Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI

In this book is set down the history of the Son of God dwelling among men; that,

 I. Of the first days, where the apostle, premising the sum
      of the whole......................................... Chap. i, 1-14
     Mentions the testimony given by John, after the baptism of
      Christ, and the first calling of some of the apostles.
     Here is noted what fell out,
     The first day................................................. 15-28
     The day after................................................. 29-34
     The day after................................................. 35-42
     The day after................................................. 43-52
     The third day.............................................. ii, 1-11
     After this....................................................... 12
 II. Of the two years between, spent chiefly in journeys to and
       from Jerusalem,
   A. The first journey, to the passover.............................. 13
     a. Transactions in the city,
       1. Zeal for his Father's house.............................. 14-22
       2. The power and wisdom of Jesus............................ 23-25
       3. The instruction of Nicodemus......................... iii, 1-21
     b. His abode in Judea; the rest of John's testimony........... 22-36
     c. His journey through Samaria (where he confers with
         the Samaritan woman) into Galilee, where he heals
         the nobleman's son..................................... iv, 1-54
   B. The second journey to the feast of pentecost.
        Here may be observed transactions,
     a. In the city, relating to the impotent man, healed at
         the pool of Bethesda.................................... v, 1-47
     b. In Galilee, before the second passover and after.
         Here we may note,
       1. His feeding the five thousand......................... vi, 1-14
       2. Walking upon the sea..................................... 15-21
       3. Discourse of himself, as the bread of life............... 22-59
       4. Reproof of those who objected to it...................... 60-65
       5. Apostasy of many, and steadiness of the apostles......... 66-71
       6. His continuance in Galilee.............................. vii, 1
   C. The third journey, to the feast of tabernacles................ 2-13
       Here may be observed transactions,
     a. In the city,
       1. In the middle and end of the feast....................... 14-53
                                                                  viii; 1
       Where note,
        1. The woman taken in adultery.............................. 2-12
        2. Christ's preaching and vindicating his doctrine......... 13-30
        3. His confuting the Jews and escape from them............. 31-59
        4. His healing the man born blind........................ ix, 1-7
        5. Several discourses on that occasion...................... 8-41
        6. Christ the Door and the Shepherd of the sheep......... x, 1-18
        7. Different opinions concerning him....................... 19-21
       2. At the feast of the dedication. here occur,
        1. His disputes with the Jews..................... Chap. x, 22-38
        2. His escaping their fury.................................... 39
     b. Beyond Jordan.............................................. 40-42
 III. Of the last days, which were,
   A. Before the great week, where we may note,
     a. The two days spent out of Judea, while Lazarus was
          sick and died.......................................... xi, 1-6
     b. The journey into Judea; the raising of Lazarus;
          the advice of Caiaphas; Jesus's abode in Ephraim;
          the order given by his adversaries........................ 7-57
     c. The sixth day, before the passover; the supper at Bethany; the
          ointment poured on Jesus............................. xii, 1-11
   B. In the great week, wherein was the third passover, occur,
     a. On the three former days, his royal entry into the city;
          the desire of the Greeks; the obstinacy of the Jews;
          the testimony given to Jesus from heaven................. 12-50
     b. On the fourth day, the washing the feet of the disciples;
          the discovery of the traitor,
          and his going out by night.......................... xiii, 1-30
     c. On the fifth day,
      1. His discourse
        1. Before the paschal supper.................................. 31
                                                          Chap. xiv, 1-31
        2. After it........................................ xv,  and xvi.
      2. His prayer........................................... xvii, 1-26
      3. The beginning of his passion,
        1. In the garden..................................... xviii, 1-11
        2. In Caiaphas's house..................................... 12-27
     d. On the sixth day,
      1. His passion under Pilate,
        1. In the palace of Pilate.................................... 28
                                                                xix, 1-16
        2. On the cross............................................ 17-30
      2. His death................................................. 30-37
      3. His burial................................................ 38-42
   C. After the great week,
     a. On the day of the resurrection.......................... xx, 1-25
     b. Eight days after........................................... 26-31
     c. After that
       1. He appears to his disciples at the sea of Tiberias... xxi, 1-14
       2. Orders Peter to feed his sheep and lambs................. 15-17
       3. Foretells the manner of Peter's death, and checks
           his curiosity about St John............................. 18-23
       4. The conclusion........................................... 24,25

Chapter I

1 In the beginning - (Referring to Gen 1:1, and Prov 8:23.) When all things began to be made by the Word: in the beginning of heaven and earth, and this whole frame of created beings, the Word existed, without any beginning. He was when all things began to be, whatsoever had a beginning. The Word - So termed Psa 33:6, and frequently by the seventy, and in the Chaldee paraphrase. So that St. John did not borrow this expression from Philo, or any heathen writer. He was not yet named Jesus, or Christ. He is the Word whom the Father begat or spoke from eternity; by whom the Father speaking, maketh all things; who speaketh the Father to us. We have, in John 1:18, both a real description of the Word, and the reason why he is so called. He is the only begotten Son of the Father, who is in the bosom of the Father, and hath declared him. And the Word was with God - Therefore distinct from God the Father. The word rendered with, denotes a perpetual tendency as it were of the Son to the Father, in unity of essence. He was with God alone; because nothing beside God had then any being. And the Word was God - Supreme, eternal, independent. There was no creature, in respect of which he could be styled God in a relative sense. Therefore he is styled so in the absolute sense. The Godhead of the Messiah being clearly revealed in the Old Testament, (Jer 23:7; Hos 1:6; Psa 23:1,) the other evangelists aim at this, to prove that Jesus, a true man, was the Messiah. But when, at length, some from hence began to doubt of his Godhead, then St. John expressly asserted it, and wrote in this book as it were a supplement to the Gospels, as in the Revelation to the prophets.
2 The same was in the beginning with God - This verse repeats and contracts into one the three points mentioned before. As if he had said, This Word, who was God, was in the beginning, and was with God.
3 All things beside God were made, and all things which were made, were made by the Word. In Joh 1:1,2 is described the state of things before the creation: Joh 1:3, In the creation: Joh 1:4, In the time of man's innocency: Joh 1:5, In the time of man's corruption.
4 In him was life - He was the foundation of life to every living thing, as well as of being to all that is. And the life was the light of men - He who is essential life, and the giver of life to all that liveth, was also the light of men; the fountain of wisdom, holiness, and happiness, to man in his original state.
5 And the light shineth in darkness - Shines even on fallen man; but the darkness - Dark, sinful man, perceiveth it not.
6 There was a man - The evangelist now proceeds to him who testified of the light, which he had spoken of in the five preceding verses.
7 The same came for (that is, in order to give) a testimony - The evangelist, with the most strong and tender affection, interweaves his own testimony with that of John, by noble digressions, wherein he explains the office of the Baptist; partly premises and partly subjoins a farther explication to his short sentences. What St. Matthew, Mark, and Luke term the Gospel, in respect of the promise going before, St. John usually terms the testimony, intimating the certain knowledge of the relator; to testify of the light - Of Christ.
9 Who lighteth every man - By what is vulgarly termed natural conscience, pointing out at least the general lines of good and evil. And this light, if man did not hinder, would shine more and more to the perfect day.
10 He was in the world - Even from the creation.
11 He came - In the fulness of time, to his own - Country, city, temple: And his own - People, received him not.
12 But as many as received him - Jews or Gentiles; that believe on his name - That is, on him. The moment they believe, they are sons; and because they are sons, God sendeth forth the Spirit of his Son into their hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
13 Who were born - Who became the sons of God, not of blood - Not by descent from Abraham, nor by the will of the flesh - By natural generation, nor by the will of man - Adopting them, but of God - By his Spirit.
14 Flesh sometimes signifies corrupt nature; sometimes the body; sometimes, as here, the whole man. We beheld his glory - We his apostles, particularly Peter, James, and John, Luke 9:32. Grace and truth - We are all by nature liars and children of wrath, to whom both grace and truth are unknown. But we are made partakers of them, when we are accepted through the Beloved. The whole verse might be paraphrased thus: And in order to raise us to this dignity and happiness, the eternal Word, by a most amazing condescension, was made flesh, united himself to our miserable nature, with all its innocent infirmities. And he did not make us a transient visit, but tabernacled among us on earth, displaying his glory in a more eminent manner, than even of old in the tabernacle of Moses. And we who are now recording these things beheld his glory with so strict an attention, that we can testify, it was in every respect such a glory as became the only begotten of the Father. For it shone forth not only in his transfiguration, and in his continual miracles, but in all his tempers, ministrations, and conduct through the whole series of his life. In all he appeared full of grace and truth: he was himself most benevolent and upright; made those ample discoveries of pardon to sinners, which the Mosaic dispensation could not do: and really exhibited the most substantial blessings, whereas that was but a shadow of good things to come.
15 John cried - With joy and confidence; This is he of whom I said - John had said this before our Lord's baptism, although he then knew him not in person: he knew him first at his baptism, and afterward cried, This is he of whom I said. &c. He is preferred before me - in his office: for he was before me - in his nature.
16 And - Here the apostle confirms the Baptist's words: as if he had said, He is indeed preferred before thee: so we have experienced: We all - That believe: have received - All that we enjoy out of his fulness: and in the particular, grace upon grace - One blessing upon another, immeasurable grace and love.
17 The law - Working wrath and containing shadows: was given - No philosopher, poet, or orator, ever chose his words so accurately as St. John. The law, saith he, was given by Moses: grace was by Jesus Christ. Observe the reason for placing each word thus: The law of Moses was not his own. The grace of Christ was. His grace was opposite to the wrath, his truth to the shadowy ceremonies of the law. Jesus - St. John having once mentioned the incarnation {Joh 1:14,) no more uses that name, the Word, in all his book.
18 No man hath seen God - With bodily eyes: yet believers see him with the eye of faith. Who is in the bosom of the Father - The expression denotes the highest unity, and the most intimate knowledge.
19 The Jews - Probably the great council sent.
20 I am not the Christ - For many supposed he was.
21 Art thou Elijah? - He was not that Elijah (the Tishbite) of whom they spoke. Art thou the prophet - Of whom Moses speaks, Deut 18:15.
23 He said - I am that forerunner of Christ of whom Isaiah speaks. I am the voice - As if he had said, Far from being Christ, or even Elijah, I am nothing but a voice: a sound that so soon as it has expressed the thought of which it is the sign, dies into air, and is known no more. Isa 40:3.
24 They who were sent were of the Pharisees - Who were peculiarly tenacious of old customs, and jealous of any innovation (except those brought in by their own scribes) unless the innovator had unquestionable proofs of Divine authority.
25 They asked him, Why baptizest thou then? - Without any commission from the sanhedrim? And not only heathens (who were always baptized before they were admitted to circumcision) but Jews also?
26 John answered, I baptize - To prepare for the Messiah; and indeed to show that Jews, as well as Gentiles, must be proselytes to Christ, and that these as well as those stand in need of being washed from their sins.
28 Where John was baptizing - That is, used to baptize.
29 He seeth Jesus coming and saith, Behold the Lamb - Innocent; to be offered up; prophesied of by Isaiah, Isa 53:7, typified by the paschal lamb, and by the daily sacrifice: The Lamb of God - Whom God gave, approves, accepts of; who taketh away - Atoneth for; the sin - That is, all the sins: of the world - Of all mankind. Sin and the world are of equal extent.
31 I knew him not - Till he came to be baptized. How surprising is this; considering how nearly they were related, and how remarkable the conception and birth of both had been. But there was a peculiar providence visible in our Saviour's living, from his infancy to his baptism, at Nazareth: John all the time living the life of a hermit in the deserts of Judea, Luke 1:80, ninety or more miles from Nazareth: hereby that acquaintance was prevented which might have made John's testimony of Christ suspected.
34 I saw it - That is, the Spirit so descending and abiding on him. And testified - From that time.
37 They followed Jesus - They walked after him, but had not the courage to speak to him.
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon - Probably both of them sought him: Which is, being interpreted, the Christ - This the evangelist adds, as likewise those words in John 1:38, that is, being interpreted, Master.
42 Jesus said, Thou art Simon, the son of Jonah - As none had told our Lord these names, this could not but strike Peter. Cephas, which is Peter - Moaning the same in Syriac which Peter does in Greek, namely, a rock.
45 Jesus of Nazareth - So Philip thought, not knowing he was born in Bethlehem. Nathanael was probably the same with Bartholomew, that is, the son of Tholomew. St. Matthew joins Bartholomew with Philip, Mt 10:3, and St. John places Nathanael in the midst of the apostles, immediately after Thomas, John 21:2, just as Bartholomew is placed, Acts 1:13.
46 Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? - How cautiously should we guard against popular prejudices? When these had once possessed so honest a heart as that of Nathanael, they led him to suspect the blessed Jesus himself for an impostor, because he had been brought up at Nazareth. But his integrity prevailed over that foolish bias, and laid him open to the force of evidence, which a candid inquirer will always be glad to admit, even when it brings the most unexpected discoveries. Can any good thing - That is, have we ground from Scripture to expect the Messiah, or any eminent prophet from Nazareth? Philip saith, Come and see - The same answer which he had received himself from our Lord the day before.
48 Under the fig tree I saw thee - Perhaps at prayer.
49 Nathanael answered - Happy are they that are ready to believe, swift to receive the truth and grace of God. Thou art the Son of God - So he acknowledges now more than he had heard from Philip: The Son of God, the king of Israel - A confession both of the person and office of Christ.
51 Hereafter ye shall see - All of these, as well as thou, who believe on me now in my state of humiliation, shall hereafter see me come in my glory, and all the angels of God with me. This seems the most natural sense of the words, though they may also refer to his ascension.

Chapter II

1 And the third day - After he had said this. In Cana of Galilee - There were two other towns of the same name, one in the tribe of Ephraim, the other in Caelosyria.
2 Jesus and his disciples were invited to the marriage - Christ does not take away human society, but sanctifies it. Water might have quenched thirst; yet our Lord allows wine; especially at a festival solemnity. Such was his facility in drawing his disciples at first, who were afterward to go through rougher ways.
3 And wine falling short - How many days the solemnity had lasted, and on which day our Lord came, or how many disciples might follow him, does not appear. His mother saith to him, They have not wine - Either she might mean, supply them by miracle; or, Go away, that others may go also, before the want appears.
4 Jesus saith to her, Woman - So our Lord speaks also, John 19:26. It is probable this was the constant appellation which he used to her. He regarded his Father above all, not knowing even his mother after the flesh. What is it to me and thee? A mild reproof of her inordinate concern and untimely interposal. Mine hour is not yet come - The time of my working this miracle, or of my going away. May we not learn hence, if his mother was rebuked for attempting to direct him in the days of his flesh, how absurd it is to address her as if she had a right to command him, on the throne of his glory? Likewise how indecent it is for us to direct his supreme wisdom, as to the time or manner in which he shall appear for us in any of the exigencies of life!
5 His mother saith to the servants - Gathering from his answer he was about to do something extraordinary.
6 The purifying of the Jews - Who purified themselves by frequent washings particularly before eating.
9 The governor of the feast - The bridegroom generally procured some friend to order all things at the entertainment.
10 And saith - St. John barely relates the words he spoke, which does not imply his approving them. When they have well drunk - does not mean any more than toward the close of the entertainment.
11 And his disciples believed - More steadfastly.
14 Oxen, and sheep, and doves - Used for sacrifice: And the changers of money - Those who changed foreign money for that which was current at Jerusalem, for the convenience of them that came from distant countries.
15 Having made a scourge of rushes - (Which were strewed on the ground,) he drove all out of the temple, (that is, the court of it,) both the sheep and the oxen - Though it does not appear that he struck even them; and much less, any of the men. But a terror from God, it is evident, fell upon them.
17 Psa 69:9.
18 Then answered the Jews - Either some of those whom he had just driven out, or their friends: What sign showest thou? - So they require a miracle, to confirm a miracle!
19 This temple - Doubtless pointing, while he spoke, to his body, the temple and habitation of the Godhead.
20 Forty and six years - Just so many years before the time of this conversation, Herod the Great had begun his most magnificent reparation of the temple, (one part after another,) which he continued all his life, and which was now going on, and was continued thirty - six years longer, till within six or seven years of the destruction of the state, city, and temple by the Romans.
22 They believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said - Concerning his resurrection.
23 Many believed - That he was a teacher sent from God.
24 He did not trust himself to them - Let us learn hence not rashly to put ourselves into the power of others. Let us study a wise and happy medium between universal suspiciousness and that easiness which would make us the property of every pretender to kindness and respect.
25 He - To whom all things are naked, knew what was in man - Namely, a desperately deceitful heart.

Chapter III

1 A ruler - One of the great council.
2 The same came - Through desire; but by night - Through shame: We know - Even we rulers and Pharisees.
3 Jesus answered - That knowledge will not avail thee unless thou be born again - Otherwise thou canst not see, that is, experience and enjoy, either the inward or the glorious kingdom of God. In this solemn discourse our Lord shows, that no external profession, no ceremonial ordinances or privileges of birth, could entitle any to the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom: that an entire change of heart as well as of life was necessary for that purpose: that this could only be wrought in man by the almighty power of God: that every man born into the world was by nature in a state of sin, condemnation, and misery: that the free mercy of God had given his Son to deliver them from it, and to raise them to a blessed immortality: that all mankind, Gentiles as well as Jews, might share in these benefits, procured by his being lifted up on the cross, and to be received by faith in him: but that if they rejected him, their eternal, aggravated condemnation, would be the certain consequence. Except a man be born again - If our Lord by being born again means only reformation of life, instead of making any new discovery, he has only thrown a great deal of obscurity on what was before plain and obvious.
4 When he is old - As Nicodemus himself was.
5 Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit - Except he experience that great inward change by the Spirit, and be baptized (wherever baptism can be had) as the outward sign and means of it.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh - Mere flesh, void of the Spirit, yea, at enmity with it; And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit - Is spiritual, heavenly, divine, like its Author.
7 Ye must be born again - To be born again, is to be inwardly changed from all sinfulness to all holiness. It is fitly so called, because as great a change then passes on the soul as passes on the body when it is born into the world.
8 The wind bloweth - According to its own nature, not thy will, and thou hearest the sound thereof - Thou art sure it doth blow, but canst not explain the particular manner of its acting. So is every one that is born of the Spirit - The fact is plain, the manner of his operations inexplicable.
11 We speak what we know - I and all that believe in me.
12 Earthly things - Things done on earth; such as the new birth, and the present privileges of the children of God. Heavenly things - Such as the eternity of the Son, and the unity of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
13 For no one - For here you must rely on my single testimony, whereas there you have a cloud of witnesses: Hath gone up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven. Who is in heaven - Therefore he is omnipresent; else he could not be in heaven and on earth at once. This is a plain instance of what is usually termed the communication of properties between the Divine and human nature; whereby what is proper to the Divine nature is spoken concerning the human, and what is proper to the human is, as here, spoken of the Divine.
14 And as Moses - And even this single witness will soon be taken from you; yea, and in a most ignominious manner. Num 21:8,9.
15 That whosoever - He must be lifted up, that hereby he may purchase salvation for all believers: all those who look to him by faith recover spiritual health, even as all that looked at that serpent recovered bodily health.
16 Yea, and this was the very design of God's love in sending him into the world. Whosoever believeth on him - With that faith which worketh by love, and hold fast the beginning of his confidence steadfast to the end. God so loved the world - That is, all men under heaven; even those that despise his love, and will for that cause finally perish. Otherwise not to believe would be no sin to them. For what should they believe? Ought they to believe that Christ was given for them? Then he was given for them. He gave his only Son - Truly and seriously. And the Son of God gave himself, Gal 4:4, truly and seriously.
17 God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world - Although many accuse him of it.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned - Is acquitted, is justified before God. The name of the only - begotten Son of God - The name of a person is often put for the person himself. But perhaps it is farther intimated in that expression, that the person spoken of is great and magnificent. And therefore it is generally used to express either God the Father or the Son.
19 This is the condemnation - That is, the cause of it. So God is clear.
21 He that practiseth the truth (that is, true religion) cometh to the light - So even Nicodemus, afterward did. Are wrought in God - That is, in the light, power, and love of God.
22 Jesus went - From the capital city, Jerusalem, into the land of Judea - That is, into the country. There he baptized - Not himself; but his disciples by his order, John 4:2.
23 John also was baptizing - He did not repel them that offered, but he more willingly referred them to Jesus.
25 The Jews - Those men of Judea, who now went to be baptized by Jesus; and John's disciples, who were mostly of Galilee: about purifying - That is, baptism. They disputed, which they should be baptized by.
27 A man can receive nothing - Neither he nor I. Neither could he do this, unless God had sent him: nor can I receive the title of Christ, or any honour comparable to that which he hath received from heaven. They seem to have spoken with jealousy and resentment; John answers with sweet composure of spirit.
29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom - He whom the bride follows. But all men now come to Jesus. Hence it is plain he is the bridegroom. The friend who heareth him - Talk with the bride; rejoiceth greatly - So far from envying or resenting it.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease - So they who are now, like John, burning and shining lights, must (if not suddenly eclipsed) like him gradually decrease, while others are increasing about them; as they in their turns grew up, amidst the decays of the former generation. Let us know how to set, as well as how to rise; and let it comfort our declining days to trace, in those who are likely to succeed us in our work, the openings of yet greater usefulness.
31 It is not improbable, that what is added, to the end of the chapter, are the words of the evangelist, not the Baptist. He that is of the earth - A mere man; of earthly original, has a spirit and speech answerable to it.
32 No man - None comparatively, exceeding few; receiveth his testimony - With true faith.
33 Hath set to his seal - It was customary among the Jews for the witness to set his seal to the testimony he had given. That God is true - Whose words the Messiah speaks.
34 God giveth not him the Spirit by measure - As he did to the prophets, but immeasurably. Hence he speaketh the words of God in the most perfect manner.
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life - He hath it already. For he loves God. And love is the essence of heaven. He that obeyeth not - A consequence of not believing.

Chapter IV

1 The Lord knew - Though none informed him of it.
3 He left Judea - To shun the effects of their resentment.
4 And he must needs go through Samaria - The road lying directly through it.
5 Sychar - Formerly called Sichem or Shechem. Jacob gave - On his death bed, Gen 48:22.
6 Jesus sat down - Weary as he was. It was the sixth hour - Noon; the heat of the day.
7 Give me to drink - In this one conversation he brought her to that knowledge which the apostles were so long in attaining.
8 For his disciples were gone - Else he needed not have asked her.
9 How dost thou - Her open simplicity appears from her very first words. The Jews have no dealings - None by way of friendship. They would receive no kind of favour from them.
10 If thou hadst known the gift - The living water; and who it is - He who alone is able to give it: thou wouldst have asked of him - On those words the stress lies. Water - In like manner he draws the allegory from bread, John 6:27, and from light, 8:12; the first, the most simple, necessary, common, and salutary things in nature. Living water - The Spirit and its fruits. But she might the more easily mistake his meaning, because living water was a common phrase among the Jews for spring water.
12 Our father Jacob - So they fancied he was; whereas they were, in truth, a mixture of many nations, placed there by the king of Assyria, in the room of the Israelites whom he had carried away captive, 2Kings 17:24. Who gave us the well - In Joseph their supposed forefather: and drank thereof - So even he had no better water than this.
14 Will never thirst - Will never (provided he continue to drink thereof) be miserable, dissatisfied, without refreshment. If ever that thirst returns, it will be the fault of the man, not the water. But the water that I shall give him - The spirit of faith working by love, shall become in him - An inward living principle, a fountain - Not barely a well, which is soon exhausted, springing up into everlasting life - Which is a confluence, or rather an ocean of streams arising from this fountain.
15 That I thirst not - She takes him still in a gross sense.
16 Jesus saith to her - He now clears the way that he might give her a better kind of water than she asked for. Go, call thy husband - He strikes directly at her bosom sin.
17 Thou hast well said - We may observe in all our Lord's discourses the utmost weightiness, and yet the utmost courtesy.
18 Thou hast had five husbands - Whether they were all dead or not, her own conscience now awakened would tell her.
19 Sir, I perceive - So soon was her heart touched.
20 The instant she perceived this, she proposes what she thought the most important of all questions. This mountain - Pointing to Mount Gerizim. Sanballat, by the permission of Alexander the Great, had built a temple upon Mount Gerizim, for Manasseh, who for marrying Sanballat's daughter had been expelled from the priesthood and from Jerusalem, Neh 13:28. This was the place where the Samaritans used to worship in opposition to Jerusalem. And it was so near Sychar, that a man's voice might be heard from the one to the other. Our fathers worshipped - This plainly refers to Abraham and Jacob (from whom the Samaritans pretended to deduce their genealogy) who erected altars in this place: Gen 12:6,7, and Gen 33:18,20. And possibly to the whole congregation, who were directed when they came into the land of Canaan to put the blessing upon Mount Gerizim, Deut 11:29. Ye Jews say, In Jerusalem is the place - Namely, the temple.
21 Believe me - Our Lord uses this expression in this manner but once; and that to a Samaritan. To his own people, the Jews, his usual language is, I say unto you. The hour cometh when ye - Both Samaritans and Jews, shall worship neither in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem - As preferable to any other place. True worship shall be no longer confined to any one place or nation.
22 Ye worship ye know not what - Ye Samaritans are ignorant, not only of the place, but of the very object of worship. Indeed, they feared the Lord after a fashion; but at the same time served their own gods, 2Kings 17:33. Salvation is from the Jews - So spake all the prophets, that the Saviour should arise out of the Jewish nation: and that from thence the knowledge of him should spread to all nations under heaven.
23 The true worshippers shall worship the Father - Not here or there only, but at all times and in all places.
24 God is a Spirit - Not only remote from the body, and all the properties of it, but likewise full of all spiritual perfections, power, wisdom, love, holiness. And our worship should be suitable to his nature. We should worship him with the truly spiritual worship of faith, love, and holiness, animating all our tempers, thoughts, words, and actions.
25 The woman saith - With joy for what she had already learned, and desire of fuller instruction.
26 Jesus saith - Hasting to satisfy her desire before his disciples came. l am He - Our Lord did not speak this so plainly to the Jews who were so full of the Messiah's temporal kingdom. If he had, many would doubtless have taken up arms in his favour, and others have accused him to the Roman governor. Yet he did in effect declare the thing, though he denied the particular title. For in a multitude of places he represented himself, both as the Son of man, and as the Son of God: both which expressions were generally understood by the Jews as peculiarly applicable to the Messiah.
27 His disciples marvelled that he talked with a woman - Which the Jewish rabbis reckoned scandalous for a man of distinction to do. They marvelled likewise at his talking with a woman of that nation, which was so peculiarly hateful to the Jews. Yet none said - To the woman, What seekest thou? - Or to Christ, Why talkest thou with her?
28 The woman left her water pot - Forgetting smaller things.
29 A man who told me all things that ever I did - Our Lord had told her but a few things. But his words awakened her conscience, which soon told her all the rest. Is not this the Christ? - She does not doubt of it herself, but incites them to make the inquiry.
31 In the meantime - Before the people came.
34 My meat - That which satisfies the strongest appetite of my soul.
35 The fields are white already - As if he had said, The spiritual harvest is ripe already. The Samaritans, ripe for the Gospel, covered the ground round about them.
36 He that reapeth - Whoever saves souls, receiveth wages - A peculiar blessing to himself, and gathereth fruit - Many souls: that he that soweth - Christ the great sower of the seed, and he that reapeth may rejoice together - In heaven.
37 That saying - A common proverb; One soweth - The prophets and Christ; another reapeth - The apostles and succeeding ministers.
38 I - he Lord of the whole harvest, have sent you - He had employed them already in baptizing, John 4:2.
42 We know that this is the Saviour of the world - And not of the Jews only.
43 He went into Galilee - That is, into the country of Galilee: but not to Nazareth. It was at that town only that he had no honour. Therefore he went to other towns.
44 Matt 13:57.
47 To come down - For Cana stood much higher than Capernaum.
48 Unless ye see signs and wonders - Although the Samaritans believed without them.
52 He asked the hour when he amended - The more exactly the works of God are considered, the more faith is increased.

Chapter V

1 A feast - Pentecost.
2 There is in Jerusalem - Hence it appears, that St. John wrote his Gospel before Jerusalem was destroyed: it is supposed about thirty years after the ascension. Having five porticos - Built for the use of the sick. Probably the basin had five sides! Bethesda signifies the house of mercy.
4 An angel - Yet many undoubtedly thought the whole thing to be purely natural. At certain times - Perhaps at a certain hour of the day, during this paschal week, went down - The Greek word implies that he had ceased going down, before the time of St. John's writing this. God might design this to raise expectation of the acceptable time approaching, to add a greater lustre to his Son's miracles, and to show that his ancient people were not entirely forgotten of him. The first - Whereas the Son of God healed every day not one only, but whole multitudes that resorted to him.
7 The sick man answered - Giving the reason why he was not made whole, notwithstanding his desire.
14 Sin no more - It seems his former illness was the effect or punishment of sin.
15 The man went and told the Jews, that it was Jesus who had made him whole - One might have expected, that when he had published the name of his benefactor, crowds would have thronged about Jesus, to have heard the words of his mouth, and to have received the blessings of the Gospel. Instead of this, they surround him with a hostile intent: they even conspire against his life, and for an imagined transgression in point of ceremony, would have put out this light of Israel. Let us not wonder then, if our good be evil spoken of: if even candour, benevolence, and usefulness, do not disarm the enmity of those who have been taught to prefer sacrifice to mercy; and who, disrelishing the genuine Gospel, naturally seek to slander and persecute the professors, but especially the defenders of it.
17 My Father worketh until now, and I work - From the creation till now he hath been working without intermission. I do likewise. This is the proposition which is explained John 5:19 - 30, confirmed and vindicated in John 5:31 and following verses.
18 His own Father - The Greek word means his own Father in such a sense as no creature can speak. Making himself equal with God - It is evident all the hearers so understood him, and that our Lord never contradicted, but confirmed it.
19 The Son can do nothing of himself - This is not his imperfection, but his glory, resulting from his eternal, intimate, indissoluble unity with the Father. Hence it is absolutely impossible, that the Son should judge, will, testify, or teach any thing without the Father, John 5:30, &c; John 6:38; John 7:16; or that he should be known or believed on, separately from the Father. And he here defends his doing good every day, without intermission, by the example of his Father, from which he cannot depart: these doth the Son likewise - All these, and only these; seeing he and the Father are one.
20 The Father showeth him all things that himself doth - A proof of the most intimate unity. And he will show him - By doing them. At the same time (not at different times) the Father showeth and doth, and the Son seeth and doth. Greater works - Jesus oftener terms them works, than signs or wonders, because they were not wonders in his eyes. Ye will marvel - So they did, when he raised Lazarus.
21 For - He declares which are those greater works, raising the dead, and judging the world. The power of quickening whom he will follows from the power of judging. These two, quickening and judging, are proposed John 5:21,22. The acquittal of believers, which presupposes judgment, is treated of John 5:24; the quickening some of the dead, John 5:25; and the general resurrection, John 5:28.
22 For neither doth the Father judge - Not without the Son: but he doth judge by that man whom he hath ordained, Acts 17:31.
23 That all men may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father - Either willingly, and so escaping condemnation, by faith: or unwillingly, when feeling the wrath of the Judge. This demonstrates the EQUALITY of the Son with the Father. If our Lord were God only by office or investiture, and not in the unity of the Divine essence, and in all respects equal in Godhead with the Father, he could not be honoured even as, that is, with the same honour that they honoured the Father. He that honoureth not the Son - With the same equal honour, greatly dishonoureth the Father that sent him.
24 And cometh not into condemnation - Unless he make shipwreck of the faith.
25 The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God - So did Jairus's daughter, the widow's son, Lazarus.
26 He hath given to the Son - By eternal generation, to have life in himself - Absolute, independent.
27 Because he is the Son of man - He is appointed to judge mankind because he was made man.
28 The time is coming - When not two or three, but all shall rise.
29 The resurrection of life - That resurrection which leads to life everlasting.
30 I can do nothing of myself - It is impossible I should do any thing separately from my Father. As I hear - Of the Father, and see, so I judge and do; A because I am essentially united to him. See Joh 5:19.
31 If I testify of myself - That is, if I alone, (which indeed is impossible,) my testimony is not valid.
32 There is another - The Father, John 5:37, and I know that, even in your judgment, his testimony in beyond exception.
33 He bare testimony - That I am the Christ.
34 But I have no need to receive, &c. But these things - Concerning John, whom ye yourselves reverence, I say, that ye may be saved - So really and seriously did he will their salvation. Yet they were not saved. Most, if not all of them, died in their sins.
35 He was a burning and a shining light - Inwardly burning with love and zeal, outwardly shining in all holiness. And even ye were willing for a season - A short time only.
37 He hath testified of me - Namely at my baptism. I speak not of my supposed father Joseph. Ye are utter strangers to him of whom I speak.
38 Ye have not his word - All who believe have the word of the Father (the same with the word of the Son) abiding in them, that is, deeply ingrafted in their hearts.
39 Search the Scriptures - A plain command to all men. In them ye are assured ye have eternal life - Ye know they show you the way to eternal life. And these very Scriptures testify of me.
40 Yet ye will not come unto me - As they direct you.
41 I receive not honour from men - I need it not. I seek it not from you for my own sake.
42 But I know you - With this ray he pierces the hearts of the hearers. And this doubtless he spake with the tenderest compassion.
43 If another shall come - Any false Christ.
44 While ye receive honour - That is, while ye seek the praise of men rather than the praise of God. At the feast of pentecost, kept in commemoration of the giving the law from Mount Sinai, their sermons used to be full of the praises of the law, and of the people to whom it was given. How mortifying then must the following words of our Lord be to them, while they were thus exulting in Moses and his law!
45 There is one that accuseth you - By his writings.
46 He wrote of me - Every where; in all his writings; particularly Deut 18:15,18.

Chapter VI

1 After these things - The history of between ten and eleven months is to be supplied here from the other evangelists. Mt 14:13; Mr 6:32; Lu 9:10.
3 Jesus went up - Before the people overtook him.
5 Jesus saith to Philip - Perhaps he had the care of providing victuals for the family of the apostles.
15 He retired to the mountain alone - Having ordered his disciples to cross over the lake.
16 Mt 14:22; Mr 6:45.
22 Who had stood on the other side - They were forced to stay a while, because there were then no other vessels; and they stayed the less unwillingly, because they saw that Jesus was not embarked.
26 Our Lord does not satisfy their curiosity, but corrects the wrong motive they had in seeking him: because ye did eat - Merely for temporal advantage. Hitherto Christ had been gathering hearers: he now begins to try their sincerity, by a figurative discourse concerning his passion, and the fruit of it, to be received by faith.
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth - For bodily food: not for that only not chiefly: not at all, but in subordination to grace, faith, love, the meat which endureth to everlasting life. Labour, work for this; for everlasting life. So our Lord expressly commands, work for life, as well as from life: from a principle of faith and love. Him hath the Father sealed - By this very miracle, as well as by his whole testimony concerning him. See Joh 3:33. Sealing is a mark of the authenticity of a writing.
28 The works of God - Works pleasing to God.
29 This is the work of God - The work most pleasing to God, and the foundation of all others: that ye believe - He expresses it first properly, afterward figuratively.
30 What sign dost thou? - Amazing, after what they had just seen!
31 Our fathers ate manna - This sign Moses gave them. He gave them bread from heaven - From the lower sublunary heaven; to which Jesus opposes the highest heaven: in which sense he says seven times, John 6:32,33,38,50,58,62, that he himself came down from heaven.
32 Moses gave you not bread from heaven - It was not Moses who gave the manna to your fathers; but my Father who now giveth the true bread from heaven. Psa 78:24.
33 He that - giveth life to the world - Not (like the manna) to one people only: and that from generation to generation. Our Lord does not yet say, I am that bread; else the Jews would not have given him so respectful an answer, John 6:34.
34 Give us this bread - Meaning it still, in a literal sense: yet they seem now to be not far from believing.
35 I am the bread of life - Having and giving life: he that cometh - he that believeth - Equivalent expressions: shall never hunger, thirst - Shall be satisfied, happy, for ever.
36 I have told you - Namely, John 6:26.
37 All that the Father giveth me - All that feel themselves lost, and follow the drawings of the Father, he in a peculiar manner giveth to the Son: will come to me - By faith. And him that thus cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out - I will give him pardon, holiness, and heaven, if he endure to the end - to rejoice in his light.
39 Of all which he hath already given me - See Joh 17:6,12. If they endure to the end. But Judas did not.
40 Here is the sum of the three foregoing verses. This is the will of him that sent me - This is the whole of what I have said: this is the eternal, unchangeable will of God. Every one who truly believeth, shall have everlasting life. Every one that seeth and believeth - The Jews saw, and yet believed not. And I will raise him up - As this is the will of him that sent me, I will perform it effectually.
44 Christ having checked their murmuring, continues what he was saying, John 6:40. No man comes to me, unless my Father draw him - No man can believe in Christ, unless God give him power: he draws us first, by good desires. Not by compulsion, not by laying the will under any necessity; but by the strong and sweet, yet still resistible, motions of his heavenly grace.
45 Every man that hath heard - The secret voice of God, he, and he only believeth. Isa 54:13.
46 Not that any one - Must expect him to appear in a visible shape. He who is from or with God - In a more eminent manner than any creature.
50 Not die - Not spiritually; not eternally.
51 If any eat of this bread - That is, believe in me: he shall live for ever - In other words, he that believeth to the end shall be saved. My flesh which I will give you - This whole discourse concerning his flesh and blood refers directly to his passion, and but remotely, if at all, to the Lord's Supper.
52 Observe the degrees: the Jews are tried here; the disciples, John 6:60 - 66, the apostles, John 6:67.
53 Unless ye eat the flesh of the Son of man - Spiritually: unless ye draw continual virtue from him by faith. Eating his flesh is only another expression for believing.
55 Meat - drink indeed - With which the soul of a believer is as truly fed, as his body with meat and drink.
57 I live by the Father - Being one with him. He shall live by me - Being one with me. Amazing union!
58 This is - That is, I am the bread - Which is not like the manna your fathers ate, who died notwithstanding.
60 This is a hard saying - Hard to the children of the world, but sweet to the children of God. Scarce ever did our Lord speak more sublimely, even to the apostles in private. Who can hear - Endure it?
62 What if ye shall see the Son of man ascend where he was before? - How much more incredible will it then appear to you, that he should give you his flesh to eat?
63 It is the Spirit - The spiritual meaning of these words, by which God giveth life. The flesh - The bare, carnal, literal meaning, profiteth nothing. The words which I have spoken, they are spirit - Are to be taken in a spiritual sense and, when they are so understood, they are life - That is, a means of spiritual life to the hearers.
64 But there are some of you who believe not - And so receive no life by them, because you take them in a gross literal sense. For Jesus knew from the beginning - Of his ministry: who would betray him - Therefore it is plain, God does foresee future contingencies:
"But his foreknowledge causes not the fault, Which had no less proved certain unforeknown."
65 Unless it be given - And it is given to those only who will receive it on God's own terms.
66 From this time many of his disciples went back - So our Lord now began to purge his floor: the proud and careless were driven away, and those remained who were meet for the Master's use.
68 Thou hast the words of eternal life - Thou, and thou alone, speakest the words which show the way to life everlasting.
69 And we - Who have been with thee from the beginning, whatever others do, have known - Are absolutely assured, that thou art the Christ.
70 Jesus answered the - And yet even ye have not all acted suitable to this knowledge. Have I not chosen or elected you twelve? - But they might fall even from that election. Yet one of you - On this gracious warning, Judas ought to have repented; is a devil - Is now influenced by one.

Chapter VII

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee - That is, continued there, for some months after the second passover. For he would not walk - Continue in Judea; because the Jews - Those of them who did not believe; and in particular the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees, sought an opportunity to kill him.
2 The feast of tabernacles - The time, manner, and reason of this feast may be seen, Lev 23:34, &c.
3 His brethren - So called according to the Jewish way of speaking. They were his cousins, the sons of his mother's sister. Depart hence - From this obscure place.
4 For no man doth any thing - Of this kind, in secret; but rather desireth to be of public use. If thou really dost these things - These miracles which are reported; show thyself to the world - To all men.
6 Jesus saith, Your time is always ready - This or any time will suit you.
7 The world cannot hate you - Because ye are of the world. But me it hateth - And all that bear the same testimony.
10 He also went up to the feast - This was his last journey but one to Jerusalem. The next time he went up he suffered.
11 The Jews - The men of Judea, particularly of Jerusalem.
12 There was much murmuring among the multitude - Much whispering; many private debates with each other, among those who were come from distant parts.
13 However no man spake openly of him - Not in favour of him: for fear of the Jews - Those that were in authority.
14 Now at the middle of the feast - Which lasted eight days. It is probable this was on the Sabbath day. Jesus went up into the temple - Directly, without stopping any where else.
15 How does this man know letters, having never learned? - How comes he to be so well acquainted with sacred literature as to be able thus to expound the Scripture, with such propriety and gracefulness, seeing he has never learned this, at any place of education?
16 My doctrine is not mine - Acquired by any labour of learning; but his that sent me - Immediately infused by him.
17 If any man be willing to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God - This is a universal rule, with regard to all persons and doctrines. He that is thoroughly willing to do it, shall certainly know what the will of God is.
18 There is no unrighteousness in him - No deceit or falsehood.
19 But ye are unrighteous; for ye violate the very law which ye profess so much zeal for.
20 The people answered, Thou hast a devil - A lying spirit. Who seeketh to kill thee? - These, coming from distant parts, probably did not know the design of the priests and rulers.
21 I did - At the pool of Bethesda: one work - Out of many: and ye all marvelled at it - Are amazed, because I did it on the Sabbath day.
22 Moses gave you circumcision - The sense is, because Moses enjoined you circumcision (though indeed it was far more ancient than him) you think it no harm to circumcise a man on the Sabbath: and are ye angry at me (which anger had now continued sixteen months) for doing so much greater a good, for healing a man, body and soul, on the Sabbath?
27 When Christ cometh, none knoweth whence he is - This Jewish tradition was true, with regard to his Divine nature: in that respect none could declare his generation. But it was not true with regard to his human nature, for both his family and the place of his birth were plainly foretold.
28 Then cried Jesus - With a loud and earnest voice. Do ye both know me, and know whence I am ? - Ye do indeed know whence I am as a man. But ye know not my Divine nature, nor that I am sent from God.
29 l am from him - By eternal generation: and he hath sent me - His mission follows from his generation. These two points answer those: Do ye know me? Do ye know whence I am?
30 His hour - The time of his suffering.
33 Then said Jesus - Continuing his discourse (from John 7:29) which they had interrupted.
34 Ye shall seek me - Whom ye now despise. These words are, as it were, the text which is commented upon in this and the following chapter. Where I am - Christ's so frequently saying while on earth, where I am, when he spake of his being in heaven, intimates his perpetual presence there in his Divine nature: though his going thither was a future thing, with regard to his human nature.
35 Will he go to the dispersed among the Greeks - The Jews scattered abroad in heathen nations, Greece particularly. Or, Will he teach the Greeks? - The heathens themselves.
37 On the last, the great day of the feast - On this day there was the greatest concourse of people, and they were then wont to fetch water from the fountain of Siloam, which the priests poured out on the great altar, singing one to an other, With joy shall ye draw water from the wells of salvation. On this day likewise they commemorated God's miraculously giving water out of the rock, and offered up solemn prayers for seasonable rains.
38 He that believeth - This answers to let him come to me. And whosoever doth come to him by faith, his inmost soul shall be filled with living water, with abundance of peace, joy, and love, which shall likewise flow from him to others. As the Scripture hath said - Not expressly in any one particular place. But here is a general reference to all those scriptures which speak of the effusion of the Spirit by the Messiah, under the similitude of pouring out water. Zec 14:8.
39 The Holy Ghost was not yet given - That is, those fruits of the Spirit were not yet given even to true believers, in that full measure.
40 The prophet - Whom we expect to be the forerunner of the Messiah.
42 From Bethlehem - And how could they forget that Jesus was born there? Had not Herod given them terrible reason to remember it? Micah 5:2.
48 Hath any of the rulers - Men of rank or eminence, or of the Pharisees - Men of learning or religion, believed on him?
49 But this populace, who know not the law - This ignorant rabble; are accursed - Are by that ignorance exposed to the curse of being thus seduced.
50 Nicodemus, he that came to him by night - Having now a little more courage, being one of them - Being present as a member of the great council, saith to them - Do not we ourselves act as if we knew not the law, if we pass sentence on a man before we hear him?
52 They answered - By personal reflection; the argument they could not answer, and therefore did not attempt it. Art thou also a Galilean? - One of his party? Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet - They could not but know the contrary. They knew Jonah arose out of Gethhepher; and Nahum from another village in Galilee. Yea, and Thisbe, the town of Elijah, the Tishbite, was in Galilee also. They might likewise have known that Jesus was not born in Galilee, but at Bethlehem, even from the public register there, and from the genealogies of the family of David. They were conscious this poor answer would not bear examination, and so took care to prevent a reply.
53 And every man went to his own house - So that short plain question of Nicodemus spoiled all their measures, and broke up the council! A word spoken in season, how good it is! Especially when God gives it his blessing.

Chapter VIII

5 Moses hath commanded us to stone such - If they spoke accurately, this must have been a woman, who, having been betrothed to a husband, had been guilty of this crime before the marriage was completed; for such only Moses commanded to be stoned. He commanded indeed that other adulteresses should be put to death; but the manner of death was not specified. Deut 22:23.
6 That they might have to accuse him - Either of usurping the office of a judge, if he condemned her, or of being an enemy to the law, if he acquitted her. Jesus stooping down, wrote with his finger on the ground - God wrote once in the Old Testament; Christ once in the New: perhaps the words which he afterward spoke, when they continued asking him. By this silent action, he,
  1. fixed their wandering, hurrying thoughts, in order to awaken their consciences: and,
  2. signified that he was not then come to condemn but to save the world.
7 He that is without sin - He that is not guilty: his own conscience being the judge) either of the same sin, or of some nearly resembling it; let him - as a witness, cast the first stone at her.
9 Beginning at the eldest - Or the elders. Jesus was left alone - By all those scribes and Pharisees who proposed the question. But many others remained, to whom our Lord directed his discourse presently after.
10 Hath no man condemned thee? - Hath no judicial sentence been passed upon thee?
11 Neither do I condemn thee - Neither do I take upon me to pass any such sentence. Let this deliverance lead thee to repentance.
12 He that followeth me shall in nowise walk in darkness - In ignorance, wickedness, misery: but shall have the light of life - He that closely, humbly, steadily follows me, shall have the Divine light continually shining upon him, diffusing over his soul knowledge, holiness, joy, till he is guided by it to life everlasting.
13 Thou testifiest of thyself; thy testimony is not valid - They retort upon our Lord his own words, John 5:31; if I testify of myself, my testimony is not valid. He had then added, There is another who testifieth of me. To the same effect he replies here, John 8:14, Though I testify of myself, yet my testimony is valid; for I am inseparably united to the Father. I know - And from firm and certain knowledge proceeds the most unexceptionable testimony: whence I came, and whither I go - To these two heads may be referred all the doctrine concerning Christ. The former is treated of John 8:16, &c, the latter John 8:21, &c. For I know whence I came - That is, For I came from God, both as God and as man. And I know it, though ye do not.
15 Ye judge after the flesh - As the flesh, that is, corrupt nature dictates. I judge no man - Not thus; not now; not at my first coming.
16 I am not alone - No more in judging, than in testifying: but I and the Father that sent me - His Father is in him, and he is in the Father, John 14:10,11; and so the Father is no more alone without the Son, than the Son is without the Father, Prov 8:22,23,30. His Father and he are not one and another God, but one God, (though distinct persons,) and so inseparable from each other. And though the Son came from the Father, to assume human nature, and perform his office as the Messiah upon earth, as God is sometimes said to come from heaven, for particular manifestations of himself; yet Christ did not leave the Father, nor the Father leave him, any more than God leaves heaven when he is said to come down to the earth.
17 Deut 19:15.
19 Then said they to him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered - Showing the perverseness of their question; and teaching that they ought first to know the Son, if they would know the Father. Where the Father is - he shows, John 8:23. Meantime he plainly intimates that the Father and he were distinct persons, as they were two witnesses; and yet one in essence, as the knowledge of him includes the knowledge of the Father.
23 Ye are - Again he passes over their interruption, and proves what he advanced, John 8:21. Of them that are beneath - From the earth. I am of them that are above - Here he directly shows whence he came, even from heaven, and whither he goes.
24 If ye believe not that I AM - Here (as in John 8:58) our Lord claims the Divine name, I AM, Exod 3:14. But the Jews, as if he had stopped short, and not finished the sentence, answered, Who art thou?
25 Even what I say to you from the beginning - The same which I say to you, as it were in one discourse, with one even tenor from the time I first spake to you.
26 I have many things to say and to judge of you - I have much to say concerning your inexcusable unbelief: but he that sent me is true - Whether ye believe or no. And I speak the things which I have heard from him - I deliver truly what he hath given me in charge.
27 They understood not - That by him that sent him he meant God the Father. Therefore in John 8:28,29 he speaks plainly of the Father, and again claims the Divine name, I AM.
28 When ye shall have lifted up - On the cross, ye shall know - And so many of them did, that I AM - God over all; and that I do nothing of myself - Being one with the Father.
29 The Father hath not left me alone - Never from the moment I came into the world.
32 The truth - Written in your hearts by the Spirit of God, shall make you free - From guilt, sin, misery, Satan.
33 They - The other Jews that were by, (not those that believed,) as appears by the whole tenor of the conversation. We were never enslaved to any man - A bold, notorious untruth. At that very time they were enslaved to the Romans.
34 Jesus answered - Each branch of their objection, first concerning freedom, then concerning their being Abraham's offspring, John 8:37, &c. He that committeth sin, is, in fact, the slave of sin.
35 And the slave abideth not in the house - All sinners shall be cast out of God's house, as the slave was out of Abraham's: but I, the Son, abide therein for ever.
36 If I therefore make you free, ye - shall partake of the same privilege: being made free from all guilt and sin, ye shall abide in the house of God for ever.
37 I know that ye are Abraham's offspring - As to the other branch of your objection, I know that, ye are Abraham's offspring, after the flesh; but not in a spiritual sense. Ye are not followers of the faith of Abraham: my word hath no place in your hearts.
41 Ye do the deeds of your father - He is not named yet. But when they presumed to call God their Father, then he is expressly called the devil, John 8:44.
42 I proceeded forth - As God, and come - As Christ.
43 Ye cannot - Such is your stubbornness and pride, hear - Receive, obey my word. Not being desirous to do my will, ye cannot understand my doctrine, John 7:17.
44 He was a murderer - In inclination, from the beginning - Of his becoming a devil; and abode not in the truth - Commencing murderer and liar at the same time. And certainly he was a killer of men (as the Greek word properly signifies) from the beginning of the world: for from the very creation he designed and contrived the ruin of men. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own - For he is the proper parent, and, as it were, creator of it. See the origin not only of lies, but of evil in general!
45 Because I speak the truth - Which liars hate.
46 Which of you convicteth me of sin? - And is not my life as unreprovable as my doctrine? Does not my whole behaviour confirm the truth of what I teach?
47 He that is of God - That either loves or fears him, heareth - With joy and reverence, God's words - Which I preach.
48 Say we not well - Have we not just cause to say, Thou art, a Samaritan - An enemy to our Church and nation; and hast a devil? - Art possessed by a proud and lying spirit?
49 I honour my Father - I seek his honour only.
50 I seek not my own glory - That is, as I am the Messiah, I consult not my own glory. I need not. For my Father consulteth it, and will pass sentence on you accordingly.
51 If a man keep my word - So will my Father consult my glory. We keep his doctrine by believing, his promises by hoping, his command by obeying. He shall never see death - That is, death eternal. He shall live for ever. Hereby he proves that he was no Samaritan; for the Samaritans in general were Sadducees.
54 If I honour myself - Referring to their words, Whom makest thou thyself?
56 He saw it - By faith in types, figures, and promises; as particularly in Melchisedec; in the appearance of Jehovah to him in the plains of Mamre, Gen 18:1; and in the promise that in his seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Possibly he had likewise a peculiar revelation either of Christ's first or second coming.
57 Thou art not yet fifty years old - At the most. Perhaps the gravity of our Lord's countenance, together with his afflictions and labours, might make him appear older than he really was. Hast thou seen Abraham - Which they justly supposed must have been, if Abraham had seen him.
58 Before Abraham was I AM - Even from everlasting to everlasting. This is a direct answer to the objection of the Jews, and shows how much greater he was than Abraham.
59 Then they took up stones - To stone him as a blasphemer; but Jesus concealed himself - Probably by becoming invisible; and so passed on - With the same ease as if none had been there.

Chapter IX

2 Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? - That is, was it for his own sins, or the sins of his parents? They suppose (as many of the Jews did, though without any ground from Scripture) that he might have sinned in a pre - existent state, before he came into the world.
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents - It was not the manner of our Lord to answer any questions that were of no use, but to gratify an idle curiosity. Therefore he determines nothing concerning this. The scope of his answer is, It was neither for any sins of his own, nor yet of his parents; but that the power of God might be displayed.
4 The night is coming - Christ is the light. When the light is withdrawn night comes, when no man can work - No man can do any thing toward working out his salvation after this life is ended. Yet Christ can work always. But he was not to work upon earth, only during the day, or season which was appointed for him.
5 I am the light of the world - I teach men inwardly by my Spirit, and outwardly by my preaching, what is the will of God; and I show them, by my example, how they must do it.
6 He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay - This might almost have blinded a man that had sight. But what could it do toward curing the blind? It reminds us that God is no farther from the event, when he works either with, or without means, and that all the creatures are only that which his almighty operation makes them.
7 Go, wash at the pool of Siloam - Perhaps our Lord intended to make the miracle more taken notice of. For a crowd of people would naturally gather round him to observe the event of so strange a prescription, and it is exceeding probable, the guide who must have led him in traversing a great part of the city, would mention the errand he was going upon, and so call all those who saw him to a greater attention. From the fountain of Siloam, which was without the walls of Jerusalem, a little stream flowed into the city, and was received in a kind of basin, near the temple, and called the pool of Siloam. Which is, by interpretation, Sent - And so was a type of the Messiah, who was sent of God. He went and washed, and came seeing - He believed, and obeyed, and found a blessing. Had he been wise in his own eyes, and reasoned, like Naaman, on the impropriety of the means, he had justly been left in darkness. Lord, may our proud hearts be subdued to the methods of thy recovering grace! May we leave thee to choose how thou wilt bestow favours, which it is our highest interest to receive on any terms.
11 A man called Jesus - He seems to have been before totally ignorant of him.
14 Anointing the eyes - With any kind of medicine on the Sabbath, was particularly forbidden by the tradition of the elders.
16 This man is not of God - Not sent of God. How can a man that is a sinner - That is, one living in wilful sin, do such miracles?
17 What sayest thou of him, for that he hath opened thine eyes? - What inference dost thou draw herefrom?
22 He should be put out of the synagogue - That is be excommunicated.
27 Are ye also - As well as I, at length convinced and willing to be his disciples?
29 We know not whence he is - By what power and authority he does these things.
30 The man answered - Utterly illiterate as he was. And with what strength and clearness of reason! So had God opened the eyes of his understanding, as well as his bodily eyes. Why, herein is a marvellous thing, that ye - The teachers and guides of the people, should not know, that a man who has wrought a miracle, the like of which was never heard of before, must be from heaven, sent by God.
31 We - Even we of the populace, know that God heareth not sinners - Not impenitent sinners, so as to answer their prayers in this manner. The honest courage of this man in adhering to the truth, though he knew the consequence, John 9:22, gives him claim to the title of a confessor.
33 He could do nothing - Of this kind; nothing miraculous.
34 Born in sin - And therefore, they supposed, born blind. They cast him out - Of the synagogue; excommunicated him.
35 Having found him - For he had sought him.
36 Who is he, that I may believe? - This implies some degree of faith already. He was ready to receive whatever Jesus said.
37 Lord, I believe - What an excellent spirit was this man of! Of so deep and strong an understanding; (as he had just shown to the confusion of the Pharisees,) and yet of so teachable a temper!
39 For judgment am I come into the world - That is, the consequence of my coming will be, that by the just judgment of God, while the blind in body and soul receive their sight, they who boast they see, will be given up to still greater blindness than before.
41 If ye had been blind - Invincibly ignorant; if ye had not had so many means of knowing: ye would have had no sin - Comparatively to what ye have now. But now ye say - Ye yourselves acknowledge, Ye see, therefore your sin remaineth - Without excuse, without remedy.

Chapter X

1 He that entereth not by the door - By Christ. He is the only lawful entrance. Into the sheepfold - The Church. He is a thief and a robber - In God's account. Such were all those teachers, to whom our Lord had just been speaking.
3 To him the door keeper openeth - Christ is considered as the shepherd, John 10:11. As the door in the first and following verses. And as it is not unworthy of Christ to be styled the door, by which both the sheep and the true pastor enter, so neither is it unworthy of God the Father to be styled the door keeper. See Acts 14:27; Col 4:3; Rev 3:8; Acts 16:14. And the sheep hear his voice - The circumstances that follow, exactly agree with the customs of the ancient eastern shepherds. They called their sheep by name, went before them and the sheep followed them. So real Christians hear, listen to, understand, and obey the voice of the shepherd whom Christ hath sent. And he counteth them his own, dearer than any friend or brother: calleth, advises, directs each by name, and leadeth them out, in the paths of righteousness, beside the waters of comfort.
4 He goeth before them - In all the ways of God, teaching them in every point, by example as well as by precept; and the sheep follow him - They tread in his steps: for they know his voice - Having the witness in themselves that his words are the wisdom and the power of God. Reader, art thou a shepherd of souls? Then answer to God. Is it thus with thee and thy flock?
5 They will not follow a stranger - One whom Christ hath not sent, who doth not answer the preceding description. Him they will not follow - And who can constrain them to it? But will flee from him - As from the plague. For they know not the voice of strangers - They cannot relish it; it is harsh and grating to them. They find nothing of God therein.
6 They - The Pharisees, to whom our Lord more immediately spake, as appears from the close of the foregoing chapter.
7 I am the door - Christ is both the Door and the Shepherd, and all things.
8 Whosoever are come - Independently of me, assuming any part of my character, pretending, like your elders and rabbis, to a power over the consciences of men, attempting to make laws in the Church, and to teach their own traditions as the way of salvation: all those prophets and expounders of God's word, that enter not by the door of the sheepfold, but run before I have sent them by my Spirit. Our Lord seems in particular to speak of those that had undertaken this office since he began his ministry, are thieves - Stealing temporal profit to themselves, and robbers - Plundering and murdering the sheep.
9 If any one - As a sheep, enter in by me - Through faith, he shall be safe - From the wolf, and from those murdering shepherds. And shall go in and out - Shall continually attend on the shepherds whom I have sent; and shall find pasture - Food for his soul in all circumstances.
10 The thief cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy - That is, nothing else can be the consequence of a shepherd's coming, who does not enter in by me.
12 But the hireling - It is not the bare receiving hire, which denominates a man a hireling: (for the labourer is worthy of his hire; Jesus Christ himself being the Judge: yea, and the Lord hath ordained, that they who preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel:) but the loving hire: the loving the hire more than the work: the working for the sake of the hire. He is a hireling, who would not work, were it not for the hire; to whom this is the great (if not only) motive of working. O God! If a man who works only for hire is such a wretch, a mere thief and a robber, what is he who continually takes the hire, and yet does not work at all? The wolf - signifies any enemy who, by force or fraud, attacks the Christian's faith, liberty, or life. So the wolf seizeth and scattereth the flock - He seizeth some, and scattereth the rest; the two ways of hurting the flock of Christ.
13 The hireling fleeth because he is a hireling - Because he loves the hire, not the sheep.
14 I know my sheep - With a tender regard and special care: and am known of mine - With a holy confidence and affection.
15 As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father - With such a knowledge as implies an inexpressible union: and I lay down my life - Speaking of the present time. For his whole life was only a going unto death.
16 I have also other sheep - Which he foreknew; which are not of this fold - Not of the Jewish Church or nation, but Gentiles. I must bring them likewise - Into my Church, the general assembly of those whose names are written in heaven. And there shall be one flock - (Not one fold, a plain false print) no corrupt or divided flocks remaining. And one shepherd - Who laid down his life for the sheep, and will leave no hireling among them. The unity both of the flock and the shepherd shall he completed in its season. The shepherd shall bring all into one flock: and the whole flock shall hear the one shepherd.
17 I lay down my life that I may take it again - I cheerfully die to expiate the sins of men, to the end I may rise again for their justification.
18 I lay it down of myself - By my own free act and deed. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again - I have an original power and right of myself, both to lay it down as a ransom, and to take it again, after full satisfaction is made, for the sins of the whole world. This commission have I received of my Father - Which I readily execute. He chiefly spoke of the Father, before his suffering: of his own glory, after it. Our Lord's receiving this commission as mediator is not to be considered as the ground of his power to lay down and resume his life. For this he had in him self, as having an original right to dispose thereof, antecedent to the Father's commission. But this commission was the reason why he thus used his power in laying down his life. He did it in obedience to his Father.
21 These are not the words - The word in the original takes in actions too.
22 It was the feast of the dedication - Instituted by Judas Maccabeus, 1 Macc. iv, 59, when he purged and dedicated the altar and temple after they had been polluted. So our Lord observed festivals even of human appointment. Is it not, at least, innocent for us to do the same?
23 In Solomon's portico - Josephus informs us, that when Solomon built the temple, he filled up a part of the adjacent valley, and built a portico over it toward the east. This was a noble structure, supported by a wall four hundred cubits high: and continued even to the time of Albinus and Agrippa, which was several years after the death of Christ.
26 Ye do not believe, because ye are not of my sheep - Because ye do not, will not follow me: because ye are proud, unholy, lovers of praise, lovers of the world, lovers of pleasure, not of God.
27, 28, 29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, &c. - Our Lord still alludes to the discourse he had before this festival. As if he had said, My sheep are they who,
  1. Hear my voice by faith;
  2. Are known (that is, approved) by me, as loving me; and
  3. Follow me, keep my commandments, with a believing, loving heart.
And to those who,
  1. Truly believe (observe three promises annexed to three conditions) I give eternal life. He does not say, I will, but I give. For he that believeth hath everlasting life. Those whom,
  2. I know truly to love me, shall never perish, provided they abide in my love.
  3. Those who follow me, neither men nor devils can pluck out of my hand. My Father who hath, by an unchangeable decree, given me all that believe, love, and obey, is greater than all in heaven or earth, and none is able to pluck them out of his hand.
28 See note ... "Joh 10:27"
29 See note ... "Joh 10:27"
30 I and the Father are one - Not by consent of will only, but by unity of power, and consequently of nature. Are - This word confutes Sabellius, proving the plurality of persons: one - This word confutes Arius, proving the unity of nature in God. Never did any prophet before, from the beginning of the world, use any one expression of himself, which could possibly be so interpreted as this and other expressions were, by all that heard our Lord speak. Therefore if he was not God he must have been the vilest of men.
34 Psa 82:6.
35 If he (God) called them gods unto whom the word of God came, (that is, to whom God was then speaking,) and the Scripture cannot be broken - That is, nothing which is written therein can be censured or rejected.
36 Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world - This sanctification (whereby he is essentially the Holy One of God) is mentioned as prior to his mission, and together with it implies, Christ was God in the highest sense, infinitely superior to that wherein those judges were so called.
38 That ye may know and believe - In some a more exact knowledge precedes, in others it follows faith. I am in the Father and the Father in me. I and the Father are one - These two sentences illustrate each other.
40 To the desert place where John baptized, and gave so honourable a testimony of him.
41 John did no miracle - An honour reserved for him, whose forerunner he was.

Chapter XI

1 One Lazarus - It is probable, Lazarus was younger than his sisters. Bethany is named, the town of Mary and Martha, and Lazarus is mentioned after them, John 11:5. Ecclesiastical history informs us, that Lazarus was now thirty years old, and that he lived thirty years after Christ's ascension.
2 It was that Mary who afterward anointed, &c. She was more known than her elder sister Martha, and as such is named before her.
4 This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God - The event of this sickness will not be death, in the usual sense of the word, a final separation of his soul and body; but a manifestation of the glorious power of God.
7 Let us go into Judea - From the country east of Jordan, whither he had retired some time before, when the Jews sought to stone him, John 10:39,40.
9 Are there not twelve hours in the day? - The Jews always divided the space from sunrise to sunset, were the days longer or shorter, into twelve parts: so that the hours of their day were all the year the same in number, though much shorter in winter than in summer. If any man walk in the day he stumbleth not - As if he had said, So there is such a space, a determined time, which God has allotted me. During that time I stumble not, amidst all the snares that are laid for me. Because he seeth the light of this world - And so I see the light of God surrounding me.
10 But if a man walk in the night - If he have not light from God; if his providence does no longer protect him.
11 Our friend Lazarus sleepeth - This he spoke, just when he died. Sleepeth - Such is the death of good men in the language of heaven. But the disciples did not yet understand this language. And the slowness of our understanding makes the Scripture often descend to our barbarous manner of speaking.
16 Thomas in Hebrew, as Didymus in Greek, signifies a twin. With him - With Jesus, whom he supposed the Jews would kill. It seems to be the language of despair.
20 Mary sat in the house - Probably not hearing what was said.
22 Whatsoever thou wilt ask, God will give it thee - So that she already believed he could raise him from the dead.
25 l am the resurrection - Of the dead. And the life - Of the living. He that believeth in me, though he die, yet shall he live - In life everlasting.
32 She fell at his feet - This Martha had not done. So she makes amends for her slowness in coming.
33 He groaned - So he restrained his tears. So he stopped them soon after, John 11:38. He troubled himself - An expression amazingly elegant, and full of the highest propriety. For the affections of Jesus were not properly passions, but voluntary emotions, which were wholly in his own power. And this tender trouble which he now voluntarily sustained, was full of the highest order and reason.
35 Jesus wept - Out of sympathy with those who were in tears all around him, as well as from a deep sense of the misery sin had brought upon human nature.
37 Could not this person have even caused, that this man should not have died? - Yet they never dreamed that he could raise him again! What a strange mixture of faith and unbelief.
38 It was a cave - So Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their wives, except Rachel, were buried in the cave of Machpelah, Gen 49:29 - 31. These caves were commonly in rocks, which abounded in that country, either hollowed by nature or hewn by art. And the entrance was shut up with a great stone, which sometimes had a monumental inscription.
39 Lord, by this time he stinketh - Thus did reason and faith struggle together.
40 Said I not - It appears by this, that Christ had said more to Martha than is before recorded.
41 Jesus lifted up his eyes - Not as if he applied to his Father for assistance. There is not the least show of this. He wrought the miracle with an air of absolute sovereignty, as the Lord of life and death. But it was as if he had said, I thank thee, that by the disposal of thy providence, thou hast granted my desire, in this remarkable opportunity of exerting my power, and showing forth thy praise.
43 He cried with a loud voice - That all who were present might hear. Lazarus, come forth - Jesus called him out of the tomb as easily as if he had been not only alive, but awake also.
44 And he came forth bound hand and foot with grave clothes - Which were wrapt round each hand and each foot, and his face was wrapt about with a napkin - If the Jews buried as the Egyptians did, the face was not covered with it, but it only went round the forehead, and under the chin; so that he might easily see his way.
45 Many believed on Him - And so the Son of God was glorified, according to what our Lord had said, John 11:4.
46 But some of them went to the Pharisees - What a dreadful confirmation of that weighty truth, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead!
47 What do we? - What? Believe. Yea, but death yields to the power of Christ sooner than infidelity.
48 All men will believe - And receive him as the Messiah. And this will give such umbrage to the Romans that they will come and subvert both our place - Temple; and nation - Both our Church and state. Were they really afraid of this? Or was it a fair colour only? Certainly it was no more. For they could not but know, that he that raised the dead was able to conquer the Romans.
49 That year - That memorable year, in which Christ was to die. It was the last and chief of Daniel's seventy weeks, the fortieth year before the destruction of Jerusalem, and was celebrated for various causes, in the Jewish history. Therefore that year is so peculiarly mentioned: Caiaphas was the high priest both before and after it. Ye know nothing - He reproves their slow deliberations in so clear a case.
50 It is expedient that one man should die for the people - So God overruled his tongue, for he spake not of himself, by his own spirit only, but by the spirit of prophecy. And thus he gave unawares as clear a testimony to the priestly, as Pilate did to the kingly office of Christ.
52 But that, he might gather into one - Church, all the children of God that were scattered abroad - Through all ages and nations.
55 Many went up to purify themselves - That they might remove all hinderances to their eating the passover.

Chapter XII

1 Six days before the passover - Namely, on the Sabbath: that which was called by the Jews, "The Great Sabbath." This whole week was anciently termed "The great and holy week." Jesus came - From Ephraim, John 11:54.
2 It seems Martha was a person of some figure, from the great respect which was paid to her and her sister, in visits and condolences on Lazarus's death, as well as from the costly ointment mentioned in the next verse. And probably it was at their house our Lord and his disciples lodged, when he returned from Jerusalem to Bethany, every evening of the last week of his life, upon which he was now entered.
3 Then Mary, taking a pound of ointment - There were two persons who poured ointment on Christ. One toward the beginning of his ministry, at or near Nain, Luke 7:37, &c. The other six days before his last passover, at Bethany; the account of whom is given here, as well as by St. Matthew and Mark.
7 Against the day of my burial - Which now draws nigh.
10 The chief priests consulted, how to kill Lazarus also - Here is the plain reason why the other evangelists, who wrote while Lazarus was living, did not relate his story.
12 The next day - On Sunday. Who were come to the feast - So that this multitude consisted chiefly of Galileans, not men of Jerusalem. Mt 21:8.
13 Psa 118:26; Mr 11:8; Lu 19:36 .
15 Fear not - For his meekness forbids fear, as well as the end of his coming. Zec 9:9.
16 These things his disciples understood not at first - The design of God's providential dispensations is seldom understood at first. We ought therefore to believe, though we understand not, and to give ourselves up to the Divine disposal. The great work of faith is, to embrace those things which we knew not now, but shall know hereafter. When he had been glorified - At his ascension.
17 When he called Lazarus out of the tomb - How admirably does the apostle express, as well the greatness of the miracle, as the facility with which it was wrought! The easiness of the Scripture style on the most grand occurrences, is more sublime than all the pomp of orators.
18 The multitude went to meet him, because they heard - From those who had seen the miracle. So in a little time both joined together, to go before and to follow him.
20 Certain Greeks - A prelude of the Gentile Church. That these were circumcised does not appear. But they came up on purpose to worship the God of Israel.
21 These came to Philip of Bethsaida in Galilee - Perhaps they used to lodge there, in their journey to Jerusalem. Or they might believe, a Galilean would be more ready to serve them herein, than a Jew. Sir - They spake to him, as to one they were little acquainted with. We would see Jesus - A modest request. They could scarce expect that he would now have time to talk with them.
23 The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified - With the Father and in the sight of every creature. But he must suffer first.
24 Unless a grain of wheat die - The late resurrection of Lazarus gave our Lord a natural occasion of speaking on this subject. And agreeable to his infinite knowledge, he singles out, from among so many thousands of seeds, almost the only one that dies in the earth: and which therefore was an exceeding proper similitude, peculiarly adapted to the purpose for which he uses it. The like is not to be found in any other grain, except millet, and the large bean.
25 He that loveth his life - More than the will of God; shall lose it eternally: and he that hateth his life - In comparison of the will of God, shall preserve it. Mt 10:39.
26 Let him follow me - By hating his life: and where I am - In heaven. If any man serve me - Thus, him will the Father honour.
27 Now is my soul troubled - He had various foretastes of his passion. And what shall I say? - Not what shall I choose? For his heart was fixed in choosing the will of his Father: but he laboured for utterance. The two following clauses, Save me from this hour - For this cause I came - Into the world; for the sake of this hour (of suffering) seem to have glanced through his mind in one moment. But human language could not so express it.
28 Father, glorify thy name - Whatever I suffer. Now the trouble was over. I have glorified it - By thy entrance into this hour. And I will glorify it - By thy passing through it.
29 The multitude who stood and heard - A sound, but not the distinct words - In the most glorious revelations there may remain something obscure, to exercise our faith. Said, It thundered - Thunder did frequently attend a voice from heaven. Perhaps it did so now.
31 Now - This moment. And from this moment Christ thirsted more than ever, till his baptism was accomplished. Is the judgment of this world - That is, now is the judgment given concerning it, whose it shall be. Now shall the prince of this world - Satan, who had gained possession of it by sin and death, be cast out - That is, judged, condemned, cast out of his possession, and out of the bounds of Christ's kingdom.
32 Lifted up from the earth - This is a Hebraism which signifies dying. Death in general is all that is usually imported. But our Lord made use of this phrase, rather than others that were equivalent, because it so well suited the particular manner of his death. I will draw all men - Gentiles as well as Jews. And those who follow my drawings, Satan shall not be able to keep.
34 How sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? - How can these things be reconciled? Very easily. He first dies, and then abideth for ever. Who is this Son of man? - Is he the Christ? Psa 110:4.
35 Then Jesus said to them - Not answering them directly, but exhorting them to improve what they had heard already. The light - I and my doctrine.
36 The children of light - The children of God, wise, holy, happy.
37 Though he had done so many miracles before them - So that they could not but see them.
38 The arm of the Lord - The power of God manifested by Christ, in his preaching, miracles, and work of redemption. Isa 53:1.
39 Therefore now they could not believe - That is, by the just judgment of God, for their obstinacy and wilful resistance of the truth, they were at length so left to the hardness of their hearts, that neither the miracles nor doctrines of our Lord could make any impression upon them.
40 Isa 6:10; Mt 13:14; Ac 28:26.
41 When he saw his glory - Christ's, Isa 6:1, &c. And it is there expressly said to be the glory of the Lord, Jehovah, the Supreme God.
44 Jesus said with a loud voice - This which follows to the end of the chapter, is with St. John the epilogue of our Lord's public discourses, and a kind of recapitulation of them. Believeth not on me - Not on me alone, but also on him that sent me: because the Father hath sent the Son, and because he and the Father are one.
45 And he that seeth me - By the eye of faith.
47 I judge him not - Not now: for I am not come to judge the world. See, Christ came to save even them that finally perish! Even these are a part of that world, which he lived and died to save.
50 His commandment - Kept, is life everlasting - That is the way to it, and the beginning of it.

Chapter XIII

1 Before the feast - Namely, on Wednesday, in the paschal week. Having loved his own - His apostles, he loved them to the end - Of his life.
2 Having now - Probably now first.
3 Jesus knowing - Though conscious of his own greatness, thus humbled himself.
4 Layeth aside his garments - That part of them which would have hindered him.
5 Into the basin - A large vessel was usually placed for this very purpose, wherever the Jews supped.
7 What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter - We do not now know perfectly any of his works, either of creation, providence, or grace. It is enough that we can love and obey now, and that we shall know hereafter.
8 If I wash thee not - If thou dost not submit to my will, thou hast no part with me - Thou art not my disciple. In a more general sense it may mean, If I do not wash thee in my blood, and purify thee by my Spirit, thou canst have no communion with me, nor any share in the blessings of my kingdom.
9 Lord, not my feet only - How fain would man be wiser than God! Yet this was well meant, though ignorant earnestness.
10 And so ye, having been already cleansed, need only to wash your feet - That is, to walk holy and undefiled.
14 Ye ought also to wash one another's feet - And why did they not? Why do we not read of any one apostle ever washing the feet of any other? Because they understood the Lord better. They knew he never designed that this should be literally taken. He designed to teach them the great lesson of humble love, as well as to confer inward purity upon them. And hereby he teaches us,
  1. In every possible way to assist each other in attaining that purity;
  2. To wash each other's feet, by performing all sorts of good offices to each other, even those of the lowest kind, when opportunity serves, and the necessity of any calls for them.
16 The servant is not greater than his lord - Nor therefore ought to think much of either doing or suffering the same things.
18 I speak not of you all - When I call you happy, I know one of you twelve whom I have chosen, will betray me; whereby that scripture will be fulfilled. Psa 41:9.
20 And I put my own honour upon you, my ambassadors. Mt 10:40.
21 One of you - The speaking thus indefinitely at first was profitable to them all.
23 There was lying in the bosom of Jesus - That is, sitting next to him at table. This phrase only expresses the then customary posture at meals, where the guests all leaned sidewise on couches. And each was said to lie in the bosom of him who was placed next above him. One of the disciples whom Jesus loved - St. John avoids with great care the expressly naming himself. Perhaps our Lord now gave him the first proof of his peculiar love, by disclosing this secret to him.
24 Simon Peter - Behind Jesus, who lay between them.
25 Leaning down, and so asking him privately.
26 Jesus answered - In his ear. So careful was he not to offend (if it had been possible) even Judas himself. The sop - Which he took up while he was speaking. He giveth it to Judas - And probably the other disciples thought Judas peculiarly happy! But when even this instance of our Lord's tenderness could not move him, then Satan took full possession.
27 What thou doest, do quickly - This is not a permission, much less a command. It is only as if he had said, If thou art determined to do it, why dost thou delay? Hereby showing Judas, that he could not be hid, and expressing his own readiness to suffer.
28 None knew why he said this - Save John and Judas.
30 He went out - To the chief priests. But he returned afterward, and was with them when they ate the passover, Mt 26:20, though not at the Lord's Supper.
31 Jesus saith - Namely, the next day; on Thursday, in the morning. Here the scene, as it were, is opened, for the discourse which is continued in the following chapters. Now - While I speak this, the Son of man is glorified - Being fully entered into his glorious work of redemption. This evidently relates to the glory which belongs to his suffering in so holy and victorious a manner.
33 Ye cannot come - Not yet; being not yet ripe for it. John 7:34.
34 A new commandment - Not new in itself; but new in the school of Christ: for he had never before taught it them expressly. Likewise new, as to the degree of it, as I have loved you.
36 Peter saith, Lord, whither goest thou? - St. Peter seems to have thought, that Christ, being rejected by the Jews, would go to some other part of the earth to erect his throne, where he might reign without disturbance, according to the gross notions he had of Christ's kingdom. Thou canst not follow me now - But Peter would not believe him. And he did follow him, Joh 18:15. But it was afar off. And not without great loss.
38 The cock shall not have crowed - That is, cock crowing shall not be over, till thou hast denied me thrice - His three - fold denial was thrice foretold; first, at the time mentioned here; secondly, at that mentioned by St. Luke; lastly, at that recorded by St. Matthew and Mark.

Chapter XIV

1 Let not your heart be troubled - At my departure. Believe - This is the sum of all his discourse, which is urged till they did believe, Joh 16:30. And then our Lord prays and departs.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions - Enough to receive both the holy angels, and your predecessors in the faith, and all that now believe, and a great multitude, which no man can number.
4 The way - Of faith, holiness, sufferings.
5 Thomas saith - Taking him in a gross sense.
6 To the question concerning the way, he answers, I am the way. To the question concerning knowledge, he answers, I am the truth. To the question whither, I am the life. The first is treated of in this verse; the second, Joh 14:7 - 17; the third, 14:18, &c.
7 Ye have known - Ye have begun to know him.
10 I am in the Father - The words that I speak, &c. - That is, I am one with the Father, in essence, in speaking, and in acting.
11 Believe me - On my own word, because I am God. The works - This respects not merely the miracles themselves, but his sovereign, Godlike way of performing them.
12 Greater works than these shall he do - So one apostle wrought miracles merely by his shadow, Acts 5:15; another by handkerchiefs carried from his body, Acts 19:12; and all spake with various tongues. But the converting one sinner is a greater work than all these. Because I go to my Father - To send you the Holy Ghost.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments - Immediately after faith he exhorts to love and good works.
16 And I will ask the Father - The 21st verse, Joh 14:21, shows the connection between this and the preceding verses. And he will give you another Comforter - The Greek word signifies also an advocate, instructer, or encourager. Another - For Christ himself was one. To remain with you for ever - With you, and your followers in faith, to the end of the world.
17 The Spirit of truth - Who has, reveals, testifies, and defends the truth as it is in Jesus. Whom the world - All who do not love or fear God, cannot receive, because it seeth him not - Having no spiritual senses, no internal eye to discern him; nor consequently knoweth him. He shall be in you - As a constant guest. Your bodies and souls shall be temples of the Holy Ghost dwelling in you.
18 I will not leave you orphans - A word that is elegantly applied to those who have lost any dear friend. I come to you - What was certainly and speedily to be, our Lord speaks of as if it were already.
19 But ye see me - That is, ye shall certainly see me. Because I live, ye shall live also - Because I am the living One in my Divine nature, and shall rise again in my human nature, and live for ever in heaven: therefore ye shall live the life of faith and love on earth, and hereafter the life of glory.
20 At that day - When ye see me after my resurrection; but more eminently at the day of pentecost.
21 He that hath my commandments - Written in his heart. I will manifest myself to him - More abundantly.
23 Jesus answered - Because ye love and obey me, and they do not, therefore I will reveal myself to you, and not to them. My Father will love him - The more any man loves and obeys, the more God will love him. And we will come to him, and make our abode with him - Which implies such a large manifestation of the Divine presence and love, that the former in justification is as nothing in comparison of it.
26 In my name - For my sake, in my room, and as my agent. He will teach you all things - Necessary for you to know. Here is a clear promise to the apostles, and their successors in the faith, that the Holy Ghost will teach them all that truth which is needful for their salvation.
27 Peace I leave with you - Peace in general; peace with God and with your own consciences. My peace - In particular; that peace which I enjoy, and which I create, I give - At this instant. Not as the world giveth - Unsatisfying unsettled, transient; but filling the soul with constant, even tranquillity. Lord, evermore give us this peace! How serenely may we pass through the most turbulent scenes of life, when all is quiet and harmonious within! Thou hast made peace through the blood of thy cross. May we give all diligence to preserve the inestimable gift inviolate, till it issue in everlasting peace!
28 God the Father is greater than I - As he was man. As God, neither is greater nor less than the other.
29 I have told you - Of my going and return.
30 The prince of this world is coming - To make his grand assault. But he hath nothing in me - No right, no claim, or power. There is no guilt in me, to give him power over me; no corruption to take part with his temptation.
31 But I suffer him thus to assault me,
  1. Because it is the Father's commission to me, Joh 10:18.
  2. To convince the world of my love to the Father, in being obedient unto death, Php 2:8.
Arise, let us go hence - Into the city, to the passover. All that has been related from John 12:31, was done and said on Thursday, without the city. But what follows in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters, was said in the city, on the very evening of the passover just before he went over the brook Kedron.

Chapter XV

1 I am the true vine - So the true bread, John 6:32; that is, the most excellent.
2 Every one that beareth fruit, he purifieth - by obeying the truth, 1Pet 1:22; and by inward or outward sufferings, Heb 12:10,11. So purity and fruitfulness help each other. That it may bear more fruit - For this is one of the noblest rewards God can bestow on former acts of obedience, to make us yet more holy, and fit for farther and more eminent service.
3 Ye are clean - All of you, to whom I now speak, are purged from the guilt and power of sin; by the word - Which, applied by the Spirit, is the grand instrument of purifying the soul.
4 Abide in me - Ye who are now pure by living faith, producing all holiness; by which alone ye can be in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches - Our Lord in this whole passage speaks of no branches but such as are, or at least were once, united to him by living faith.
6 If any one abide not in me - By living faith; not by Church communion only. He may thus abide in Christ, and be withered all the time, and cast into the fire at last. He is cast out - Of the vineyard, the invisible Church. Therefore he was in it once.
7 If ye abide in me, ye shall ask - Prayers themselves are a fruit of faith, and they produce more fruit.
8 So shall ye be my disciples - Worthy of the name. To be a disciple of Christ is both the foundation and height of Christianity.
9 Abide ye in my love - Keep your place in my affection. See that ye do not forfeit that invaluable blessing. How needless a caution, if it were impossible for them not to abide therein?
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love - On these terms, and no other, ye shall remain the objects of my special affection.
11 That my joy might remain in you - The same joy which I feel in loving the Father, and keeping his commandments.
12 Your joy will be full, if ye so love one another.
13 Greater love - To his friends. He here speaks of them only.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you - On this condition, not otherwise. A thunderbolt for Antinomianism! Who then dares assert that God's love does not at all depend on man's works?
15 All things - Which might be of service to you.
16 Ye - My apostles, have not chosen me, but I have chosen you - As clearly appears from the sacred history: and appointed you, that ye may go and bear fruit - I have chosen and appointed you for this end, that ye may go and convert sinners: and that your fruit may remain - That the fruit of your labours may remain to the end of the world; yea, to eternity; that whatsoever ye shall ask - The consequence of your going and bearing fruit will be, that all your prayers will he heard.
19 Because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you - Because your maxims, tempers, actions, are quite opposite to theirs. For the very same reason must the world in all ages hate those who are not of the world.
20 John 13:16; Mt 10:24; Lu 6:40.
21 All these things will they do to you, because they know not him that sent me - And in all ages and nations they who know not God will, for this cause, hate and persecute those that do.
22 They had not had sin - Not in this respect.
23 He that hateth me - As every unbeliever doth, For as the love of God is inseparable from faith, so is the hatred of God from unbelief.
25 Psa 69:4.
26 When the Comforter is come, whom I will send from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me - The Spirit's coming, and being sent by our Lord from the Father, to testify of him, are personal characters, and plainly distinguish him from the Father and the Son; and his title as the Spirit of truth, together with his proceeding from the Father, can agree to none but a Divine person. And that he proceeds from the Son, as well as from the Father, may be fairly argued from his being called the Spirit of Christ, 1Pet 1:11; and from his being here said to be sent by Christ from the Father, as well as sent by the Father in his name.

Chapter XVI

2 The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think he doth God service - But, blessed be God, the time is so far past, that those who bear the name of Christ do not now generally suppose they do him service by killing each other for a difference in opinion or mode of worship.
3 They have not known the Father nor me - This is the true root of persecution in all its forms.
4 I did not tell you these things at the beginning, because I was with you - To bear the chief shock in my own person, and to screen you from it.
5 None of you asketh me - Now when it is most seasonable. Peter did ask this before, John 13:36.
7 It is expedient for you - In respect of the Comforter, John 16:7, &c, and of me, John 16:16, &c, and of the Father, John 16:23, &c.
8 He - Observe his twofold office; toward the world, John 16:8, &c; toward believers, John 16:12, &c: will convince - All of the world - Who do not obstinately resist, by your preaching and miracles, of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment - He who is convinced of sin either accepts the righteousness of Christ, or is judged with Satan. An abundant accomplishment of this we find in the Acts of the Apostles.
9 Of sin - Particularly of unbelief, which is the confluence of all sins, and binds them all down upon us.
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father - Which the Spirit will testify, though ye do not then see me. But I could not go to him if I were not righteous.
11 The prince of this world is judged - And in consequence thereof dethroned, deprived of the power he had so long usurped over men. Yet those who reject the deliverance offered them will remain slaves of Satan still.
12 I have yet many things to say - Concerning my passion, death, resurrection, and the consequences of it. These things we have, not in uncertain traditions, but in the Acts, the Epistles, and the Revelation. But ye cannot bear them now - Both because of your littleness of faith, and your immoderate sorrow.
13 When he is come - It is universally allowed that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost dwell in all believers. And the internal agency of the Holy Ghost is generally admitted. That of the Father and the Son, as represented in this Gospel, deserves our deepest consideration.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine - Could any creature say this?
16 A little while and ye shall not see me - When I am buried: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me - When I am risen: because I go to my Father - I die and rise again, in order to ascend to my Father.
19 Jesus said to them - Preventing their question.
20 Ye will weep and lament - When ye see me dead; but your sorrow will be turned into joy - When ye see me risen.
22 Ye now therefore have sorrow - This gives us no manner of authority to assert all believers must come into a state of darkness. They never need lose either their peace, or love, or the witness that they are the children of God. They never can lose these, but either through sin, or ignorance, or vehement temptation, or bodily disorder.
23 Ye shall not question me about any thing - Which you do not now understand. You will not need to inquire of me; for you will know all things clearly. Whatsoever ye shall ask - Knowledge, love, or any thing else, he will give it - Our Lord here gives us a charte blanche. Believer, write down what thou wilt. He had said, John 14:13, I will do it, where the discourse was of glorifying the Father through the Son. Here, speaking of the love of the Father to believers, he saith, He will give it.
24 Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name - For they had asked him directly for all they wanted.
26 At that day ye shall ask - For true knowledge begets prayer. And I say not that I will pray - This in nowise implies that he will not: it means only, The Father himself now loves you, not only because of my intercession, but also because of the faith and love which he hath wrought in you.
30 Thou knowest all things - Even our hearts. Although no question is asked thee, yet thou answerest the thoughts of every one. By this we believe that thou camest forth from God - They, as it were, echo back the words which he had spoken in John 16:27, implying, We believe in God; we believe also in thee.

Chapter XVII

In this chapter our Lord prays,
  1. For himself, ver. 1 - 5. John 17:1 - 5
  2. For the apostles, ver. 6 - 19; John 17:6 - 19 and again, ver. 24 - 26. John 17:24 - 26
  3. For all believers, ver. 20 - 23. John 17:20 - 23 And
  4. For the world, ver. 21 - 23. John 17:21 - 23

In his prayer he comprises all he had said from John 13:31, and seals, as it were, all he had hitherto done, beholding things past, present, and to come. This chapter contains the easiest words, and the deepest sense of any in all the Scripture: yet is here no incoherent rhapsody, but the whole is closely and exactly connected.

1 Father - This simplicity of appellation highly became the only - begotten Son of God; to which a believer then makes the nearest approach, when he is fullest of love and humble confidence. The hour is come - The appointed time for it; glorify thy Son - The Son glorified the Father, both before and after his own glorification. When he speaks to the Father he does not style himself the Son of man.
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh - This answers to glorify thy Son. That he may give eternal life, &c. - This answers to that thy Son may glorify thee. To all whom thou hast given him - To all believers. This is a clear proof that Christ designed his sacrifice should avail for all: yea, that all flesh, every man, should partake of everlasting life. For as the Father had given him power over all flesh, so he gave himself a ransom for all.
3 To know - By loving, holy faith, thee the only true God - The only cause and end of all things; not excluding the Son and the Holy Ghost, no more than the Father is excluded from being Lord, 1Cor 8:6; but the false gods of the heathens; and Jesus Christ - As their prophet, priest, and king: this is life eternal - It is both the way to, and the essence of, everlasting happiness.
4 I have finished the work - Thus have I glorified thee, laying the foundation of thy kingdom on earth.
5 The glory which I had - He does not say received - He always had it, till he emptied himself of it in the days of his flesh.
6 I have manifested thy name - All thy attributes; and in particular thy paternal relation to believers; to the men whom thou hast given me - The apostles, and so John 17:12. They were thine - By creation, and by descent from Abraham. And thou hast given them me - By giving them faith in what I have spoken. So John 17:9.
7 Now they know that all things - Which I have done and spoken, are of thee - And consequently right and true.
8 They have received them - By faith.
9 I pray not for the world - Not in these petitions, which are adapted to the state of believers only. (He prays for the world at John 17:21,23, that they may believe - That they may know God hath sent him.) This no more proves that our Lord did not pray for the world, both before and afterward, than his praying for the apostles alone, John 17:6 - 19, proves that he did not pray for them also which shall believe through their word, John 17:20.
10 All things that are mine are thine, and that are thine are mine - These are very high and strong expressions, too grand for any mere creature to use; as implying that all things whatsoever, inclusive of the Divine nature, perfections, and operations, are the common property of the Father and the Son. And this is the original ground of that peculiar property, which both the Father and the Son have in the persons who were given to Christ as Mediator; according to what is said in the close of the verse, of his being glorified by them; namely, believing in him, and so acknowledging his glory.
11 Keep them through thy name - Thy power, mercy, wisdom, that they may be one - with us and with each other; one body, separate from the world: as we are - By resemblance to us, though not equality.
12 Those whom thou hast given me I have guarded, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition - So one even of them whom God had given him is lost. So far was even that decree from being unchangeable! That the Scripture might be fulfilled - That is, whereby the Scripture was fulfilled. The son of perdition signifies one that deservedly perishes; as a son of death, 2Sam 12:5; children of hell, Mt 23:15, and children of wrath, Eph 2:3, signify persons justly obnoxious to death, hell, wrath. Psalm 109:8.
13 In the world - That is, before I leave the world. My joy - The joy I feel at going to the Father.
15 That thou wouldest take them out of the world - Not yet: but that thou wouldest keep them from the evil one - Who reigns therein.
17 Sanctify - Consecrate them by the anointing of thy Spirit to their office, and perfect them in holiness, by means of thy word.
19 I sanctify myself - I devote myself as a victim, to be sacrificed.
20 For them who will believe - In all ages.
21 As thou art in me - This also is to be understood in a way of similitude, and not of sameness or equality. That the world may believe - Here Christ prays for the world. Observe the sum of his whole prayer,
  1. Receive me into thy own and my glory;
  2. Let my apostles share therein;
  3. And all other believers:
  4. And let all the world believe.
22 The glory which thou hast given me, I have given them - The glory of the only begotten shines in all the sons of God. How great is the majesty of Christians.
24 Here he returns to the apostles. I will - He asks, as having a right to be heard, and prays, not as a servant, but a Son: that they may behold my glory - Herein Is the happiness of heaven, 1John 3:2.
25 Righteous Father - The admission of believers to God through Christ, flows even from the justice of God.
26 I have declared to them thy name - Thy new, best name of love; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me - That thou and thy love, and I and my love, may be in them - That they may love me with that love.

Chapter XVIII

1 A garden - Probably belonging to one of his friends. He might retire to this private place, not only for the advantage of secret devotion, but also that the people might not be alarmed at his apprehension, nor attempt, in the first sallies of their zeal, to rescue him in a tumultuous manner. Kedron was (as the name signifies) a dark shady valley, on the east side of Jerusalem, between the city and the mount of Olives, through which a little brook ran, which took its name from it. It was this brook, which David, a type of Christ, went over with the people, weeping in his flight from Absalom. Mt 26:30; Mr 14:26; Lu 22:39.
2 Mr 14:43; Lu 22:47.
3 A troop of soldiers - A cohort of Roman foot.
6 As soon as he said, I am he, they went backward and fell to the ground - How amazing is it, that they should renew the assault, after so sensible an experience both of his power and mercy! But probably the priests among them might persuade themselves and their attendants, that this also was done by Beelzebub; and that it was through the providence of God, not the indulgence of Jesus, that they received no farther damage.
8 If ye seek me, let these (my disciples) go - It was an eminent instance of his power over the spirits of men, that they so far obeyed this word, as not to seize even Peter, when he had cut off the ear of Malchus.
9 Joh 17:12.
10 Then Simon Peter - No other evangelist names him. Nor could they safely. But St. John, writing after his death, might do it without any such inconvenience.
13 Annas had been high priest before his son - in - law Caiaphas. And though he had for some time resigned that office, yet they paid so much regard to his age and experience, that they brought Christ to Annas first. But we do not read of any thing remarkable which passed at the house of Annas; for, which reason, his being carried thither is omitted by the other evangelists. Mt 26:57; Mr 14:53; Lu 22:54.
17 Art thou also - As well as the others, one of this man's disciples - She does not appear to have asked with any design to hurt him.
20 I spake openly - As to the manner: continually - As to the time: in the synagogue and temple - As to the place. In secret have I said nothing - No point of doctrine which I have not taught in public.
21 Why askest thou me - Whom thou wilt not believe?
22 Answerest thou the high priest so? - With so little reverence?
24 Now Annas had sent him to Caiaphas - As is implied John 18:13. Bound - Being still bound, John 18:12.
28 They went not into the palace themselves, lest they should be defiled - By going into a house which was not purged from leaven, Deut 16:4. Mt 27:2; Mr 15:1; Lu 23:1.
31 It is not lawful for us to put any man to death - The power of inflicting capital punishment had been taken from them that very year. So the sceptre was departed from Judah, and transferred to the Romans.
32 Signifying what death he should die - For crucifixion was not a Jewish, but a Roman punishment. So that had he not been condemned by the Roman governor, he could not have been crucified. John 3:14.
36 My kingdom is not of this world - Is not an external, but a spiritual kingdom; that I might not be delivered to the Jews - Which Pilate had already attempted to do, Joh 18:31, and afterward actually did, Joh 19:16.
37 Thou sayest - The truth. To this end was I born - Speaking of his human origin: his Divine was above Pilate's comprehension. Yet it is intimated in the following words, I came into the world, that I might witness to the truth - Which was both declared to the Jews, and in the process of his passion to the princes of the Gentiles also. Every one that is of the truth - That is, a lover of it, heareth my voice - A universal maxim. Every sincere lover of truth will hear him, so as to understand and practise what he saith.
38 What is truth? - Said Pilate, a courtier; perhaps meaning what signifies truth? Is that a thing worth hazarding your life for? So he left him presently, to plead with the Jews for him, looking upon him as an innocent but weak man.

Chapter XIX

1 Mt 27:26; Mr 15:15.
7 By our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God - Which they understood in the highest sense, and therefore accounted blasphemy.
8 He was the more afraid - He seems to have been afraid before of shedding innocent blood.
9 Whence art thou? - That is, whose son art thou?
11 Thou couldst have no power over me - For I have done nothing to expose me to the power of any magistrate. Therefore he that delivered me to thee, namely, Caiaphas, knowing this, is more blamable than thou.
13 Pilate sat down on the judgment seat - Which was then without the palace, in a place called, in Greek, the pavement, on account of a beautiful piece of Mosaic work, with which the floor was adorned: but in Hebrew, Gabbatha - Or the high place, because it stood on an eminence, so that the judge sitting on his throne might be seen and heard by a considerable number of people.
14 It was the preparation of the passover - For this reason both the Jews and Pilate were desirous to bring the matter to a conclusion. Every Friday was called the preparation, (namely, for the Sabbath.) And as often as the passover fell on a Friday, that day was called the preparation of the passover.
17 Bearing his cross - Not the whole cross, (for that was too large and heavy,) but the transverse beam of it, to which his hands were afterward fastened. This they used to make the person to be executed carry. Mt 27:31; Mr 15:20; Lu 23:26.
19 Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews - Undoubtedly these were the very words, although the other evangelists do not express them at large.
20 It was written in Latin - For the majesty of the Roman empire; in Hebrew - Because it was the language of the nation; and in Greek - For the information of the Hellenists, who spoke that language, and came in great numbers to the feast.
22 What I have written, I have written - That shall stand.
23 The vesture - The upper garment.
24 They parted my garments among them - No circumstance of David's life bore any resemblance to this, or to several other passages in the 22d Psalm. So that in this scripture, as in some others, the prophet seems to have been thrown into a preternatural ecstacy, wherein, personating the Messiah, he spoke barely what the Spirit dictated, without any regard to himself. Psa 22:18.
25 His mother's sister - But we do not read she had any brother. She was her father's heir, and as such transmitted the right of the kingdom of David to Jesus: Mary, the wife of Cleopas - Called likewise Alpheus, the father, as Mary was the mother of James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas.
27 Behold thy mother - To whom thou art now to perform the part of a son in my place, a peculiar honour which Christ conferred on him. From that hour - From the time of our Lord's death.
29 A stalk of hyssop - Which in those countries grows exceeding large and strong. Psa 69:21.
30 It is finished - My suffering: the purchase of man's redemption. He delivered up his spirit - To God, Mt 27:50.
31 Lest the bodies should remain on the cross on the Sabbath - Which they would have accounted a profanation of any Sabbath, but of that in particular. For that Sabbath was a great day - Being not only a Sabbath, but the second day of the feast of unleavened bread (from whence they reckoned the weeks to pentecost:) and also the day for presenting and offering the sheaf of new corn: so that it was a treble solemnity.
34 Forthwith there came out blood and water - It was strange, seeing he was dead, that blood should come out; more strange, that water also; and most strange of all, that both should come out immediately, at one time, and yet distinctly. It was pure and true water, as well as pure and true blood. The asseveration of the beholder and testifier of it, shows both the truth and greatness of the miracle and mystery.
35 His testimony is true - Valid, unexceptionable. And he knoweth - And his conscience beareth him witness, that he testifieth this for no other end, than that ye may believe.
36 A bone of it shall not be broken - This was originally spoken of the paschal lamb, an eminent type of Christ. Exod 12:46.
37 They shall look on him whom they have pierced - He was pierced by the soldier's spear. They who have occasioned his sufferings by their sins (and who has not?) shall either look upon him in this world with penitential sorrow: or with terror, when he cometh in the clouds of heaven, Rev 1:7. Zec 12:10.
38 Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate - And Nicodemus also came - Acknowledging Christ, when even his chosen disciples forsook him. In that extremity Joseph was no longer afraid, Nicodemus no longer ashamed.
41 In the place where he was crucified - There was a garden in the same tract of land: but the cross did not stand in the garden.
42 Because of the preparation - That is, they chose the rather to lay him in that sepulchre which was nigh, because it was the day before the Sabbath, which also was drawing to an end, so that they had no time to carry him far.

Chapter XX

1 Mt 28:1; Mr 16:1; Lu 24:1.
3 Peter went out - Of the city.
6 Peter seeth the linen clothes lie - and the napkin folded up - The angels who ministered to him when he rose, undoubtedly folded up the napkin and linen clothes.
8 He saw - That the body was not there, and believed - That they had taken it away as Mary said.
9 For as yet - They had no thought of his rising again.
10 They went home - Not seeing what they could do farther.
11 But Mary stood - With more constancy. Mr 16:9.
16 Jesus saith to her, Mary - With his usual voice and accent.
17 Touch me not - Or rather, Do not cling to me (for she held him by the feet,) Mt 28:9. Detain me not now. You will have other opportunities of conversing with me. For I am not ascended to my Father - I have not yet left the world. But go immediately to my brethren - Thus does he intimate in the strongest manner the forgiveness of their fault, even without ever mentioning it. These exquisite touches, which every where abound in the evangelical writings, show how perfectly Christ knew our frame. I ascend - He anticipates it in his thoughts, and so speaks of it as a thing already present. To my Father and your Father, to my God and your God - This uncommon expression shows that the only - begotten Son has all kind of fellowship with God. And a fellowship with God the Father, some way resembling his own, he bestows upon his brethren. Yet he does not say, Our God: for no creature can be raised to an equality with him: but my God and your God: intimating that the Father is his in a singular and incommunicable manner; and ours through him, in such a kind as a creature is capable of.
19 Mr 16:14 Lu 24:36.
21 Peace be unto you - This is the foundation of the mission of a true Gospel minister, peace in his own soul, 2Cor 4:1. As the Father hath sent me, so send I you - Christ was the apostle of the Father, Heb 3:1. Peter and the rest, the apostles of Christ.
22 He breathed on them - New life and vigour, and saith, as ye receive this breath out of my mouth, so receive ye the Spirit out of my fulness: the Holy Ghost influencing you in a peculiar manner, to fit you for your great embassy. This was an earnest of pentecost.
23 Whose soever sins ye remit - (According to the tenor of the Gospel, that is, supposing them to repent and believe) they are remitted, and whose soever sins ye retain (supposing them to remain impenitent) they are retained. So far is plain. But here arises a difficulty. Are not the sins of one who truly repents, and unfeignedly believes in Christ, remitted, without sacerdotal absolution? And are not the sins of one who does not repent or believe, retained even with it? What then does this commission imply? Can it imply any more than,
  1. A power of declaring with authority the Christian terms of pardon; whose sins are remitted and whose retained? As in our daily form of absolution; and
  2. A power of inflicting and remitting ecclesiastical censures? That is, of excluding from, and re - admitting into, a Christian congregation.
26 After eight days - On the next Sunday.
28 And Thomas said, My Lord and my God - The disciples had said, We have seen the Lord. Thomas now not only acknowledges him to be the Lord, as he had done before, and to be risen, as his fellow disciples had affirmed, but also confesses his Godhead, and that more explicitly than any other had yet done. And all this he did without putting his hand upon his side.
30 Jesus wrought many miracles, which are not written in this book - Of St. John, nor indeed of the other evangelists.
31 But these things are written that ye may believe - That ye may be confirmed in believing. Faith cometh sometimes by reading; though ordinarily by hearing.

Chapter XXI

2 There were together - At home, in one house.
4 They knew not that it was Jesus - Probably their eyes were holden.
6 They were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes - This was not only a demonstration of the power of our Lord, but a kind supply for them and their families, and such as might be of service to them, when they waited afterward in Jerusalem. It was likewise an emblem of the great success which should attend them as fishers of men.
7 Peter girt on his upper coat (for he was stript of it before) - Reverencing the presence of his Lord: and threw himself into the sea - To swim to him immediately. The love of Christ draws men through fire and water.
12 Come ye and dine - Our Lord needed not food. And none presumed - To ask a needless question.
14 The third time - That he appeared to so many of the apostles together.
15 Simon, son of Jonah - The appellation Christ had given him, when be made that glorious confession, Matt 16:16, the remembrance of which might make him more deeply sensible of his late denial of him whom he had so confessed. Lovest thou me? - Thrice our Lord asks him, who had denied him thrice: more than these - Thy fellow disciples do? - Peter thought so once, Matt 26:33, but he now answers only - I love thee, without adding more than these. Thou knowest - He had now learnt by sad experience that Jesus knew his heart. My lambs - The weakest and tenderest of the flock.
17 Because he said the third time - As if he did not believe him.
18 When thou art old - He lived about thirty - six years after this: another shall gird thee - They were tied to the cross till the nails were driven in; and shall carry thee - With the cross: whither thou wouldest not - According to nature; to the place where the cross was set up.
19 By what death he should glorify God - It is not only by acting, but chiefly by suffering, that the saints glorify God. Follow me - Showing hereby likewise what death he should die.
20 Peter turning - As he was walking after Christ. Seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following him - There is a peculiar spirit and tenderness in this plain passage. Christ orders St. Peter to follow him in token of his readiness to be crucified in his cause. St. John stays not for the call; he rises and follows him too; but says not one word of his own love or zeal. He chose that the action only should speak this; and even when he records the circumstance, he tells us not what that action meant, but with great simplicity relates the fact only. If here and there a generous heart sees and emulates it, be it so; but he is not solicitous that men should admire it. It was addressed to his beloved Master, and it was enough that he understood it.
22 If I will that he tarry - Without dying, till I come - To judgment. Certainly he did tarry, till Christ came to destroy Jerusalem. And who can tell, when or how he died? What is that to thee? - Who art to follow me long before.
23 The brethren - That is, the Christians. Our Lord himself taught them that appellation, John 20:17. Yet Jesus did not say to him, that he should not die - Not expressly. And St. John himself, at the time of writing his Gospel, seems not to have known clearly, whether he should die or not.
24 This is the disciple who testifieth - Being still alive after he had wrote. And we know that his testimony is true - The Church added these words to St. John's, Gospel, as Tertius did those to St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Rom 16:22.
25 If they were to be written particularly - Every fact, and all the circumstances of it. I suppose - This expression, which softens the hyperbole, shows that St. John wrote this verse.

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