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Christ, nor Elias, neither that shoe's lachet I am not worthy prophet?

to unloose. 26 John answered them, say- 28 These things were done ing, I baptize with water : but in Bethabara beyond Jordan, there standeth one among you, where John was baptizing. whom ye know not :

29 The next day John seeth 27 He it is, who coming after Jesus coming unto him, and me, is preferred before me, whose saith, Behold the Lamb of God,

20. John answered, &c. The pur-speak, of the offender's sins to thia port of John's reply was, That the victim, and the substituting of him in work he was performing was com- the place of the offender. See Lev. paratively an inferior work; that he 14:4, 15, 16: 21. Thus the victim was not acting for himself, but for the took on himself, and thus took away Messiah, who was already among the from the offender, the transgression, and people, though unknown to them; / was the means of pardon being grantand that the Messiah, whose dignity ed to the offender. So Jesus Christ would be unspeakably greater, would was spoken of by John the Baptist as soon manifest himself. || I baptize the appointed instrument for taking with water. See on Matt. 3: 11. on himself and thus taking away from This remark implied, that One was men their sins ; that is, he was the anat hand who should have a nobler pointed instrument by whose interpooffice than that of baptizing in water; sition and death forgiveness of sins namely, that of baptizing in the Holy would be bestowed on men. Spirit. || There standeth one, &c. Jesus was called the Lamb of God The word standeth is equivalent to in reference to the lamb which was the word is, or to the phrase there has slain in Egypt on the night when the already arisen.

Egyptians were visited with death, 27. Is preferred before me; is great and the Israelites, in consequence of ly superior to me. ll Shoe's latchet; the blood being sprinkled on their the thong, or strap, by which a shoe, door-posts, were saved from destrucor sandal, was fastened on the foot. tion." See Ex. 12th chapter. This To loose, and to bind on, sandals, was lamb, being slain, and its blood being the business of the lowest servants. sprinkled on the door-posts, was then The idea of John, then, was, So great a means and a token of deliverance to is the dignity of the Messiah that I the Israelites from destruction. So am not worthy to be his lowest ser-by the shedding of Christ's blood devant. Compare Matt. 3: 11. See liverance from eternal death comes to also Mark 1:7.

men Christ, then, is here regarded as 28. Bethabara beyond Jordun. The the Saviour through whose death men country east of the Jordan was desig- can be saved. nated as beyond the river. The pre. Reference was also made to the cise situation of the town is not daily morning and evening sacrifice known.

of a lamb (see Ex. 29:38–46. Num. 29. The Lamb of God; the Lamb 28 : 3,4), which perpetually reminded which God has appointed. || Which the people of their deliverance from taketh away the sin of the world. The Egypt, and which was an appointed word sin is here used collectively, the means of their enjoying the favor of singular for the plural. In the offering God. Thus there was continually of a sacrifice for transgression under kept before the minds of the Jews the the Mosaic ritual, there was a confes. idea of sacrifice in connection with sion of the crime, and a placing of the divine favor. The language hands on the head of the victim, which John used was adapted to prewhich represented the removal, so to pare the minds of his hearers for the

which taketh away the sin of saying, I saw the Spirit descendthe world!

ing from heaven like a dove, 30 This is he of whom I said, and it abode upon him, After me cometh a man which 33 And I knew him not : but is preferred before me; for he he that sent me to baptize with was before me.

water, the same said unto me, 31 And I knew him not: but Upon 'whom thou shalt see the that he should be made manifest Spirit descending and remainto Israel, therefore am I come ing on him, the same is he baptizing with water.

which baptizeth with the Holy 32 And John bare record, Ghost. fuller exhibition of Jesus as a Saviour, should be announced, be introduced in consequence of his dying for men to the knowledge of the Jews. || BapCompare 1 Pet. 1: 19. 2: 24. Rev. tizing with water. The administer1:5. 5: 9.

ing of baptism was a prominent and Jesus Christ, as the divinely-ap- distinguishing part of John's office, pointed victim, was to take away the and it seems to be here taken as a sins of the world; that is, not of the part for the whole. The whole office Jewish nation only, but of the human of John - namely, teaching, announrace. He was to be a Saviour, not cing the Messiah, and baptizing the solely for Jews, but for the whole people - was intended for introducing world. See on v. 9. The views of the Messiah to the Jews, and preparJohn the Baptist respecting the Mes-, ing them to receive himn. It was also siah were of a very spiritual and ele- to be the fact that a special announcevated character, both as to the nature ment of Jesus as the Messiah would of the Messiah's office, and as to the be made at the time of John's baptiextent of his design. The views zing him. John knew that such was which he here briefly expressed, well the design of his office, though he entitle him to the commendation be- was not yet able to say what particu. stowed by our Lord, as mentioned in lar person was the Messiah. Matt. 11:11.

32. Compare Matt. 3:16, 17. Rec30. Compare v. 15.

ord ; testimony. 31. And 'I knero him not. John 33. And I knew him not; that is, here spoke of the time preceding as the Messiah, and previously to the the baptism of Jesus, when he was divinely-appointed signal. || Remainnot able to point out the particular ing on him. The bodily form, which person who should afterwards be was to descend and alight on, or over, known as the Messiah. He here Jesus, was not to disappear immedireferred to Jesus in the character of ately, but was to remain sufficiently Messinh. They probably knew one long to prevent all suspicion of illuanother as relatives and friends, for sion, and to produce entire certainty the mother of Jesus was a relative that the person was indeed the Mesof John's mother. See Luke 1: 36. siah, so that John could not mistake But no communication had been in regard to the person whom he was made to John respecting the ultimate to announce and commend to the destination of Jesus; and, though he confidence of the people. || Baptizeth might have been personally acquaint with the Holy Ghost; will most copi. ed with him, and have had a high ously impart spiritual influences (see regard for him, yet he had not been Matt. 3: 11) as the Head of the new authorized to point him out as the dispensation, and as distinct from Messiah. | But that he should be John, who had been commissioned made manifest to Israel ; that he to baptize the people in water. Thus

34 And I saw and bare rec- to them, What seek ye! They ord, that this is the Son of God. said unto him, Rabbi, (which

35 Again the next day after, is to say, being interpreted, John stood, and two of his dis- Master,) where dwellest thou ? ciples;

39 He saith unto them, Come 36 And looking upon Jesus and see. They came and saw as he walked, he saith, Behold where he dwelt, and abode with the Lamb of God!

him that day: for it was about 37 And the two disciples the tenth hour. . heard him speak, and they fol- 40 One of the two which lowed Jesus.

heard John speak, and followed 38 Then Jesus turned, and him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's saw them following, and saith un | brother.

by divine communication, John was John recollected his repute for early taught the spiritual nature of the wisdom and piety (see Luke 2: 40, Messiah's dispensation, and was fully 52), and the whole appearance and prepared to announce the proper per- manner of Jesus might have indicated son as the Messiah.

him to be a person immensely supe34. The Son of God; the true Mes. rior to any who had yet resorted to siah. See Matt. 3: 17.

John. The suspicion at once arose There may appear to some to be a in his mind, that this person — undisagreement between the declara- | known, indeed, to the multitude, and tions of John the Baptist in vs. 31, having lived in obscurity - was the 33, and the account of the Saviour's distinguished One whom he had baptism given by Matthew, 3: 14, 15. come to announce. Under the influFor John seems, according to Mat-ence of the emotion which this susthew's account, to have known Jesuspicion occasioned, he sought to be when he presented himself for bap-excused from the duty of baptizing tism, and to have shrunk from ad- him. Jesus kindly waived the topic ministering the rite to so distin- which John had touched on, and was guished an individual. In reference baptized. Then appeared the sign, to this difficulty, it should be remem- and confirmed the suspicions of John, bered that the part which John was to so that he was able, without faltering, perform in announcing the Messiah to declare to the multitude, This is was one of unspeakable responsibil- the Son of God. But he did not ity. The utmost assurance ought to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, exist in his own mind before he could that this was the Messiah, till the apventure to point out any individual pointed sign had appeared. as the long-expected Deliverer. Con- 37. They follored Jesus. The ofsequently, a particular sign was to fice of John was, to introduce the appear by the special providence of Messiah, and prepare the people to God, and to be accompanied with receive him. It was then in accordsuch circumstances that a mistake ance with his office and with his own could not be made; and, until that views, that those who had been benesign should appear, he was not to feel fited by his instructions, should be. authorized to announce any one as come followers of Jesus. He had no the Messiah, however great a regard personal ambition to consult. See he might have for him, and however 3: 30. strong a belief he might have con-1 38. Master; more strictly, Teacher. cerning him. Now, when Jesus actu- 39. Tenth hour ; four o'clock in the ally came and requested baptism, I afternoon. See on Matt. 20: 3.

41 He first findeth his own / saida, the city of Andrew and brother Simon, and saith unto Peter. him, We have found the Mes- 45 Philip findeth Nathanael, sias; which is, being interpret- and saith unto him, We have ed, the Christ.

found him of whom Moses in 42 And he brought him to the law, and the prophets, did Jesus. And when Jesus beheld write, Jesus of Nazareth, the him, he said, Thou art Simon son of Joseph. the son of Jona: thou shalt be 46 And Nathanael said unto called Cephas; which is, by in- him, Can there any good thing terpretation, A stone.

come out of Nazareth ? Philip 43 The day following Jesus saith unto him, Come and see. would go forth into Galilee, and 47 Jesus saw Nathanael comfindeth Philip, and saith untoing to him, and saith of him, him, Follow me.

Behold an Israelite indeed, in 44 Now Philip was of Beth- whom is no guile! 41. Which is, being interpreted, the which Jesus spoke, and the Greek, Christ. These words are not a part to which John's readers were ac of Andrew's address to Simon. They customed. He was merely desirous are the words of the evangelist, in- that his readers should experience forming his readers that the term no perplexity about the names Messiah, which Andrew had used, which he had occasion to menwas of the same import as the term tion. Christ. This latter' term had, when 43. Would go; was intending to the evangelist wrote, and among the go. || Folloro me. See on Matt. people with whom he dwelt, come to 4:18_22. be the usual name of the Saviour. 44. Bethsaida; a town in Galilee The clause conveys the idea, that on the west of the sea of Galilee. Messiah is of the same signification as 45. Nathanael. See 21 : 2. It is Christ.

generally supposed that Nathanael 42. Simon the son of Jona. See was the same person as Bartholomew. 21: 15. Matt. 16:17. | Cephas. See on Matt. 10:3. || In the law; This word, in the dialect that Jesus the five books of Moses, as distinspoke, signified a rock, or stone. It guished from the other books of the was now affixed by Jesus to the name Old Testament. Moses and other Simon, as expressive of certain quali- writers in the Old Testament had ties in Simon's character, particular- foretold respecting the Messiah. ly his boldness and decision. || Which Compare Luke 24 : 27,44. || The son is, by interpretation, A stone. The of Joseph. See Luke 3 : 23." word here rendered A stone, is in re- 46. Can there any good thing come ality the proper name Peter; and it out of Nazareth? The inhabitants of should have been rendered as a prop- Nazareth were very lightly esteemed er name. The remark is thrown in by the Jews. See on Matt. 2: 23. by the evangelist, as apprizing his Compare also the treatment which readers that the Simon, to whom the Jesus received in Nazareth, as related name Cephas was affixed, was the by Luke, 4: 29.. same as the apostle whom they knew 47. An Israelite indeed; not only by the name Peter ; that is, that Ce- by birth, but also in character; such phas, when used as a proper name, a man as an Israelite, possessing a and Peter, were the same name in revelation from heaven, ought to be ; the two languages; namely, the one a truly pious man.

48 Nathanael saith unto him, I unto him, Because I said unto Whence knowest thou me? Je-thee, I saw thee under the fig. sus answered and said unto him, tree, believest thou? thou shalt Before that Philip called thee, see greater things than these. when thou wast under the fig- 51 And he saith unto him, tree, I saw thee.

| Verily, verily, I say unto you. 49 Nathanael answered and | Hereafter ye shall see heaven saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art open, and the angels of God asthe Son of God; thou art the cending and descending upon King of Israel

the Son of man. 50 Jesus answered and said|

48. Under the fig-tree. Fig-trees from the account of Jacob's dream, abounded in Palestine; and it was as related in Gen. 28: 11, 12. Jacob customary for persons to spend lei- was on a journey. At night he sure-time in their shade. Nathanael dreamed that he saw a ladder set up was doubtless employed in some pi- on the earth and reaching to heaven. ous manner while under the fig-tree. Angels of God were ascending and

49. Rabbi. A term of respectful descending on it. The dream was address. See v. 38. || The Son of designed, as appears by the connecGod - the King of Israel. Both | tion, to convey to Jacob an assurance phrases were epithets of the Messiah. that God would protect him, and Nathanael was so struck with the make him a very signal object of dievidence that Jesus possessed knowl- vine regard. So, the Saviour here edge superior to man's, that he at said, the angels of God, the ministers once assented to Philip's opinion (see of his will, shall be employed in my V. 45), and declared his conviction behalf; they shall come from heaven that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. out of regard to me. That is, God

50. Greater things than these ; more will give you most satisfactory evistriking evidences than what thoudences that I am a special object of hast now seen, of my being the Mes- | his favor, the Messiah whom he has siah, the Son of God.

sent. As Jacob enjoyed signal evi_51. Verily, verily; truly, truly. dences of the divine regard, so you The repetition of the word was in will see signal evidences of God's tended to denote the utmost certainty. being interested in me. The Saviour This repetition is peculiar to John's referred to the signal miracles which writings. || Hereafter ye shall see would be wrought in attestation of heaven open, &c. Jesus had just said, his claims. || Upon the Son of man; that there would be hereafter more more properly, in respect to the Son striking manifestations of his being of man. The Son of man is a title the true Messiah, and the special ob- which the Saviour very often applied ject of God's favor. He then assert- to himself, as signifying the Messinh. ed, in a figurative manner, that Na- | While others, when speaking of him, thanael and those with whom he was used a more dignified and solemn associated should, by and by, see title, he employed the humble phrase, most decided proofs of divine regard Son of man. See Matt. 8: 20. In towards hiin, inarking him out as the Acts 7 : 56, it is applied, by the martyr favorite of Heaven, showing that in Stephen, to Jesus, after his ascension heaven there was a deep interest in to heaven. But while the Saviour him and in his cause, and that there was on earth, it would seem that othwas a constant and intimate connec-ers did not use this term when speak tion between God and him. This ing of him. was expressed in language drawn

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