Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 13:17

If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Example;   Jesus, the Christ;   Minister, Christian;   Obedience;   Scofield Reference Index - Law of Christ;   Thompson Chain Reference - Doers;   Happiness;   Joy-Sorrow;   The Topic Concordance - Choosing/chosen;   Happiness/joy;   Jesus Christ;   Judas Iscariot;   Receiving;   Resurrection;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Happiness of Saints in This Life;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Humility;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Guidance;   Humility;   Interpretation;   Knowledge;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Faith;   Follow, Follower;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Blessing and Cursing;   John, the Gospel of;   Servant of the Lord, the;   The Last Supper;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Foot;   James, Epistle of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Beatitude;   Blessedness;   Brotherhood (2);   Death of Christ;   Discourse;   Example;   Force;   Happiness;   Humility;   Ideas (Leading);   James ;   Lord's Supper. (I.);   Love (2);   Messiah;   Paradox;   Personality;   Quotations (2);   Redemption (2);   Religion (2);   Sacrifice (2);   Self-Denial;   Service;   Upper Room (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Shoes;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Judas;   Passover;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Beatitudes;   Christ, Offices of;   James, Epistle of;   Judas Iscariot;   Salvation;   Washing of Feet;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for November 29;   Every Day Light - Devotion for November 17;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

If ye know these things, happy, etc. - True happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and in obedience to him. A man is not happy because he knows much; but because he receives much of the Divine nature, and is, in all his conduct, conformed to the Divine will. "They who have read many books (says Menu) are more exalted than such as have seldom studied; they who retain what they have read, than forgetful readers; they who fully understand, than such as only remember; and they who perform their known duty, than such as barely know it. Sacred knowledge and devotedness to God are the means by which a man can arrive at beatitude." See Institutes of Menu, c. xii. Inst. 103, 104. For a heathen this saying is very remarkable.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 13:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-13.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.

It is not in the mere knowledge of sacred truth, but in the faithful obedience of it, that men are blessed. Taken alone, this verse might be interpreted as meaning that merely doing the truth would bless the doer; but such is not exactly the truth for knowing and doing truth bless them that are in the true fellowship with Jesus. One of the Twelve (Judas) was not in fellowship; and, therefore, Jesus promptly indicated the exception.

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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 13:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

If ye know these things,.... The duties they owed to him, and one another; those kind offices of love and respect to each other; the humility, condescension, and brotherly love, which ought to be in them, and of which he had given them an example:

happy are ye if ye do them; for the bare theory, or a mere speculative knowledge of these things, is not sufficient; not he that knows and does not, but he that knows and does his master's will, is blessed; he is blessed with communion with his Lord, and shall hereafter enter into his joy, with "well done good and faithful servant". There is an happiness "in" doing well, and which follows "on" it, though not "for" it, in a way of merit; on the other hand, persons who know and do not, are very unhappy; the Jews have a sayingF1Hieros. Beracot, fol. 3. 2. ,

שהלמד שלא לעשות, "he that learns but not to do", it would have been better for him, if he had never been created; and says R. Jochanan, he that learns but not to do, it would have been better for him if his secundine had been turned upon his face, and he had never come into the world.'

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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 13:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-13.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Know what things? Of course they knew that Christ had washed their feet. But did they know what he meant? The meaning is clearly, "If ye understand the meaning of my act, happy are ye if ye exemplify the same spirit in your lives."

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 13:17". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-13.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

If ye know (ει οιδατεei oidate). Condition of first class assumed as true, ειei and present (οιδατεoidate used as present) active indicative.

If ye do (εαν ποιητεean poiēte). Third-class condition, εανean and present active subjunctive, assumed as possible, “if ye keep on doing.” Both conditions with the one conclusion coming in between, “happy are ye.” Just knowing does not bring happiness nor just occasional doing.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-13.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Happy ( μακάριοι )

Better, as Rev., blessed. See on Matthew 5:3.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-13.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

Verily, verily1, I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord2; neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him.

  1. Verily, verily. See .

  2. A servant is not greater than his lord. Since a servant is not greater than his lord, he should not be ashamed to do what his lord does.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 13:17". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-13.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

MISSIONARY SERVICE

‘If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’

John 13:17

I. There is a test by which the reality of discipleship is proved.

II. It forms the substance of the teaching of the Lord after He rose from the dead.

III. It is contained in the one command, to evangelise the world.

IV. This command was obeyed at the beginning, and utterly neglected in the middle of this dispensation.

V. A return to the obedience of early disciples, and reality of their consecration, will mean renewed enthusiasm for missionary work.

VI. The power and the presence of the Holy Ghost are assured, will be given, and can effectually complete the work, through praying, obedient, and consecrated souls.

—Rev. Hubert Brooke.

Illustration

‘There was a time when the Moravian Church was 120,000 marks in debt; and special contributions were asked from all members. A humble shoemaker was called upon for help, and he gave this answer: “There are thirty thousand members of our church, and 120,000 marks of debt: that is 4 marks apiece. Here we are, myself, my wife, and five children; that is seven. Seven times four are twenty-eight; and here is my share, 28 marks.” Next year the debt had been diminished, but was not gone. The collector came again and reported still a debt of 90,000 marks. The simple cobbler never stayed to grumble at the slackness of other members, but answered again: “That is an average of 3 marks for each member. Thank God, wife and children are still here: so seven times three are twenty-one; and here is my share of 21 marks.” That is the true spirit in which to hear God’s call, and do His will.’

(SECOND OUTLINE)

KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE

Humility is the posture of mind in which to look for Divine blessing; Christ, coming and finding His disciples lowly and free from self-confidence and pride, will bless, exalt, and save them. Our Saviour taught the much-needed and difficult lesson of humility in three ways: by precept, by symbol (when He washed the disciples’ feet), and by His own incomparable obedience and sacrifice. The principle of the text applies primarily to humility, yet also to all virtues.

I. Knowledge.—Christianity is a religion which exalts knowledge. Man was made to know, in which is implied both an intellectual nature, and truth adapted to satisfy that nature. The Lord Jesus came to reveal truth concerning God and man: His prayer was that we might know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom God sent. That the soul be without knowledge is not good; but that the soul be without this knowledge is death.

II. Practice.—We have an active, as well as a cognative, nature. Much of our knowledge finds its true end and justification when it is reduced to practice. We may know God’s will; but that avails nothing unless we do it. We may understand and admire the virtues which are the ‘notes’ of true discipleship; but those virtues are to be embodied in our own conduct and disposition. Knowledge is to be translated into character and action. It is so with humility, and with all graces. If convinced that Christ is the Son of God, live by faith in Him! If assured that His law is the highest morality, practise it! If persuaded that fellowship with His Church is a duty and a privilege, neglect it not! If expecting judgment and eternity, prepare for them!

III. Happiness.—This is not the true aim of life, but it is a Divine addition and ornament, and an incentive to obedience. Knowledge alone is not sufficient for happiness, but knowledge reduced to practice is its appointed means. The intelligent and obedient Christian is happy; for his powers are exercised in conformity with the constitution the Creator has impressed upon him; there is no reproach of conscience, the approving smile of the Master is upon him, and he has the hope of a final welcome and an everlasting recompense. ‘Happy is the people that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on John 13:17". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/john-13.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Ver. 17. If ye know these things, &c.] Knowledge without practice is but as rain in the middle region; or as a horn in the unicorn’s head, which if it were in a wise man’s head, would be very useful and medicinabie, but as now is hurtful.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 13:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-13.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 13:17

All Light Good

I. Light of any kind invariably throws light upon duty, and if we know anything, we are sure to have thereby a clearer knowledge of right from wrong. The mere awakening of the understanding must awaken the conscience in some degree. You cannot gain more intellectual power without also gaining moral light. Just as the coming of the daylight shows you the beauty of Nature, at the same time that it shows you the position of surrounding objects, so, too, even the merest science must reveal in some slight degree the beauty of the will of God.

II. I know not how those shall be judged who have never had any such aid, and have therefore sunk into the condition of brute beasts. God, who seeth not as man seeth, will one day do absolute justice to all, and their unhappy lot shall meet at once with His unbounded mercy and His unerring judgment. But their condition proves to us that the education which we obtain from intercourse with one another is the appointed machinery chosen by His Providence for fashioning our hearts according to His will. Even those who have never yet been touched at heart by the power of His Word, written or spoken, even souls that have not yet opened to receive His revealed truth; even those who have never heard of Christ, or from whose cold and hard hearts that name has glided off without a trace; even they have received a precious gift, if their understandings have been awakened by the light of the knowledge of this present world. And for that gift they will certainly be responsible.

III. The text also brings us this message; trifle not with the conscience. Trifle not with the one voice which always speaks with the authority of Heaven, the one guide which is commissioned to bring you to Christ. Remember that the voice within is the very voice of God; and if you play false with that, you are a traitor to your Master.

Bishop Temple, Rugby Sermons, 1st series, p. 243.


Knowledge of God's Will without Obedience

Do we not often try to persuade ourselves that to feel religiously, to confess our love of religion and to be able to talk of religion, will stand in the place of careful obedience, of that self-denial which is the very substance of true practical religion. Alas! that religion, which is so delightful as a vision, should be so distasteful as a reality. Yet so it is, whether we are aware of the fact or not.

I. The multitude of men even who profess religion are in this state of mind. We will take the case of those who are in better circumstances than the mass of the community. They are well educated and taught; they have few distresses in life, or are able to get over them by the variety of their occupations, by the spirits which attend good health, or at least by the lapse of time. They go on respectably and happily, with the same general tastes and habits which they would have had if the Gospel had not been given them. Their religion is based upon self and the world, a mere civilisation.

II. Take again another description of them. They have perhaps turned their attention to the means of promoting the happiness of their fellow-creatures, and have formed a system of morality and religion of their own. Then they come to Scripture. They are much struck with the high tone of its precepts, and the beauty of its teaching. They know them and that is enough; but as for doing them, they have nothing of this right spirit. The spread of knowledge bringing in its train a selfish temperance, a selfish peaceableness, a selfish benevolence, the morality of expedience, this satisfies them.

III. Is it not one of the commonest excuses made by the poor for irreligion, that they have had no education? As if to know much were a necessary step for right practice. Anyone who thinks it enough to come to church to learn God's will, but does not bear in mind to do it in his daily conduct, is a fool in His sight who maketh the wisdom of this world foolishness.

IV. When a man complains of his hardness of heart or weakness of purpose, let him see to it, whether this complaint is more than a mere pretence to quiet his conscience which is frightened at his putting off repentance; or again, more than a mere idle word, said half in jest and half in compunction. As we desire to enter into life, let us come to Christ continually for the true foundations of true Christian faith—humbleness of mind and earnestness.

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. i., p. 27.


References: John 13:17.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 346; Swan, Short Sermons, p. 172. John 13:18.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iv., p. 167. John 13:21.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. x., p. 210; vol. xix., p. 126. John 13:21-30.—A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 371.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-13.html.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our Lord here intimates unto us these two things:

1. The necessity of knowledge, in order unto practice.

2. The necessity of practice, in order unto happiness.

A man may know the will of God indeed, and not do it; but he can never do the will of God (acceptably) and not know it. The knowledge of God's will and our duty, is necessary to the practice of it. The knowledge of our duty, and the practice of it, may be and too often are separated; but the practice of religion, and doing what we know to be our duty is the only way to true happiness.

Learn thence, 1. That Christ doth not approve of a blind obedience in his people, but requires that their practice and obedience be founded upon understanding and knowledge.

2. That the first care of those that will be Christ's disciples and followers must be this, with all seriousness to apply themselves to the knowlege of their Master's will.

3. That next to the knowlege of our duty, our first and chief care must be, to practice everything that we understand and know to be our duty.

4. That a right knowledge and practice of our duty, will certainly make us happy: If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 13:17". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-13.html. 1700-1703.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 1679

PRACTICAL RELIGION ENFORCED

John 13:17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

SO little was the virtue of humility understood among the heathen, that neither the Greeks nor Romans had a word whereby to express the idea. The lowliness of mind and poverty of spirit which we admire as the summit of Christian excellence, they would have accounted meanness and pusillanimity. But our blessed Lord has instructed us in a far clearer manner than the philosophers of old could do, and has illustrated every one of his instructions by his own example. The act of condescension that is recorded in the chapter before us, very strongly exemplifies the virtue of which we are speaking: though Jesus was the Lord both of heaven and earth, and his Disciples were no higher than poor fishermen, he made himself their servant, and performed for them the meanest office, even that of washing their feet: and then told them that such was the spirit which he would have them cultivate, and such the conduct he would have them pursue towards all their fellow—disciples. He declared, moreover, that such views of Christian excellence, attended with a corresponding practice, would prove to them a source of the richest happiness.

We shall not however confine our views to this particular virtue; but shall take occasion from the words of our text to point out, in a more general manner, the connexion between “knowing and doing” the will of God. We shall shew,

I. Their worthlessness when separate—

As for doing, without knowing, the will of God, that is impossible; since knowledge is, and must be, the foundation of all practice. No act can be a religious act, unless it be done with a direct reference to the will of God ordering and directing it to be done. But knowledge may exist without practice: and when it does so, it is altogether worthless.

1. It has no intrinsic excellence—

[The devils have knowledge in common with us, and probably to a far greater extent: but do they possess any thing that is truly good? Virtue is good, even though it reside only in the mind, and have no scope for exercise; but knowledge, when considered without reference to practice, is as empty and worthless as ignorance itself.]

2. It is productive of no good—

[The science of astronomy, and the knowledge of the magnet, are among the most useful of human attainments: but of what use would they be, if not applied to practical purposes? In the same manner, the knowledge of medicine would never benefit any one, if it were not improved for the healing or preventing of disorders. Thus it is also with respect to divine knowledge. We may be able to delineate all the perfections of God, to trace all the ways of his providence, and to open all the wonders of redemption; we may be able to descant upon virtue, in all its bearings and relations; yea, as the Apostle says, we may “understand all mysteries and all knowledge;” and what are we the better for it all, or what good do we effect by it, if it float only upon the mind, and never operate upon our life and conversation? We are only “as sounding brass or as tinkling cymbals [Note: 1 Corinthians 13:1-2.]. If it be said, that, by communicating our knowledge, we may influence others; this only amounts to what we are insisting on, that knowledge is of use only in reference to practice; and that it then only does good, when it stirs men up to a suitable improvement of it.]

3. It only aggravates our condemnation—

[We are assured, that “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin [Note: James 4:17.].” Exactly as much good therefore as “sin” does us, so much does unimproved knowledge. Knowledge is a talent, of which we are to give an account: and “to whom much is given, of him will the more be required.” The man who knew his Lord’s will, and did it not, was beaten with many stripes; while the ignorant offender was beaten with comparatively few [Note: Luke 12:47-48.]. Thus shall we find it in the day of judgment. If, on the one hand, unavoidable ignorance will be considered as an extenuation of our guilt, so, on the other hand, will unsanctified knowledge prove a fearful aggravation of it.]

We would not, however, depreciate either knowledge or practice; but rather point out,

II. Their excellence when combined—

When connected with each other as the root and the fruit, they have an efficacy,

1. To please God—

[The fruits of righteousness that spring from an enlightened mind, are truly acceptable to God [Note: Hebrews 13:16. 1 Peter 2:5.]. They answer the end for which he originally gave us to his Son [Note: Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 2:10.], and for which his Son laid down his life [Note: Titus 2:14.]. There is not any one act that can flow from just views of ourselves and of Christ, which God will not behold with complacency and accept with joy [Note: Matthew 10:42. Jeremiah 9:24.].]

2. To bring comfort into the soul—

[Works of piety are like the incense which, when offered by the priest, not only honoured God, but also regaled the offerer. It is truly said (though many who admire the expression, have very inadequate notions of its import), that religion’s “ways are ways of pleasantness and peace,” and that “in keeping God’s commandments there is great reward.” Who ever set himself to serve and honour God, without finding that “the work of righteousness was peace, and the effect of righteousness was quietness and assurance for ever?” It cannot fail but that those who abound in the exercise of virtue, must have the testimony of their own consciences respecting it; and wherever that is, there must be a never-failing source of joy and peace [Note: 2 Corinthians 1:12.].]

3. To embolden us in reference to the day of judgment—

[That there is no merit in our works is certain; and if we were to found our hopes of acceptance with God upon them as meritorious, we should delude ourselves to our eternal ruin. Nevertheless we are authorized to expect that God will deal with us according to our works: and, if we have the testimony of our own consciences that it is our endeavour to “walk worthy of God unto all pleasing,” we may “assure our hearts before him,” and “have confidence towards him” in reference to his future judgment [Note: 1 John 3:18-21; 1 John 4:17.]. Knowing in our own souls that we have fought a good fight and kept the faith, we may say without doubt or fear, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me [Note: 2 Timothy 4:7-8.].”]

4. To augment our everlasting happiness—

[Who need be told, that men will be rewarded in proportion to their improvement of their talents [Note: Luke 14:14; Luke 19:16-17. 1 Corinthians 3:8.]? This is so plain a truth, that it cannot be denied; and so encouraging a truth, that it ought not to be concealed. A life of holiness is even now recompensed by the richest consolations: but its full value will be known only in heaven.]

From this subject we shall take occasion to,

1. Condole with the ignorant—

[We have before observed, that knowledge is the parent of all acceptable obedience. What then must be your state while you are ignorant of those great things which belong unto your peace? God himself has told you, that you will find “no favour” at his hands [Note: Isaiah 27:11.], but will inevitably and eternally perish [Note: Hosea 4:6.]. Do but reflect on the condition of a soul that finds “no favour” at the hands of an angry God: surely “better were it for that person that he had never been born.”]

2. Counsel the enlightened—

[Value not yourselves upon your knowledge, if you have not a practice suitable to it: for, it is “not the hearer of the law that is just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified [Note: Romans 2:13.].” You may say, “Lord, Lord,” and profess to have known and served him in many things; but you can never enter into the kingdom of heaven, if you have not cheerfully and unreservedly performed his will [Note: Matthew 7:21; Matthew 7:23.]. Take care therefore that you “be not hearers only of his word, deceiving your own selves; but be doers of it also; for then only shall ye be blessed in your deed [Note: James 1:22-25.].”]

3. Congratulate the practical Christian—

[“Happy are ye,” God himself being witness. Every prominent feature of your character has been mentioned by our Lord as a distinct and certain ground of blessedness [Note: Matthew 5:3-12.]. You are fitly “compared to a wise man who built his house upon a rock [Note: Matthew 7:24-27.].” Compare the difference between such a man, and a foolish man that builds his house upon the sand: and you will then see your own happiness in a just point of view. Hold on then in this good way; and “as you have learned how to walk and to please God, see that ye abound more and more [Note: 1 Thessalonians 4:1.].”]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on John 13:17". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/john-13.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 13:17. ταῦτα) these things, which I have done.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 13:17". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-13.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He tells them, that it is not the bare comprehension of these things in their notion that would do them any good, unless they brought their knowledge into practice; for to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, it is sin, James 4:17. Faith without works is dead, and the knowledge of our Master’s will, if we do it not, doth but expose us to many stripes.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 13:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-13.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

блаженны вы, когда исполняете Радость всегда связана с послушанием Божьему Слову (см. 15:14).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 13:17". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-13.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

These things; the truths which he had been teaching them. In imitating the example of Christ, especially his humility, condescension, and kindness-in believing his declarations, trusting in his merits, and obeying his commands, men may be supremely and eternally blessed.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-13.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17.If ye know’ do—If this lesson has entered your understanding, cease all strife for predominancy, and only surpass in service to each other.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-13.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Knowing what one ought to do and really doing it are frequently two different things. Jesus promised God"s favor on those who practice humble service, not on those who simply realize that they should be humble (cf. John 8:31; John 12:47-48; Hebrews 12:14; James 1:22-25). This is one of only two beatitudes in John"s Gospel (cf. John 20:29).

"There is a form of religious piety that utters a hearty "Amen!" to the most stringent demands of discipleship, but which rarely does anything about them." [Note: Carson, The Gospel . . ., p469.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-13.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 13:17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Simple as might appear the duty to which the disciples were called, Jesus knew that it was a hard and trying task. He connects therefore a promise of blessedness with the actual performance of the duty.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-13.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 13:17. These are obvious first principles in Christian discipleship, but the mere knowledge of them is not enough: , . refers to what Jesus had just declared to be the significance of His action. , “if ye know,” as you do know; , a supposition. “The knowing is objectively granted, the doing subjectively conditioned.” Meyer. On the double protasis see Burton, 268. is usually translated “blessed,” Matthew 5:3, John 20:29, and should be so here.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 13:17". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-13.html. 1897-1910.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. A hint that even among real Christians the doing of such things would come lamentably short of the knowing.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-13.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

17. If you put it into practice! That is, if you understand the lesson I have acted out for you, and will always show this spirit in your conduct.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 13:17". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.—The first clause of this verse assumes their knowledge of the things which He had been teaching them (John 13:13-17). They were, indeed, old lessons taught before in word, and now taught in act and word.

The second clause makes their blessedness depend upon their combining action with knowledge. They had known the truth before, but their knowledge had not profited them, and they needed on this very day to be taught them again.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
happy
15:14; Genesis 6:22; Exodus 40:16; Psalms 19:11; 119:1-5; Ezekiel 36:27; Matthew 7:24,25; Matthew 12:50; 22:38-41; Luke 12:47,48; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; Galatians 5:6; Hebrews 11:7,8; James 1:25; 2:20-24; 4:17; Revelation 22:14
Reciprocal: Genesis 7:5 - all that;  Exodus 12:50 - as the Lord;  Leviticus 20:8 - And ye;  Deuteronomy 11:27 - GeneralJoshua 1:8 - observe;  1 Kings 13:9 - For;  1 Chronicles 14:16 - did as God;  Ezra 7:10 - to do it;  Psalm 1:1 - Blessed;  Psalm 15:5 - He that doeth;  Psalm 106:3 - Blessed;  Psalm 111:10 - do his commandments;  Psalm 119:48 - unto thy;  Proverbs 29:18 - but;  Isaiah 56:2 - Blessed;  Jeremiah 6:16 - and walk;  Jeremiah 11:6 - Hear;  Ezekiel 18:11 - that;  Ezekiel 43:11 - and do;  Daniel 5:22 - though;  Matthew 11:29 - my;  Luke 6:47 - doeth;  Luke 8:21 - which;  Luke 11:28 - GeneralRomans 2:18 - knowest;  Philippians 4:9 - do;  Hebrews 10:26 - after;  James 1:22 - be

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 13:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-13.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 17. "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

The doing is emphasized by the Lord in a manner similar to this in Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46; Luke 12:47.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 13:17". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-13.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

17.If you know these things. He declares that they are happy, if they know and do these things; for knowledge is not entitled to be called true, unless it produce such an effect on believers as to lead them to conform themselves to their Head. On the contrary, it is a vain imagination, when we look upon Christ, and the things which belong to Christ, as separate from ourselves. We may infer from this that, until a man has learned to yield to his brethren, he does not know if Christ be the Master. Since there is no man who performs his duty to his brethren hi all respects, and since there are many who are careless and sluggish in brotherly offices, this shows us that we are still at a great distance from the full light of faith.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 13:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-13.html. 1840-57.