John 2:25
And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
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(25) And needed not.—Better, and because He needed not.

For he knew.—Better, for He of Himself knew. The verse is a wider statement of the general truth of which John 2:24 is a particular instance. He did not in that instance need any testimony of spiritual state and character, because He then, as always, read what was in man.

2:23-25 Our Lord knew all men, their nature, dispositions, affections, designs, so as we do not know any man, not even ourselves. He knows his crafty enemies, and all their secret projects; his false friends, and their true characters. He knows who are truly his, knows their uprightness, and knows their weaknesses. We know what is done by men; Christ knows what is in them, he tries the heart. Beware of a dead faith, or a formal profession: carnal, empty professors are not to be trusted, and however men impose on others or themselves, they cannot impose on the heart-searching God.Should testify of man - Should give him the character of any man.

He knew what was in man - This he did because he had made all John 1:3, and because he was God, John 1:1. There can be no higher evidence than this that he was omniscient, and was therefore divine. To search the heart is the prerogative of God alone Jeremiah 17:10; and as Jesus knew what was in "these disciples," and as it is expressly said that he knew what was in man - that is, in "all people" - so it follows that he must be equal with God. As he knows "all," he is acquainted with the false pretentions and professions of hypocrites. None can deceive him. He also knows the wants and desires of all his real friends. He hears their groans, he sees their sighs, he counts their tears, and in the day of need will come to their relief.

25. knew what was in man—It is impossible for language more clearly to assert of Christ what in Jer 17:9, 10, and elsewhere, is denied of all mere creatures. And needed not any information concerning the principles and humours of all men; for he perfectly knew men, not only from their more external acts and behaviours, (as we know them), but he knew what was in them, searching the hearts, and trying the reins, which is the property of God alone, 1 Kings 8:39 Psalm 33:15. Here what we formerly observed is again observable, that oft times in holy writ, for the further confirmation of a proposition, to a universal affirmative is added a contrary negative. Here ariseth a question, agitated between the Lutherans and the Calvinists, Whether Christ as man knew all things, and what is in the heart of man. They affirm it, because of the personal union of the Divine and human natures in Christ. We say, that although there be such a personal union, yet the properties of each nature remain distinct; upon which account Christ denieth that he, as the Son of man, knew the day and hour of the end of the world. Besides, by the same reason that omniscience belongeth to the human nature of Christ, omnipotence, infiniteness, and omnipresence, also must; which last indeed they affirm, seeing that without it they were not able to defend their doctrine of consubstantiation, or the presence of the body and blood of Christ, wherever the sacrament of his supper is administered; but this being a matter polemical, we shall not here discourse it. Those who would be satisfied as to what is said on either side, may find enough in Gerard, Hunnius, and Farnovius, on the Lutherans’ side; and in Zanchius and others on the Calvinists’ side, Zanchius de Natura and Attributis Dei, lib. 3. cap. 2. qu. 16. And needed not that any should testify of man,.... Of this or the other man, that he was a good or a bad man; he needed no proofs to be made, or testimonies bore, or evidence given of men's characters and actions; he was of quick understanding, and could distinguish at once between a wicked man and a good man; and so had the characteristic which the Jews require of the Messiah; for they rejected Bar Cozba from being the Messiah, and slew him, because he could not smell, referring to Isaiah 11:3, or discern a bad man from a good man (n); but this Jesus could do, without any external evidence:

for he knew what was in man; which none but the spirit of a man can know; his inward thoughts, the secrets of the heart; thus Christ knew the thoughts of the Scribes and Pharisees, Matthew 9:4, being a discerner of the thoughts, and intents of the heart, Hebrews 4:12. This Apollonius Tyaneus, the ape of Christ, ascribed to himself (o); but is what is peculiar to God; and Christ being God, knows all that is in man; that there is no good in him naturally, nothing but what comes from his Father, is imparted by himself, or implanted by his Spirit; he knows the wickedness there is in man, that his heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, and full of all manner of iniquities; he knows in what condition all the and faculties of the souls of men are; what their affections are set upon, on earthly or heavenly things; whether there is any light in their understandings, or not; whether their wills are subdued and resigned to the will of God, or not; whether their minds and consciences are defiled, or their hearts are sprinkled from an evil conscience; in short, whether the internal good work of grace is begun upon their souls, or not; and he knows the secret springs of all actions, good and bad; all which prove his true and proper deity, and show him to be a suitable Saviour of sinners, and qualify him to be the Judge of the whole earth.

(n) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 93. 2.((o) Philostrat. Vit. Apollonii, l. 1. c. 13.

{7} And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

(7) Christ is the searcher of hearts, and therefore truly God.

25. And needed not] Better, and because He had no need.

for he knew] Better, for He of Himself knew. We have instances of this supernatural knowledge in the cases of Peter, John 1:42; Nathanael, John 1:47-48; Nicodemus, John 3:3; the woman at the well, John 4:29; the disciples, John 6:61; John 6:64; Lazarus, John 11:4; John 11:15; Judas, John 13:11; Peter, John 21:17.John 2:25. Ὅτι) because.—τοῦ ἀνθρώπου· τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ, of man: in man) This is said of the whole race of men: in the preceding verse, of the individuals contained under it.—αὐτός) Himself, without any other testimony.—τί, what) to wit, treachery: every man is deceitful. The language of John has Euphemy.[48] In man [the natural man] there is what is human: in the new man there is what is divine, Christian, spiritual.

[48] He avoided the harsh expression of all that was implied.—E. and T.He needed not (οὐ χρείαν εἰχεν)

Literally, he had not need.

Testify (μαρτυρήσῃ)

Rev., better, bear witness. The same word is in John 1:7, John 1:8, John 1:15, John 1:32 (see on John 1:7).

Of man (περὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου)

Better, as Rev., concerning man.

He knew (αὐτὸς ἐγίνωσκεν)

The pronoun is expressed, and with a view to emphasis, as Rev., "He himself knew." The imperfect expresses continuance: He was all along cognizant as the successive cases presented themselves; thus falling in with the next words, "what was in the man," i.e., in each particular man with whom He had to do. No such characteristic as this was attributed to the gods of Paganism. "While, then, the gift of anything like general foreknowledge appears to be withheld from all the deities of invention, that of 'the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,' is nowhere found; nor was it believed of any member of the Olympian community, as it was said of One greater than they, 'He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man, for He knew what was in man,'" (Gladstone, "Homer and the Homeric Age," ii., 366).

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