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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
John 5

 

 

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Verse 1

This chapter begins with a description of the famous pool of Bethesda; whose waters were medicinal, to cure the first come thereunto, whatsoever disease he had.

Some think this was effected in a natural way, and that the intrails of the sacrificed beasts being washed in this pool, an healing virtue was communicated for curing the palsy, and such cold diseases: as persons that have lame and withered hands, are at this day directed to put them into the belly of a beast newly opened.

But others look upon the healing virtue of this pool to be supernatural and miraculous, because it cured all diseases how great and desperate soever, and this in a moment, or very quickly; and but one at a time; and that one, the first that stepped in only, after an angel had descended and troubled the waters: all which shew, that the healing virtue came not from the goodness of the waters, but that it was a supernatural work.

Some think that the miracle of this pool was granted to the Jews, partly to strengthen them in the true worship of God, and to confirm them in their religious course of sacrificing, against the scoffs of the Romans, who were now their lords; such a virtue being given to that water wherein their sacrifices were wont to be washed.

Learn thence, That means of God's appointment, how improbable and unlikely soever, must not be despised, but awfully admird, and thankfully used; although the way and manner of their working be not understood or comprehended by us.


Verse 5

It was very commendable that the rich men did not engross this pool, and the benefit of it, to themselves, but suffered poor people to come to it. In this college of cripples, a poor man, that had been lame thirty-eight years, was found, who wanted strength to help himself, wanting money to hire others, and others wanting mercy to help him. Christ takes pity on him, and because he could not go to health, health is graciously brought to him, and that by the hand of the great physician Christ Jesus.

Observe here, 1. That not only are men's bodies subject to innumerable infirmities and diseases, but it pleases God, for wise ends, to continue some of his servants labouring under bodily weakness for many years together, yea, even all the days of their life. Here is a poor man, for eight and thirty years together, under the discipline of God's rod by bodily weakness.

Observe, 2. That it is the duty of the afflicted, to wait upon God in a diligent use of all means which God has appointed for their help and healing: as to trust to means, is to neglect God; so to neglect the means, is to tempt God. This poor man, no doubt, had made use of the means before, yet waits at the pool now.

Observe, 3. Though Christ well knew the ease of this afflicted person, and wanted no information, yet he asks him, if he were willing to be made whole: to make him sensible of his misery, to quicken his desires after healing, and to raise his expectations of help from him. Though Christ knows our wants, yet he takes no notice of them, till we make them known to him by prayer.

Observe, 4. The time when Christ wrought this miracle of healing upon the impotent man, it was upon the sabbath-day; and, as evidence of the certainty of the cure, Christ bids him, Take up your bed and walk.

Our Saviour's miracles were real and beneficial, they were obvious to sense, and would bear the examination of all persons. The miracles which the church of Rome boast of will net bear the examination of our senses: their great miracle, transubstantiation, is so far from being obvious to sense, that it contradicts the sense and reason of mankind, and is the greatest affront to human nature that ever the world was acquainted with. And our Saviour's working this and many other miracles on the sabbath-day, was for the testification of the miracles to all persons that would take notice of them.

Observe, 5. How unjustly the Jews tax the cripple that was healed with the breach of the sabbath, for taking up his bed, and walking on the sabbath-day? whereas the law only forbade carrying burthens on the sabbath-day for profit, in way of trade: but this man's carrying his bed, was a testimony of God's goodness and mercy towards him, and of his gratitude and thankfulness towards God.

Hypocritical and superstitious persons often-times pretend much zeal for observing the letter of the law, little respecting the moral sense and signification of it. Besides, our Saviour has a mind to let the Jews know that he was Lord of the sabbath, and that he hath power over it, and could dispense with it as he thought good.

Observe, lastly, The great modesty and humility of our blessed Saviour, how hateful all ostentation and vain-glory was unto him; for having wrought this famous miracle before the people at a public time, the feast of the passover, to shun all applause from the multitude, he conveys himself privately away from them: Jesus conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Our Saviour's business was to do much good, and make but little noise; he sought not his own glory.


Verse 14

These words are our Saviour's seasonable advice and counsel to the poor impotent cripple, whom he had miraculously restored to health and soundness.

Whence observe, 1. The person admonishing, Jesus; he that had been his physician before, is his monitor and teacher now: Behold, thou art made whole, sin no more. Oh, how much is it the duty, but seldom the practice, of those whom God makes instruments for recovering bodily health, to put their patients in mind of their obligations to thankfulness and new obedience! Thus did our Saviour. The recovered man's physician gave him instruction: his healer became his monitor. Sin no more.

Observe, 2. The person admonished, the recovered cripple: Thou art made whole. But what was he? Not a disciple, not a believer; For he that was healed wist not who Jesus was, ver 13. he knew not Christ, therefore believed not on him, and yet was healed by him.

Thence learn, That there are many outward mercies and common blessings, which Christ bestows upon those that have no spiritual knowledge of him, or saving acquiantance with him. The man that was healed, wist not who he was that had healed him.

Observe, 3. The place where Christ meets this his recovered patient; not at the tavern, but in the temple, returning thanks to God for his recovered health: when God sends forth his word and healeth us, it is our duty to make our first visit to God's house, and to pay our vows in the great congregation and sound forth the praises of our great and gracious deliverer.

Observe, 4. The circumstance of time when Christ found him in the temple soon after his recovery. Afterwards Jesus findeth him in the temple. We must not be clamorous and importunate to receive mercies, and dumb and tongue-tied in returning thanks: but make haste, and not delay the time to pay our acknowledgments to him that healeth.

Observe, 5. The admonition itself; Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee; where it is farther implied, that Almighty God has sorer plagues and severer judgments in store for those sinners who go on obstinately in a course of sin and rebellion against God, notwithstanding all the signal rebukes of his avenging anger.

From the whole note, That when the Lord doth greaciously heal a person or a people, it is a mercy to be much observed, and thankfully acknowledged.


Verse 15

After the man understood who his healer and benefactor was, he went and told the Jewish magistrates that it was Christ that had healed him. This he did, not with any evil design, no doubt, to inform against him, and stir up the Jews to persecute him; but desirous to publish what Christ had done, to his honour, and to direct others to make use of him.

Learn thence, That it is the duty of all those that have experienced the power and pity of Christ themselves, to proclaim and publish it to others, to the intent that all that need him may experience help and healing from him. This seems to be the poor man's design: but behold the blindness, obstinacy, and malice of the Jews, who persecuted Christ, and sought to kill him for doing good, and healing a cripple that had been thirty-eight years so: Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him:

Yet observe the cloak and pretence they have for their malicious persecution of our Saviour; namely, the supposed violation of the sabbath-day; They sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath-day.

Learn hence, That great cruelty against Christ and his members has always been, and still is, masked and disguised with a fair pretence of zeal for God and his commands. The Pharisees mortally hated our Saviour, therefore to cover their malice, they traduce him as a profaner of the Sabbath, and seek to take away his life.


Verse 17

From this verse to the end of the chapter, we have our Saviour's apology for his working the foregoing cure on the impotent man on the sabbath day. And the chief argument he insists upon, is drawn from his unity and eqaulity in nature and operation with his Father; As the Father worketh, says he, so I work. Here he speaks of himself, not as a servant, or instrument in the Father's hand, but as the fellow-worker with the Father, both in the works of creation, and in the works of providence, and preservation also.

Learn hence, 1. That though Almighty God has long since ceased from the work of creation, yet not from the work of preservation. My father worketh hitherto; not by creating new kinds of creatures but by upholding and preserving what he has already created.

Learn, 2. That Christ the Son of God, is joined with, and undivided from the Father, in working. As the Father created all things by him (not as a man, and as an instrument in his Father's hand; for then he was not such) but as his fellow-worker, being equal in nature and power with the Father: in like manner as the Father preserveth, sustaineth, governeth, and upholdeth all things, so doth Christ; the Father's actions and his being the same, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.


Verse 18

Observe here, The Jews instead of being satisfied, were the more enraged; not only because he had violated the sabbath (as they pretended) by healing the cripple on the sabbath-day, but because Christ had asserted that God was his Father in a peculiar manner, and made himself equal with God, our Saviour therefore goes on to assert his equality and conjunction with the Father in his operations and workings; which doth at once justify his work on the Sabbath-day, and prove him to be truly and really God. Now our holy Lord, to prove himself equal with God the Father produces first many arguments, to verse 31, and then alledges the testimony of many witnesses to the end of the chapter.

Our Saviour's first argument to prove himself equal with the Father in essence and nature, is this, that the Father and he are equal in operation, in will and consent for working; that the Son doth all that the Father doth, and the Father doth nothing without the Son, ver 19. The Son can do nothing of himself; that is, as man, as the Messias, and as Mediator, he could do nothing of himself. His perfect obedience to, and compliance with, the will of his Father that sent him, would not suffer him to do any thing without him: but as God, he could do all things of himself.

Learn hence, That it is an undeniable proof that the Father and Son are one in nature, essence, and being; in that they are inseparable in operation and working; What things soever the Father doth, these also doth the Son likewise; and the Son doth nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: therefore Father and Son being equal in operation and working, are equal in nature and being; and consequently, both essentially, truly and really, God: Therefore the Arians of old, and the Socinians at this day, are wide when they produce this text? The Son can do nothing of himself, to prove that Christ is not equal with God the Father, They forget or neglect to distinguish between his divine nature, which could do all things, and his mediatorial office: which could not do, but what the Father that sent him had appointed him to do.


Verse 20

The second argument which our Saviour produces to prove his unity in nature, and equality in operation with the Father, is drawn from that special love which the Father beareth to the Son: which inclines him to communicate all things to him by a divine and ineffable communication.

Learn hence, 1. That God the Father loved Jesus Christ his Son, with an essential, natural, and necessary love, as being the substantial image of himself, and the splendor and brightness of his glory. The Father loveth the Son: that is, with an essential, eternal and ineffable love.

2. That the Father's love to Christ was communicative; his essence and nature, his wisdom an power for operation, to the Son; The Father sheweth the Son all things that himself doth: namely, by a divine, inconceivable, and unspeakable communication.


Verse 21

A third argument, proving Christ to be God, and equal with the Father, is here produced? namely, his raising of the dead; he is joined with the Father in that work, and equal with him: As the Father quickeneth whom he pleaseth, so doth the Son quicken whom he will; that is, not as the Father's instrument, but as a principal agent, by the same authority, with the like absolute freedom of will which the Father uses, being a sovereign and independant being as the father is: As the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so the Son quickeneth whom he will. This is more than ever was said of any prophet or apostle, that he did such works at his will.

Learn hence, 1. That quickening or raising of the dead, is an act of omnipotency, and proper to God only: The Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them.

2. That Christ's power to raise the dead, as well as the father's, is a proof of his equality with his Father, and an evidence of his being truly and really God; The Son quickeneth whom he will.


Verse 22

A fourth instance of Christ's godhead, and proof of his equality with the Father, is, That it is his work to judge the world: The Father, says Christ, judges no man: that is, no man without me, but all men by me, to this intent, That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father: that is, honour him with the same faith, love, fear, and worship, that is due and payable to God the Father.

Hence learn, 1. That Christ, as God, hath the absolute power of life and death, of absolution and condemnation, which he executes in conjunction with his Father.

2. That having this power of judging the world with the Father, doth shew that the same glory is due to him, which is due unto the Father. All men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.

3. That such as pretend to honour Christ, but deny him to be God, equal with the Father, withdraw the highest honour from him: and such as withdraw the honour from the Son, deny it to the Father, who will not be honoured but in and through honouring of the Son. This text speaks dread and terror to the Socinians, who pretend to honour Christ, but not with the same honour with which they pretend to honour the Father: in God's account they honour him not at all: For he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father. True, they pray to Christ, and give him divine worship, though they believe him to be but a creature; but what is this but idolatry, to worship that which by nature is not God, and to do that to a creature which God requires to be given to himself, having said, My glory will I not give unto another? Isaiah 48:11

Divine honour can be only due to a divine person; that is, to him that is God blessed for evermore.


Verse 24

Here we have fifth evidence of Christ's godhead, and equality with the Father: namely, that he is the author of spiritual and eternal life to all that believe on him. He that hath a fountain of life equal with the Father, and communicated to him from the Father, is God: But Christ hath this, ver.26. For as the Father hath life in himself, so he has given to the Son to have life in himself. Again, He that hath authority to execute judgement upon angels and men, is God: and Christ hath such authority, ver 27. He hath given him authority to execute judgment.

Farther, He that with his voice quickeneth and maketh alive them that hear it, is God: and Christ doth this, ver. 25. The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and live. The dead: that is, 1. The spiritually dead; such as are dead in trespasses and sins: these hearing the voice of Christ in the ministry of the world, shall live a life of grace on earth, and a life of glory in heaven.

2. Such as are corporally dead also: these are likewise quickened and raised by Christ as God,

Learn hence, 1. That God the Father hath communicated to Christ his Son a power to quicken and enliven such as are spiritually and corporally dead.

2. That the Father's communicating this power to the Son argues no inequality or inferiority in the Son, but he hath the same life infinitely, independently, and equally with the Father: as the Father hath it, so hath the Son. the Father hath it in himself, and so hath the Son also; therefore the Son as well as the Father is essentially and truly God.

3. Others, by the dead, understand those whom Christ raised from the dead, when he himself arose. When many of the bodies of the saints arose with him, it being said, The hour now is, &c. Dr. Whitby. Matthew 26:45 to Matthew 28:10


Verse 28

Our Saviour, finding the Jews amazed and astonished at his declaring his sovereign and supreme authority and power to quicken and raise whom he pleased from the dead, doth in these verses assure them that there should be a general resurrection, and an universal day of judgment both of the righteous and the wicked, and a future distribution of rewards and punishments in another life, according to men's actions here in this life. All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.

Here observe, 1. The certainty and universality of the resurrection of the dead declared: The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall come forth.

Observe, 2. The powerful and efficacious means, by which this great and sudden change shall be effected and accomplished in the morning of the resurrection; namely, the omnipotent voice of Christ: All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.

3. Here are the different ends of the resurrection declared, according to the difference of persons which shall then be raised, good and bad; Those that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

Learn, 1. That there shall certainly be a resurrection of the body.

2. That all in the graves shall be raised, though not all alike: the wicked shall be raised by the power of Christ, as their judge; the righteous shall be raised by virtue of their union with Christ, as their head.

3. According as men live in this world, and go out of it, so will they be found at the resurrection, without any change of their estate; there will be then only two sorts of persons, good and bad. All that have done good, how small soever the degree of their goodness hath been, shall be rewarded: and all that have done evil, shall be everlastingly punished; for all persons shall be eternally happy, or intolerably miserable in the other world, accordingly as they manage their deportment and behaviour in this life; They that have done good, shall go, &c.


Verse 30

Here Christ declares to the Jews, and in them all mankind, that they might assure themselves his judgment would be exactly righteous, because he had no private will or power of his own, contrary to, or different from, his Father.

Learn hence, that the Lord Jesus Christ, being the same in essence and nature, in power and operation, with the Father, had no private will or interest of his own, but acted all things as God, in co-ordination with the Father; and, as man, insubordination to him; I can of mine own self do nothing; that is, neither as God nor as Mediator: not as God, for God the Father and Christ being one, equal in power, what one person did, the other doth; not as Mediator, for so Christ finished the work which his Father gave him to do: the will of the Father, and the will of Christ, being both one. As Christ was sent by his Father's order, so he was altogether guided by his Father's will, wherewith his own will exactly concurred.


Verse 31

Our blessed Saviour having produced these five foregoing arguments, to prove his unity in essence, and his equality in power, with the Father, comes now at the end of the chapter, to produce several testimonies for the proof of it: and the first of them is, the testimony of God his Father: There is another that beareth witness of me whose witness is true. Now the Father had lately, at Christ's baptism, by a voice from heaven, declared him to be his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased; which illustrious testimony, given to Christ, they had not regarded.

Learn hence, That as Christ came into the world in obedience to his Father, and to bear witness of him, and his testimony concerning his Son is undoubtedly true, and to be depended and rested upon: for we make the Father a liar, if we do not depend upon the record which he hath given of his Son.


Verse 33

The second testimony to prove Christ to be the Messias, was that of John the Baptist. We read, John 1:19 how the Jews were sent to enquire of him, whether he were the Christ, or not; and he denied it, and pointed at Jesus, saying, Behold the Lamb of God; yet would not the Jews abide by this testimony of John concerning the Messias. Nevertheless, says Christ, I receive not testimony from John; that is, "John by his testimony added nothing to me; I was what I was, and I am what I am, before John testified of me, and since."

Learn hence, That the divinity of Christ's person, and the verity of his doctrine, needs no man's testimony for the confirmation of it, being sufficiently confirmed by Christ's own authority, and his Father's testimony; I receive nothing from man; that is, "I need it not, I desire it not upon my own account, but upon yours only, that upon the credit of John's testimony ye might believe in me, and be saved by me; These things I say, that ye might be saved.


Verse 35

Observe here, John's character, and the people's carriage.

1. John's character; he was a light, a burning and a shining light: he had in him a light of knowledge, to enlighten, direct, and comfort others; and this his knowledge was accompanied with zeal: he was a burning light in his doctrine and a shining lamp in his conversation: he had the light of knowledge in his head, the warmth of zeal in his heart, and the influence of both in his life.

Learn hence, 1. That those whom God calls to the office and work of the ministry, he furnishes with abilities and endowments suitable to their great employment, he endows them with a light of knowledge, which is animated by the heat and warmth of zeal.

2. That ministerial gifts and abilities are not bestowed alike upon all, but dispensed variously. All are lights according to their measure, but all are not equally burning and shining lights for proportion and degree.

3. That the brightest burning and clearest shining lights in the church of Christ, have but their time in this world; they are subject, as well as other men, to the common condition of mortality, and the lamps of their lives burn out the faster, by lighting others to heaven. John was a burning and a shining light; but now is put out and gone.

Observe, 2. As John's character, so the people's carriage; Ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. Here is a three-fold gradation; they rejoiced, they rejoiced in his light, and they rejoiced for a season.

1. They rejoiced. The word signifies, they leaped for joy, and danced about him as children do about a bonfire, when he first began his ministry among them. O, how warm are the affections of a people, when a pious and zealous minister comes first among them.

2. They rejoiced in his light, not in his heat. Or, they rejoiced in John's light, not in Christ's; for when they found that John bare record to Christ, they soon grew cold in their affections towards John.

3. They rejoiced only for a season; for an hour, as the word signifies. For a short time John's ministry was acceptable.

Learn hence, 1. That it has been an old practice among the professors, not to like their pastors long, though they have been ever such burning and shining lights. John was not ever such burning and shining lights. John was not changed, but his hearers were changed; he did burn and shine in the candlestick of the church with equal zeal and lustre to the last: but they had changed their thoughts of him, and lost their esteem for him.

Learn, 2. That as nothing in general is so mutable as the mind of man, so nothing in particular is so variable as the affections and opinions of people towards their ministers. The lamp of John's ministry was always alike burning and shining, his oil did not waste, but his hearer's zeal wasted, and their affection cooled: those whose gifts are not all abated, may yet find a great abatement in the acceptation of their gifts: therefore let no man live upon the breath of men; least of all let ministers live upon the popular air, or the speech of the people.

O, let us live upon the credit which we have with God, and rejoice chiefly in his esteem. If our performances find acceptance with God, we are safe and happy, though they fall under contempt with men.


Verse 36

The third testimony produced by Christ, to evidence and prove himself to be the promised Messias, and Saviour of the world, tis that of his miracles; which, by an omnipotent power, as God, he was enabled to work. Christ's miracles were speaking testimonies of his unity with the Father, and of the divinity of his person. Not so the miracles of his apostles; for he wrought his miracles in his own name, and by his own power and authority: but the apostles expressly declared the contrary, Why look ye stedfastly on us, as if we by our own power had made this man whole? His name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong. Acts 3:12; Acts 3:16

Learn hence, That the testimony of Christ's own works, his miracles wrought in his own name, and by his own authority and power, is a clearer confirmation of his godhead, office, and doctrine, than the best of men's testimonies; yea, than John Baptist's own testimony, That he saw the Spirit descending on him.


Verse 37

Here our blessed Saviour produces again the testimony of his Father, that he was the true and promised Messias: this was given him both at his baptism and his transfiguration: when God the Father owned Christ to be his Son, by an audible voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Which testimony the Jews ought the more to have regarded, because though their forefathers had heard the voice of God at certain times, Exodus 20:1; Deuteronomy 4:1 yet they in their times had never heard his voice.

Learn hence, That the Father's immediate testimony of Christ from heaven, is greater than all the testimonies given to him here on earth; greater than John's, greater than his miracles. The presence of the glorious Trinity, when that testimony was given, Matthew 3 ult. made that witness most awful and solemn.


Verse 39

The next testimony which Christ appeals to, is the testimony of the scriptures; that is, the writings of Moses and the prophets, which Christ bids the Jews diligently search, and they shall find that they abundantly testified of him, and that all the prophecies and types were fulfilled in him. The word (search) signifying to search, as men do for a golden mine in the bowels of the earth, which they must dig deep for, before they can come at.

It intimates, 1. That there is an inestimable treasure lying hid in the holy scriptures, which we shall never fathom by a slight, superficial search.

2. That this inestimable treasure may be found out by the painful searcher: and it is the duty of all the members of the visible church to read and search the scriptures, which point out the way to eternal life.


Verse 40

Here our Saviour upbraids the Jews for thier obstinate infidelity; that notwithstanding God the Father by a voice from heaven, and John the Baptist by his testimony on earth, notwithstanding all the miracles which they had seen wrought by Christ himself, and notwithstanding the scriptures, which they pretended so highly to esteem, did prove him to be the Messias, and the author of eternal life, which they professed to seek: yet such was their obstinacy, that they would not come unto him, nor believe in him. Ye will not come unto me, that ye may have life.

Hence observe, 1. A choice and invaluable mercy, which Christ stands ready to bestow upon poor sinners, that is life, both spiritual and eternal. A life of grace, in order to a life of glory.

Observe, 2. The gracious condition upon which this invaluable blessing may be had; and that is, upon coming to Christ, believing on him, and receiving of him.

3. Here is the true reason declared why sinners do miss of life and salvation by Jesus Christ, when he has so dearly purchased it for them, and does so freely tender it unto them, and that lies in their own willfulness and obstinacy; Ye will not come unto me.

Learn hence, That the true reason why so many sinners miss of salvation and eternal life, after all that Christ has done and suffered for them, is their own obstinacy and unwillingness to come to him, that they may have life. Man, by nature, has not only an inability, but a fixed enmity in his will against Jesus Christ.


Verse 41

Here observe, 1. How little our Saviour sought the approbation and vain-glorious estimation of men, I receive not honour from men. The same should all his disciples and followers do; rest satisfied in the secret testimony and silent applause of their own consciences, without pumping for popular applause.

Observe, 2. The dreadful sin which Christ charges upon the Jews, as the cause why they rejected him, I know that ye have not the love of God in you. Oh! deplorable state and case, to be void of all true love to God! Love being the spring of all action, and the root of all true obedience, he that loves God, will not only sweat at his work, but bleed at his work too, if his work cannot be carried on without bleeding. But where love of God is wanting, and no care to please God is found, his authority is despised, his Son rejected: as the Jews here would not come to Christ, that they might have life, because they had not the love of God in them.

Observe, 3. The high affront which the Jews offered to the Son of God in preferring any seducers or impostors before him, who came in their own names; whilst he was rejected, who came in the name of his Father.

Learn hence, That though Christ was the great Ambassador of his Father, not a servant, but a son, and had his mission, his approbation, and his testimony from heaven, yet so far did the perverseness and prejudices of the Jews prevail, that he was rejected, whilst impostors and deceivers, false Christs and anti-christs, without any evidence and authority from God (because promising them a temporal kingdom) were embraced and entertained; I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; but if another (a seducer) should come in his own name, him ye will receive.

As if Christ had said, You are incredulous to none but me: every cheat, that has but wit or wickedness to tell you, "The Lord hath sent him," is believed by you; but though I come in my Father's name, shewing a commission signed and sealed by him, and doing those works that none but a God can do, yet you receive me not. O unreasonable infidelity!


Verse 44

Here Christ tells the Jews, that it is impossible they should believe aright in him, because they were so in love with the praise of men, that they would own him for the Messias, who could promsie them a temporal kingdom, and in the mean time reject himself, who came authorized with the testimony and approbation of God; you will receive honour one of another, but reject the honour that cometh from God only.

Learn, That such as ambitiously hunt after vain-glory and respect from men, do evidence themselves to be regardless of God's approbation and acceptation.


Verse 45

Think not that I will accuse you; that is, that I only will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses; that is, the writings of Moses, which you pretend to depend upon, and to trust to; for had you believed his writings, that is, the prophecies and types contained in his writings, you would have been led by them to believe in me; for they all pointed at me, and recieved their accomplishment in me; but if Moses cannot be heard by you, I must expect no authority with you.

Learn, 1. That the whole scope of Moses's ceremonial law, was to point out and prefigure Jesus Christ; Christ was the sum of the law, as well as the substance of the gospel; he was Abraham's promised seed, Moses's great Prophet, Jacob's Shilo, Esay's Emanuel, Daniel's Holy One, Zachary's Branch, and Malachi's Angel.

2. That such as believed the ancient prophesies before Christ came, did see their accomplishment in him, when he was come.

 


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Bibliography Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 5:4". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-5.html. 1700-1703.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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