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John 10

John 10:1-21 . THE GOOD SHEPHERD.

22, 23. it was . . . the feast of the dedication--celebrated rather more than two months after the feast of tabernacles, during which intermediate period our Lord seems to have remained in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. It was instituted by Jude Maccabeus, to commemorate the purification of the temple from the profanations to which it had been subjected by Antiochus Epiphanes 165 B.C., and kept for eight days, from the twenty-fifth Chisleu (December), the day on which Judas began the first joyous celebration of it (I Maccabees 4:52,56,59; and JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 7.7.7).
it was winter--implying some inclemency. Therefore,

23. Jesus walked . . . in Solomon's porch--for shelter. This portico was on the east side of the temple, and JOSEPHUS says it was part of the original structure of Solomon [Antiquities, 20.9.7].

24. Then came the Jews--the rulers.
How long dost thou make us to doubt?--"hold us in suspense" (Margin).
If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly--But when the plainest evidence of it was resisted, what weight could a mere assertion of it have?

25, 26. Jesus answered them, I told you--that is, in substance, what I am (for example John 7:37 John 7:38 , John 8:12 John 8:35 John 8:36 John 8:58 ).

26. ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said--referring to the whole strain of the Parable of the Sheep, ( John 10:1 , &c.).

27-30. My sheep hear my voice,

28. I give unto them eternal life--not "will give them"; for it is a language of majestic authority.

29. My Father, which gave them
is greater than all--with whom no adverse power can contend. It is a general expression of an admitted truth, and what follows shows for what purpose it was uttered, "and none is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." The impossibility of true believers being lost, in the midst of all the temptations which they may encounter, does not consist in their fidelity and decision, but is founded upon the power of God. Here the doctrine of predestination is presented in its sublime and sacred aspect; there is a predestination of the holy, which is taught from one end of the Scriptures to the other; not, indeed, of such a nature that an "irresistible grace" compels the opposing will of man (of course not), but so that that will of man which receives and loves the commands of God is produced only by God's grace (OLSHAUSEN--a testimony all the more valuable, being given in spite of Lutheran prejudice).

30. I and my Father are one--Our language admits not of the precision of the original in this great saying. "Are" is in the masculine gender--"we (two persons) are"; while "one" is neuter--"one thing." Perhaps "one interest" expresses, as nearly as may be, the purport of the saying. There seemed to be some contradiction between His saying they had been given by His Father into His own hands, out of which they could not be plucked, and then saying that none could pluck them out of His Father's hands, as if they had not been given out of them. "Neither have they," says He; "though He has given them to Me, they are as much in His own almighty hands as ever--they cannot be, and when given to Me they are not, given away from Himself; for HE AND I HAVE ALL IN COMMON." Thus it will be seen, that, though oneness of essence is not the precise thing here affirmed, that truth is the basis of what is affirmed, without which it would not be true. And AUGUSTINE was right in saying the "We are" condemns the Sabellians (who denied the distinction of Persons in the Godhead), while the "one" (as explained) condemns the Arians (who denied the unity of their essence).

31. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him--and for precisely the same thing as before ( John 8:58 John 8:59 ).

32. Many good works have I showed you--that is, works of pure benevolence (as in Acts 10:38 , "Who went about doing good," &c.; see Mark 7:37 ).
from my Father--not so much by His power, but as directly commissioned by Him to do them. This He says to meet the imputation of unwarrantable assumption of the divine prerogatives [LUTHARDT].
for which of those works do ye stone me?--"are ye stoning (that is, going to stone) me?"

33. for a blasphemy--whose legal punishment was stoning ( Leviticus 24:11-16 ).
thou, being a man--that is, a man only.
makest thyself God--Twice before they understood Him to advance the same claim, and both times they prepared themselves to avenge what they took to be the insulted honor of God, as here, in the way directed by their law ( John 5:18 , 8:59 ).

34-36. Is it not written in your law--in Psalms 82:6 , respecting judges or magistrates.
Ye are gods--being the official representatives and commissioned agents of God.

35, 36. If he called them gods unto whom the word of God came . . . Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest--The whole force of this reasoning, which has been but in part seized by the commentators, lies in what is said of the two parties compared. The comparison of Himself with mere men, divinely commissioned, is intended to show (as NEANDER well expresses it) that the idea of a communication of the Divine Majesty to human nature was by no means foreign to the revelations of the Old Testament; but there is also a contrast between Himself and all merely human representatives of God--the one "sanctified by the Father and sent into the world"; the other, "to whom the word of God (merely) came," which is expressly designed to prevent His being massed up with them as only one of many human officials of God. It is never said of Christ that "the word of the Lord came to Him"; whereas this is the well-known formula by which the divine commission, even to the highest of mere men, is expressed, as John the Baptist ( Luke 3:2 ). The reason is that given by the Baptist himself between those "to whom the word of God came"--men of the earth, earthy, who were merely privileged to get a divine message to utter (if prophets), or a divine office to discharge (if judges)--and "Him whom (not being of the earth at all) the Father sanctified (or set apart), and sent into the world," an expression never used of any merely human messenger of God, and used only of Himself.
because, I said, I am the Son of God--It is worthy of special notice that our Lord had not said, in so many words, that He was the Son of God, on this occasion. But He had said what beyond doubt amounted to it--namely, that He gave His sheep eternal life, and none could pluck them out of His hand; that He had got them from His Father, in whose hands, though given to Him, they still remained, and out of whose hand none could pluck them; and that they were the indefeasible property of both, inasmuch as "He and His Father were one." Our Lord considers all this as just saying of Himself, "I am the Son of God"--one nature with Him, yet mysteriously of Him. The parenthesis ( John 10:35 ), "and the Scripture cannot be broken," referring to the terms used of magistrates in the eighty-second Psalm, has an important bearing on the authority of the living oracles. "The Scripture, as the expressed will of the unchangeable God, is itself unchangeable and indissoluble" [OLSHAUSEN]. (Compare Matthew 5:17 ).

37-39. though ye believe not me, believe the works--There was in Christ's words, independently of any miracles, a self-evidencing truth, majesty and grace, which those who had any spiritual susceptibility were unable to resist ( John 7:46 , 8:30 ). But, for those who wanted this, "the works" were a mighty help. When these failed, the case was desperate indeed.
that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him--thus reiterating His claim to essential oneness with the Father, which He had only seemed to soften down, that He might calm their rage and get their ear again for a moment.

39. Therefore they sought again to take him--true to their original understanding of His words, for they saw perfectly well that He meant to "make Himself God" throughout all this dialogue.
he escaped out of their John 8:59 ).

40-42. went away again beyond Jordan . . . the place where John at

41. many resorted to him--on whom the ministry of the Baptist had left permanent impressions.
John did no miracle, but all things John spake of this man were true--what they now heard and saw in Jesus only confirming in their minds the divinity of His forerunner's mission, though unaccompanied by any of His Master's miracles. And thus, "many believed on Him there."

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