John 12 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

John 12
Pulpit Commentary
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Verses 1-8. -

1. The feast of love and gratitude. Verse 1. - Jesus therefore, six days before the Passover. Every preliminary of that solemn feast is memorable to our evangelist. The coincidence of the Passover feast and the killing of the Paschal lamb, with the sacrifice of "Christ our Passover," cannot be concealed. [For the grammatical construction with πρὸ, cf. note, John 11:18, where a similar use of ἀπό occurs; not, however, a Latinism, as some have supposed, as similar phrases are found in good Greek (see Winer, ' Greek Gram.,' p. 69).] The date from which the calculation is made is complicated with the intricate controversy upon the day of our Lord's death, i.e. whether he suffered on the 14th or 15th of Nisan, and whether a "harmony" is possible or not with the statements of the synoptists, who all three assert that our Lord ate the Passover with his disciples (see Introduction, pp. 92-94.). However this matter be finally settled, if the 14th of Nisan was the day on which the Passover was killed, "between the evenings," the 13th was reckoned as the first day before the Passover, and the sixth day would be the 8th of Nisan. If the weekly sabbath occurred on the 16th, then the 9th also was a sabbath. The Lord would then have reached Bethany on the eve of the sabbath, and have rested on the sabbath itself. The evening of the 9th would be the occasion of the feast, and the 10th would correspond with Palm Sunday. If the Lord were crucified on the 14th, and the weekly sabbath coincided with the Passover-day of convocation, the 15th, then the previous sabbath was on the 8th, and our Lord must have reached Bethany in "the end of the sabbath," and then the feast was on the following day. When Jesus halted at Bethany, the vast crowd of pilgrims advanced into the suburbs of Jerusalem, encamping on the Mount of Olives, and would be ready for the great demonstration of the next day. Westcott, after Bengel, observes that John's Gospel begins and ends with a sacred week (cf. John 1:29-35, 43; John 2:1). Jesus therefore, sis days before the Passover, came to Bethany. The quiet rest of that last sabbath with the family at Bethany is a thought full of suggestion. Thoma accounts for the triumphal feast and anointing, "six days before the Passover," as answering to the day on which the lamb was separated from other and secular animals, and consecrated for this holy service (Exodus 12:3-6; Hebrews 7:26). The segregation, however, was partial or premature, and the anointing (see below) took place five days before the Passover. It is not said that the day of his arrival at Bethany is the day of the festive welcome. Bethany is described as the place where Lazarus was. The explanatory clause, he who had been dead, is not necessary, as the evangelist limits and explains sufficiently the great motive for his pause and presence at Bethany by adding, whom he (Jesus) raised from the dead. It is extraordinary that some most able expositors should be so unwilling to accept the synchronous statements of the synoptists. Their narrative is not out of harmony with the hypothesis that our Lord passed the previous days with the pilgrim-band from Peraea, and that, taking the head of the procession as it was passing through Jericho., he should thus have distinctly challenged the authorities, and taken up the public position to which they were anxious he should lay claim. By his visit to the house of Zacchaeus he proclaimed the new feature and spirit of his kingdom; by healing the blind man he gave a typical illustration of the work of grace needed by all his disciples; by resting at the home where human love and Divine power had been so wonderfully blended he called the most solemn attention to his supreme claims; by pressing on with urgency up the steep mountain pathway at the head of his disciples he seemed to be ready, in his own words, "to lay down his life, that he might take it again." The οϋν, according to Meyer, is simply the resumption of the narrative, but surely those are right who regard it as a distinct reference to John 11:55. The Sanhedrists had given the ἐντολή that if any knew where he was, they should declare it. Christ was resolved, now that his hour was come, to lift the whole responsibility from his friends, and take it upon himself. The other evangelists do not mention the halt. Their purpose was not a chronological one. They give the narrative of the anointing apart from its deepest meanings and consequences, apart from any references to Lazarus (see Matthew 26:6-12; Mark 14:1-11). There are other subtle omissions from the synoptists, the difficulties of which must be settled as between themselves. Thus, according to Mark 11:12 and 20, an interval of a whole day and night took place between the withering of the fig tree and the conversation about it, but Matthew makes the conversation follow immediately upon the miracle. In like manner, John abstains from any reference to the discussions in the temple, to the withering of the fig tree, to the cleansing of the temple, or to the parables which followed.
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Verse 2. - There, therefore, they made him a supper, and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. John does not tell us in whose house "they made the dinner" or supper, and unless Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6 and Mark 14:3) is a member of the family (or, as some suggest, the husband of Martha), we cannot suppose that it was in the quiet home of Bethany that this feast in honor of Jesus was held, but that it took place, as the synoptists positively declare, "in the house of Simon the leper." Simon may easily have been one of the many lepers whom our Lord had healed, and whose soul was filled with accordant gratitude. At that table there would be seated two transcendent; proofs of the power of Jesus to save, not only from the semblance but from the reality of death (see Meyer; Matthew 26:6). We wonder, with Godet, that Meyer should reject this simple supposition as "spurious harmony." All that is here stated is in agreement with it:

(1) that Martha should have shown her reverence by serving her Lord, according to her wont, not necessarily as hostess (Hengstenberg and Lange), but as the expression of her devoted thankfulness;

(2) that Lazarus should have been one of those who sat at meat, reclined at table, with him, i.e. took a position as a guest, like himself; and

(3) that Mary should have poured forth her costly spikenard, in royal self-forgetting love. The conduct of all the three thus mentioned is compatible with the fact stated in the synoptic narrative, that the festival was celebrated in the house of Simon the leper. Our Lord had commented, in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:44, etc.), on the absence of the customary anointing with oil. Mary knew of this, and resolved that, whatever the woman who was a sinner had done, no similar act of neglect should occur on that memorable evening. A chronological discrepancy renders an identification of the synoptic narrative of Matthew with this story perplexing. In Matthew 26:2 we are brought to within two days of the Passover, whereas here we cannot well be less than five days before it. However, there is nothing in Matthew 26:6-13 which indubitably declares the date of the supper The "two days" may refer to the date of Judas's treachery, after mentioning which he goes back to an event which furnished occasion and temptation to the avaricious mind of Judas.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Verse 3. - Mary therefore took a pound (the synoptists Matthew and Mark say "an alabaster," i.e. a flask made of the costly spar, which was peculiarly adapted to the preservation of liquid perfume, hermetically sealed before it was broken for immediate use. The fact, as stated by Matthew and Mark, is inconsistent with her reserving any of the precious fluid for another occasion) of ointment ("liquid perfume," sometimes added to the more ordinary oil), of pure (or possibly; pistie) nard. Mark uses this unusual word πιστικός, which belongs to later Greek. The derivation of πιστκτικός from πίνω, equivalent to "potable," is not appropriate in meaning, though this "nard" was used for perfuming wine. In Mark 14:3 also the Authorized Version translates it "spikenard," as it does here (cf. also Song of Solomon 1:12 and Song 4:13, 14, where Hebrew נֵרְדְּ corresponds with νάρδος). But the one place where the word was supposed to be found in Aristotle is now seen not to be πισττικός, but πειστικός, trustworthy, or unadulterated. It is possible that the word may have had a local geographical value, belonging to some proper name, and is untranslatable. Very precious. Mark (Mark 14:3) uses the word πολυτελοῦς, and Matthew (Matthew 26:7) βαρυτίμου. John appears to combine the idea of both words in his πολυτίμον. Each of the synoptists severally mentions a fact which John omits - that Mary broke the alabaster box, and poured the costly unguent on his head in rich abundance, as though hers had been the royal or high-priestly anointing (cf. Psalm 133.); but John shows that this at least was not all she did. She anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Thoma thinks that, conformably with John's idea, the anointing of the head of the true High Priest was the work of God alone, quoting Philo's comment on Leviticus 21:10, etc., "The head of the Logos, as High Priest, is anointed with oil, i.e. his innermost essence gleams with dazzling light;" and adds, that as the feet of the high priest were washed with water from recent defilement of the world's dust, so God's anointed Lamb and Priest was anointed on his feet with the spikenard of faith, the best and costliest thing that man could offer. So profound an analogy seems to us contrary to the simplicity of the narrative, which is perfectly natural in its form. The perfumed nard ran down to the Savior's feet and the skirts of his garments, and there accumulating, the significant act is further recounted how Mary wiped off the superfluous perfume from his feet with the tresses of her loosened hair. This simple act proclaimed the self-humiliation and adoration of her unbounded love, seeing that the loosening of a woman's hair was a mark of unusual self-abandonment, Many most unnecessary inferences have been drawn from this. John adds an interesting feature, revealing the sensitive eye-witness of the scene, "and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment;" and the whole house of God ever since has been fragrant with her immortal and prophetic act.
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
Verse 4. - But Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, who was about to betray him, said. The speaker here is singled out by name. Matthew refers the speech to the disciples generally, in whom the suggestion of Judas had stirred up (without guile or blame on their part) a not unnatural inquiry. Mark says "some" murmured to themselves, "Why this waste?" (loss, destruction). John (without the malice which Renan has attributed to the writer) mentions the source of the suggestion, "Judas Iscariot, Simon's son." The word Σίμωνος, contained in T.R., is omitted here in the best texts. The fact that he was the traitor, being one of the well-known and awful events of the gospel history when John wrote some half a century later, might well be introduced by the evangelist, with no other than a purely historical motive.
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Verses 5, 6. - Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Sinful motive often hides itself under the mask of reverence for another virtue. In Mark's Gospel the same price was put upon the pound of pure nard as that which is mentioned here - about of our money. Christ had given emphatic advice about generosity to the poor, and even during this very week (John 13:29) it is clear that his words were not forgotten, and in his great discourse, probably also delivered during this same week, he identified himself with the poor (Matthew 25:35, etc.), and called for unreserved consideration of them; so that this language was not unnatural. The value of this ointment is another minute indication that there is no connection between the Lazarus of John and the Lazarus of the parable. But John adds that the utter lack of perception on Judas's part of Mary's self-devotion was prompted by the most unworthy motive. The suggestion of Judas is put down by the evangelist to the sheerest covetousness. During the interval that elapsed, Judas had revealed his character, and John did not hesitate to refer the suggestion to the traitor. Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor. He really cared nothing for the poor. He was ambitious, eager for the display of the Master's power, anxious for the rewards which might follow the Master's assumption of supreme authority, turning to his own account all that might happen. But because he was a thief, and having possession of the common purse (the word γλωσσόκομος, which occurs in the sense of a chest (2 Chronicles 24:8), has a curious etymology, which had passed out of recognition; from γλώσσα and κομέω comes γλωσσοκομεῖον, that in which month-pieces of flutes might be kept in safety, and subsequently a chest or box for the safe guardianship of other valuables), he was the bearer - perhaps, bore array (see John 20:15, and Josephus, ' Ant.,' 7:15. 3, for this use of βαστάζω), at all events had at his disposal - of the things which were cast, in generous profusion, into it. Thoma makes the astounding suggestion that "John" here covertly refers to Simon Magus of Acts 8:18, etc. The question is often asked - Why was Judas entrusted with the common purse? Was it not likely to aggravate a disposition to which he was prone? Did not Jesus know what was in man? and had he not discerned the propensity of Judas (see John 6:71)? In reply:

(1) The appointment may have been made by the apostles themselves.

(2) Our Lord may not have interfered with it, deeming confidence more likely to help him than distrust.

(3) It may also show how, if men will yield themselves to sin, God will not and does not promise them immunity from temptation, but sometimes even brings them into it.

(4) The purse might have been a preservative against the vile temptation to sell his Master, and a test and motive for self-con-quest.
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
Verse 7. - The two readings of the text must here be compared with one another and with the synoptic narrative. The T.R. reads, Let her alone: unto the day of the preparation for my burial she has carefully guarded this precious perfume. This is, in one sense, that very day, and she has found out the solemn fact in a way in which the disciples had as yet failed to do. With this agrees the language of the synoptists," Why trouble ye the woman? she hath wrought a good work on me;... she hath done that which was possible to her (ο{ ἐσχεν ἐποίησεν)" of Mark 14:8. In fact, Mark expressly conveys this thought - "she has anticipated the anointing of my body for the burial." If we have the direct testimony of Mark (i.e. Peter), Christ must have expressed himself thus. Matthew also in different words records the same pathetic and subtle thought: "For in that she poured [cast] this ointment upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial" (John 26:12) Hengstenberg, Godet, and Stier abide by the reading of the T.R.; but the principal manuscripts, in most powerful combination, have led Lachmann, Alford, Tischendorf, and Westcott and Hort to read here, Ἵνα εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ ἐνταφιασμοῦ τηρήση αὐτό, "In order that she may keep or guard this for the day of my burial." Westcott says that the synoptists imply rather, by the word κατέχεεν, that She had not already consumed the whole of the ointment. Meyer, with this text, translates, "Let her alone, that she may preserve it (this ointment, of which she has just poured some over my feet) for the day of my embalmment." This certainly seems inconsistent with the complaint of the disciples or of Judas, at the apparently superfluous expenditure, and would compel us to restrict the abed to the unused portion. The advocates of the T.R. reading say that it represents the original text, which has been altered by criticism arising from misunderstanding of the idea of the day of burial having ideally arrived; but why did they not alter on the same principle the language of the synoptists? The advocates of Lachmann's text say that it has been altered by copyists, to bring it into accord with the text of the synoptists. Lange justifies the Revised Version, "Suffer her to keep it against the day of my burying," and puts it thus: "Permit her to keep it [i.e. to have kept the ointment which she might have used at the burial of Lazarus] for the day of my burial," now ideally present in the outbreak of Judas's devilish malignity. So virtually Luthardt and Baumgarten-Crusius. Godet argues that this is forced and ungrammatical. But there is this advantage in it, that it brings the language into much closer relation with the synoptists. Westcott prefers the idea of Meyer. The older view is to me far mere satisfactory. Edersheim (2:35) adds to this, "Mary may have had that alabaster box from early days, before she had learned to serve Christ. When she understood that decease of which he constantly spake, she may have put it aside, "kept it," "against the day of his burying." And now the decisive hour is come.
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Verse 8. - This verse is omitted in D, but abundantly attested here. It occurs almost verbatim in Matthew and Mark, and cannot be set aside on the authority of this one eccentric manuscript. For the poor ye have always with you (cf. Deuteronomy 15:11). You will always have opportunity of doing to them, as to representatives of me, what is in your heart of compassion (cf. Matthew 25:40-45). But me, as an object of personal, tangible regard and visible attention, deserving thus and ever the affluence and exuberance of your love, ye have not always; and, though I shall be with you always in my Divine power and Spirit, even unto the end of the world, and though I shall always be with you in the person of the poor and needy, yet in the sense in which this expression of love Can be made, I shall be absent. As though he had said, "After this very night, the opportunity to offer me affectionate attention or symbolic homage, to give expression to feelings in accordance with just presentiments as to my mission, will be over forever, and belong to the irrecoverable past - Now or never! She has done this thing, she will have everlasting remembrance thereby." The frankincense of the Wise Men, the ointment of Mary, the homage of the Greeks, were symbols, and can never be repeated. The greatest motive for generous and affectionate interest in the poor is that they represent the Lord; but they are not to be rivals of the Lord himself. Westcott remarks, "The promise of the future record of the act of love is omitted by the one evangelist who gives the name of the woman who showed this devotion to her Master." Moulton, "The very charity that cares for the poor whom we see has been kept alive by faith in and devotion to the crucified Redeemer whom we cannot see."
Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
Verses 9-11. -

2. The effects of the great sign. Verse 9. -

(1) On much people of the Jews. The article (), which the best texts introduce before ὄχλος πολὺς, gives to these words an almost technical force. The huge multitude of the Jews - the surging crowd of ever-gathering pilgrims blended with the "common people," the bulk of the population of Jerusalem and its neighborhood (John 11:55, 56) - therefore - because, i.e., of the rumors of the feast, the news of the royal consecration and sacred anointing, which had taken place in honor of Jesus and his last great miracle - learned that he was there - that he had left his unknown place of retirement at Ephraim. We gather from the synoptic narrative that he had joined the pilgrim-throng, advancing first into Jericho, and then, after a night spent there, had moved onwards to Bethany. The dispersion of hundreds of these excited followers into Jerusalem had again bruited abroad the fact of the resurrection of Lazarus, and, by reason of the Lord's return to Bethany, the Jerusalem-party at length learned where he was. Ὁ ὄχλος ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων shows an antithesis intended between the Judaean and the Galilean crowds. These the synoptists describe as "those that went before, and those that followed after." And they came, not for the sake of Jesus only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he raised from the dead. Jesus was not the only attraction; the risen man Lazarus was a rival in popularity, and by this ocular, tangible specimen of the supernatural resources of Jesus, they would deepen their interest and strengthen their convictions. Many of this Jerusalem populace, on account of him (Lazarus), and the fact of his resuscitation (ὑπῆγον), went away, perhaps, though not necessarily so, "apostatized," from the high-priestly party, from the hostile party in the capital, and separated themselves from the open but desperate plot against the Divine Master, and believed on Jesus - threw in their part and lot with the Lord and his disciples. This roused the malignity of the unspiritual and unscrupulous party of Caiaphas, of Annas, and of the Pharisees in the Sanhedrim
But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
Verses 10, 11. -

(2) On the chief priests. The chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. They deliberated to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus. It was not enough that one man should die; another and another must follow if their plan is to succeed. And now the hour had come (John 2:4; John 7:30), but not until our Lord once more warned the disciples with intense significance and explicitness of his approaching death and burial. Thus another striking illustration is given of the judgment, the crisis, the sifting process, which is always going on in the presence of Christ. His greatest signs, his wisest teachings, his most amazing love, bring out the twofold result. Some receive, some reject, some burst into louder acclaim, some try to slay. As with the history of this "Gospel," some hear in it the very voice of the Eternal, but there are others who would grind it to powder. Because Ignatius and Polycarp bear witness to the existence of the Gospel, these Lazaruses must be put to death, or banished to a later period out of harm's way. Even the genuineness of the Apocalypse, so long a tower of defense for the Tübingen school, is too powerful a proof of St. John's residence in Asia to be accepted with equanimity or left in possession, and some of the later critics have taken counsel to repudiate its Johannine authorship.
Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Verses 12-19. -

3. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Christ's challenge of the authorities, and its results. (On the differences between John's account of this transaction and that of the synoptic narrative, cf. commentaries, Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44.) On the precise order of events it is difficult to speak with absolute decision. The main difference between the synoptists and John is in the break at Bethany of the journey from Jericho to Jerusalem, to introduce a feast, which is related afterwards by the synoptists, though not limited by them to any later chronological position. It should be observed, moreover, that the synoptic narrative contains numerous references to the residence in Bethany during several days of the week (cf. Mark 11:12; Matthew 21:17) which followed. John adds important details, and while he omits the great discussions in the temple, the withering of the fig tree, the cleansing of the temple, the parables of the judgments on scribes and Pharisees, and the prophecy of the future, he portrays the inner life of the Lord, and records his most gracious esoteric teaching and sublime prayer. The current tradition of the Church, the distinct note of time for Christ's arrival at Bethany (six days before the Passover), make the triumphal entry take place on Sunday afternoon (cf. ver. 1) of Passion week. Verses 12, 13. - The next day (on the morrow) must be the day after the feast. We have seen that that feast probably took place on the evening of the sabbath. The events that happened are far more abundantly described in Matthew, Mark, and Luke - the excitement in Jerusalem, the method in which the triumph was carried through, the mode adopted to secure "the young ass," the weeping ever Jerusalem from the summit of the hill; none of these circumstances are inconsistent with this account. Brief, however, as our narrative is, it adds some features which are peculiar and highly historic. A vast crowd that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. These that had come from the country, and had already encamped near or in Jerusalem, came group after group to Bethany to escort him into the city. The synoptists, not mentioning the pause of the sabbath at Bethany, and not clearly indicating where and when the feast at Bethany took place, naturally connect the journey from Jericho with the entrance into Jerusalem. John explains, in addition, that there were of the Jerusalemites themselves certain who had been led to go to Bethany and throw in their lot with the Lord. The early pilgrims mentioned in John 11:55, 56, also came forth from the city to hail and welcome his approach. Took branches of the palm trees, and went forth to meet him. The synoptists had mentioned that the triumphant host had cut "branches," κλάδους (Matthew 21:8), from the trees, and Mark (Mark 11:8) had said στιβάδας, fragments of trees, grass, small branches, that could be strewn in the way. Luke (Luke 19:35) simply mentions the garments thus strewn - a fact mentioned also by Mark and Matthew. Our narrative gives greater definiteness, and even adds a new feature, by speaking of τὰ βαία τῶν φοινίκων, "the palm branches of the palm trees," which they waved probably in triumph, as they had been accustomed to do in token of the approach of a conqueror (cf. 1 Macc. 13:51, where Simon's return to the city was celebrated with "thanksgiving and βαι'´ων and with harps and cymbals," etc.). The use to which the branches of the well-known palm trees were put, differs from, but does not exclude, the use to which κλάδοι and στοιβάδες were also put. Bethany (see note, John 11:1) was "the house of dates," and the palm branches for the Feast of Tabernacles, on its first celebration after the Captivity (cf. Leviticus 23:40), Were fetched from the mount (Nehemiah 8:15). The palm tree was a sacred symbol for Israel "Tamar," a palm tree, was a favorite name for a woman. The Maccabaean coins were decorated with the palm and vine. The medal struck by Titus represented a captive sitting under a palm. Throughout their history, in their gorgeous temple ritual, it continually reappears, and at the last the Apocalypse represents the victorious songs of triumphant elders accompanied by the waving of the palm. If we compare the four accounts of the demonstration, we shall see again how in combination they vividly represent the whole scene. The multitude cry, according to - Matthew 21:9: "Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." Mark 11:9, 10: "Hosanna; Blessed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Blessed be the coming kingdom of our father David: Hosanna in the highest." Luke 19:38, remembering the angel's song: "They praised God with a loud voice.... Blessed be the King that cometh in the Name of the Lord: in heaven peace, and glory in the highest." John says they went forth to meet him, palm branch in hand, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord, and (blessed be) (even) the King of Israel. These differences show how various groups used with freedom the tones and sentiment of the hundred and eighteenth psalm, adopting the welcome with which the priests were accustomed to greet the pilgrims to the festival. But each account demonstrates that, on this occasion, there was a general ascription to our Lord of Messianic honor. He is hailed by the people as King of Israel, as the Head of the coming kingdom of their father David, and as giving glory to God. The Name of the Lord is the manifestation and compendium of all the perfections of the Lord. For centuries the gracious hope had rung forth in the sacred liturgy, and now the people see that the hope is on the point of realization.
Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
Verse 14. - And Jesus, having found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written. The whole account of the process by which our Lord secured this ὀνάριον is described at great length by the synoptists (see Matthew 21:2; Mark 11:12; Luke 19:30). The foal implies that the animal had never borne another burden. The account of Matthew refers to the mother and the foal, as though they were inseparable, and together bore the sacred burden. Mr. Holman Hunt, in his picture of the 'Triumph of the Innocents,' has represented the beast bearing Mary and her Child as accompanied by the colt. The entire process of securing both must have taken time, and augmented the excitement. Christ at length, on the eve of his Passion which he so distinctly foreshadowed, allowed the enthusiasm of the people to prevail, and accepted the homage. The Galilee pilgrims take up the demonstration, which was commenced, as we see from John's Gospel, by "the Jews" and those Jerusalemites who had been profoundly moved by the significance of the resurrection of Lazarus. The circumstances thus elucidated from the four narratives, reveal undesigned coincidences. The entry into Jerusalem did not take place till the afternoon, and so we find that all that our Lord did on arrival was to "go to the temple, look round on all things, and, now that the even was come, to revisit Bethany with the twelve" (Mark 11:11).
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
Verse 15. - John, as well as Matthew, sees here a symbolical fulfillment of what had been declared by one of the latest of the prophets, as the peculiarity of the Messiah (Zechariah 9:9): Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. This oracle is admitted by commentators of opposite schools to refer to the Messiah. There was no need, in order to fulfill the spirit of the whole passage, that the King should come to his own literally upon the back of a beast of burden. The prophecy does, however, suggest the modesty, the absence of all pomp or display of worldly wealth and power; nay, the humiliation on the part of the true King. Both Matthew and John omit the characteristics of "righteous and saved," i.e. "delivered" from the hands of his cruel enemies. The suffering Servant of God of the great oracle of Isaiah 53. was in the mind of the Prophet Zechariah, and he adds this feature to the triumphant coming of the true Prince of Peace, that he would "cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem," i.e. so act that even the national pride and power and military prowess should come to an end; "Speak peace to the nations; rule from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth." As John and Matthew both see the symbolical fulfillment of the prophecy, they doubtless would have us bear in mind the whole passage. John transforms the "Rejoice greatly, shout," etc., of the prophet into "Fear not." He seems to take it at one stage only of fulfillment, when anxiety might momentarily be put to rest. The "Fear not" is a lower form of "great rejoicing." It is something for men to dismiss their doubts and hush their unrest, even when they cannot burst into song. Hengstenberg and Godet urge that the "meekness and lowliness" to which the prophet referred, and which Matthew cited from him, was imaged in the lowly beast on which never man sat. But it must not be forgotten that the ass was used by distinguished personages (Judges 5:9, 10; Judges 10:4; 2 Samuel 17:23; 2 Samuel 19:26). And all that was really meant by it was the choice of a creature associated rather with daily life than with military display. Meyer and Moulton urge that it was a chosen symbol of peace (καθήμενος ισ substituted for the ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ of the LXX. and Matthew 21:5). Contrary to Keim's animadversion, our Lord and his disciples adopted here the idea of a Jewish Messiah, stripping it of its worldly characteristics. It should be observed that, while John's narrative is in harmony with the synoptists, he greatly abbreviates it.
These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
Verse 16. - These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him. This verse shows that the disciples (of whom John was one) took part in the celebration, though they did not see at the time, nor until after the Ascension - not until they saw by faith the δόξα into which the Lord had entered - that the honor which they had done to him had corresponded strangely with the marvelous words of the old prophecy. And that they had done - clearly the disciples, on grammatical grounds; οἱ μαθηταὶ, is the subject of ἐποίησαν ( <ΒΤΤ·Ξομμενταρψ Ωορδ>these things unto him. Ἐδοξάσθη is used of the uplifting to the glory which he had before the world was; not until then was the Spirit given that explained so much of the mysterious life. (For other illustrations of τὸ πρῶτον, in the rare sense of "at first," see John 10:40; John 19:39.)

(1) Men often act and speak without perceiving the full meaning of deed or word, not grasping the link of connection thus instituted between a consecrated past and a predestined future.

(2) Words and actions are freely done from personal motives and in entire spontaneity when they are nevertheless fulfilling the Divine purpose and working out the plan of God.

(3) The revealing moment comes, and the whole significance flashes into view.
The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
Verses 17-19. - These verses connect the enthusiasm of the multitudes with the great miracle of John 11, indicating a point concerning which the synoptic narrative is silent, and further they consociate the miracle and its effect upon the multitude with aggravation of the malignant feeling of the constituted authorities which leads to the capture and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. Verse 17. - The multitude therefore which was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, were bearing witness. The seventeenth verse goes back to the (ὄχλος) multitude who are mentioned in John 11:42; i.e. to the friends of Mary and Martha and to other inhabitants of Bethany, as well as visitors from Jerusalem (John 11:31). All these are involved in the explicit declaration, ὁ ὤν μετ αὐτοῦ. Which was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and (not only so, but) raised him from among the dead. Those who had actually beheld the miracle, and were as eye and ear witnesses of the event, who had hovered about Bethany since his return to it, - these were bearing witness. They spread themselves abroad in the crowd of Galilaean pilgrims and others, and were uttering their testimony on all sides. The word is used absolutely, as in John 19:35, and the imperfect tense should not be turned here into a mere preterit.
For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
Verse 18. - For this cause also the (ὁ ὄχλος) multitude - which here seems to be the aggregate of the (ὄχλος πολύς) crowds made up of the Judaean and Galilaean pilgrims and "the Jews" who had believed on him - met him (see especially vers. 12, 13) - went forth, and cut down the branches of the palm trees, and came in high jubilance to meet him - because they heard that he had wrought this sign. The resurrection of Lazarus is the motive of the triumphal procession. The synoptists, who have omitted the whole episode of Bethany, are naturally silent concerning the impression produced by it on the Passover pilgrims and the Jerusalem crowd. John, more intimately acquainted with the currents of thought in the capital than the rest, drew here from his experience and memory, and has preserved historical features which they had ignored.
The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
Verse 19. - The Pharisees therefore, at the sight of the popular enthusiasm, said to themselves; i.e. to their own inner circle. Hengstenberg thinks here is a hint of some medium of communication between John and the Pharisees, and imagines it to be found through Martha and Simon (her husband). Their language was, Perceive [ye] - or, ye perceive (either imperative or indicative) - that ye prevail nothing! The interrogative may also be a true translation. Do ye perceive that ye prevail nothing? On either hypothesis, it cannot be, as Chrysostom says, the language of the friends of Jesus among the Pharisees, but rather the cry of despair and rage. Behold, the (κόσμος) world has gone away after him. They are repenting that they had not followed out the coercive plans and murderous designs of Caiaphas, and had been content with half-measures.
And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
Verse 20. - Now there were certain Greeks among those that went up to worship at the feast. Τινες implies a group, and a larger company of these ἀναβαινόντων, who were and are in the habit of going up (perhaps were still doing it even when John, before writing his Gospel, had first put the narrative into words). They went up with a view to worship in the feast, that is, there were burnt offerings and thank offerings which they were allowed to present. This shows that they were not heathen nor uncircumcised Hellenists, whichever view of that word be accepted.
The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
Verse 21. - These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. The first expression of that great yearning which, swollen by multitudes without number, is loud as the voice of many waters and mighty thunderings. It is the wail of every penitent; it is the birth-cry of every renewed soul; it is the raptured burst of joy as each son of God passes behind the veil The "therefore" implies some kind of previous relation with Philip, whose somewhat timid, cautious, speculative mind, as hinted in the earlier portions of the Gospel, made him accessible to them. Personal acquaintance is, of course, possible. Was Philip identical with the Aristion of Papias (see Introduction, p. 34, and Archdeacon Farrar, Expositor, November, 1881)? The mention of Bethsaida of Galilee confirms the suggestion that they were inhabitants of one of the Greek cities of Decapolis, or of the slopes of the Lebanon. Many commentators refer to Philip's Greek name as indicating proclivities or sympathies on his part which would make him peculiarly accessible.
Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
Verse 22. - The slight modification of text preferred by the Revised Version gives great vivacity to the picture (see below, note 1). Philip receives the respectful request of the Greeks, "Sir [my lord], we would see Jesus," i.e. "converse with." They probably sought to bring some proposal before him. Surely they must have had, if they wished it, many opportunities of merely seeing Jesus, when he crossed the Mount of Olivet during those three days, or tarried in the court of the Gentiles; now they pressed for an interview. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew. Andrew was the earliest of the disciples, who brought his own brother Simon to Jesus (John 1:40-42). He is mentioned as in close association with Simon, James, and John, as partners with them in the fishing-trade on the lake of Galilee (see Mark 1:16, 29, and Mark 3:18, compared with Luke 5:10). There is some hint that Andrew and John, after the first call to become followers of Christ, clung to him, and went with him to Jerusalem, and then returned with him through Samaria, after which occurred the second call of the brothers Simon and James. The frequent references to Andrew and Philip in this Gospel correspond with the tradition preserved in the Muratorian Fragment on the Canon, touching Andrew's part in the composition of this Gospel. These two disciples are represented as consulting with each other on previous occasions, as though peculiarly related in sympathy. Philip sees certain difficulties, and Andrew has a practical mind, and proposes a way out of them (see John 6:7, 8). There was something now to be said on both sides. Their ancient prophecies anticipated a world-wide aspect of the Messianic kingdom (Isaiah 55:4, 5; Isaiah 56:3, 7; as well as Genesis 49:10). Now, if this incident occurred after Jesus had claimed the hundred and tenth psalm as an oracle which described his own Divine claims and his universal victory as the Lord and Son of David and royal Warrior-Prest (Matthew 22:41-46, and parallel passages), Philip may have felt this moment to be a most critical one in his history; for he may have been perfectly aware of the outbreak of peril which converse with Greek proselytes might at that moment have provoked in the minds of the turbulent populace. Andrew cometh and Philip, and they (together) tell Jesus. Jesus alone could solve the difficulty at that time, and Jesus himself is the just and reasonable Source of all enlightenment. Jesus is at this hour the highest Expression of man and his destiny, and he is also the perfect Manifestation of the Father, the only Mediator between God and man, absolutely one with both. We still go to him to know what God is and what God would have us to think and to be, and to learn what man may become. We take to him the puzzles of our logic, the accusations of our conscience, and the burdens of our heart. Additional interest is thrown round this narrative by a suggestion of Archdeacon Watkins, that, in the course of this week, our Lord had cleansed the temple and courts of its profane traffic, and declared it to be a house of prayer for all nations. Such grand revolutionary conceptions as those of our Lord must have deeply stirred the souls of the susceptible Greeks. Aliens were, as we know from Josephus ('Ant.,' 15:11.5), forbidden to pass beyond the balustrade round the ἵερον,. M. Ganneau has found among the ruins of Jerusalem one of the slabs of stone which recorded this exclusion.
And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
Verses 23-26. -

(1) The glorification of the Son of man in and through death. Verse 23. - And Jesus answereth them. Many commentators (Ewald, Godet, Hengstenberg) think that Jesus did not address the following words to the Greeks, that until he had gone through the agony of death, and entered in human nature on his Divine and mediatorial reign, the mission to the Gentiles could not commence. Tholuck supposed that the interview was over, and that the solemn words are addressed to the disciples in the presence both of Greeks and of others afterwards; but there is no such break suggested. It is more probable (with Luthardt, Edersheim, Lunge) that the Greeks were close behind Andrew and Philip, and that our Lord at once, for their advantage, as well as for that of the disciples, proceeded to explain the solemn impression made upon himself by this remarkable desire. Surely it is unnecessary to say that our Lord was anxious not to give umbrage to the priests, or to rouse the animosity of the people. Every word of the terrible address of Matthew 23, all the controversies in the temple, even the triumphal entry itself, would and did give mortal umbrage to the priestly party and to the Sanhedrim He had boldly challenged their entire position, he had smitten down their prejudices and assailed their notions of exclusive privilege, and therefore would not have shrunk, on that ground, from intercourse with devout Greeks worshipping at the feast. The words are surely said to them and about them, but in the main for the instruction of the disciples themselves. The hour is come for which he had been waiting (see John 2:4; John 13:1)-the mysterious "hour" on which his glory would depend, and the destiny of the world turn. God not only contemplates great periods, eons of time, but "acceptable years," "days of the Lord," "moments of time," as parts of the eternal plan. That the Son of man should be glorified. The "Son of man," rather than "Son of God," is the term he uses in reference to, and in the presence of, the Greeks. The highest Man is now about to assume his supreme glory, to go forth, as the mighty Man, to rule the world of men. The Son of man is about to ascend into his eternal throne, to clothe himself with all authority of judgment and mercy in heaven and earth. The glorification of the Son of man is one of the high main themes of the Gospel, and its justification is to be found in the fact that the Son of man is indeed the Logos made flesh, and the Lamb slain, and like the Serpent is being lifted up, and as the true Shepherd is laying down his life that he might take it again. The advent of the Greeks opens prophetic vistas which involve tremendous experiences of his own, and also great principles of service for all his followers. His Passion was so inextricably interwoven with his glory, that the former becomes verily the prelude of his victory and supreme exaltation. His death is but his glory. Moreover, the approach of the Gentiles suggested the universal belief in him which would follow upon his Passion and resurrection, and he" foretells that the hour of his glorification was already come" (Augustine). (See remarks in Introduction, pp. 78-80, on the several epochs in this record of the Lord's life, where the "hour" seems to strike, but is again and again postponed with a view to fresh revelations, exactly as the climax is deferred throughout the Apocalypse.)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Verse 24. - The oracle is introduced with a solemn Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except the corn (or, grain) of wheat, having fallen to the ground, die, it abideth by itself alone: but if it die, it beareth much fruit. The simple illustration of life through death, life triumphing over death. "Even nature protests against the Hellenic fear of death" (Lange). As long as the corn of wheat is scrupulously kept from decomposition and death in the granary, the hidden germ is dormant; let it be sown as "bare grain" (1 Corinthians 15:36, etc.), then the strange force within it puts forth its hidden faculty, the outer covering of this point of energy falls away, and the new thing appears. God gives it a body, and much fruit is brought forth. Thoma suggests that the Johannist here is putting into the lips of Jesus the thoughts of Paul. How much more probable is it that Paul grasped the thought of Jesus, and applied a part of it to the grand argument for the resurrection, both of Christ and Christians! Compare with this the teaching of John 6, where the Bread of life is given for the food of men. Even the "bread-making" for man involves, in another way, the temporary destruction of the living germ in the grain of which it is composed, that it may become the life of men. Christ is himself the "Son of God," the "Logos incarnate," the "Son of man." By becoming, in his death, the food of man's soul, he created thus a new life in the hearts of men. Over and over again our Lord has declared himself to be "the Life," and "the Source of life," for men; but he here lays down the principle that this life-giving power of his is conditioned by his death. The great harvest will be reaped only when he shall have sacrificed his life and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. It is, too, only as every believing man dies to himself, is crucified with Christ, is dead with him to the world, that he rises again in the newness of life.
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Verses 25, 26. - The Lord here introduces a solemn, almost oracular utterance, which proves how close and intimate is the relationship between the synoptics and the Fourth Gospel. On several great occasions our Lord has impressed this law of the Spirit of life upon his disciples. Thus in Matthew 10:37-39, in the lengthened commission given to the twelve, after calling on his followers to place his own claim on their affection as greater than that of father, mother, friend, and calling for self-sacrifice, and self-crucifixion, he said, "He that findeth his life (ψυχὴ) shall lose it: he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Again (Matthew 16:25, etc.), after rebuking Peter for his unwillingness to recognize the necessity and significance of the killing of "the Son of the living God," he laid down the same law once more, calling for self-denial and daily cross-bearing, and adds, "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." So also Luke 9:23, etc. Luke (Luke 15:26) also introduces the same solemn aphorism in our Lord's discourse concerning the close of the Jewish national life. Surely here he is applying to his own case the law of the Divine life which he had shown to be universal, and of which he was on the point of giving the crowning and climacteric expression. He does it with amplifications and a supply of motives. If life be regarded as an end in itself; if it be treated as complete when rounded with its own individuality; if life shrink from sacrifice, if it "love itself," and will at all hazards preserve itself; if the natural and instinctive fear of death, and instinct of self-preservation, become a self-idolatry; - that life will "abide alone." If it sacrifice itself for higher ends than self; if it regard the higher end as more valuable than itself; if it lose itself in the object to which it is consecrated; if it be content to "die;" - it abideth no longer "alone," but "bringeth forth much fruit." Verse 25. - He that loves his own life (ψυχή); life used as equivalent to "self," in that totality of being which, like the life of the seed-corn, survives the accident of death - he that loves his own life (self) is losing it; or, perhaps, destroying it, ipso facto. There are ends and objects of love so much greater than" the self," that to keep it by some act of will and recreant fear is to make it utterly valueless, is really to destroy its true vitality. And he that hateth his (ψυχή) life (self) in this world, wherever the greater claim of Christ and of the Father would be compromised by loving it, shall veritably preserve it, viz. the self, unto eternal (ζωή) life; i.e. to the blessedness of eternal being. The ψυχή is a great possession; and "what advantageth a man if he should gain the whole world, and lose it?" But if a man persists in gaining the world, and forgets that this earthly existence is not capable of satisfying the demands or finding a sphere for the true self, and so makes the earthly reign or enjoyment of the ψυχή the end of all striving, - then he miserably fails. So far it is clear that our Lord is applying a great principle of the true life to the case of his own Messianic work and ministry. He draws, from a law of the superiority of the Divine life to the fear of death and to the fact of death, a justification of his own approaching doom. He can only by dying live his perfect life, win his greatest triumph; reap his world-wide harvest.
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Verse 26. - In this verse the Lord brings the light of heaven down into this deep paradox. He speaks like an anointed King and great Captain of salvation, who has (διάκονοι) "servants" willing to do his bidding. If any man will be my servant, let him follow me along the line which I am prepared to take, in the way of sacrifice and death, which is the true glorification; and where I am, there shall also my servant be. This association of the servant with the Lord, as the sufficient and the transcendent motive, pervades the Gospels (cf. John 14:3 and John 17:24; comp. also Luke 23:43, "with me in Paradise;" and 2 Corinthians 12:2, 4; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23). It is remarkable that Christ chose the twelve that they should be "with him" (Mark 3:14). There is no greater blessedness. Still, the Lord adds, If any man serve me, him will the Father honor. For the Father to honor a poor child of the dust seems almost more than we can receive. The conception of the steps by means of which the Lord makes this possible to his followers and servants produced in his own self-consciousness one of those sudden and overwhelming crises and changes from joy to perturbation, as of agony to peace and to reconcilement with the eternal Father's will, which prove how certainly St. John is always portraying the same Personage, the same transcendent character whom the synoptists describe (Luke 12:49, 50; comp. Luke 19:38, 41; Matthew 11:20, 25; Matthew 16:17, etc., and 21). More than this, the whole passage that follows is a solemn prelude to that agony of the garden which the synoptists alone record, while they omit this.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Verses 27-30. -

(2) The anticipation of Gethsemane. Verse 27. - Now, at this moment, has been and yet is my soul troubled ("concurrebat horror morris et ardor obedientisa," Bengel). In John 11:33 we hear that he troubled himself, and shuddered wrathfully in his "spirit" (πνεύμετι) at the contemplation of all the evils and curse of death; now his whole ψυχή, i.e. his life centered in its corporeal environment as a man, the self which the Son of God had taken up into the Divine essence, was in depth of agony, preluding the strong crying and tears to which Hebrews 5:7 refers. These perturbations of his soul and spirit can only be accounted for by the uniqueness of his Personality, the capacity for suffering, and the extent to which he was identifying himself with the sinful nature with which he had invested himself. Sin is the sting of death. He had by the nature of his incarnation become sin for us. Martyrs, freed from sin, delivered from its curse and shame and power through him, face it with calmness and hope; but there was infinite space in his breast for all the curse of it to rain its horrible tempest. He felt that the hour of his extremest travail had come upon him. And what shall I (must I) say? What is the regal passion of my heart? What is the right revelation for me to make to you? What is the prayer for me to offer to the Father? It remains a great question whether the next utterance is the primary answer of the question itself, or whether it continues the interrogation - whether, i.e., the Lord lifts up for a moment the cry of heart-rending grief, Father, save me from this hour! or whether he said, Shall I say, Father, save me from this hour? The first view supposes in the first place actual uncertainty and awful bewilderment, and then a most intense cry (Hebrews 5:7) to him who was able to save him from death. Save me either from the death itself, or from the fear and horror which accompanies it (Lucke, Meyer, Hengstenberg, and Moulton). It need not be a prayer to leave the world unsaved, to sacrifice all the work on which he had come. We are told by the apostle (Hebrews 5:7) that he was "heard" (ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλαβείας) and delivered from human weakness which might have rebelled in the intolerable darkness of that hour. Father, save me from this hour; the equivalent to the prayer, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me," with its grand "nevertheless," etc. If this be its meaning, we have a scene nearly, if not closely, identifiable with the agony of the garden. The correction which immediately follows augments the comparison with the scene in Gethsemane recorded by the synoptists. The R.T. and Revised Version have put their note of interrogation after ταύτης into the margin, and not into the text. Ewald, Lange, Kling, Tholuck, Lachmann, accept this punctuation, and Godet regards it as an hypothetical prayer, although he does not place the interrogation after ταύτης. The self-interrogation of the previous utterance at least reveals the presence of such a desire, but one which vanishes as the mysterious hour engulfs and wraps him round. If this be the true interpretation, then the clause that follows must be, Nay this I cannot say, for on account of this very conflict - for this cause - only to fight this great battle - I came steadily forward to this hour. I cannot pray to escape from it. If, however, we have the expression of an actual though momentary prayer, and if we give it the meaning, "bring me safely through and out of this hour," it corresponds with the Divine trust in the Father's love which, in the extremity of the anguish and desertion, he yet reveals, and the ἀλλά becomes equivalent to "Pray, this I need not say; the end is known" (Westcott). I know that I shall be delivered, for this cause, viz. that I should encounter and pass through the hour I came into the world, and have reached the final crisis. This is, to my mind, more satisfactory; the interrogative prayer gives a sentimental character to the utterance out of harmony with the theme. Godet thinks that the fact that, according to the synoptists, our Lord in the garden did actually offer the prayer which he here hesitates to present, is evidence of the historic character of both accounts. I differ from him, because the sublime answer to the prayer here given would seem to preclude the necessity of the final conflict. The circumstance that he did offer the prayer as interpreted above, a prayer which was veritably heard, is in harmony with the narrative of the agony.
Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
Verses 28, 29. - A heavy thunder-cloud seems to hang over him; for a moment a break in the darkness, a rift in the clouds, presents itself, and, though he might have prayed for legions of angels, he did not. The second Adam knows the issue of the tremendous trial, and, in full apprehension of the answer to his deepest prayer, he cries, Father, glorify thy Name. The "thy" is emphatic. A contrast is implied between the eternal glory and the glory of the Christ. "I am thine; thou art mine;" "Thy will be done;" "Not as I will, but as thou wilt;" "If this cup cannot pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done;" "Not my will, but thine be done." I bare my breast for the blow; I yield my ψυχή absolutely to thy control! God glorifies himself in many ways, and here we see the highest point to which the human can rise. Godet calls attention to the extraordinary mistake made by Colani, who founds a charge against the Gospel itself on the supposition that these solemn words were, "Father, glorify my Name." The synoptists tell us that at the baptism (Matthew 3:17) and at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5) a literal voice of words was heard from heaven conveying intelligible ideas to John the Baptist and subsequently to Peter, James, and John. And here the same John (son of Zebedee) records, not only that such a kind of voice was repeated on this occasion, but reports the very words themselves. There came therefore a voice out of heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. These words many of the crowd round about him, as well as Jesus himself, distinctly heard. The multitude that stood by said, It has thundered; hearing only a voice of thunder. It will not, however, on that account be fair to this evangelist to say (with Paulus, Lucke, and even Hengstenberg) that there was no objective audible voice which any ear beside that of Jesus could hear, and which none but the mind of Jesus could interpret. It is not sufficient to say "that the thunder and the voice were identical." Hengstenberg quotes numerous passages from the Old Testament where thunder was interpreted to mean the "voice of Jehovah" (1 Samuel 12:18; Psalm 29; Job 37:4; Psalm 18:13), but there are numerous passages both in the Old Testament and in the Gospels and Acts where an objective voice was heard. Such voice was at times accompanied by thunder, but not in the majority of cases. In the promises made in the garden of Eden, in the call of Moses and Samuel, and in the communion that passed between the Lord and Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, Solomon, and Elijah, Jehovah spake in audible words without such auxiliary. When communications were made to Eli, to David, to Hezekiah, and others, they were given by the lips of prophetic men. When the Law was given to all the tribes of Israel, the thunder-trumpet was exceeding loud and long, and the people could not bear the awful experience, so that the Lord was pleased to speak to Moses only, and he was to communicate with the people. The case of Elijah is remarkable because the "still small voice" is distinguished from the thunder, etc., which had preceded it. Why should Hengstenberg have refrained from giving these Old Testament facts their proper weight? The rationalistic view would make the words spoken to have been the inference that either Jesus or John drew from a clap of thunder, and must conclude that the crowd, so far as the objective fact was concerned, were practically in the right. The narrative itself recounts a varied appreciation of a distinct and objective fact. Those who were not alive to any voice from heaven confounded it with thunder, lowered the Divine communication down to an ordinary natural fact. Others, i.e. "a few others," were much nearer to the reality when they said, An angel hath spoken to him (compare reference to the angelic aid that came to the Lord in Gethsemane). The voice of God's plenipotentiary angel speaking in his Name, was recognized as a supernatural communication, though the meaning of it was not grasped (cf. the voice with which Jesus spoke to Paul on the way to Damascus). But we may reasonably suppose that these Greeks, that the disciples who surrounded Jesus, that the beloved John, found in the voice a direct answer to the previous sublime cry of the Lord. The prayer, "Father, glorify thy Name," received the answer, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again; i.e. In thy work and life hitherto, as Prophet, Master, Example, as my beloved Son, my Name has already been glorified in thee, and now in thy approaching sacrificial agony in which thou wilt become perfect as a Priest-King, and the Author of eternal salvation, "I will glorify it again."
The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
Verse 30. - Jesus answered to the confused murmur of remark, and said, This voice hath not come for my sake, but for your sakes. This surely establishes, on the authority of Jesus, the objective character of the revelation. "It was necessary that you should hear and know and feel who and what I am." Ever thinking of others, living in them, he thinks of their spiritual advantage now. Thoma says that whereas the whole scene corresponds with the synoptic account of Gethsemane, it is idealized on the basis of the Johannine idea of the Divine Lamb and the Logos in flesh, and that Jesus here shows that he needed no strengthening, as the objective revelation was entirely for the sake of others, and not for his own consolation. This ingenious criticism of Thoma rests on the unjustifiable hypothesis that the scene before us did not precede the agony of the garden, but was a bare invention of the evangelist, because the latter ruled that Gethsemane needed "idealization." Why should not the two scenes be equally true, revealing the fundamental identity of character and personality, the one, moreover, preparing for the other? (See notes on John 19.)
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Verses 31-36. - 5. The judgment of this world. Verse 31. - Still more emphatically does Christ expound the heavenly voice, and vindicate for himself the most solemn position with reference to the world and its prince. The" world," or humanity evolving itself to the highest form of a complicated civilization, was present to him far more vividly than when the tempter showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. Instead of holding them in royal fee of the devil, and of compelling them to do his bidding, he declares that his hour, which had come, was an hour of judicial condemnation for the world. The corruption of the world, the radical injury done to human nature, starts out on its beautiful and decorated front like the leprosy did on the face of Naaman. Now is a judgment of the world. Observe, not κρίσις. This is compatible with the statements of John 3:17-19, and not inconsistent with the frequent references in John 5. to the "last day." Because John gives prominence to the great principles of judgment, and implies that the books of remembrance and condemnation are written all over indelibly by the hand of the world itself, there is no proof that the Lord (in John) says nothing of the great catastrophic judgments of which the synoptic Gospels preserve the prophecy. Our Lord has rather revealed (according to John) the principles which make the judgment of the great day credible. What a man has become at any epoch of his existence, what a nation is about at any crisis of its history, whatsoever act represents the spirit of the whole world, is in each case the judgment which God, by his providence, passes upon him or it. Still more impressively with a second, Now, he adds, shall the prince of this world be cast out. The phrase, "archon of this world," is a well-known later Hebraic phrase for "the ruler of the darkness of this world," the shir-olam of the rabbinical books, the angel of death, to whom was entrusted the rulership of the world outside of the sacred family. Christ declares that his own hour, in which the world and its prince would seem to be triumphant, would be the hour when he should be cast out of earth as he had been already cast out of heaven. This expulsion and destruction of the power and works of the devil was one great end assigned to the manifestation of the Son of God (1 John 3:8). It is important, however, to notice the difference of tenses. "Now is the judgment of this world," - this is the immediate result of his death; "Now shall the prince of this world be east out" describes the gradual victory of truth, which is pursued more explicitly in the next verse.
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Verses 32, 33. - And I, if I be lifted out of (or, from) the earth, will draw all (men) to myself. Now this he spake, signifying by what death he was about to die. Ὑψωθῶ has been by Meyer, as well as many of the Fathers, referred to the Lord's resurrection and ascension. The ἐκ τῆς γῆς would certainly be in favor of it, and be a possible rendering if we hold (with Westcott and others) that resurrection and uplifting from the earth involve and presuppose a previous death, or that John always speaks of Christ's death as itself a glorious thing, as itself the commencement of the supreme glory of the Son of man. On the other hand - though this idea is reiterated by the opponents of the Fourth Gospel - there is nothing in the New Testament which makes the cross of Christ in itself a symbol of the exaltation of Jesus. Moreover, the next verse compels a closer reference to "the way in which he was about to die" - a mode of departure admirably expressed by the term "uplifting." The language of Jesus to Nicodemus, in which the same word occurs in describing the lifting up of the Son of man after the fashion in which the serpent was uplifted in the wilderness, confirms this interpretation of the evangelist, which we have no claim to traverse (cf. also John 18:32; John 21:19). Christ declared that the attraction of the cross would be mightier than all the fascination of the prince of this world. The word ἐλκύσω, "I will draw," is applied elsewhere (John 6:44) to the Father's work of grace, which preveniently prepares men to come to Christ. In these words we learn that the attraction of the cross of Christ will prove to be the mightiest and most sovereign motive ever brought to bear on the human will, and, when wielded by the Holy Spirit as a revelation of the matchless love of God, will involve the most sweeping judicial sentence that can be pronounced upon the world and its prince. In John 16:11 the belief or the conviction that the prince of this world has been already condemned (κέκριται) is one of the great results of the mission of the Comforter.
This he said, signifying what death he should die.
The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
Verse 34. - The audience of Jesus on this occasion has swollen into a vast group. The few Greeks, with Philip and Andrew, the other disciples, the smaller circle of sympathetic listeners, the disturbed and feverish crowd, are all about him, as he claims by death itself to judge the world, to win all men, and east out the spirit and prince of the world from his usurped throne. The multitude then answered him, We heard - received information by public teaching - out of the Law that the Christ abideth forever. Numerous passages may have been reasonably in their minds - Psalm 110; Isaiah 9; Ezekiel 37:25; Daniel 7:13, 14 - in which the glories of an everlasting kingdom were predicted. In ver. 23 the Lord had in their hearing spoken of himself as "Son of man." Meyer, by giving the dominant sense of glorification to the ὑψώθω, thinks that the people must be contrasting, in pert criticism, the lowly "Son of man" before them with the "Son of man" of Daniel's vision. But it would be far more probable that the people accepted Christ's intimation of the manner of his death, and hence felt the incongruity of such a Son of man - One who dies, and therefore lives again - with the glowing pictures of Daniel or the 'Book of Henoch.' "The Christ abideth forever." And how sayest thou that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? They did not identify "the Son of man" with the Messiah. They probably supposed two manifestations. They may have doubted, as John the Baptist did, whether Jesus had fulfilled the whole conception of the ἐρχόμενος. It was once more a vague, dull inquiry, "Who art thou?" We are still in doubt who thou art, and how thou canst claim to be the Christ of our prophecies. To be our Christ, and die, is a contradiction in terms.
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Verse 35. - Christ's reply is introduced with a simple εϊπεν. Jesus therefore said to them, not in answer to their question, but by taking up a title of dignity that he had claimed before, he evidently assumes to be the Light of the world (John 8:12), and now the time is almost over when they could see its luster or discern other things, either themselves, or their sins, or this world, or the next world, by that Light. The time for further instruction, or remonstrance, or declarations is at an end. The evangelist sums up, in vers. 44-50, the general substance of our Lord's teaching with reference to himself and his disciples and the world which would not believe; and thus, then, in a wonderful way, justifies, as it were, the non-answer to the captious question, "Who is this Son of man?" Yet a little while is the Light amongst you. The "little while" of our Lord's day of ministry was often upon his lips (John 7:33; John 13:33; John 14:19; John 16:16). Verily to his consciousness it must have been but as the twinkling of an eye, and now it was a very little while even for his hearers. Based on this solemn fact, he makes a last public appeal to individuals, propounding gracious invitation, Divine promise, solemn warning; and so he terminated his public ministry, and vanished from before them. As far as the memory of his living words and deeds might influence them, the Light, though not among them, might still shine, and the glory of Pentecost would renew the appeal. Walk as ye have the Light; make progress in the understanding of self, of duty, of time, of eternity, and act accordingly. The ὡς is the reading preferred to the ἕως of the T.R. in this and the following verse by Tischendorf, Meyer, Westport and Hort, and the Revisers' text. Meyer here differs from Godet and others who, accepting the reading ὡς, give it, in virtue of certain passages in the classics, the sense of quamdiu, and justly maintains the sense "as," "in the measure that." According to the light that you see, walk, lest (ἵνα μὴ, "in order that not") darkness overtake you: and he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth; lest the possibility of seeing the Divine revelation in me be taken from you, and lest there be taken away from you that which you seem to have (cf. Jeremiah 13:16). Then, in harmony with the great sayings of John 9:4, 5 and John 11:9, "In the night no man can work;" "In the night, when men cannot see the light of this world, they stumble over unseen perils and pitfalls;" so here, he says, in the darkness that will come upon men from making no use of the Light of the world, "they will not know whither they are going," they will find no work, have no perception of imminent danger, but, driven on and on by measureless force, they will drift over the fathomless unknown into infinite and endless suspense. When the Light of the world is spurned, and a godless evolution made to supply its place, humanity and the world have no goal set before them; there is no end at which they aim - no mind or will to guide the progress of mankind.
While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
Verse 36. - But he concludes with one more glorious invitation. As, up to this moment, you have the Light, Believe in the Light; treat it as light - receive the revelation I have given you (cf. the ninth and eleventh chapters); "Work while it is called today;" "stumble not;" make no irreparable mistake. "Become " - so walk that ye may become yourselves sons of Light, illumined and luminous. This fine expression is found in Luke 16:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; and, with alteration of υἱοὶ into τέκρα, in Ephesians 5:8. This last word, public word, of Jesus, which was in part accepted by some of his hearers, as we see from ver. 42, corresponds with the Beatitudes, and sustains one at least of the main theses of the prologue: "The Life was the Light of men." These things spake Jesus, and departed, and was hidden from them. This utterance records the close of the Lord's public ministry, and therefore the solemn termination of the various scenes and discourses preserved in the synoptic narrative. The people of his love saw him no more till he appeared as a criminal in the hands' of the officers of the Sanhedrin, on his way to the Praetorium. In the silence of the home- at Bethany he probably spent the last day of his earthly ministry, which terminated in the marvelous converse at the Last Supper. "This time it was no mere cloud which obscured the sun, for to them the sun itself had set." And now, through several verses, the evangelist presents his own reflections on the cause of the strange paradoxical proceeding which led "his own" not to receive him.
But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
Verses 37-43. -

6. The reflections of the evangelist. Verse 37. - Though he had done so many signs in their presence, yet they believed not on him, (Τοσαῦτα is discriminated from τοιαῦτα, Plat., 'Gorgias,' p. 456, c. The passages John 6:9; John 14:9; John 21:11, are generally held to establish the meaning of "so many," rather "so great;" the proof is not conclusive.) If "so many" be the correct reading, John is simply implying what he elsewhere expresses, that a widespread knowledge was possessed by him of groups of miraculous signs, of which he recorded only seven crucial symbolic specimens;

(1) wine;

(2) bread;

(3) walking on the sea;

(4) healing nobleman's son;

(5) healing impotent man;

(6) resurrection of Lazarus; to he followed by

(7) the healing of the ear of Malchns, and the resurrection of the Lord himself.

(a) Signs in heaven, earth and sea;

(b) startling miracles on human nature, and

(c) on dead men, did not compel belief. The inaccessibility of the people reveals their mental condition, but no reproach is thrown upon the method which the Lord took to reveal his Divine mission. The tragic refrain still echoes on, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not?
That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Verse 38. - In order that the words of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who believed our report? or the message which the prophets have delivered - the prediction they made of a suffering and rejected Christ, of One who would "sprinkle many nations," and in the very "travail of his soul see his seed." To whom was the arm of the Lord revealed? It does not mean that no hearts responded to the appeal, that the voice from heaven fell on no susceptible ears; but that it is one of the anomalies of human life that man does seem so insensible to his own highest interests. Prophets are always wondering at the condition of mankind. Even Jesus marveled at the unbelief of his hearers. The λόγος of Isaiah shows that prophets foresaw the issue of the kind of reception that a people who had been so faithless to Jehovah's lesser manifestations would give to the most amazing of all his self-disclosures. The ἵνα πληρωθῇ must not be explained away, the outline was presented by Isaiah of the reception which the favored but prejudiced and hardened house of Israel gave to Divine revelations. It would be filled in by the events which were then about to be enacted. God's intuition of actual facts, his unconditional foreknowledge of all contingent phenomena, do not necessitate their occurrence so as to deprive sinners of their guilt; yet when they have occurred, the causes which produced the widespread unbelief in the days of Isaiah were seen to be still at work, and to account for the strange incomprehensible mystery that blindness in part had happened to Israel. God works by law, and works freely by men and in them, not only foreseeing the evil and blindness, but positively punishing sin by blindness, taking away from a man that which he seemeth to have. By this means the "altar was built, the wood and the knife" for the great sacrifice. The use made of various portions of this oracle, by the Lord, by evangelists, by the apostles, by the deacon Philip, by Paul and Peter, shows that the early Church regarded it as the detailed description of the character suffering, and work of Christ. It became virtually a portion of the New Testament, and it was practically treated as such by Barnabas (100. 5, 'Ep. to Diog.,' 100. 49) and Justin Martyr (1 'Apol.,' 100. 50). The fifty-third of Isaiah may have been imperfectly understood by its author, may in his mind have had this, that, or the other original reference, and have suffered various Judaic interpretations. Modern criticism may scoff at it as a Messianic prophecy. All this does not touch the patent fact that nearly all the writers of the New Testament and numerous classes in the early Church used it as descriptive of their idea of Christ's work. It thus becomes of priceless value.
Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
Verses 39, 40. - In these verses, however, a deeper difficulty still is involved. The διὰ τοῦτο... ὅτι leave us no option (see John 7:21, 22) but to translate: For from this reason they were unable to believe (see other illustrations of the usage, John 5:18; John 8:47; John 10:17). There was a moral impossibility inherited by them through ages of rebellion and insensibility to Divine grace, and through their misuse of Divine revelation. The issue of it was, "'they could not believe." Because Isaiah said again; i.e. in another place; illustrative of this great Messianic oracle and the reception it would meet with from the nation as a whole. In the passage which follows we have a translation which does not directly correspond with either the Hebrew or the LXX. of Isaiah 6:9, 10. The prophet is bidden by the Lord to punish the people for their obduracy by blinding their eyes and hardening their heart, and even arresting the conversion and healing of the covenant people. This same solemn passage is quoted in four other places in the New Testament. Perhaps Luke 8:10 is hardly to be regarded as a citation; a small portion only of the passage is introduced from the prophet without reference to him, and this is inverted in order. In Matthew 13:14, 15 there is the nearer approach to the LXX., which, however, transforms the שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוםע, "to hear, hear ye," into ἀκοῇ ἀκούσετε, "by hearing ye shall hear;" and similarly with the other clauses, - the imperative of God's command to the prophet being resolved into the future of most certain accomplishment, and in place of "Lest they understand with their heart, and convert, and he [God] heal them," LXX. reads, "Lest... should convert, and I [who give you the command to deliver such a message, notwithstanding its results upon them] heal them." This St. Matthew has followed. Mark 4:12 has given a different representation again, and, while omitting a considerable portion of the passage, passes to the climax, which is put thus: "Lest they should be converted, and their sin should be forgiven them," showing that the evangelist, looking to the Hebrew rather than to the LXX., has resolved its meaning into a clearly related paraphrase. In Acts 28:26, 27 the passage almost verbally follows the LXX. Here in the remarks of St. John the whole passage seems independent of the LXX., and to have resolved the Hebrew "imperative," addressed to the prophet, into an awful assurance of Divine agency in the matter. Instead of "shut their eyes," Hebrew imperative, or LXX. "their eyes they closed," ἐκάμμυσαν, LXX., he says, τετύφλωκεν, He hath blinded their eyes; and so with the other terms: He hardened their heart; in order that they should not (lest they should) see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and should turn, and I should heal them. In ἰάσωμαι the evangelist, returning to the first person, draws a distinction between the retributive activity of the pre-existent Christ of the earlier revelation and the historical Savior. There is no slip or negligence. Godet and Hengstenberg go a long way in making God the Author of the sin and rejection, and the cause of the impossibility of their repentance and healing. That which in all the several quotations of this passage we learn from Isaiah's oracle is that the unforced and willful rejection of the Divine Word is visited by condign withdrawment of the faculty to receive even more accessible and apprehensible truth. This is the great law of Divine operation in the nature of all moral beings. This law is described as a distinctly foreseen event, and by LXX. as an apprehensible and even conspicuous fact, and it is quoted by St. John as the direct consequence of the Divine activity. He does not mean to say that, because Isaiah foretold this as a Divine reprobation, they, whether they would or not as individuals, were fated to die the death of blindness, but they could not believe, because, on the principle involved in Isaiah's predictions, the Divine government had fulfilled itself, had acted upon its universal law, and in consequence of vows and acts of willful disobedience, they had thus fallen into the curse that belongs to a neglect of the Divine. "They could not believe." Thus even now disinclination to God and to righteousness leads to moral incapacity. Sin is punished by its natural consequences: unbelief is punished by unsusceptibility to clearest evidence; prejudice by blindness; rejection of Divine love by inability to see it at its best. How is this natural evolution brought about? Surely by laws of God. What are these laws but God's ways of acting with all moral agents whatever?
He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
Verse 40. - There are several illustrations in this verse that the diction of the evangelist differs from that which he uses when recording the words of Christ. Thus ὅμως μέντοι is peculiar to John himself, and thus is an ἅπαξ λεγόμενον; but μέντοι occurs five times in the style of John himself (see John 4:27; John 7:13; John 12:42; John 20:5; John 21:4), not once by our Lord. Ὁμολογεῖν again is used four times by the evangelist, and seven times in the Epistles and Apocalypse, but never put by him into the lips of Jesus. Nevertheless many of the rulers believed on him. These words are used, not to mitigate the charge, but to show that, though individuals did believe, even among the rulers, they had not courage to avow their faith. The instances of Nicodemus and Joseph and others lie upon the surface. Godet thinks rather of Gamaliel and the like, "the Eras-muses of those days." Theirs was, indeed, an hypocrisy of unbelief, and it is not 'altogether banished from the modern world, and notwithstanding Christ's rejection by the nation as a nation, individuals saw his glory and believed. It is still true of municipalities, nations, even Churches, that they reject Christ, while individuals among them are molded by and obedient to the faith. But by reason of the Pharisees - our Lord's most deadly enemies, from John 1. to John 12. - they were making no confession - or, acknowledgment - of his claims, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; become the excommunicate, fall under the terrible ban (see John 9:22). The fear of class exclusion, the dread of running counter to the current opinion of the Church or the world, has led to much of the misery of both.
These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
Verse 41. - These things said Isaiah, because he saw his glory, and he spake of him. By this reference to the theophany of Isaiah 6:1, 2 the evangelist here identifies Christ with the Adonai whom the prophet saw in his vision, and thus expresses his conception of the Christ (comp. 1 Corinthians 10:4; Philippians 2:6). Because the prophet saw the glory of Christ, the unutterable majesty of the "Word of God," he delivered, as we know, this tremendous burden. Few utterances of the New Testament convey in more startling form the conviction of the apostles touching the pre-existence of the Lord, and the identification of the Divine Personality of the Christ, with the highest conception that the Hebrew prophet entertained of the Almighty One, of the eternal Godhead.
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Verse 43. - The generalization is given as a reason, For they loved the glory (δόξα, very nearly in the original Greek use of the word," opinion," "good reputation") of men, very much more (ἤπερ, another New Testament, ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, occurring in the narrative portion of John, and a mode in which the negative force of the is heightened; see Meyer, Jelf, p. 779, and English edition of Wirier, p. 549) than the glory of God. The form of the expressions, "of God' and "of men," is different from the παρὰ τοῦ μόνου Θεοῦ and παρὰ ἀλλήλων of John 5:44, and the statement is apparently inconsistent with the declaration that those in such a state of mind "could not believe." Moulton suggests that the glory here thought of by the apostle was the "glory" of ver. 41 - the glory of the union of the Redeemer with his people, the glory of suffering and death. The reference to Isaiah 6. appears to be the true solution. The glory of God himself in his awful holiness was of less interest than the glory of the Sanhedrin and the approval of the world. Alas! this glory is nearer, more obvious and has more to do with tangible, sensuous, advantages, than the Divine approval.
Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
Verses 44-50. -

7. The summation of the supreme conflict between our Lord and the world. The portion of the chapter which follows is regarded by most commentators, Lucke, Meyer, Godet, Olshausen, and Westcott, as a summary of our Lord's teaching, as a reiteration by the evangelist of those salient points of the Lord's ministry which, while they are the life of the world, are nevertheless the grounds on which blinded eyes and hardened hearts rejected him. Vers. 44-46 characterize the believer; vers. 47, 48 emphasize Christ's relation to the unbeliever; vers. 49, 50 the principle upon which both deliverances turn and will continue to turn. There are those who think that these were special private addresses to the disciples, uttered after our Lord (ἐκρύβη) was hidden, but the word (ἔκραξε) "cried aloud," would not then have been used, as it was used for the most public expressions of his doctrine, when given once for all (here comp. John 7:28, 37, with Luke 18:39). Keim, De Wette, Baur, and Hilgenfeld think that, because there is no fresh departure here, it is proof that all the discourses of Christ in John are similarly put together with no historical basis. But if it be so, this differs strangely from all the rest of our Lord's discourses recorded by John in that it has no occasion, or persons, or opportunity to which it seems to fit. Certain aorists suggest the idea that John has here given specimens of our Lord's appeals which had ended in his being rejected by the nation as a whole. Luthardt takes the view of these words being spoken totidem verbis on our Lord's departure, and with him Hengstenberg also agrees. These critics suppose that they form the closing words of our Lord's public ministry, delayed by the intercalary remarks of the evangelist, and really belong to the close of the thirty-sixth verse. Though the expressions flint follow are built upon the discourses elsewhere uttered, we admit, with Hengstenberg, that there is no verbal parallel that is at all close, and that therefore the evangelist must not be quoting from what he had already reported, but giving the substance of a threefold class of observations found from one end of the Gospel to the other, and in words that he had heard the Master use. Verses 44, 45. - Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me,PGBR> but on him that sent me; and he that beholdeth me, beholdeth him that sent me. These words do not occur before, but in every form our Lord had exalted "him that sent him." His doctrine or teaching, his purpose in manifestation, the secret food that sustained him, the Divine presence that never left him alone, the entire background of the mission of his human will and life into the world, the object of faith to men as revealed in his humanity, and that which the spiritual eye ought to see, nay - if the beholder did but know it does see, constitute an unveiling of the eternal Father who sent him into the world (see John 4:34; John 5:36; John 6:38; John 7:17, 18, 29; John 8:28, 42; John 10:38; cf. also John 14:1, 9, 24). It becomes, then, of high value to grasp the truth. We actually believe in God when believing in him. His mission is lost in the glory of God who appears in him. So far as he is sent, he was necessarily of lower order and rank than he who sent him. His humanity began to be in time; it was generated in the womb of the Virgin; it was sanctified and sent into the world; and yet through it there was the highest revelation of the Father. We cannot attribute so stupendous a thought to the evangelist, and at the same time we admit the portentous singularity and uniqueness of the consciousness which could thus aver identity of nature with God and the completeness of revelation that the Speaker was making in himself of the Father.
And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
Verse 46. - The revelation of God becomes the light of the soul and the light of the world. The evangelist had said, in his prologue, "In him was life," and the Life (the eternal Logos of life) was "the Light of men." All true understanding, all purifying, gracious influence shed on human affairs, nature, or destiny, are the issue and result of the Divine Life which, under every dispensation, has wrought in humanity. Above all, "the Light that lighteth every man," namely, that which has always and which ever will radiate from the life conferred on our humanity by the Logos, the life of God in mind and conscience, "came into the world" - came, that is, in a new and more effective form, came in the radiance of a perfect human life. The evangelist has sustained his teaching by quoting the solemn words of Jesus in John 3:19; John 8:12; also John 9:5, where a special narrative of miraculous love typified both the need in which the human family, the sacred Israel, and even his own disciples, stood of light, and of the light which he could pour upon the sightless eyeballs. And now the connection of this passage is - You could not behold me if light did not stream forth from me. I have come, and am come (ἐλήλυθα, this has been and is my abiding purpose; cf. John 5:43; John 7:28) a Light into the world, and my object has been and is that whosoever believeth on me - whoso-ever sees by the inward eye that which I really am, sees how my life stands related to the Father, whosoever assents to the new revelation thus given, even over and above the "inward light" of the Logos - should not abide in the darkness which enwraps all souls; for, as said in the prologue, "the Light" (the archetypal Light) shineth upon the darkness of human nature, and the darkness comprehendeth it not." It should be especially noticed that in 2 Corinthians 4:6 St. Paul had grasped and uttered the fullness of this thought.
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.
Verse 47. - If any one shall have heard my sayings, and have (guarded) kept them not. Here our Lord passes from the effect of his earthly life, which is light, to that of the words (ῤημάτα) by which the whole future of mankind will be affected, and one is reminded of the close of the sermon on the mount, where the condition of that man is portrayed who hears the λόγους of Christ and doeth them net, whose destiny will be determined by the natural course of things (see Matthew 7:26, 27). Keep (guard) them not (see Matthew 19:20). The "hearing" is clearly not identical with spiritual acceptance, but is restricted to the awful charge of responsibility that comes upon every man who simply hears, knows what Christ's words are, and then "keeps" them not so as to fulfill their intention. Christ says, I judge him not. I am not now pronouncing a sentence upon him; I am his Savior; but this is his condemnation, that he believes not, etc. (John 3:17-19). Our Lord claimed, in the sermon on the mount, to be the Executor of a judgment, and in John 5:22-29 he declared that he would be as Son of man, the final Adjudicator of doom on the disobedient (cf. Matthew 25.), and in many places he made this thought even more solemn by speaking of himself on that occasion, not as the compassionate Savior, but the Administrator of an inviolable law, which cannot be swayed by immediate emotion, but will effectuate itself on eternal and unswerving principles. The Law accuses the old Law (John 5:45) - but I judge him not; for I came (η΅λθον) not to judge, but to save the world, referring to the Incarnation in its purport and supreme motive.
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Verse 48. - He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings (ῤήματα), hath one that judgeth him - perhaps, that which judgeth him - the word (λόγος) which I spake, that will judge him at the last day. There is no more awful utterance than this (romp. 1 John 4:17; 2 Corinthians 5:10, where the irresistible power of a searching inviolable Law is vindicated). How strange that some critics should, with a view to disparage the authenticity of the Gospel, make it appear that there is no reference in it to judgment to come, or to the last day, and should deliberately ignore this feature of the Johannine Gospel!
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Verses 49, 50. - There is much emphasis to be laid upon the ὅτι, which implies that our Lord would give a sacred reason for the tremendous power with which his λόγος would be invested. The λόγος, the ῤήμα, is not simply his; it did not proceed from himself only, from his humanity, or even his Divine Sonship alone, but from the Father which sent me. He stood and spake always as the Voice of the Eternal One, from whom he came, with saving powers. He has given me commandment what I should say, and what I should speak. The two words εϊπω and λαλήσω (dicam and loquar, Vulgate), though Hengstenberg says it is frivolous to distinguish, are supposed by Meyer, Westcott, and Godet, to discriminate matter and form, as Godet says, "What I should say, and how I should say it." My words and their manner and opportunity and tone are all of them the outcome of the Father's ἐντολὴ. It certainly is incredible that John could have put these words into the lips of Jesus. They are no mere summary. They are set down with awful sincerity as having burned themselves into his memory. But the Lord added, "I may be rejected and my words spurned, and yet they may go on as apparitors of judgment, but however that may be, and I know (οϊδα) that his commandment, his commission to me, is life eternal - is so now" (cf. John 3:36; John 17:3; 1 John 5:12, 13). "The Law is ordained unto life," said Paul, and "the goodness of God leadeth us unto repentance." The depth of this sublime experience goes down and back into the eternal counsels. The things which therefore I speak (am speaking even at this moment), even as the Father has said unto me, so I speak. "In rejecting me and my words, men reject and insult the Father. His word they dare to renounce, as solemn and unalterable as the word spoken on Sinai. They not only reject me, but they count themselves unworthy of eternal life. They not only spurn Law, but love." Thus, at the conclusion of the public ministry, the evangelist sets forth, in a few burning words, the theme of the prologue, so far as it is realized in the offer of a full revelation of the Logos to the world in human flesh. This Logos found adequate utterance through the human life and lips of Jesus. "The Father has been so amply revealed that the non-believer and rejecter, who hears and does not keep my sayings, is disbelieving and rejecting Hill." These potent words, and this wonderful conclusion of the entire record of the public ministry of Jesus, is the appropriate summary of teachings which were now brought to a dose. Without any exact parallels, they breathe the spirit of the whole teaching, they supply the basis of the prologue. It is, however, dear that the style is different from the prologue, and from the reflection of the evangelist in previous verses. Just as the whole Gospel is a series of recollections which form from their own intrinsic glory and truth a sacred inimitable whole, so this spicilegium is a brief evangelium in evangelio - a gathering up of the whole in the narrow compass of a few precious lines. Though "the hour" has come, it waits. The comparison between this method of the evangelist and that of the apocalyptist is very impressive.

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
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