|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:22-36 John was fully satisfied with the place and work assigned him; but Jesus came on a more important work. He also knew that Jesus would increase in honour and influence, for of his government and peace there would be no end, while he himself would be less followed. John knew that Jesus came from heaven as the Son of God, while he was a sinful, mortal man, who could only speak about the more plain subjects of religion. The words of Jesus were the words of God; he had the Spirit, not by measure, as the prophets, but in all fulness. Everlasting life could only be had by faith in Him, and might be thus obtained; whereas all those, who believe not in the Son of God, cannot partake of salvation, but the wrath of God for ever rests upon them.
Verses 33-36. -
(3) The consequences of accepting and rejecting the supreme revelation. Verse 33. - He that receiveth his witness - i.e. his testimony to what he hath personally seen and heard in the heaven from which he has come - sealed - (ἐσφράγισεν), confirmed by such very act, ratified arid vindicated as trustworthy and stable (cf. Romans 4. l 1; 15:28; 1 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 1:22. In other places the idea or image of a "seal" is used for guaranteeing a special commission, John 6:27 (see notes); Revelation 7:3; Ephesians 1:13) - that God is true; i.e. admits that the words of Christ are the words of God, are absolute truth and reality - an idea which is made more obvious by ver. 35, where Jesus is the Ambassador of God. It may even mean more than this, viz. that in Jesus "all the promises of God are Yea and Amen," that God is true in himself, and the witness of Christ embraces all that for which prophecy and promise and previous revelation had prepared the way (see Luthardt and Westcott). Such an idea is certainly beyond the scope of John's ministry or message.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that hath received his testimony,.... For there was here and there one that did, who believed in him as the Messiah, and embraced his Gospel, and submitted to his ordinances, and truly and sincerely followed him: and for the encouragement of such, it is said,
hath set to his seal that God is true; faithful in fulfilling the promises he has made concerning the Messiah, and his coming: he firmly believes that God is true to every word of his, and will make good every promise; and this he seals, ratifies, and confirms by his embracing the testimony of Christ; whereas, on the contrary, he that believes not makes God a liar, than which, nothing can be more reproachful to him, 1 John 5:10. The Jews have a saying (z) that "the seal of the blessed God is truth". The Arabic version renders it, "he is already sealed, because God is true"; and the Ethiopic version, "God hath sealed him, because he is true"; namely, with his holy Spirit; see 2 Corinthians 1:22.
(z) T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 18. 1. & T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 64. 1. & Yoma, fol. 69. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
33. hath set to His seal, &c.—gives glory to God whose words Christ speaks, not as prophets and apostles by a partial communication of the Spirit to them.
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