“Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Who among you can convict Me of sin? If I tell the truth, why don’t you believe Me?” (John 8:45–46 HCSB)
“ἐγὼ δὲ ὅτι τὴν ἀλήθειαν λέγω, οὐ πιστεύετέ μοι. τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐλέγχει με περὶ ἁμαρτίας; εἰ ἀλήθειαν λέγω, διὰ τί ὑμεῖς οὐ πιστεύετέ μοι;” (John 8:45–46, NA27)
I’ve pasted in both the HCSB and the Greek NA27 versions of John 8.45-46, and then I’ve highlighted the Greek words that Jesus repeats so you can see how similar the repetition is.
Jesus’ point is this: I speak the truth, and because I speak the truth, you should believe in me. Why do you not believe in me?
I would say that there are three things that Jesus emphasizes and that we should not miss here.
- The truth – The truth is important. If Jesus were not speaking the truth, then he wouldn’t be making this claim. In other words, it would be silly if Jesus said, “I am speaking myths and fables to you, why don’t you believe in me?” Everything hinged on the truth, that when Jesus said that he came from the Father and that God was his Father, that God really was his Father.
- Belief in – Jesus did not come to earth so that people would be impressed with his ability to turn water into wine, or so that they would see how brilliant he was and hold him in high regard. He came to earth so that men might believe in him because they needed to believe in him in order to have eternal life. (““For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3.16, HCSB))
- Me (Jesus) – Jesus proclaimed that men must believe in him. Belief in God was nice, but it was not the thing. Men do not receive eternal life because they believe in God. The demons believe in God, says James, and they tremble about it. Men must believe in Christ, that he was the Messiah, that he came because they are sinners and helpless, that he will die for their sins and in their place, so that they could have eternal life. Belief must be in a person and that person is Jesus