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John vii. 43.
Joha vii. H.
John vii. 45.
John vii. 46.
John vii. 47.
So there was a division among the people be- Jerusalem. cause of him.
And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.
Then came the officers to the Chief Priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?
The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived ?
Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?
But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed 7.
Nicodemus saith unto them, (she that came Ch. iii. 2. * to Jesus by night, being one of them,) * Doth our law judge any man, before it hear Deut. xvii.S,
&c. & xix. 15. him, and know what he doeth?
They answered and said unto him, Art thou
John vii, 48.
John vii. 49.
John vii. 50.
* Gr. to him.
John vii. 51.
John vii. 52
7 How beautiful is the contrast between the humility of our Lord, and the halfliterary, half-spiritual pride, of the Jews. Christ, whose knowledge of all things, both in heaven and earth, was superior to that of men and angels, and of which the human intellect cannot form an idea, even when it shall be elevated and enlarged in the next stage of our existence, condescended to the lowest of the people, and called all who were meek and lowly, " his friends." The Pharisees, on the contrary, mistook knowledge for religion, and believed in the future happiness of the learned, and the condemnation of the ignorant. Those who had not devoted themselves to the study of the law were called yo807-Dy, the people of the earth: and these were contrasted with the vip sy, the holy people: they considered the people of the earth as cursed (a).
All mankind, like the Pharisees of old, seem to be intent upon despising each other. The learned contemn the ignorant ; the gay, the sorrowful; the rich, the poor ; and fashion violently breaks asunder the nearest and dearest ties of relationship, where the deficiency of wealth is felt. In this world, pride, rank, and affluence, claim the pre-eminence; in the other, the highest rewards of heaven are promised to the most humble and the most meek, whether they be rich or poor.
God prefers the heart to the head ; piety, to parts and capacity: and is much better pleased with the right use of the will, than the advantage of the understanding (6).
(a) They had a saying, which is preserved in Pirke Aboth, c. ij. 5. DY N'S qon 1787 plebeius non est pius.-Schoetgen, Hor. Heb. vol. i. p. 363. (6) Spoken of Edward the Confessor, by Collier, Eccles. Hist. vol. i. p. 225.
Jerusalem. also of Galilee? Search, and look : for out of
Galilee ariseth no prophet.
And every man went unto his own house.
John vii. 53.
John viii. 1.
Conduct of Christ to the Adulteress and her Accusers *.
JOHN viii. 2-12.
And early in the morning he came again into John viii. 2. the temple, and all the people came unto him ; and he sat down, and taught them.
8 The genuineness of this passage has been much controverted. The arguments on each side of the question may be seen at great length in Kuinoel (a), who has decided in favour of its authenticity. Erasmus, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Le Clerc, Wetstein, Semler, Schulze, Morus, Haenlein, Wegscheider, Paulus, Schmidt, and Titman, have impugned its authenticity; and, on the opposite side of the question, may be ranked Mill, Whitby, Heuman, Michaelis, Storr, Langius, Detmersius, and others, with Lightfout, Dr. A. Clarke, Mr. Nolan, and Mr. Horne.
Dr. Doddridge (6) has justly observed, that the Pharisees who brought the woman to Christ, wished to render him obnoxious either to the people or to the Romans. If he condemned the woman to death, it would be considered as intruding upon the judicial authority of the Romans: if he acquitted her altogether, it would be considered as sanctioning a violation of the Jewish law.
On the propriety of our Lord's conduct, in the circumstances here recorded, Bishop Law observes (c), when the woman said to be apprehended in adultery is brought before our Lord, merely with a malicious view of drawing him into a difficulty, whatever determination he should give, (ver. 6.) we find him stooping down, and writing on the ground. Where it is observable, that all that he does was in as exact conformity as the place would admit to the trial of the adulterous wife prescribed by God in Numb. v. 11, &c. where the priest was to stoop down and take some of the dust from the floor of the tabernacle, (ver. 17); and likewise write out the curses denounced upon that occasion, (ver. 25.) By that act, therefore, Christ declares himself willing to take cognizance of this affair, if they were willing to abide the consequence, viz. according to their own traditions, to be involved in the same curse if they proved equally guilty: on which account this way of trial was abolished by the Sanhedrim about that very time ; since
(a) Comment. in libros Histor. N. T. vol. iii. p. 286. (6) Family Expositor, vol. i. p. 527. (c) Reflections on the Life of Christ, 12mo. 1803, London, p. 75, 76, note. The same work is generally printed at the end of the “ Theory of Religion.”
John viii. 3.
John viii. 4.
John viii. 5.
John viii. 6.
John viii. 7.
And the Scribes and Pharisees brought unto Jerusalem. him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
u Now Moses in the law commanded us, that u Lev. xx. 10. such should be stoned : but what sayest thou?
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, *He that is without x Deut. xvii. sin among you,
let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers ? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
John viii. 8.
John viii. 9.
John viii. 10.
John viii. 11.
that sin, say the Jews, grew then so very common. It is likewise probable that Christ might, by his countenance and gesture, show those hypocrites how well he was aware both of their ill design in thus demanding judgment from him, and of their own obnoxiousness to the same punishment which Moses' law appointed for that crime, and which, through a pretended zeal, they took upon themselves the power of executing, though they were no less guilty of the very same sin, as is most probably implied in his words to them.
y Chai 5. & ix.5.
: Ch. v. 31.
John viii. 15.
Christ declares himself the Son of God.
JOHN viii. 12–21. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, " I John viii. 12. am the light of the world 9: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The Pharisees therefore said unto him, 2 Thou John viii. 13. bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I John viii. 14. bear record of myself, yet my record is true : for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
Ye judge after the flesh ; I judge no man.
And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I John viii. 16. am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
a It is also written in your law, that the testi- John viii. 17. mony
of two men is true.
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father ? John viii. 19.
These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he John vii, 20.
a Deut. xvii. 6. Matt. xviii, 16.
Christ declares the Manner of his Death.
JOHN viii. 21. to the end.
9 Our Lord here claims one of the titles given by the Jews to the Deity. Tanchuma. fol. 63. 3. and Banamidbar rabba, sect. 15. fol. 229.1. The Israel. ites said to God, Holy, blessed, Lord of the whole world, bbw yw g) X977 TDX. “ Thou art the light of the world.” If our Lord applied the word in this sense, He made himself equal with God. But the expression was sometimes used also as a title of honour to Moses ; whom the Jews called obyn 978, "the light of the world :" if our Lord referred to this custom, He made himself equal to Moses, as the founder of a new dispensation.-Schoetgen. vol. i. p. 366. and Tzerot Hammor, fol. 114. 3. ap. Gill. vol. iii. p. 474.
John viii. 23.
John viii. 26
John viii. 29.
and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins : Jerusalem,
whither I go, ye cannot come. John viii. 22. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? be
cause he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath ;
of this world.
your sins : for if ye believe not that I am he, ye
shall die in your sins.
Jesus said unto them, Even the same that I said
I have many things to say and to judge of you:
world those things which I have heard of him. John viil. 27. They understood not that he spake to them of
lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that
And he that sent me is with me : the Father
things that please him. John viii. 30. As he spake these words, many believed on
him. John viii. 31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed
on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye
my disciples indeed ; John viii. 32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free. John viii. 33. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed,
and were never in bondage to any man: how
sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?" John viii. 31.
Jesus answered then, Verily, verily, I say
Whosoever committeth sin is the ser- b Rom. vi. 16. vant of sin.
2 Pet. ii, 19. John riii. 35.
And the servant abideth not in the house for
ever: but the Son abideth ever. John vili. 36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye
shall be free indeed.
I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye
seek to kill me, because my word hath no place John viii. 38. 1 speak that which I have seen with my Fa
John viil. 87.