy Bible and a person can come to Christ just from reading the Bible, since it is the Word of God, God Himself seems to place importance on the gospel being preached so people can hear with their ears...though not a requirement.
Philip was told by the Holy Spirit to go and teach the eunuch who was in his chariot reading the Bible but had trouble understanding it;
“ Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. “ Acts 8:29-31
Jesus Himself after His resurrection walked with 2 disciples and preached the gospel beginning with Moses in the Old Testament.
“ And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? “ Luke 24:32
During the future 7 year tribulation period God has an angel preach the gospel;
“ And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. “ Revelation 14:6-7
Paul said faith comes from hearing the gospel;
“ For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. “ Romans 10:13-17
“ and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. “
“ For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.“ John 3:17-18
Hearing the gospel, understanding the gospel and believing the gospel are not the same thing.
Having merely head knowledge of the Bible does not mean we believe it.
Faith is in the heart, not the brain.
We can look at a map and see a town in a certain state and though we have never been to that town nor seen it, we can choose to believe it exists and have faith in the person who printed it on the map that it does exist.
This is faith.
Likewise, we can choose to have faith in the Bible and believe what it says exists even though we have never seen what it claims exists or we can choose not to believe it.
If we choose not to believe the Bible God is still merciful to grant us more time to change our mind.
“ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. “ 2 Peter 3:9
Judgment will eventually come, but for now, God is merciful in giving us time to decide to believe the gospel.
The statements of Jesus in these verses we are studying are incredibly important and we need to pay close attention to what Jesus said.
I will continue with verse 48 in the next study.