John 11:26
And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this?
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(26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me.—This is to be understood of the physical life answering to “though he have died” of the last verse.

Shall never die.—Comp. especially Note on John 8:51. He shall by no means die for ever. Not through the infinite course of ages shall there be that which makes for him the sting of death. The fact of what we call physical death is not denied, but in the fulness of the thought of life it is regarded as the passage to a new and higher life.

John 11:26. And whosoever liveth — That Isaiah , 1 st, A natural life; whosoever lives in this world, whether he be Jew or Gentile, and wherever, in whatever country or age he lives; and believeth — That is, believeth while he liveth in this world, while he is here, in this state of probation; for, after death, it will be too late to believe. Or, 2d, Whosoever believeth, and liveth a spiritual life, and continues to believe, that he may continue so to live. For he that lives and believes, is he that lives by faith, a faith that influences his conversation: he that, by faith, is born again to a heavenly, holy, and divine life; to whom, to live is Christ, and whose life is continually derived from Christ. Such a one shall never die — A promise this which ensures a blessed immortality, 1st, To the soul: he who, being united to Christ by faith, lives a spiritual life by virtue of that union, shall never die; his spiritual life shall never be extinguished, but perfected in eternal life. For, as the soul, being in its nature spiritual, is therefore immortal; so, if by faith it live here a spiritual life, consonant to its nature, its felicity shall be immortal too. And there shall be no interruption of its life, as there is of the life of the body. The body indeed dies, or sleeps rather, but not for ever, as the original expression here used, ου μη αποθανη, εις τον αιωνα, applied to it, is rendered by some. For, 2d, This promise ensures future life and happiness to it also. All the difficulties that attend the state of the dead are here overlooked by our Lord, and made nothing of, while he speaks of himself as the resurrection and the life. Though the body be dead because of sin; though the sentence of death passed upon it be just; though the effects of death be dismal; though the bands of death be strong; though the body be not only dead, but putrefied; though the scattered dust be so mixed with common dust, that no art of man can distinguish, much less separate them; yet we are sure it shall live again. Christ asks Martha, Believest thou this? — Canst thou take my word for it, and rely firmly on its accomplishment? Reader, when we hear the word of Christ concerning the great things of the other world, we should seriously ask ourselves, Do we believe this? This truth in particular; this, which is attended with so many difficulties; this, which is suited to my case? Doth my belief of it realize it to me, and give my soul an assurance of it? so that I can say, not only this I believe, but thus I believe. Martha’s mind was occupied with the idea of her brother’s being raised to life in this world; before Christ gave her hopes of that, he directed her thoughts to another life, and another world. As if he had said, That is of comparatively little importance, but believest thou this that I tell thee concerning a future state? The crosses and comforts of this present time would not make half that impression upon us which they do, if we did but believe the things of eternity as we ought.11:17-32 Here was a house where the fear of God was, and on which his blessing rested; yet it was made a house of mourning. Grace will keep sorrow from the heart, but not from the house. When God, by his grace and providence, is coming towards us in ways of mercy and comfort, we should, like Martha, go forth by faith, hope, and prayer, to meet him. When Martha went to meet Jesus, Mary sat still in the house; this temper formerly had been an advantage to her, when it put her at Christ's feet to hear his word; but in the day of affliction, the same temper disposed her to melancholy. It is our wisdom to watch against the temptations, and to make use of the advantages of our natural tempers. When we know not what in particular to ask or expect, let us refer ourselves to God; let him do as seemeth him good. To enlarge Martha's expectations, our Lord declared himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. In every sense he is the Resurrection; the source, the substance, the first-fruits, the cause of it. The redeemed soul lives after death in happiness; and after the resurrection, both body and soul are kept from all evil for ever. When we have read or heard the word of Christ, about the great things of the other world, we should put it to ourselves, Do we believe this truth? The crosses and comforts of this present time would not make such a deep impression upon us as they do, if we believed the things of eternity as we ought. When Christ our Master comes, he calls for us. He comes in his word and ordinances, and calls us to them, calls us by them, calls us to himself. Those who, in a day of peace, set themselves at Christ's feet to be taught by him, may with comfort, in a day of trouble, cast themselves at his feet, to find favour with him.Whosoever liveth - He had just spoken of the prospects of the pious dead. He now says that the same prospects are before the living who have like faith. Greek, "Every one living and believing on me."

Shall never die - As the dead, though dead, shall yet live, so the living shall have the same kind of life. They shall never come into eternal death. See John 6:50-51, John 6:54, John 6:58. Greek, "Shall by no means die forever."

Believest thou this? - This question was doubtless asked because it implied that he was then able to raise up Lazarus, and because it was a proper time for her to test her own faith. The time of affliction is a favorable period to try ourselves to ascertain whether we have faith. If we still have confidence in God, if we look to him for comfort in such seasons, it is good evidence that we are his friends. He that loves God when he takes away his comforts, has the best evidence possible of true attachment to him.

25. Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life—"The whole power to restore, impart, and maintain life, resides in Me." (See on [1832]Joh 1:4; [1833]Joh 5:21). What higher claim to supreme divinity than this grand saying can be conceived?

he that believeth in me, though … dead … shall he live—that is, The believer's death shall be swallowed up in life, and his life shall never sink into death. As death comes by sin, it is His to dissolve it; and as life flows through His righteousness, it is His to communicate and eternally maintain it (Ro 5:21). The temporary separation of soul and body is here regarded as not even interrupting, much less impairing, the new and everlasting life imparted by Jesus to His believing people.

Believest thou this?—Canst thou take this in?

He had before proved himself to be the resurrection, now he proveth himself to be the life. He saith, he that liveth, that liveth a natural life, if he be one who receiveth and embraces me as the true Messiah and Saviour of the world, and committeth himself and all the concerns of his soul to me, shall never die. Though his body shall die because of sin, yet his spirit shall live because of righteousness; and God shall in the great day quicken again his mortal body, through the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in him, and is united to him, Romans 8:10,11. He asketh Martha if she believed this. We shall observe, that our Saviour, not here only, but Matthew 9:22,28, before he wrought his miraculous operations, required people’s faith as a prerequisite. And, Matthew 13:58, he could not do many mighty works in his own country, because of their unbelief. And, Matthew 17:20, he tells his disciples, that the reason why they could not cure the man possessed with the devil, was because of their unbelief: so great an honour hath God given to the exercise of faith. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me,..... Whoever will be found alive at Christ's second coming, and is a believer in him,

shall never die, but shall be changed, and shall be for ever with Christ; and such as shall be raised to life by him, shall never die any more, not even a bodily death, and much less an eternal one, or the second death: and though believers die a corporeal death as others do, yet their souls live, and live in happiness, whilst their bodies are under the power of death; nor shall they always continue so, but being raised, shall become immortal, and die no more. So living believers in Christ shall never die more a spiritual death; they are passed from death to life, and shall never return to death more; their spiritual life cannot be lost; grace in them is an immortal seed, a well of living water springing up into everlasting life: grace may be very low in its exercise, and may seem to be ready to die; they may be in lifeless frames, and without the comforts of a spiritual life, and be under the hidings of God's face, which is as death unto them, and may reckon themselves as free among the dead; yet the principle of life will never be extinct in them; nor shall they die the second death, which lies in an eternal separation from God, and in an everlasting sense of his wrath; that shall have no power on them, nor shall they be in the least hurt by it; for they are ordained to eternal life, and have the promise of it; they are united to Christ, and their life is secured in him; and he has redeemed them from death; and they have the Spirit of life dwelling in them, as the pledge and earnest of eternal glory.

Believest thou this? the whole of this concerning the power of Christ, and privilege of believers; every tittle of it is to be believed. And as with respect to a corporeal resurrection, so with regard to a spiritual one; that men by nature are dead in sins; that Christ is the author of the resurrection from such a state, to a spiritual life; that this life is only by Christ, and can never be lost: this is a doctrine to be believed; it is the doctrine of the Scriptures; it is according to godliness; it makes for the comfort of the people of God, and glorifies the divine perfections.

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
26. shall never die] See on John 8:51; the form of expression is the same; ‘shall assuredly never die.’

Believest thou this?] A searching question, suddenly put. She answers with confidence, and gives the ground of her confidence.John 11:26. Πᾶς, every one [‘whosoever’]) This word, which was not employed in John 11:25, brings on the discourse to greater things.—ζῶν) that liveth, namely, this present life of the body. The antithesis to this lies in the words, John 11:25, even though he die [κἂν ἀποθάνῃ: “though he were dead,” Engl. Vers.] Those especially treated of here, are they who then were alive and saw the Son: ch. John 6:40, “This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.”—οὐ μὴ ἀποθάνῃ, shall not die) Shall be exempt from death, to all eternity. The antithetic word to this is ζήσεται, shall live, restored to life; John 11:25. There is a great difference between the death [mortem] of believers before the death of Jesus Christ, and the departure [obitum; metaphor from setting of heavenly bodies] of believers after the death of Jesus Christ. These latter are altogether exempt from the judgment.[298]—πιστεύεις τοῦτο; believest thou this?) An application of the truth, in the second person, to all collectively and individually, which is often found elsewhere, and which here, by means of the unexpected interrogation, is very pungent. Thus [by means of this personal application] Martha is completely won over to faith.

[298] Condemnation: ch. John 5:24, He that henreth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.—E. and T.
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