John 8:52 MEANING

John 8:52
(52) Abraham is dead, and the prophets.--They still "do not understand His speech," and take His words in a merely physical sense. In that sense they were impossible, for they are contradicted by the fact that death came to the great Patriarch and the prophets, and if to them, then surely, much more to ordinary men. They regard it as conclusive that their assertion in John 8:48 is correct. No one, except a man under the influence of a demon, would make an assertion so opposed to the almost unbroken experience of mankind.

If a man keep my saying.--Better, If a man keep My word, as in last verse.

He shall never taste of death.--The expression is stronger than that which He had used, "shall never see death." They use it to put in the strongest way their wonder at the impossible promise which He had uttered. It has occurred before in Matthew 16:28. (See Note there.) It occurs again in the New Testament only in Hebrews 2:9.

Verse 52. - The Jews - the adverse dominant party, ready always to misunderstand his words - (then) said to him, Now - in reference to their own charge (ver. 48), which he had solemnly disclaimed - we know (we have come to know, ἐγνώκαμεν) that thou hast a daemon. They imply that he must be under some most bewildering hallucination. These words have scattered their momentary hesitation. They must have reasoned thus: "He who claims such power for his own words must have personal immunity from death. This is a daemoniacal folly and delusion. There have been greater than he who heard and kept the words of God, and who, nevertheless, did not escape death." Abraham died, and the prophets (died); and thou sayest, If a man keep my word, he shall never taste of death. Here observe the wilful alteration of the Saviour's words. In place of τὸν λόγον τὸν ἐμόν, "the word that is mine," they quote him as saying, τὸν λόγον μου, "my word," "the word of me" which conveys a more personal claim; and again, in lieu of the remarkable phrase, οὐ θεωρήσῃ, they say, οὐ μὴ γεύσηται equivalent to "shall not in any way experience death" - a form of expression incompatible with the fact of the physical death of his followers and a fortiori of himself. The believer, even like the Lord, does taste of death (Hebrews 2:9), but he does not see it. The phrase, γεύσεται θανάτου, is a rabbinical one for "drinking the cup of death" (cf. John 18:11; Revelation 18:6).

8:48-53 Observe Christ's disregard of the applause of men. those who are dead to the praises of men can bear their contempt. God will seek the honour of all who do not seek their own. In these verses we have the doctrine of the everlasting happiness of believers. We have the character of a believer; he is one that keeps the sayings of the Lord Jesus. And the privilege of a believer; he shall by no means see death for ever. Though now they cannot avoid seeing death, and tasting it also, yet they shall shortly be where it will be no more forever, Ex 14:13.Then said the Jews unto him,.... Upon these last words that he spake, giving assurance, that whoever kept his saying, should not die:

now we know that thou hast a devil; they thought and said so before, but now they were assured, that he must be under diabolical influence, must be possessed with the devil, and mad, and out of his senses; for they thought no man in his senses would ever talk at this rate:

Abraham is dead, and the prophets; that is, they are dead also, as the Ethiopic version adds; see Zechariah 1:5;

and thou sayest, if a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death: Abraham and the prophets were so far from pretending by their doctrine to communicate life and secure men from death, that they could not keep themselves from dying; and therefore it must be diabolical madness and frenzy to assert anything of this kind.

Courtesy of Open Bible