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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

John 8

 

 

Verse 1

1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

Ver. 1. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives] His usual oratory. There he prayed by night, and then early in the morning he came again into the temple to preach. Thus he divided his time between praying and preaching. So did the ministers of the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 33:10, and of the New, Acts 6:2. So must all who will do good of it; since Paul may plant, Apollos water, but God only gives increase, 1 Corinthians 3:6.


Verse 2

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

Ver. 2. And taught them] {See Trapp on "John 8:1"}


Verse 3

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

Ver. 3. And the scribes, &c.] Deest haec historia apud quamplurimos interpretes. (Beza.)


Verse 4

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Ver. 4. In the very act] Gr. in the very theft; perhaps to intimate the great theft that is in adultery, whiles the child of a stranger carries away the goods or lands of the family; which therefore the adulteress is bound in conscience to confess, επψυτοφωρω. St Paul gives charge, that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in the matter; that is, in the matter of the marriage bed; but that every one possess his vessel, that is, his wife, the weaker vessel in sanctification and honour, as some interpret it. {a}

{a} Defraud, i.e. in re Venerea, in adulterio. Sic intelligunt Jerome, Chrysost., Heinsius.


Verse 5

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

Ver. 5. Such should be stoned] Adultery was to be punished with death. Society and the purity of posterity could not otherwise continue among men; which is well observed by divines to be the reason why adultery is named, under it all uncleanness being forbidden, when yet other violations are more heinous, as sodomy and bestiality; nevertheless, other sins do not so directly fight against society, which the law mainly respects. (Huet of Cons.)


Verse 6

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

Ver. 6. And with his finger wrote on the ground] That he wrote downward (as the Syrians then did, and as the Chinese now do, and so their lines at the top do begin again) is very probable. {a} But what he wrote (whether those words, Jeremiah 22:29, or those Matthew 7:3) nothing certain can be determined; the Scripture is silent; and where the Scripture hath not a tongue, we need not have ears; write he did (like himself we may be sure, as Quintilian saith of Julius Caesar, illum eodem animo scripsisse, quo bellavit, that he wrote with the same spirit he sought,) and perhaps he thus wrote on the ground to show that sin, which is written before God, Isaiah 65:6, and graven as it were with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond, Jeremiah 17:1, is pardoned and blotted out by Christ as easily as a writing slightly made in the dust.

{a} Maslus in Gram. Syr.


Verse 7

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Ver. 7. He that is without sin among you] Not that is impeccable, and not subject to sin (as the Greek, αναμαρτητος, may here seem to sound), but that allows not himself, wallows not in some gross sin, yea, perhaps in this very sin Clodius aecusat moechum. (Juvenal.) Thus our Saviour wrings those supercilious and censorious hypocrites, who hated virum, non vitium; as it is said of Crassus the Roman, that he was very severe against covetousness in others, when there was not a more covetous person than himself. Carere debet omni vitio qui in alterum paratus eat dicere, said a heathen. {a} He had need be unblamable that blameth another. And therefore the apostle, after that he had said, "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but reprove them rather;" he soon after addeth, "walk circumspectly, not as fools," &c., Ephesians 5:11; Ephesians 5:15.

{a} Anabaptiatae scripserunt adulteria non esse punienda per homines, &c. Joh.. Manl.


Verse 8

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

Ver. 8. And again he stooped down] In sign of slighting, or that he might give them the more confidence of going out, see John 8:6. Our Saviour dealt by this adulteress somewhat like as the Areopagites dealt by the dame of Smyrna, whom they appointed to appear some hundred years after, to show that they would neither condemn not acquit her. (Rous, Arch. Att.)


Verse 9

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Ver. 9. Convicted by their own conscience] Which is God’s spy and man’s overseer, index, iudex, vindex: a sign, a judge a defender, so that sinners are self-condemned αυτοκατακριτοι, and often betrayed by their own blushing and heart beating, when yet the offence is secret. Yea, a man feels an inward shame in his own heart, disgracing and abusing him, though he make no outward show of it. For albeit an innocent person, upon the foulness of an aspersion, may conceive shame, as did David, Psalms 44:15, yet it is usually the effect of an ill conscience.


Verse 10

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Ver. 10. Where are those thine accusers?] She might have answered as Tertullian in another case not unlike, Facti sunt a corde suo fugitivi, they are fled before their own consciences, which convicted them, as it were, by argument, John 8:9, ελεγχομενοι.


Verse 11

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Ver. 11. Neither do I condemn thee] Hence an Anabaptist will argue that adultery is not to be punished (as they did from that text, "whoremongers and adulterers God will judge," therefore men ought not to meddle with them). But they may as well say that inheritances are not to be divided between brethren, because our Saviour refused to divide them, Luke 12:14, it being without the lists of his calling, no proper employment of his.


Verse 12

12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Ver. 12. I am the light of the world] αυτοφως, ut Plato loquitur, quia αυταυτος, ut Scaliger.

The light of life] Light in good and bad men differs as the light of the sun (wherein is the influence of an enlivening power) and the light of torches.


Verse 13

13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

Ver. 13. Thy record is not true] i.e. it is not sure and sufficient. There is the same Hebrew word for veritas and firmitas, truth and certainty.


Verse 14

14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

Ver. 14. Yet my record is true] i.e. For I am "Amen, the faithful and true witness," Revelation 3:14, yea, the God of Amen, Isaiah 65:16, and so the only sufficient witness concerning myself.


Verse 15

15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

Ver. 15. I judge no man] viz. after the flesh, as ye do. Christians are diametrically opposite to the world; yea, they have their feet there where other men’s heads are; they go not only another, but an upper way to work, Proverbs 15:24. Like eagles, they delight in high flying.


Verse 16

16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

Ver. 16. For I am not alone] But all one with the Father.


Verse 17

17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.

Ver. 17. It is also written in your law] He calleth it their law, because he was above law; and needed not (but for their weaknass) to have confirmed thus his doctrine by Scripture; as being to be believed upon his bare word, αυτοπιστος.


Verse 18

18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

Ver. 18. I am one that bear witness, &c.] Christ is alius from his Father, not aliud; another person, not another thing. As in the person of Christ there is aliud et aliud another and another (against Eutyches), not alius et alius different and different (against Nestorius). In this text, the Divinity of Christ is plainly distinguished from his humanity; how else should he and the Father be two witnesses to himself?


Verse 19

19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

Ver. 19. If ye had known me, &c.] For milk is not so like milk as Christ is like his Father.


Verse 20

20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

Ver. 20. For his hour was not yet come] And they could neither hasten it nor prevent it. No man hath power over the life of another. "My times are in thine hand," saith David. {See Trapp on "John 7:44"}


Verse 21

21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

Ver. 21. Ye shall die in your sins] A heavy doom, the very door to damnation. It is a sad thing to die in prison, to die in a ditch, but far worse to die in your sins. This is to be slain with death, according to that, Revelation 2:21; "I will kill her children with death." All men die, but wicked men only are killed with death. As a godly man said, that he did aegrotare vitaliter, so do all the righteous, mori vitaliter, because they have hope in their death; which to them is as the valley of Achor, a door of hope to give entrance into Paradise. Whereas to the wicked it is as a trap door to let them into hell; so that it is a just wonder, that foreseeing their danger they go not roaring and raving out of the world. Nothing should be done (we say) to trouble a dying person, no shrieking or crying out. Oh, take heed and prevent the shriekings of conscience at that hour, &c. Take heed ye die not in your sin, in that your sin of unbelief, εν τη αμαρτια, in hoc peccato in this sin, (as Beza here rendereth it), for unbelief shuts a man up close, prisoner in the law’s dark dungeon, till death come with a writ of Habeas corpus, let you have the body, and hell with a writ of Habeas animam, &c. let you have the soul.


Verse 22

22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

Ver. 22. Will be kill himself] q.d. Then indeed we cannot, because we will not bear him company in so vile an act. A scurrilous jeer; so little did the heart piercing sermons of our Saviour work upon them.


Verse 23

23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

Ver. 23. Ye are from beneath] Vos infernales estis, Ego Supernus. (Beza.) So the wicked are called the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea, Revelation 12:12, in opposition to the Church, which is said to be in heaven, and called "Jerusalem which is above," Galatians 4:26.


Verse 24

24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Ver. 24. For if ye believe not, &c.] And yet Venator the Arminian saith, Nego hanc propositionem, Nemo potest salvus fieri, qui Christo per veram fidem non est insitus. Is not this to contradict Christ to his face; what an os durum hard speech is this!


Verse 25

25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

Ver. 25. Even the same that I said, &c.] To wit, "the way, the truth, and the life." Some render it thus: Prorsus id quod loguor vobiscum, I am the very same Word that I speak with you.


Verse 26

26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

Ver. 26. I have many things to say] But I see I do but lose my sweet words upon you. I shall therefore turn you over to my Father with a non convertentur, not turn over that he may take an order with you, and make you hear the rod, since you would not the word, Micah 6:9. Those that tremble not in hearing shall be ground to pieces in feeling, said blessed Bradford.


Verse 27

27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

Ver. 27. They understood not] Though he cited them to God’s dreadful tribunal, and threatened them with his judgment. The devil had strangely stupefied them; like the smith’s dog, whom neither the hammer above him nor the sparks of fire falling round about him can awake; like birds in a belfry or fishes in the sea, not frightened at any ringing or roaring made there.


Verse 28

28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Ver. 28. When ye have lifted up the Son, &c.] 1. Upon the cross, as the brazen serpent was upon a pole. And, 2. By the cross to the crown, though they intended no such thing. If there be any way to heaven on horseback (said Bradford) it is by the cross.


Verse 29

29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

Ver. 29. And he that sent me is with me] So that I shall not labour altogether in vain, but accomplish the work that he hath given me to do. So shall all God’s faithful ministers (though they may think all their labour lost, and be ready to cry out, Eheu quam pingui macer est mihi taurus in arvo). Yet, if they strive to do always those things that please him, he will both protect and prosper them.


Verse 30

30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

Ver. 30. Many believed on him] {See Trapp on "John 7:31"}

Abideth not in the house] Is not heir of the promises; though it be ordinary with such praesumendo sperare, et sperando perire (as one saith), to presume and perish.


Verse 31

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

Ver. 31. If ye continue in my word] Non quaeruntur in Christianis initia, sed finis, said Jerome. And that which is but almost done is not done, saith Basil. {a} It is the evening that crowns the day, and the last act that commends the whole scene. Temporary flashings are but like conduits running with wine at the coronation, that will not hold; or like a land flood, that seems to be a great sea, but comes to nothing.

{a} το παρ ολιγον γεγονος, ου γεγονεν.


Verse 32

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Ver. 32. The truth shall make you free] From the tyranny of sin and terror of hell. Paul’s freedom saved him from whipping, Acts 22:29, this, from perishing.


Verse 33

33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

Ver. 33. Were never in bondage] When yet they were scarcely ever out of bondage to one enemy or another. At this time they were vassals to the Romans. But brag is a good dog. Pride will bud, Ezekiel 7:10. Spaniards are said to be impudent braggers and extremely proud, in the lowest ebb of fortune. There is not a more vain glorious people this day under heaven than the Jews (saith Alsted). Antiquum obtinent, old stubborn men, they are no changelings, they fill up the measure of their fathers’ sins.


Verse 34

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Ver. 34. Is the servant of sin] Hath as many lords as lusts: {a} that as Augustine said of Rome in her pride, she conquered countries, but was vanquished by vices; {b} and as the Persian kings commanded the whole world, but were commanded by their wives and concubines; so is it with sin’s slaves. This slavery they may easily shake off, saith Seneca; wherein the wise man was utterly out, heavenly wide, as Sir Philip Sidney translateth toto errat caelo.

{a} Servitus gravissima est sibi ipsi servire. Sen.

{b} Victrix Gentium, captiva vitiorum. Aug. Captivarum suarum captiva. Plutarch.


Verse 35

35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

Ver. 35. But the Son abideth ever] This is a part of that spiritual birthright, John 1:12. God hath charged Christ to see to the safekeeping of the body and soul of every true believer, John 6:39-40.


Verse 36

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Ver. 36. Free indeed] Not seemingly so, or in conceit only, as those lost libertines, 2 Peter 2:1; 2 Peter 2:19. Ahaz thought himself helped or hurt by the gods of Syria; but he only thought so, 2 Chronicles 28:23, and all such fond thoughts perish, Psalms 146:4.


Verse 37

37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Ver. 37. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed] But that will not bear you out; nay, you will fare the worse for it, Romans 2:9; the Jew is first in punishment, because first in privilege. It was cold comfort to Dives, in flames, that Abraham called him son; to Judas, that Christ called him friend; or to the rebellious Jews, that God calleth them his people; since they were the people of his wrath, and the people of his curse, and should speed no better than the children of the Ethiopians, Amos 9:7.

Because my word hath no place] This was worse than the former, because the root of it; even an evil heart of unbelief, which holds a man in a universal pollution, and maketh him a kill Christ.


Verse 38

38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

Ver. 38. And ye do] Or, do ye that which ye have seen with your father, and so show yourselves the devil’s imps, brats of fathomless perdition: do so.


Verse 39

39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

Ver. 39. Abraham is our father] But it ill appeareth by your practice. Degenerate plants ye are, and such as shame your father, as much as Augustus’ three children did him, whom he usually called his tres vomicas, tria carcinomata, three botches and carbuncles.


Verse 40

40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Ver. 40. A man that hath told you the truth] Yea, but you tell them not toothless truth, but such as breeds hatred. He that prizeth (preacheth) truth, shall never prosper by the possession or profession thereof, saith Sir Walter Raleigh. And, truth is a good mistress, saith another; but he that followeth her too close at heels, may hap have his teeth struck out. The hearing of truth galls, as they write of some creatures, that they have fel in aure. Praedicare, nihil aliud est, quam derivare in se furorem mundi, said Luther, who had the experience of it.


Verse 41

41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

Ver. 41. We have one Father, even God] Yet God is not in their heads, Psalms 10:4, nor heart, Psalms 14:1, nor words, Psalms 12:4, nor ways, Titus 1:16. In such a posture of distance, nay, defiance, stand wicked men. And yet none so forward to call God Father, Jeremiah 3:4-5.


Verse 42

42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Ver. 42. If God were your Father] So that there is no true piety nor fear of God where Christ is rejected. Frustra utitur, qui Christo non innititur, He enjoys in vain who does not lean on Christ. saith Bernard. If the historian would say, Ut quisque Seiano intimus, ita ad Caesaris amicitiam validus: contra, quibus inoffensus esset, metu et sordibus conflictabantur. (Tacitus.) No man could be inward with the emperor but by the favour of Sejanus; and to be out with him, was to be utterly unhappy. How much more may we say the same of Christ, who is all in all with the Father? If any will be Christless, they must he comfortless.


Verse 43

43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

Ver. 43. Why do ye not understand my speech?] Any more than if I spake to you in a strange language. So many of our hearers.


Verse 44

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Ver. 44. Ye are of your father the devil] Who hath set his limbs in you, so that ye are as like him as if spit out of his mouth. Satan is called the god of this world, because as God at first did but speak the word, and it was done; so if the devil do but hold up his finger, give the least hint, they obey him.

The lusts of your father ye will do] If the fruits of the flesh (said Bradford) grow out of the trees of your hearts, surely, surely, the devil is at inn with you. You are his birds, whom when he hath well fed, he will broach you and eat you, chaw you and champ you, world without end, in eternal woe and misery, &c.

And abode not in the truth] Si Satan in conspectu Dei tantas res ausus est, quid apud nos non audebit? (Bucholcer.)

When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own] And so when we do evil, we work de nostro, et secundum hominem, 1 Corinthians 3:3. It is as impossible for us naturally to do good as for a toad to spit cordials.

For he is a liar, and the father of it] The devil did only equivocate to our first parents, and yet is here called a liar, and 2 Corinthians 11:3, a deceiver. A lie hath been always held hateful; but equivocation is now set forth of a later impression. The Jesuits have called back this pest from hell, lately, for the comfort of afflicted Catholics, as arch-priest Blackwell and provincial Garnet shamed not to profess. Est autem Satanae pectus semper faecundissimum mendaciis, saith Luther. He began his kingdom by a lie, and by lies he upholds it, as were easy to instance. {See Trapp on "Genesis 3:1"} &c.


Verse 45

45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Ver. 45. And because I tell you the truth] {See Trapp on "John 8:40"}


Verse 46

46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

Ver. 46. Which of you convinceth me of sin] q.d. Have you anything against my life, that ye thus stiffly refuse to receive my doctrine? Do not (as every minister should do) vivere concionibus, concionari moribus, live sermons, as well as preach them? Paul knew nothing by himself, 1 Corinthians 4:4. And Chrysostom saith that the souls and lives of ministers should be purer than the sunbeams.


Verse 47

47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Ver. 47. He that is of God heareth God’s word] With attention of body, intention of mind, and retention of memory. And this is God’s earmark.

Ye therefore hear not] But either refuse or rage at what you hear, as tigers do at the sound of a drum. And this is a sore sign of a reprobate goat.


Verse 48

48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

Ver. 48. That thou art a Samaritan] And why a Samaritan, think, but that they thought the worst word in their bellies good enough for him? Malice cares not what it saith, so it may kill or gall; and these dead dogs (as he calleth Shimei, 2 Samuel 16:9) will be barking. The primitive persecutors used to put Christians into bears’ and dogs’ skins, or other ugly creatures, and then bait them; so do the wicked put the saints into ugly conceits, and then speak against them.


Verse 49

49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.

Ver. 49. I have not a devil] This crime touched his doctrine (as the other his person only), therefore he makes answer to it; but no otherwise than by a simple denial, which in some cases is sufficient. Didicit ille maledicere, et ego contemnere, That one determine to slander and I distain him, in Tacitus. If a wise man speak evil of thee, endure him; if a fool, pardon him, saith another. If Genebrard rail upon Calvin, if Bolsecus or Baldwin call him twenty devils, he can slight or pity them. As, if Luther call me a devil, saith he, yet I will honour him as a servant of God. A reviler, as he affirmeth without reason, so he may be dismissed without refutation.


Verse 50

50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

Ver. 50. There is one that seeketh and judgeth] The less a man strives for himself, the more is God his champion; those that honour him he will honour. Those that drown all self-respects in his glory, and study his share more than their own, shall he found to "praise, and honour, and glory," in that great amphitheatre at the last day, 1 Peter 1:7.


Verse 51

51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

Ver. 51. Verily I say unto you] This he speaketh for the comfort of the better sort among those refractory Jews whom he had so sharply handled. So Zuinglius, when in his sermons he had thundered out God’s judgments against the wicked, he would commonly conclude with these words, Probe vir, hoc nihil ad te: this is not spoken to thee, thou good soul.

He shall never see death] That is, shall never taste of death, as the Jews interpret it, John 8:52. Chrysostom distinguisheth between seeing and tasting death. Sed hallucinatur; eodem enim recidunt, saith Drusius. But Chrysostom is out here, for they are the same. And our Saviour meaneth that such a one shall die not eternally; he shall mori vitaliter, as one saith, live though he die. (See Mr Dugard’s Death and the Grave.)


Verse 52

52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.

Ver. 52. Now we know thou hast a devil] Thus, whether Christ pipe or weep to these froward children, he prevails nothing. Neither promises nor menaces affect reprobates, neque duci ad Christum, neque trahi possunt, as Calvin here noteth, they will neither be led unto Christ nor drawn to him.


Verse 53

53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?

Ver. 53. Art thou greater than our father Abraham which is dead?] They rise no higher than to a natural life. "Our life is hid with Christ in God," Colossians 3:3, as the pearl is hid in the shell, as Christ was hidden under the carpenter’s son, so as that the buzzards of this world could see no beauty in him.


Verse 54

54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

Ver. 54. It is my Father that honoureth me] According to that, "Them that honour me, I will honour," 1 Samuel 2:30; this is a bargain of God’s own making. Fame follows virtue, as the shadow the body; or if not, yet she is proprio contenta theatro, content with her own applause.


Verse 55

55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

Ver. 55. Yet ye have not known him] There is a twofold knowledge of God. 1. Apprehensive; 2. Affective, or cognoscitiva, standing in speculation, and directiva vitae.


Verse 56

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Ver. 56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see] He saw it afar off, and saluted it, ασπασαμενοι, Hebrews 11:13. His good old heart danced levaltos within him, as children use to dance about a bonfire (so the word ηγαλλιασατο signifies), with an exuberance of joy, that joy of faith. The Fathers say that he saw Christ’s birth at the valley of Mamre, Genesis 18:1-16, and his passion in the mount Moriah, Genesis 22:3-14


Verse 57

57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

Ver. 57. Thou art not yet fifty] No, nor much past thirty; and yet he had so spent himself in winning souls and weeping over the hardness of men’s hearts, that he seemed to the Jews to be much older than he was, as some conceive. Sure it is that Mr John Fox, the martyrologue, by the infinite pains that he took in compiling that elaborate work (which he finished in eleven years without the help of any other man), grew so lean and withered that his friends knew him not.


Verse 58

58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Ver. 58. Before Abraham was, I am] "I am that I am," in regard of mine eternal generation. And as mediator, "I am Jesus Christ, yesterday, today, and for ever," Hebrews 13:8.


Verse 59

59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Ver. 59. Then took they up stones] This is merces mundi, the world’s wages. Let us look up with Stephen, and see heaven, as he did, through a shower of stones.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 8:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-8.html. 1865-1868.


Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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