John 8:46 MEANING

John 8:46
(46) Which of you convinceth me of sin?--He appeals to their knowledge of His sinless life, as in John 8:29. He asserted His own knowledge of entire conformity to His Father's will. It is an appeal that spotless purity alone could make, and is His own testimony uttered in the dignity of certain knowledge. (Comp. John 14:30.)

If I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?--We may suppose that the last question was probably followed by a pause, during which any one might have answered the challenge. No one of all who had watched Him in Galilee and Judaea dared utter a syllable. Their silence is the seal to His own testimony. But if He is thought of by these as without sin, they cannot think of His words as untrue. They admit, then, that He speaks the truth, and yet they do not believe. On the absolute sinlessness of Christ, comp. 1 John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:19; 1 Peter 1:22.

Verse 46. - Which of you convieteth me of sin? Ἐλέγχω is used in the sense of John 16:6-8 (see note) - Which of you can justify a charge of sin against me? can bring it home to me or others? Sin (ἁμαρτία) is not mere "error," as Erasmus and some others have urged, because the word throughout the New Testament (and in the classics when not accompanied by some explanatory term) always means "contrariety to the will of God," moral offence not intellectual defect (so Meyer, Luthardt, Godet, Westcott). Nor is it sound exegesis to limit ἁμαρτία to one particular form of sin (such as "false doctrine," Calvin, Melancthon, Tholuck). There is no need to limit its reference; and in the unanswered query, while we cannot say that by itself this passage is sufficient to demonstrate the sinlessness of Christ, it reveals a sublime depth in his translucent consciousness that places him - unless he were the most deluded or self-sufficient of human teachers - on a different position from all other Divine messengers. In proportion as other great moral prophets have set their own standard high, they have become conscious of their own defects; and from Moses to St. Paul, from Augustine to St. Francis, the saintliest men have been the most alive to their own departures from their ideas of right. The standard of Jesus is higher than that of any other, and he appears nevertheless absolutely without need of repentance, above the power of temptation, beyond the range of conviction. True, the Jews brought a charge of madness and folly upon him immediately; but, so far from convincing him or mankind, they stand forever covered with the shame of their own incompetence to apprehend his message or himself. He being, then, without sin, and assuming that he stands in the eternal truth, and is the absolute Truth of things, and that he cannot from his moral purity deceive or misinform them, and that his testimony to himself is final, sufficient, and trustworthy, asks, If I say the truth - without your having convicted me of sin or brought any moral obliquity or offence against me - if I say (the) truth, why do ye not believe me? The reason is in them rather than in him. Their non-belief discloses no flaw in his revelation, but makes it evident that they and he are on different planes of being, with a discrepant, opposed, moral paternity. "Why do ye not believe me?" He marvelled at their unbelief! He is from God; they are from God's great enemy. The moral perfection of Jesus as the God-Man is absolutely necessary to his character as "God's Lamb," as "the Only Begotten," "the Son," and as "the Judge," of the human race. As he subsequently said, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing fit me." To account for this sinless, perfect humanity, the entire conception of the Divine nature blended in indissoluble union with his own is found imperative at every epoch of Christ's life. At every development of his official character, in every new combination of circumstance, in conflict and sorrow, when smarting from treachery and dying alone upon the cross, he is "perfect," he fulfils the perfect norm, he reaches the standard of Divine humanity. There is no discrepance here with even Mark's account of his language to the young ruler (Mark 10:18), for he does not there say that he is not good, nor does he do other than suggest that he is identified with the One who is good.

8:41-47 Satan prompts men to excesses by which they murder themselves and others, while what he puts into the mind tends to ruin men's souls. He is the great promoter of falsehood of every kind. He is a liar, all his temptations are carried on by his calling evil good, and good evil, and promising freedom in sin. He is the author of all lies; whom liars resemble and obey, with whom all liars shall have their portion for ever. The special lusts of the devil are spiritual wickedness, the lusts of the mind, and corrupt reasonings, pride and envy, wrath and malice, enmity to good, and enticing others to evil. By the truth, here understand the revealed will of God as to the salvation of men by Jesus Christ, the truth Christ was now preaching, and which the Jews opposed.Which of you convinceth me of sin?.... Of any immorality in life, or of any imposture, corruption, or deceit in doctrine. There were many of them that were forward enough to charge him with both scandalous sins, and false doctrines; but none of them all could prove anything against him, so as to convict him according to law: they called him a wine bibber, and a glutton; gave out they knew he was a sinner; charged him with blasphemy and sedition; sought to bring proof of it, but failed in their attempt:

and if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? since as no sin in life, so no corruption in doctrine, could be proved against him, what he said must be truth; and therefore it was a most unreasonable thing in them, and showed invincible obstinacy, not to believe him.

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