John 5:35

He (ekeino). "That one" (John of 1 John 33 ). Common demonstrative (that one) in John to point out the subject. Used in 1 John 1:8 of the Baptist as here. John was now in prison and so Christ uses hn (was). His active ministry is over. The lamp (o lucno). The lamp in the room ( Mark 4:21 ). Old word for lamp or candle as in Matthew 5:15 . Used of Christ (the Lamb) as the Lamp of the New Jerusalem ( Revelation 21:23 ). Lampa ( Matthew 25:1 Matthew 25:3 , etc.) is a torch whose wick is fed with oil. The Baptist was not the Light (to pw, Matthew 1:8 ), but a lamp shining in the darkness. "When the Light comes, the lamp is no longer needed" (Bernard). "Non Lux iste, sed lucerna." Jesus by his own claim is the Light of the World ( Matthew 8:12 ; Matthew 9:5 ; Matthew 12:46 ). And yet all believers are in a sense "the light of the world" ( Matthew 5:14 ) since the world gets the Light of Christ through us. That burneth (o kaiomeno). See Matthew 5:15 for this verb used with lucno (lighting a candle or lamp). The lamp that is lit and is burning (present passive participle of kaiw, and so is consumed). And shineth (kai painwn). See Matthew 1:4 for this verb used of the Logos shining in the darkness. Cf. 1 John 2:8 . John was giving light as he burned for those in darkness like these Jews. And ye were willing (umei de hqelhsate). "But ye became willing." Ingressive aorist active indicative of qelw. Reference again to 1 John 1:19 . Cf. also for the temporary popularity of the Baptist Mark 1:5 ; Matthew 3:5 ; Matthew 11:7 ; Matthew 21:26 . The Jews were attracted to John "like moths to a candle" (Bernard). To rejoice (agalliaqhnai). First aorist passive infinitive of agalliaomai, late word for agallomai for which see Matthew 5:12 . "They were attracted by his brightness, not by his warmth" (Bengel). Even so the brightness of John's shining did not really enlighten their minds. "The interest in the Baptist was a frivolous, superficial, and short-lived excitement" (Vincent). It was only "for an hour" (pro wran) when they turned against him.

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