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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 12:49

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Obedience;   Thompson Chain Reference - Mysteries-Revelations;   Oracle of God, Christ;   Revelation;   Words of Christ;   The Topic Concordance - Commandment;   Eternal Life;   Jesus Christ;   Receiving;   Rejection;   Sending and Those Sent;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ, the Prophet;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Bethany;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Inspiration;   Jesus christ;   Trinity;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Command, Commandment;   Sanctification;   Word;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Judgment, Last;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Knowledge;   Logos;   Martha;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Betrayal;   Character of Christ;   Communion (2);   Consciousness;   Death of Christ;   Dependence;   Discourse;   Example;   Love (2);   Mercy;   Prophet;   Revelation (2);   Son of God;   Trinity (2);   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Bethany;   Martha;   Passover;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Commandment, the New;   Obedience of Christ;   Quotations, New Testament;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse John 12:49. For I have not spoken of myself — I have not spoken for my secular interest: I have not aimed at making any gain of you: I have not set up myself as your teachers in general do, to be supported by my disciples, and to be credited on my own testimony. I have taught you, not the things of men, but the deep, everlasting truths of God. As his envoy, I came to you; and his truth only I proclaim.

Gave me a commandment — Or, commission. So I understand the original word, εντολη. Christ, as the Messiah, received his commission from God; what he should command-every thing that related to the formation and establishment of the Christian institution: and what he should speak - all his private conversations with his disciples or others, he, as man, commanded and spoke through the constant inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 12:49". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-12.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

137. Final message to the Jews (John 12:27-50)

Jesus trembled as he thought of the suffering that awaited him, but he was determined to finish the work he had come to do. He prayed that through his death he would glorify his Father, and his Father responded in a voice from heaven that the prayer would be answered (John 12:27-29). As the startled onlookers were wondering what they had heard, Jesus told them that the time for Satan’s defeat was approaching. Through Jesus’ crucifixion, people of all nations would be delivered from Satan’s power and brought into the liberty of the kingdom of God (John 12:30-33).

The people were puzzled at Jesus’ statement. He spoke of himself as ‘the Son of man’, but if he used this expression to mean ‘the Messiah’, how could the Messiah die on the cross? They thought the Messiah would live for ever. Jesus had no more time to reason with them, but urged them to believe in him immediately and so walk in the light while he was still on earth. Otherwise the darkness would come upon them and they would be lost eternally (John 12:34-36).

Most of the Jewish people were stubborn in their unbelief, as Isaiah had prophesied. Any who believed in him were afraid to say so openly, for fear of being put out of the synagogue (John 12:37-43). In his final words to the crowd, Jesus explained that to believe in him was to believe in God; to reject him was to reject God (John 12:44-46). Jesus came to save people, not to condemn them, and the words he spoke were the words of God. But in the day of judgment those same words would be a witness for the condemnation of those who rejected them (John 12:47-50).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on John 12:49". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/john-12.html. 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

For I spake not from myself; but the Father that sent me, he hath given me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life eternal; the things therefore which I speak even as the Father hath said unto me, so I speak.

The words of Jesus are eternally important because they are the words of God. Significantly, our Lord never requested men to believe him AS A MAN, but as the TRUE MESSENGER OF GOD. What a difference prevails among human authorities. The rule of thumb for claiming attention on the human level is this: a bishop has spoken; a pope has published an encyclical; the council has made a decision; the head of the church has spoken; an archbishop has said, etc., etc. Not even the holy Christ himself, while on earth as a man, demanded that his words be accepted on the basis of any earthly trust or position that he occupied, his sole claim upon human credibility and acceptance being in this alone, that he delivered the TRUE WORD OF ALMIGHTY GOD! This is the unique significance and authority of the word of Christ.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 12:49". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Of myself - John 7:16-18.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 12:49". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-12.html. 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

49. For I do not speak from myself. That the outward appearance of man may not lessen the majesty of God, Christ frequently sends us to the Father. This is the reason why he so often mentions the Father; and, indeed, since it would be unlawful to transfer to another a single spark of the Divine glory, the word, to which judgment is ascribed, must have proceeded from God. Now Christ here distinguishes himself from the Father, not simply as to his Divine Person, but rather as to his flesh; lest the doctrine should be judged after the manner of men, and, therefore, should have less weight. But if consciences were subject to the laws and doctrine of men, this argument of Christ would not apply, “My word (he says) will judge, because it has not proceeded from man;” according to that saying,

There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy, (James 4:12.)

We may likewise infer from it, how monstrous, is the sacrilege of the Pope in daring to bind souls by his inventions; for in this way he claims more for himself than the Son of God does, who declares that he does not speak but by the commandment of his Father.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 12:49". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-12.html. 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 12

Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he had raised from the dead. They made him a supper; and Martha served [typical of Martha]: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very expensive, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the aroma of the ointment ( John 12:1-3 ).

Typical of Mary, worshipping; Martha, working...it takes all types. God has built into our characters these very qualities. Martha, busy serving; Mary, busy worshipping.

Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray him, Why didn't they sell this perfume for three hundred pence, and given the money to the poor? ( John 12:4-5 )

Actually, it was very expensive. A pence was a day's wage for a laboring man. So you've got almost a year's wages involved here that this perfume could have been sold for.

This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and he held the purse, and he was stealing out of the money in the purse ( John 12:6 ).

Now, it's unfortunate that in the betrayal of this whole scene in "Jesus Christ, Superstar" they try to make Jesus a very lavish kind of a person, living in opulence, no care for the poor. And Judas turns out the hero; he's the social reformer and the man who's concerned for the poor and all. And they don't really do justice to the text, and that, you have to assume, is deliberate. Because it's right there. Judas didn't really care for the poor, as he would be made out that marvelous man with social concern. He was a thief. He was holding the purse and had been stealing the money out of the purse. That's the only reason he wanted the perfume sold and the money put in the purse. He was not that kind of a person that they tried to portray him.

Then said Jesus, Get off her case: against the day of my burying has she kept this. For the poor always you will have with you; but you will not always have me ( John 12:7-8 ).

So He made Judas leave her alone.

Many of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not only for Jesus' sake, but they wanted to see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests ( John 12:9-10 )

And notice how evil men they are.

they consulted how that they might put Lazarus to death also; because by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus ( John 12:10-11 ).

So they're going to try and destroy the evidence by killing Lazarus.

The next day many people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches off the palm trees, and they went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord ( John 12:12-13 ).

And so, knowing that Jesus was going to be coming from Bethany, having to come down from the Mount of Olives, they went over to the path that comes from Bethany, down the Mount of Olives, into the Kidron valley to Jerusalem. And as Jesus was coming, they greeted Him, waving the palm branches. And so, we have Palm Sunday, the Sunday before the crucifixion. And they were crying the 118th Psalm, "Hosanna!" "Save now" is what the word means in Hebrew. "Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord!"

Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it was written, Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him ( John 12:14-16 ).

Now, John is very honest and very frank here. He said, "You know, we didn't think about it until after He was glorified, and then we thought, 'Oh, wow, remember how we waved the palm branches and He was riding on a donkey? Isn't that what Zachariah said? "Rejoice greatly, O daughters of Jerusalem, behold thy King cometh unto thee, but he is lowly, he is sitting on a donkey, the foal of an ass." Wow!'"

In other words, he is saying, "We weren't trying to deliberately set the stage. We didn't say, 'Now what does the Bible say is supposed to have next? Let's work it out this way.'" It wasn't a deliberate conspiracy to set the stage. It was something they just did, and afterwards they realized, "Wow! We were fulfilling prophecy." And the realization came, but not until after Jesus was glorified. So it wasn't a deliberately staged event as far as the disciples were concerned.

And the people therefore that were with him when he called Lazarus out of the grave, and raised him from the dead, they bare record ( John 12:17 ).

They were telling everybody about it.

For this cause the people also met him, for that they had heard that he had done a great miracle ( John 12:18 ).

I mean, it had really been buzzed, this miracle of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. And so everybody was excited.

The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Hey, do you realize how we're not prevailing? the whole world is going after him. There were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast ( John 12:19-20 ):

They could worship from the court of the Gentiles; they could not come in.

And the same came therefore to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and they desired of him, saying, Sir, we would like to see Jesus. And Philip came and told Andrew: and Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit ( John 12:21-24 ).

What a beautiful picture! You have a little grain of wheat. You set that little grain of wheat here on the pulpit, and you can come back a year from now, and it's still one little grain of wheat sitting there on the pulpit. Come back ten years from now, still one little grain of wheat sitting there on the pulpit. But if you put that little grain of wheat into the ground, it dies. But out of the death comes a new form, a new body, comes the stalk, comes the new kernel or corn of wheat, they call it. And many wheat seeds. And the potential of one wheat seed is tremendous. I read somewhere that if you would take a kernel of corn and plant it, and then take from that one kernel of corn all of the seeds that came off the kernels that grew from the one, plant them. I think it is in ten years that you would have enough corn seed to plant every acre of ground on the face of the earth with corn. Just each year planting everything that came from the one. You see, when God created the plants and all, He said, "Be fruitful, multiply. Fill the earth." And surely, the potential is there. And so, Jesus is using a neat little illustration here, referring to His death. "Look, unless it dies, it stays by itself. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit." Talking of His death. Through His death, He was going to bring forth much fruit. You included, tonight. Part of the fruit.

And he that loves his life shall lose it; but he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal ( John 12:25 ).

He had said earlier, "He who seeks to save his life will lose it; he who will lose his life for My sake, the same will find it or save it." Much the same, loving life. You're going to lose it anyhow. But if you are looking forward to that new life, life eternal.

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. Now is my soul troubled; what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour ( John 12:26-27 ).

You remember He kept saying, "My hour is not yet come, My hour is not yet come"? Now He's approaching the hour. And as He's approaching the hour, He's beginning to go through this inner turmoil. "My soul is troubled; what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'?" He's already beginning to enter into some of the agony of the garden. These are the last days; He knows it. In the garden He prayed, "Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Thy will be done." Now, even before then, He's going through that turmoil. "Father, save Me from this hour. Yet, it's for this hour that I came into the world. For this cause, that's why I'm here."

Father, glorify thy name ( John 12:28 ).

Oh, this is just as powerful as the prayer in the garden when He said, "If it is possible, let this cup...nevertheless, not My will, Thy will be done." How glorious it is when we submit our ways to God. "God, save Me from this hour; but yet, not so, Lord, You just glorify Your name."

There came a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. And the people therefore that were standing around, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, No, an angel spoke to him. And Jesus said, This voice did not come for my sake, but for your sake ( John 12:28-30 ).

I don't need this kind of a spectacular demonstration to make Me believe. It wasn't for My sake that this voice came, it was for your sakes.

But now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of the world be cast out ( John 12:31 ).

You see, they'd just been saying, "Save now," and He says, "No, it's the judgment of the world; for the prince of the world himself is going to be cast out. He is to be despised and rejected of men."

And I, if I be lifted up ( John 12:32 )

The corn of wheat died, it will bring forth much fruit. If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

This he said, signifying what death he should die ( John 12:33 ).

When He said, "If I be lifted up" He was talking about, "I'm going to be lifted up on a cross. I'm going to die on the cross." And the lifting up was only signifying death on a cross. Unfortunately, many ministers and Christians take this term, "If I be lifted up" as meaning exalting Jesus. "If we just hold Jesus up before people, if we just exalt Jesus, if we just lift Him up before people, He's going to draw everyone unto Him. So, what we must be doing is exalting Jesus before the people and lifting up Jesus before the people, so that all the people will be drawn to Him." That's not what Jesus is saying! And there's even some chorus that is almost blasphemous if you think of it. And it's, "Let's lift Him higher, let's lift Him higher, that all the world might see." You know, He's only talking about death on the cross. The corn of wheat falling into the ground, that it might bring forth much fruit. And not exalting Jesus or lifting Him up before the world. Not referring to that at all, and that's an unfortunate understanding many people have taken, because they didn't read the next verse. They just take this statement of Jesus, "If I be lifted up, I'll draw all men unto Me." "Oh, well then, let's lift Jesus up." No, He's talking about the cross. If I say, "Well, let's lift Jesus up," I'm saying, "Well, let's put Jesus on the cross." So,

This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, Now we've heard out of the law that the Messiah abides forever: how come you are saying that you've got to be crucified? who, then, is the Son of man? ( John 12:33-34 )

You say, "I'm going to be crucified." Wait a minute! The scriptures say that the Messiah is going to abide forever. "For unto us a child is given, unto us a Son is born, the government shall be upon His shoulders. And the name shall be called 'Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace;' and of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, the Messiah abides forever." Upon the throne of David to order it and establish it in righteousness and judgment, from henceforth, even forever. For the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform this. How come you say you're going to be crucified if the Messiah abides forever?'

And Jesus said unto them, For a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness does not know where he's going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. And these things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them ( John 12:35-36 ).

Now the Pharisees are out to get Him for sure. But yet, He is in control of the events. The crucifixion must take place on Passover in order that He might fulfill in His sacrifice all of the symbolisms of the Passover; the blood of the lamb slain in Egypt on the doorpost, bringing life for those condemned to die. So, it was necessary that the crucifixion take place on Passover, and thus, He hid Himself.

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they did not believe on him ( John 12:37 ):

Now, there is a common misconception that if a person could just see a miracle, surely they would believe. Not so; they saw many miracles and they did not believe. In fact, it was a little worse than that. We are told in verse John 12:38 they could not believe.

That the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? ( John 12:38 )

Then there in thirty-nine,

Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, that I should heal them. These things said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him ( John 12:39-41 ).

So, Isaiah prophesied that he would be despised and rejected. "A man of sorrows, acquainted with grief." "Therefore they could not believe." Why could they not believe? That's an interesting statement: "Therefore they could not believe." Even though they saw the miracles, they could not believe.

Jesus warned in the other gospels concerning the unpardonable sin, that of the continual rejection of the Holy Spirit's conviction upon your heart. A person can reject Christ so many times that believing becomes an impossibility. There is a certain law of metaphysics. Our brains are an interesting instrument, and we can create brain patterns, so that a repeated action can create such a pattern in our brain that it's difficult and, at times, impossible to change the pattern that you've established there.

You watch a woman learn to knit and the needles just seem to go everywhere and it's slow, it's tedious. But as she continues to persist, you find that what's happening is you're patterning the brain, you're establishing grooves up here. Until finally, if you've worked with the needles long enough, you see the needles just flying. And she can be talking, watching television or something, and the needles will just be flying. Because the grooves have so planted in the brain that she doesn't really have to think about it. She can just turn on the mode up there..."knit one pearl, two"...and it just goes, and the pattern is set. And so with many things that a repeated action creates the pattern in the brain, and it becomes a very simple thing.

Now, that's why some of you old people have such a problem with Pac Man. You know, you're just too old to get any new grooves going. But you take this little kids--my little grandson, man is he a whiz at Pac Man! You know, he just sits there and he can . . . and I won't even put a quarter in the thing for myself, I give him the quarter and watch him do it. But I'm lousy at that game. But his, I mean, is just automatic response, that little guy's come down and the little Pac Man is going and he can just turn that little guy around and in, and his reflects are just tremendous. The brain has been patterned so well for that stuff. You watch these kids, and it becomes an automatic kind of a response that they have. I mean, they just get into the machine, almost, into the whole thing. And you can pattern your brain so that it gets established in a set.

Now, unfortunately, a person can do that in regards to believing in Jesus Christ. You see, the first you were faced with the claims of Jesus Christ, and you thought, "I wonder, could this be true? Could He really be the Son of God? Can I really have eternal life by believing? Well, I don't know." And it was a tough decision. I mean, it wasn't easy to say "no" to Jesus. It was a very hard decision for you to make. But ultimately, you said, "Well, no, I don't think so, not tonight anyhow."

Now, the next time you were faced with it, you see, by your saying "no" you started a groove. You planted that in your brain and it becomes a permanent part. So the next time you were faced, it was a little easier to say, "Well, I don't think so, not tonight." The groove got a little deeper. And every time you said "no," the groove became deeper and deeper and deeper, until you can be faced now with indisputable evidence, but you can't overcome that brain groove.

This is the condition the Pharisees were in. Here's a man raised from the dead. Evidence they can't deny. They might try to get rid of it by killing him, but they can't deny it. But yet, they could not believe; they had gone too far. They couldn't reverse it at this point.

It is extremely significant that nine-tenths of the decisions that are made for Jesus Christ are made when a person is a teenager. You see, before you get that groove set too deep. Nine-tenths of the decisions are made during the teen ages. As you get older, that old brain groove gets deeper and deeper until, actually, salvation, statistically, becomes an impossibility. But God is a God of grace, and so, we see many times these eighty or ninety-year-old people coming to Jesus. That's a miracle! Statistically, it's impossible, but God isn't bound by statistics. Mathematically, you can show the impossibility of a seventy-year-old person accepting Jesus Christ. But that happens, what can you say? God is a God of miracles. Salvation is a miracle. "But they could not believe."

Now, you remember when Pharaoh hardened his heart. Then finally, God took over and He hardened his heart. God will confirm you in your position. And so, God confirmed them in their positions. They wanted to blind their eyes, they didn't want to see; alright, then God blinded their eyes. They didn't want to believe; alright, then God made firm their decision, He hardened their hearts, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts and be converted, and that they should be healed. So, "These things said Isaiah when he saw His glory and he spoke of Him."

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess, lest they should have been put out of the synagogue ( John 12:42 ):

And here is a tragic verse of scripture,

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God ( John 12:43 ).

That has been the nemesis of many a person. What a tragedy when it is said of a person, "Well, he loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." You know, "They might not understand me at the club if I spoke out for Jesus Christ." And they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. What a sad, sad commentary on many people's lives. "I'm more concerned with what people will think of me than I am what God will think of me. I'm more interested in man patting me on the back than I am God patting me on the back. I'm more interested that men should praise me than that God should praise me." They love the praise of men more than the praise of God. That is a very sad case to be in.

And Jesus cried and said, He that believes on me, believes not on me, but upon him who sent me. And he that sees me sees him that sent me ( John 12:44-45 ).

Philip said, "Lord, just show us the Father, we'll be satisfied." And Jesus said, "Philip, have I been so long a time with you, have you not seen me? He who has seen me, has seen the Father. How is it that you say, 'Show us the Father'?" We'll get that next week. "He that sees Me sees Him that sent Me," or sees the Father.

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me, should not abide in darkness ( John 12:46 ).

Now, Paul the apostle said, "You are not the children of darkness that the day of the Lord should take you as a thief by surprise, but you're children of the light, therefore walk as children of the light" ( 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 ) making reference to the statement of Jesus here in John, chapter 12.

If any man hear my words, and believe not, I do not judge him: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world ( John 12:47 ).

How many times has He said this? "He that believeth not is condemned already. I didn't come to condemn the world, but that the world through Me might be saved." Now, He's referring again. That was at the beginning of His ministry, to Nicodemus in John, the third chapter. "God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. And he that believeth is not condemned." ( John 3:16-18 ). "I didn't come to judge the world. If a person doesn't believe in Me, I don't judge him. I didn't come to judge, I came to save." Oh, His glorious mission. Not to bring condemnation, not to bring judgment, but to bring salvation to men.

Now, He is coming again, and when He comes again, it will be to judge. But His first coming, the mission was salvation.

He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one who judges him: and it is the word which I have spoken, the same will judge him in the last day ( John 12:48 ).

When you are judged, you will be judged by the Word of God. Your not believing it, that's what is going to judge you. God has given the witness; you didn't believe it, so the Word of God will judge you. Jesus said, "I'm not going to judge you, the Word that I have spoken, that's what is going to judge you."

For I have not spoken of my own; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak ( John 12:49-50 ).

So, "My words that I have spoken, they have come from God, they are going to be the things that judge you. I know that they're true; I know that God has given to me life everlasting." And that's what is going to judge you; you'll be judged by God's Word.

Next week we'll go on into chapters 13 and 14. The fourteenth chapter, in my estimation, is one of the most important chapters in the Bible. Years ago when I was in seminary, I had a professor who said that the fourteenth chapter of John was perhaps one of the most important chapters in the Bible. He said, "You all memorize it." So, I went home and memorized it. And it is an outstanding chapter, and you should commit it to memory. And it's one that's just so full, so rich. We'll be getting into that next week.

And now, may the hand of the Lord be upon your life, to watch over you, to guide you, and to strengthen you for the things that you'll be facing this week. May you just again be open to the things of the Spirit, that God might lead you in His way of righteousness and truth. May the blessings of the Lord be upon you through all of your activities, as you walk with Him in an ever-increasing faith, fellowship and love. In Jesus' name. "



Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on John 12:49". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/john-12.html. 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

7. The unbelief of Israel 12:37-50

This section of the Gospel contains the writer’s explanation of the significance of the events so far in Jesus’ ministry. John first explained the conflict between belief and unbelief, and then He recorded Jesus’ final appeal for decision. This is the final climax of the decision theme before Jesus’ passion. The key word in this section is "believe," which appears six times.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 12:49". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-12.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The final exhortation to believe 12:44-50

John added Jesus’ words that follow as a climactic appeal to his readers to believe on Jesus. This exhortation summarizes and restates some of the major points that John recorded Jesus teaching earlier. These themes include faith, Jesus as the One sent by the Father, light and darkness, judgment now and later, and eternal life. Jesus evidently gave it to the crowd as a final challenge. He probably delivered it during His week of teaching in the temple during the Passover season.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 12:49". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-12.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus did not speak a message that He had devised but one that He had received from the Father (cf. Deuteronomy 18:18-19). What God had commanded Him to say resulted in eternal life for those who believed it. Consequently Jesus was careful to convey this message exactly as He had received it.

This exhortation explains what John recorded of Jesus’ public ministry.

"The great subject of chap. 12 is the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus." [Note: Beasley-Murray, p. 218.]

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 12:49". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-12.html. 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For I have not spoken of myself,.... As man, or as separate from his Father; his doctrine was not human, but divine, and therefore a rejection of it cannot escape notice at the future judgment:

but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak; Christ, as man, had his mission, and commission, and his instructions from his Father to preach the Gospel unto men; he was anointed for it by the Holy Ghost; he was enjoined the preaching of it by his Father, and the several doctrines he published were delivered him by him; see John 8:28.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 12:49". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-12.html. 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Christ's Last Discourse with the Jews.


      44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.   45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.   46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.   47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.   48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.   49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.   50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

      We have here the honour Christ not assumed, but asserted, to himself, in the account he gave of his mission and his errand into the world. Probably this discourse was not at the same time with that before (for them he departed,John 12:36; John 12:36), but some time after, when he made another public appearance; and, as this evangelist records it, it was Christ's farewell sermon to the Jews, and his last public discourse; all that follows was private with his disciples. Now observe how our Lord Jesus delivered this parting word: he cried and said. Doth not wisdom cry (Proverbs 8:1), cry without?Proverbs 1:20. The raising of his voice and crying intimate, 1. His boldness in speaking. Though they had not courage openly to profess faith in his doctrine, he had courage openly to publish it; if they were ashamed of it, he was not, but set his face as a flint, Isaiah 50:7. 2. His earnestness in speaking. He cried as one that was serious and importunate, and in good earnest in what he said, and was willing to impart to them, not only the gospel of God, but even his own soul. 3. It denotes his desire that all might take notice of it. This being the last time of the publication of his gospel by himself in person, he makes proclamation, "Whoever will hear me, let them come now." Now what is the conclusion of the whole matter, this closing summary of all Christ's discourses? It is much like that of Moses (Deuteronomy 30:15): See, I have set before you life and death. So Christ here takes leave of the temple, with a solemn declaration of three things:--

      I. The privileges and dignities of those that believe; this gives great encouragement to us to believe in Christ and to profess that faith. It is a thing of such a nature that we need not be shy either of doing it or of owning it; for,

      1. By believing in Christ we are brought into an honourable acquaintance with God (John 12:44; John 12:45): He that believes on me, and so sees me, believes on him that sent me, and so sees him. He that believes on Christ, (1.) He does not believe in a mere man, such a one as he seemed to be, and was generally taken to be, but he believes in one that is the Son of God and equal in power and glory with the Father. Or rather, (2.) His faith does not terminate in Christ, but through him it is carried out to the Father, that sent him, to whom, as our end, we come by Christ as our way. The doctrine of Christ is believed and received as the truth of God. The rest of a believing soul is in God through Christ as Mediator; for its resignation to Christ is in order to being presented to God. Christianity is made up, not of philosophy nor politics, but pure divinity. This is illustrated, John 12:45; John 12:45. He that sees me (which is the same with believing in him, for faith is the eye of the soul) sees him that sent me; in getting an acquaintance with Christ, we come to the knowledge of God. For, [1.] God makes himself known in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6), who is the express image of his person, Hebrews 1:3. [2.] All that have a believing sight of Christ are led by him to the knowledge of God, whom Christ has revealed to us by his word and Spirit. Christ, as God, was the image of his Father's person; but Christ, as Mediator, was his Father's representative in his relation to man, the divine light, law, and love, being communicated to us in and through him; so that in seeing him (that is, in eying him as our Saviour, Prince, and Lord, in the right of redemption), we see and eye the Father as our owner, ruler, and benefactor, in the right of creation: for God is pleased to deal with fallen man by proxy.

      2. We are hereby brought into a comfortable enjoyment of ourselves (John 12:46; John 12:46): I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes in me, Jew or Gentile, should not abide in darkness. Observe, (1.) The character of Christ: I am come a light into the world, to be a light to it. This implies that he had a being, and a being as light, before he came into the world, as the sun is before it rises; the prophets and apostles were made lights to the world, but it was Christ only that came a light into this world, having before been a glorious light in the upper world, John 3:19; John 3:19. (2.) The comfort of Christians: They do not abide in darkness. [1.] They do not continue in that dark condition in which they were by nature; they are light in the Lord. They are without any true comfort, or joy, or hope, but do not continue in that condition; light is sown for them. [2.] Whatever darkness of affliction, disquietment, or fear, they may afterwards be in, provision is made that they may not long abide in it. [3.] They are delivered from that darkness which is perpetual, and which abideth for ever, that utter darkness where there is not the least gleam of light nor hope of it.

      II. The peril and danger of those that believe not, which gives fair warning to take heed of persisting in unbelief (John 12:47; John 12:48): "If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not, not I only, or not now, lest I should be looked upon as unfair in being judge in my own cause; yet let not infidelity think therefore to go unpunished, though I judge him not, there is one that judgeth him." So that we have here the doom of unbelief. Observe,

      1. Who they are whose unbelief is here condemned: those who hear Christ's words and yet believe them not. Those shall not be condemned for their infidelity that never had, nor could have, the gospel; every man shall be judged according to the dispensation of light he was under: Those that have sinned without law shall be judged without law. But those that have heard, or might have heard, and would not, lie open to this doom.

      2. What is the constructive malignity of their unbelief: not receiving Christ's word; it is interpreted (John 12:48; John 12:48) a rejecting of Christ, ho atheton eme. It denotes a rejection with scorn and contempt. Where the banner of the gospel is displayed, no neutrality is admitted; every man is either a subject or an enemy.

      3. The wonderful patience and forbearance of our Lord Jesus, exercised towards those who slighted him when he was come here upon earth: I judge him not, not now. Note, Christ was not quick or hasty to take advantage against those who refused the first offers of his grace, but continued waiting to be gracious. He did not strike those dumb or dead who contradicted him, never made intercession against Israel, as Elias did; though he had authority to judge, he suspended the execution of it, because he had work of another nature to do first, and that was to save the world. (1.) To save effectually those that were given him before he came to judge the degenerate body of mankind. (2.) To offer salvation to all the world, and thus far to save them that it is their own fault if they be not saved. He was to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Now the executing of the power of a judge was not congruous with that undertaking, Acts 8:33. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away, it was suspended for a time.

      4. The certain and unavoidable judgment of unbelievers at the great day, the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God: unbelief will certainly be a damning sin. Some think when Christ saith, I judge no man, he means that they are condemned already. There needs no process, they are self-judged; no execution, they are self-ruined; judgment goes against them of course, Hebrews 2:3. Christ needs not appear against them as their accuser, they are miserable if he do not appear for them as their advocate; however, he tells them plainly when and where they will be reckoned with. (1.) There is one that judgeth them. Nothing is more dreadful than abused patience, and grace trampled on; though for awhile mercy rejoiceth against judgment, yet there will be judgment without mercy. (2.) Their final judgment is reserved to the last day; to that day of judgment Christ here binds over all unbelievers, to answer then for all the contempts they have put upon him. Divine justice has appointed a day, and adjourns the sentence to that day, as Matthew 26:64. (3.) The word of Christ will judge them then: The words that I have spoken, how light soever you have made of them, the same shall judge the unbeliever in the last day; as the apostles, the preachers of Christ's word, are said to judge, Luke 22:30. Christ's words will judge unbelievers two ways:-- [1.] As the evidence of their crime, they will convict them. Every word Christ spoke, every sermon, every argument, every kind offer, will be produced as a testimony against those who slighted all he said. [2.] As the rule of their doom, they will condemn them; they shall be judged according to the tenour of that covenant which Christ procured and published. That word of Christ, He that believes not shall be damned, will judge all unbelievers to eternal ruin; and there are many such like words.

      III. A solemn declaration of the authority Christ had to demand our faith, and require us to receive his doctrine upon pain of damnation, John 12:49; John 12:50, where observe,

      1. The commission which our Lord Jesus received from the Father to deliver his doctrine to the world (John 12:49; John 12:49): I have not spoken myself, as a mere man, much less as a common man; but the Father gave me a commandment what I should say. This is the same with what he said John 7:16; John 7:16. My doctrine is, (1.) Not mine, for I have not spoken of myself. Christ, as Son of man, did not speak that which was of human contrivance or composure; as Son of God, he did not act separately, or by himself alone, but what he said was the result of the counsels of peace; as Mediator, his coming into the world was voluntary, and with his full consent, but not arbitrary, and of his own head. But, (2.) It was his that sent him. God the Father gave him, [1.] His commission. God sent him as his agent and plenipotentiary, to concert matters between him and man, to set a treaty of peace on foot, and to settle the articles. [2.] His instructions, here called a commandment, for they were like those given to an ambassador, directing him not only what he may say, but what he must say. The messenger of the covenant was entrusted with an errand which he must deliver. Note, Our Lord Jesus learned obedience himself, before he taught it to us, though he was a Son. The Lord God commanded the first Adam, and he by his disobedience ruined us; he commanded the second Adam, and he by his obedience saved us. God commanded him what he should say and what he should speak, two words signifying the same thing, to denote that every word was divine. The Old-Testament prophets sometimes spoke of themselves; but Christ spoke by the Spirit at all times. Some make this distinction: He was directed what he should say in his set sermons, and what he should speak in his familiar discourses. Others this: He was directed what he should say in his preaching now, and what he should speak in his judging at the last day; for he had commission and instruction for both.

      2. The scope, design, and tendency of this commission: I know that his commandment is life everlasting,John 12:50; John 12:50. The commission given to Christ had a reference to the everlasting state of the children of men, and was in order to their everlasting life and happiness in that state: the instructions given to Christ as a prophet were to reveal eternal life (1 John 5:11); the power, given to Christ as a king was to give eternal life, John 17:2; John 17:2. Thus the command given him was life everlasting. This Christ says he knew: "I know it is so," which intimates how cheerfully and with what assurance Christ pursued his undertaking, knowing very well that he went upon a good errand, and that which would bring forth fruit unto life eternal. It intimates likewise how justly those will perish who reject Christ and his word. Those who disobey Christ despise everlasting life, and renounce it; so that not only Christ's words will judge them, but even their own; so shall their doom be, themselves have decided it; and who can except against it?

      3. Christ's exact observance of the commission and instructions given him, and his steady acting in pursuance of them: Whatsoever I speak, it is as the Father said unto me. Christ was intimately acquainted with the counsels of God, and was faithful in discovering so much of them to the children of men as it was agreed should be discovered, and kept back nothing that was profitable. As the faithful witness delivers souls, so did he, and spoke the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Note, (1.) This is a great encouragement to faith; the sayings of Christ, rightly understood, are what we may venture our souls upon. (2.) It is a great example of obedience. Christ said as he was bidden, and so must we, communicated what the Father had said to him, and so must we. See Acts 4:20. In the midst of all the respect paid to him, this is the honour he values himself upon, that what the Father had said to him that he spoke, and in the manner as he was directed so he spoke. This was his glory, that, as a Son, he was faithful to him that appointed him; and, by an unfeigned belief of every word of Christ, and an entire subjection of soul to it, we must give him the glory due to his name.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on John 12:49". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/john-12.html. 1706.