These Jews heard the Master's words, but they could not hear nor understand the spiritual sense and meaning of His message. Blinded and deafened by nature, religious tradition, and prejudice (as are all men), they rejected Him and His gospel of redemption (I Cor. 2:7-14; John 3:11-12). The word "hear" means to receive and believe.
(Vs. 44) This is the key point our Lord had been leading up to. (1) He had denied their claims of being the children of Abraham (Vs. 39). (2) He demonstrated that God was certainly not their father (Vs. 42). Now He tells them in plain language who their father really is, even the devil. Their character had been formed not under Divine influence, but under satanic influence (Eph. 2:1-3). The moral likeness of Satan is stamped upon all men.
(Vs. 45) It is the truth and the God of truth which men hate. There can be no greater evidence of men's hatred for the truth than their hatred and rejection of those who tell them the truth, and only for this reason, because they do so! (John 5:43; John 10:33.)
(Vs. 46) Many of them had called Him a wine-bibber and a glutton. They had charged Him with blasphemy and sedition; but He declared that not one of them could bring forth any proof of immorality, of sin in His life, nor of corruption in His doctrine. Since not one sin could be brought against Him in life or doctrine, it was unreasonable for them not to believe Him (Heb 4:15; John 19:6).
(Vs. 47) "He that is of God" (1) belongs to God by eternal election (John 6:37; II Tim. 2:19; John 17:9) and (2) has been born of God, is in the family of God, and is indwelt by the Spirit of truth. These will all receive God's Word with affection, reverence, and obedience (John 10:26; John 18:37). The reason the Jews did not believe Him was because they were not God's children.
(Vs. 48) These men were unable to answer Him, so they resorted to vulgar and blasphemous charges. They looked upon Samaritans as detestable enemies to their national faith and intimated that a demon had possessed Him and made Him insane (John 10:20).
(Vs. 49) He gave no reply to their first charge (some of the Samaritans were His elect and had believed on Him); but to the second He replied, "I have no demon, but I honor My Father." I honor My Father by ascribing all things to Him, by doing His will, seeking His glory, and honoring His name. This a man possessed of demons could not and would not do! You prove that you are not of God by denouncing and dishonoring Me (John 5:23).
(Vs. 50) As our representative and the servant of the Father, Christ did not seek honor and glory of men. He was the humble and obedient servant (Phil. 2:5-8). "There is One (meaning the Father) Who seeks My glory, and He is the supreme judge" (Phil. 2:9-11; Col. 1:18-20).
(Vs. 51) Christ had pointed to the fearful consequences of rejecting Him and His words there was One Who would judge them! Now in sharp contrast He declares, "If a man keep my sayings, He shall never see death." The body shall die because of sin (Rom. 8:10), but he that believes shall have eternal life (John 11:25-26).
(Vs. 52-53) Here again is their ignorance of spiritual truth shown. No matter how simple and plain spiritual truth is expounded, the unregenerate do not understand. They said, "Now we know you have a demon and are insane. Abraham and all the prophets are dead; are you greater than Abraham?" "They understood not" spiritual life and resurrection, therefore thought He referred to living always on earth in the flesh.
(Vs. 54) In reply to the question, "Whom makest Thou Thyself?" He replied, If only honor Myself, it is worthless; it is My Father that honoreth Me." The Father honored Him at birth by angels and the star, at His baptism with His voice from heaven, by works and miracles which He did through Him, after this honored Him by raising Him from the grave and exalting Him to His right hand, and will honor Him throughout eternity (Rev. 5:13-14).
(Vs. 55) The One Who honored Christ they knew not, despite the fact that they claimed to be His children. Knowledge here means more than mental acceptance of facts and NATURAL understanding (James 2:19). It signifies spiritual understanding (I John 5:20), affection, approval, and obedience (John 17:3).
(Vs. 56) You glory much in Abraham and claim him as your father. Abraham foresaw My coming into the world, dying upon the cross for sinners, and the preaching of My gospel to all nations. He saw it by Divine revelation and with the eye of faith. He saw, believed, rejoiced, and was glad (Rom. 4:17-22). Abraham saw His day by FAITH, in TYPE, and by special REVELATION.
(Vs. 57-59) Our Lord speaks here of His eternal existence. Christ is the everlasting I AM, the eternal God, which is, was, and is to come (Exod. 3:14). When they took up stones to stone Him, He departed from their presence (Luke 4:28-30).