« PreviousContinue »
She is dismissed ]
[with admonition. Jesus stooped down, and with his fin- went out one by one, beginning at the ger wrote on the ground, as though he eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus heard them not.
was left alone, and the woman stand7 So when they continued asking ing in the midst. him, he lifted up himself, and said 10 When Jesus had lifted up himunto them, He that is without sin self, and saw none but the woman, he among you, let him first cast a stone said unto her, Woman, where are those at her.
thine accusers? hath no man con8 And again he stooped down, and demned thee? wrote on the ground.
11 She said, No man, Lord. And 9 And they which heard it, being Jesus said unto her, Neither do I conconvicted by their own conscience, demn thee : go, and sin no more. (A)
for some time, and takes no notice, as if he (A) Ver. 1.-11. The woman taken in did not bear them, writiug with his finger adultery, brought to Jesus.-Notwithstand. in the dust, until their importunity at ing the division among the people, and the length compels him; and then, raising attenipt of the rulers to apprehend him, himself erect, he says to her accusers, we find Jesus again in the temple early on “Let him among you that is without sin, the following moruing; and no sooner cast the first stone at her." It seenis going does he appear than the people again draw too far to say, that all her accusers were round him, and be sits down in one of the guilty of the same crime, though it was, cloisters of the temple to iustruct them. unhappily, very common; but it should The Scribes and Pharisees, however, seek- seem, if not of the same, they were coning by every possible means to ensnare scious of other enormities, though secret, him, hring before him a woman taken in which no less disqualified them to punish adultery, whom they say Moses commanded her with severity. At length, bowever, to be stoned; but they wish to know his they gradually withdrew, beginning with judgment on the case-“ Master, what say- the elders, who, first seeiug the impropriety est thou?"
of their conduct, were of course followed The case, indeed, seeins but obscurely by the younger. stated. The law of Moses (Deut. xxii. This very unexpected answer seems to 22-24) made the crime capital only in the have disconcerted their design. Their case of a betrothed woman, and then both consciences stung them, and they were parties were equally liable to the punish- silenced. “ These men's sins (says. Bp. ment. But where is the man? Must we Hall), as they had been secret, so they suppose that he had escaped ? or had they were forgotten. It is long since they were spared himn through partiality: Either done, neither did they think to have heard way, the man is vot here, and the woman any more news of them. Aud now, when is brougbt for the purpose of tempting our time and security had quite worn them out Saviour, that they might have somewhat of tirought, he that shall one day be their whereof to accuse him. Had he con- judge, calls them to a back-reckoning. signed her to punishment, they might have "One time or other shall that just God censured his severity to ihe woman : ‘Is lay our sips in our dish, and make us pos. this he that came to seek and to save that sess the sins of our youth. These things which was lost?' Had he discharged ber, thou didstand I keptsilence, and thoughtest they might have blamed him for lack of that I was like unto thyself: but I will rezeal for the law and for good morals : prove thee, and set them in order before • Behold the friend of publicans and of thee.' The penitent man's sin lies before sinners!' The snare was laid artfully, but him, for his humiliation; the impenitent's, he avoided it by his prudence. He is silent for his shame and confusion.
NOTES-Chap. VIII. Con. and Doddridge thinks justly, as they are wanting in too far, to suppose they all went ont in exact rota the most valuable MSS., and several other printed tion; but the elder and most respected members of editions beside Mills's.
the council, being sell convicted, tirst withdrew, Ver. 9. Being conrietrd by their own conscience. and the others followed. -Camp. says this clause is wanting in many MS., Ver. II. Neither do I condemn ther-Our Lord and several versions and printed ediljons. Be- carefully avoids assuming any appearance of magis. ginning at the eldest.-It would be straining the text terial authority. See Luke xii. 14,
Jesus the light]
(of the world. 12 Then spake Jesus again unto 20 These words spake Jesus in the them, saying, I am the light of the treasury, as he taught in the temple : world: he that followeth me shall not and no man laid lands on him ; for walk in darkness, but shall have the his liour was not yet come. light of life.
21 Then said Jesus again unto them, 13 The Pharisees therefore said unto I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and him, Thou bearest record of thyself; slall die in your sins: whither I go, ye thy record is not true.
cannot come. 14 Jesus answered and said unto 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill them, Though I bear record of myself, himself? because he saith, Whither I yet my record is true : for I know go, ye cannot come. whence I came, and whither I go; 23 And he said unto them, Ye are but ye cannot tell whence I come, and from beneath ; I am from above : ye whither I go.
are of this world; I am not of this 15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge world. no man.
24 I said therefore into you, that 16 And yet if I judge, my judg. ye shall die in your sins: for if ye bement is true : for I am not alone, but lieve not that I am he, ye shall die in I and the Father that sent me.
your sins. 17 It is also written in your law, 25 Then said they unto him, Who that the testimony of two men is art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, true.
Even the same that I said unto you 18 I am one that bear witness of from the beginning. myself, and the Father that sent me 26 I have many things to say and beareth witness of me.
to judge of you: but he that sent me 19 Then said they unto him, Where is true; and I speak to the world is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye those things which I have heard of neither know me, nor my Father: if him. ye had known me, ye should have 27 They understood not that he known my Father also.
spake to them of the Father.
EXPOSITION. "It is but just that there should be a have rather come to him upon their knees, requisition of innocence in them that pro- and have said, Lord, we fiud that thou knowsecute the vices of others. The offender est vur secret sins : this argues thy divine is worthy of stoniug, but who shall cast omuiscience, Thou that art able to know them? How ill would they become hands our sins, art able to remit ihem. O paras guilty as ber own ? What do they but don the iniquities of thy servants.'” (Cout. smite themselves, who panish their own vol. i. bk. 4. cou. 15.) offences in other men ? Nothing is more But what becomes of the woman? She unjust or absurd, thau for the beam tu is left standing among the people; struck, censure the mote; the oven to upbraid the probably, with the wisdom of his decision, kilo. It is a false and vagraut zeal that and waiting for a word of mercy to her self. begins not first at home.
She receives it, and departs : “Go, and sin “No soouer did these hypocrites hear of 110 more."-". God sent not his Son into their sins from the mouth of Christ, than the world to condemn the world; but that they are gone. Had they been sincerely the world, through him, might be saved." touched with a true remorse, they would Johu iii. 17.
NOTES. Ver. 15. Ye judge afler the flesh--that is, from accept not the Saviour whom God has provided, ye ontward appearances, and on carnal principles. must die without pardon or salvation. ---That' Cump. cb. vii. 21. - l judge no man-i.e. my pre- an he-namely, the Messiah, as I have told you sent commission is to save, and not to juige. See even from the beginning. See next verse. Note on ver. Il.
Ver. 26. Judge of you. – Camp. “Reprove in Ver. 24, Ye shall die in your sins-that is, if ye you."
Many of the Jews]
[believe on Jesus: 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When which believed on him, If ye continue ye have lifted up the Son of
then in my word, then are ye my disciples 1 shall ye know that I am he, and that
indeed ; I do nothing of myself; but as my Fa- 32 And ye shall know the truth, ther hath taught me, I speak these and the truth shall make you free. (B) things.
33 | They answered him, We be 29 ind he that sent me is with me: Abraham's seed, and were never in the Father hath not left me alone ; for bondage to any man: how sayest thou, I do always those things that please Ye shall be made free? him.
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, 30 As he spake these words, many verily, I say unto you, Whosoever combelieved on him.
mitteth sin is the servant of sin. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews 35 And the servant abideth not in
EXPOSITION—Chap. VIJI. Continued. (B) Ver. 12-32. Christ the light of the wituess with me, in the doctrines which I world—the revealer of the Futher's will.- deliver, and in the miraculous powers with Our Lord now speaks of himself as the which I am endowed. I cannot be delight of the world, under which character ceived, because I certainly know whence he is spoken of by this Evangelist in the Icame, and whither I am going. Nor can first chapter of this Gospel, ver. 4 and 5. you be deceived by me, because my witness Wben Christ is thus called, it must always is thus confirmed by him who “ cannot be understood in reference to the sun, lie :" iny Father himself beareth witness of under wbich image he was promised by me.'—" Thy Father!" return the Jews-the prophet Malachi (ch. iv. 2): “ Unto " Where is thy Father?" Let us see him you that fear my wame shall the son of and believe. True, indeed, replies our Sarigliteousness arise, with healing in his vivur, “ Ye neither know me, vor iny Fawings : and it is on account of this ther;" for “had ye known me, ye would "healing under his wings," or beans, have kuown my Father also :" Had ye that he is callest “ the light of life." This kuown my true character, ye would have true light is not like the cold light of phi- known that the most high God is indeed losophy, which, though it may enlighten my Father. the iniellect, does not affect the heart; nor “ These words spake Jesus in the treais it like the sickly light of enthusiasmi, sury, as lie taught in the temple;” and nutwhich destruys the healthful vigour of the withstanding he spake so openly, and so miod. It is lite, and light, au joy, and boldly, claiming God to be his own Father, peace, and happiness; and those who fol. as he had done before, to their great oflow this light cannot walk in darkness; fence and scaudal (in chap. v. 18), yet no they shall neither be frozen to insensibility, man laid hauds on bim, “ for his time was nor heated to extravagauce.
not yet come.” But he says, “I am the light of the Our Lord here repeats a sentiment which world;" implying that, though he arose he had already advanced in the preceding first upon the Jews, yet should he, like the chapter : “Igo niy way, and whitber I go patural sul, pursue his course till all ye cannot comc;" upon which soinc, more nations should see and enjoy huis light. extravagant than those who had heard The Pharisees take oftence at ibis dis- him belore, vow exclaim, “ Will be kill
“ Thou bearest record of thyself” himself,” and escape to the other world, (say they), und therefore, by thine own where we cannot follow him? Far be it showing thy evidence is invalid and from the Saviour of the world in
deiuadmissible. (See chap. v. 31, and Note gree to countenanco suicide.
No: they there.) To this Jesus replies, “Though were the murderers, and the fatal princiĮ bear witness of myself, I do not alone ple was already fixed in their hearts--they bear wituess; my heavenly Father bears sought his life.
NOTES-Chap. VIII. Con. Ver. 28. When ye hare lifted up-i.e. crucibed. believed not. So Dodar. Comp. ch. iii. 14, 16.—Then shaid ye knox: ---See Ver. 31. Whosoever commilleth-Doddr."
prac. Luke xxiii, 41, 47.
tiseth” – sin. He thinks it exactly parallel to Ver. 33. They answered.-Camp. “Some an. " worketh iniquity," and implying a course of haswered;" ie, not the persons who believed in bitual transgression.Is the berrant-Docdr. bim, as the context shows, but others of them who " the slavo"-usin; wbich is more literal.
But others boast their] CHAP. VIII. [descent from Abraham. the house for ever: but the Son abideth were your Father, ye would love me: ever.
for I proceeded forth and came from 36 If the Son therefore shall make God; neither came I of myself, but you free, ye shall be free indeed. he sent me.
37 I know that ye are Abraham's 43 Why do ye not understand my seed; but ye seek to kill me, because speech? even because ye cannot hear my word hath no place in you.
my word. 38 I speak that which I have seen
44 Ye are of your father the devil, with my Father: and ye do that which
and the lusts of your father ye will do. ye have seen with your father.
He was a murderer from the begin39 They answered and said unto ning, and abode not in the trutli, behim, Abraham is our father. Jesus
cause there is no truth in him. When saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's
he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his. children, ye would do the works of own
own: for he is a liar, and the father Abrahain.
of it. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth whích 45 And because I tell you the truth, I have heard of God: this did not ye believe me not. Abraham.
46 Which of you convinceth me of 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. sin? And if I say the truth, why do Then said they to him. We be not ye not believe me? born of fornication; we have one Fa- 47 He that is of God heareth God's: ther, even God.
words: ye therefore hear them not, 42 Jesus said unto them, If God because ye are not of God. (C)
EXPOSITION. Jesnis now explains the reason why they ignorance and vice-ye" shall be free cannot enter into his views and principles.
indeed." They were carnal and worldly men, and acted upon caroal and worldly principles :
* Oh! still that needsul grace impart,
On thee my trembling soul I cast: they “ judged according to the flesh." Ou
Perfect thy work within my heart, the other hand, He was of another world ;
Aud own my worthless name at last!" judged and acted on far different principles; and always did and said those things
(C) Ver. 33–47. The Jews boast of being which pleased God his Father.
Abraham's seed, and therefore free, which While delivering this discourse, of which Jesus controverts.---We must, for a moment, (as, likewise, of all his discourses) we have turu back to the preceding section, and only an outline, many believed on him, or notice :he nature of the liberty here spoken at least professed to do so, to whom he of; which is illustrateıl by showing them said, “ Ji ye continue in my word, then are the nature of sin, and the misery to which ye my disciples indeed :" * And ye shall it subjects mankind (ver. 34). “ Whugoknow the truth, and the truth shall make ever committeih sin, is the servant (or Fe free;". that is, my doctrine, which is slave) of sin.” The unbelieving Jews take from abovn and is as true as God is true, offence at the offer of spiritual liberty, s3 shall set you at liberty from the lavery of if it were a reflection upon their present
NOTES. Ver. 36. Ir the Son .... make you free, &c.--Abp. thinks the Greek word hear, in this place, means to Tillotson says, that in some cities of Greece, the hear patiently, and renders it, " ye cannot bear my Mon and heir hail a right to adopt brethren into the words.” Comp. ver 47. family: hot Dr. Gill thinks that this refers to a cus Ver. 44. He was a murderer.- Gr. " A killer of tom among the Romans, of a son, alter his father's men.” He brought death into the world." denth, makine free all the slaves that had been born He is a liar, and the futher of it-il, of lying. So in the honse.
Camp. Ver. 43. Because ye cannot hear my word. Ver. 46. Which of you conrinceth me - Camp. Doddr, reads the latter clause interrogatively: "Is "convicteth ine"-of sin ? i. e, of falsehood, here It because ye cannot hear my word? But Camp. contrasted with the truth.
The Jews again)
S. JOHN. 48 | Then answered the Jews, and 53 Art thou greater than our fatier said unto him, Say we not well that Abraham, which is dead? and the thou art a Samaritan, and hast a prophets are dead : whom makest thou devil?
thyself? 49 Jesus answered, I have not a 54 Jesus answered, If I honour my. devil; but I honour my Father,
ye self, my honour is nothing : it is iny do dishonour me.
Father that honoureth me; of whoin 50 And I seek not mine own glory: ye say, that he is your God: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. 55 Yet ye have not known him; but
51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I know him: and if I should say, I If a man keep my saying, he shall know him not, I shall be a liar like never see death.
unto you: but I know him, and keep 52 Then said the Jews unto him, his saying. Now we know that thou hast a devil. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to Abraham is dead, and the prophets; see my day: and he saw it, and was and thoų sayest, If a man keep my glad. saying, he shall never taste of death. 57 Then said the Jews unto him,
EXPOSITION-Chap. VIII. Continued. situation. “We are Abraham's children," of God, as Ishmael did Isaac, they also say they, "and never were in bondage to should be cast out of God's house, and any man;" wbich cannot mean that none banished to foreign lands, as indeed proved of the children of Abraham had ever been to be the case. in bondage, for they surely could not have To understand our Lord's subsequent forgotten Egypt and Babylon ; but it must discourse, we must remember that Abrarefer to themselves, the present generation ham had a twofold posterity—the children of Jews, as not in bondage, and even this of his body, and of his faith. In respect was hardly true, for, with all their show of of the former he admits_“I know that freedom, Judea was subject to a Roman ye are Abraham's seed;" but in respect of governor and his military guard. Our Lord, ihe latter, he denies their relation to the however, had no reference to political cir- patriarch: “ If we were [truly] Abrabam's cumstances ; His kingdom was “pot of children, ye would do the works of Abrathis world;" and the liberty which he of- ham;" but ye are the offspring of another fered them was of a nature purely spiritual father, and his deeds ye do. Ye seek to - a freedom from the curse of the law, and kill me, because I tell you the truth : Abra. from the power of sin, to which they were ham did not thus. Ye therefore are the now under a worse subjection than that of children, not of Abraham, but of him who Rome.
was a murderer from the beginning, and They call themselves children of Abra- an enemy to the truth. “I speak (and
and our Lord, alluding to his family, do] that which I have seen with my Father remarks that there were slaves therein as (God); ye, that which ye have seen with well as children, and that the bondwoman yours (Satan). Hence the contrariety of and her son, Hagar and Ishmael, were ex- our conduct and character--hence I seek pelled thence, while Isaac, the heir, re- to enlighten you; and hence ye seek to mained to possess the inheritance : therein kill me." intimating that, if they ill-treated the Son
NOTES-Chap. VIII. Con. Ver. 48. And hast a devil.-Gr. “ Demon ;” so speak falsely, like you."'. ver. 19, 52. Comp. chap. vii. 20, and Note. The Ver. 56. Abraham rejoiced--Camp." looged”-to word "devil," in the original of ver. 44, is diabolos. see my day. Bp. Warburton conceives this passage
Ver. 51. Shall werer see death. - Dr. Camp. ad. refers to a prophetic vision which Abraham was la. mits that this refers to eternal death; but remarks voured with at the time le offered up his son Isaac, that the ambignity of the original should be pre- and to which St. Paul refers, Heb. xi. 19. serveil, as it is by our translators, to give a just idea Ver. 57. Thou art not yet fifty years old.-Ile of the dialogue.
could not be more than 35 (nor, we think, so nauch), Ver.53. And the prophets are dead-rather," And but his visage was marred more than any man's the prophets (which are] dead."
(Isa. iii. 14), which might well give him the apVer. 55. I shall be a liar.--Camp. " I should pearance of advanced age,