|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:31-37 A trial was made whether Jesus was dead. He died in less time than persons crucified commonly did. It showed that he had laid down his life of himself. The spear broke up the very fountains of life; no human body could survive such a wound. But its being so solemnly attested, shows there was something peculiar in it. The blood and water that flowed out, signified those two great benefits which all believers partake of through Christ, justification and sanctification; blood for atonement, water for purification. They both flow from the pierced side of our Redeemer. To Christ crucified we owe merit for our justification, and Spirit and grace for our sanctification. Let this silence the fears of weak Christians, and encourage their hopes; there came both water and blood out of Jesus' pierced side, both to justify and sanctify them. The Scripture was fulfilled, in Pilate's not allowing his legs to be broken, Ps 34:20. There was a type of this in the paschal lamb, Ex 12:46. May we ever look to Him, whom, by our sins, we have ignorantly and heedlessly pierced, nay, sometimes against convictions and mercies; and who shed from his wounded side both water and blood, that we might be justified and sanctified in his name.
Verse 35. - He that hath seen hath borne, and is now bearing, herein and hereby, witness, and his witness is veritable - the highest and surest kind of witness, that of direct observation, staggering, confounding the ordinary sense, but proving that the Son of God died in his human body - and he knoweth, by his own inward experience, that he saith true things, that ye also may believe. A vehement effort has been made to sever this testimony from the evangelist, and refer it to a third person ἐκεῖνος, and suppose that it took place during John's absence from the cross (so Weisse, Schweizer, Hilgenfeld, and others); but, as Meyer, Godet, etc., affirm there is no necessity whatever for such an interpretation. Ἑκεινος is used of the subject of the sentence when it is clear from the context that the speaker himself is that subject (see John 9:37). Concerning a third person, the writer could not have written, "He knoweth that he saith true things, that ye may believe," but rather, "We know that he saith true things, that we may believe." But John here speaks strongly of his own invincible conviction, and, as in John 21:24, it is here given to induce a stronger faith on the part of his readers - not of himself and his readers in the supernatural death, in the signs that accompanied it, adapted to convince the bystanders of its marvel, and to fill up the prophetic picture, Hilgenfeld, with strange perversity, urges that the clever forger of the narrative "falls out of his part" and forgets himself (see Luthardt on 'Authorship of the Fourth Gospel,' p. 180). The symbolical and allegorical explanations are numerous. E.g. Toplady's well-known hymn, "Rock of Ages," contains the words -
"Let the water and the blood,
From thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he that saw it, bare record,.... Meaning himself, John the evangelist, the writer of this Gospel, who, in his great modesty, frequently conceals himself, under one circumlocution or another; he was an eyewitness of this fact, not only of the piercing of his side with a spear, but of the blood and water flowing out of it; which he saw with his eyes, and bore record of to others, and by this writing; and was ready to attest it in any form it should be desired:
and his record is true; though it is not mentioned by any of the other evangelists, none of them but himself being present at that time:
and he knoweth that he saith true; meaning either God or Christ, who knew all things; and so it is a sort of appeal to God or Christ, for the truth of what he affirmed, as some think; or rather himself, who was fully assured that he was under no deception, and was far from telling an untruth; having seen the thing done with his eyes, and being led into the mystery of it by the Divine Spirit; see 1 John 5:6 wherefore he could, and did declare it with the strongest asseverations:
that ye might believe; the truth of the fact, and in Christ, both for the expiation of the guilt of sin, and cleansing from the filth of it; both for sanctifying and justifying grace, which the water and the blood were an emblem of.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35. And he that saw it bare record—hath borne witness.
and his witness is true, and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe—This solemn way of referring to his own testimony in this matter has no reference to what he says in his Epistle about Christ's "coming by water and blood" (see on 1Jo 5:6), but is intended to call attention both to the fulfilment of Scripture in these particulars, and to the undeniable evidence he was thus furnishing of the reality of Christ's death, and consequently of His resurrection; perhaps also to meet the growing tendency, in the Asiatic churches, to deny the reality of our Lord's body, or that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" (1Jo 4:1-3).
John 19:35 Parallel Commentaries
John 19:35 NIV
John 19:35 NLT
John 19:35 ESV
John 19:35 NASB
John 19:35 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible