Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 9:31

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

God heareth not sinners - I believe the word ἁμαρτωλων signifies heathens, or persons not proselyted to the Jewish religion; and therefore it is put in opposition to θεοσεβης, a worshipper of the true God. See the note on Luke 7:37. But in what sense may it be said, following our common version, that God heareth not sinners? When they regard iniquity in their heart - when they wish to be saved, and yet abide in their sins - when they will not separate themselves from the workers and works of iniquity. In all these cases, God heareth not sinners.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Now we know - That is, it is an admitted or conceded point. No one calls it into question.

God heareth not - When a miracle was performed it was customary to invoke the aid of God. Jesus often did this himself, and it was by his power only that prophets and apostles could perform miracles. The word “heareth” in this place is to be understood as referring to such cases. God will not hear - that is, answer.

Sinners - Impostors. False prophets and pretenders to divine revelation. See John 9:24. The meaning of this verse is, therefore, “It is well understood that God will not give miraculous aid to impostors and false prophets.” We may remark here:

1.That the passage has no reference to the prayers which sinners make for salvation.

2.If it had it would not be of course true. It was the mere opinion of this man, in accordance with the common sentiment of the Jews, and there is no evidence that he was inspired.

3.The only prayers which God will not hear are those which are offered in mockery, or when the man loves his sins and is unwilling to give them up. Such prayers God will not hear, Psalm 66:18; “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me;” Isaiah 1:14-15; Job 27:9; Jeremiah 11:11; Ezekiel 8:18; Micah 3:4; Zechariah 7:13,

A worshipper - A sincere worshipper; one who fears, loves, and adores him.

Doeth his will - Obeys his commandments. This is infallibly true. The Scripture abounds with promises to such that God will hear their prayer. See Psalm 34:15; Matthew 7:7-8.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
As Christ's mercies are most valued by those who have felt the want of them, that have been blind, and now see; so the most powerful and lasting affections to Christ, arise from actual knowledge of him. In the work of grace in the soul, though we cannot tell when, and how, and by what steps the blessed change was wrought, yet we may take the comfort, if we can say, through grace, Whereas I was blind, now I see. I did live a worldly, sensual life, but, thanks be to God, it is now otherwise with me, Eph 5:8. The unbelief of those who enjoy the means of knowledge and conviction, is indeed marvellous. All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus, wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject him. He argues strongly against them, not only that Jesus was not a sinner, but that he was of God. We may each of us know by this, whether we are of God or not. What do we? What do we for God? What do we for our souls? What do we more than others?