John 8:30 MEANING

John 8:30
(30) Many believed on him.--Wonder has often been expressed at the want of apprehension spoken of in John 8:27. There is surely no less room for wonder in the faith spoken of here. Those who believe are of the rulers ("those Jews," John 8:31). The words which they now heard (John 8:28-29) contain nothing of what we commonly call proof. They are an appeal to the future which should prove them true, and to His own consciousness of perfect obedience to the Father's will, and of unbroken realisation of the Father's presence. They are indeed, in part, words which men have since dwelt upon to prove that He who uttered them did not claim to be divine. It was not so with those who heard Him. They are watching for a technical assertion of His divinity, and do not hear it; but they are convinced by the power of His words that He is divine. (Comp. Note on John 7:31.) These scribes and Pharisees feel, as their officers felt before, that "Never man spake like this Man." Where was priest or Rabbi who could appeal to the spotless purity of a life? There is the irresistible power of truth in the appeal which carries conviction to the heart. We have already found in the case of Nicodemus an example, probably not a solitary one, of a faith among the rulers which dared not confess itself. (See also John 12:42.)

Verse 30. - As he spake these words, many believed on him. This is another interjected comment or connecting link supplied by the evangelist, revealing intimate knowledge of the state of feeling and changeful emotions of the people. Another hint of the eyewitness and ear witness of this memorable scene; and, supposing that we read here a correct transcript of words that proceeded from his lips, we can do no other than cry with Thomas, "My Lord, and my God!" The remark is intercalated, as though St. John wished to emphasize the accuracy with which he had reported, on this occasion, the very words of his Lord, conveying their ambiguous phrase, and asserting in fresh form what had convinced St. John, on subsequent reflection, that he was what he said. The phrase, πιστεύειν εἰς, to believe in or on, a person, is to close with him, to accept all the collateral consequences of such trust, to be content to wait for fuller explanation, to cast self upon the object of faith, and allow the object of such trust to bear all the responsibility of the act. It is the form most frequently adopted by St. John (John 2:11; John 3:16, 18, 36; John 4:39, and many other places; cf. John 14:1, 12; John 17:20); only once in the synoptic narrative (Matthew 18:6 with Mark 9:42). The form πιστεύειν ἐπί occurs occasionally with the accusative (1 John 3:23, and frequently in the Acts); and πιστεύειν ἐπί with the dative, also! πιστεύειν ἐν, are used, implying even a closer and more intimate communion still with the Object of faith (see John 16:30). With these forms must be compared the more common one with the simple dative, πιστεύειν τινί, which occurs in vers. 31, 45, and John 14:11, etc., which implies acceptance of the saying, promise, or fact there propounded, and falls short of the moral surrender involved in the fuller form. John here asserts that many of his hearers, those who had hitherto refrained from full acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God, yielded to his claims there and then. This faith on the part of "some" is almost more wonderful than the unbelief of others. The difficulties in their way were appalling in comparison with the perplexities which beset our minds. The Lord appealed to his own inner consciousness, to his supernatural aid in speech, to the spotless, sinless character of his hidden life. It was remarkable that any strangers or enemies should have surrendered themselves to them. The event shows that the surrender could not stand the test.

8:30-36 Such power attended our Lord's words, that many were convinced, and professed to believe in him. He encouraged them to attend his teaching, rely on his promises, and obey his commands, notwithstanding all temptations to evil. Thus doing, they would be his disciples truly; and by the teaching of his word and Spirit, they would learn where their hope and strength lay. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts feel no other grievances than those that molest the body, and distress their worldly affairs. Talk to them of their liberty and property, tell them of waste committed upon their lands, or damage done to their houses, and they understand you very well; but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and liberty by Christ; tell of wrong done to their precious souls, and the hazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange things to their ears. Jesus plainly reminded them, that the man who practised any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which was the case with most of them. Christ in the gospel offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. But often we see persons disputing about liberty of every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.As he spake these words,.... Concerning his being lifted up, or his crucifixion, and the knowledge the Jews should then have of him; of the excellency and divinity of his doctrine, of his mission from the Father, and of the Father's presence with him, and of his always doing the things that are pleasing in his sight; which were spoken by him with majesty and authority, and came with power:

many believed on him: as the Son of God, and true Messiah: faith came by hearing; Christ's hearers were of different sorts; some understood him not, and disbelieved, and rejected him; others had their eyes, and their hearts opened, and received him, and his words.

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