|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:30-38 Our Lord returns to his declaration of the entire agreement between the Father and the Son, and declared himself the Son of God. He had higher testimony than that of John; his works bore witness to all he had said. But the Divine word had no abiding-place in their hearts, as they refused to believe in Him whom the Father had sent, according to his ancient promises. The voice of God, accompanied by the power of the Holy Ghost, thus made effectual to the conversion of sinners, still proclaims that this is the beloved Son, in whom the Father is well pleased. But when the hearts of men are full of pride, ambition, and the love of the world, there is no room for the word of God to abide in them.
Verse 34. - But I for my part receive not the witness which affirms my Sonship from a man; or, yet the witness which I receive is not from man. Some have given the stronger meaning of "take hold," or "snatch," or "strive after," to λαμβάνω. But this is unnecessary, for emphasis is laid on the article, "the witness," which is real, infallible, convincing, commanding, must come from the highest source of all. Yet, though Christ cannot depend upon John's testimony, it ought to have had weight with his hearers. It called them to repentance, to holy living, to faith in the Coming One. It discounted their pride in Abrahamic birth, and their false notions of race purity; it made personal and individual that which had been looked at as a national monopoly of privilege. Nay, more, it had testified that he was the "Lamb of God" and the "Son of God" and the "Bridegroom of the Church." Therefore he continued: Howbeit, these things I say - I call attention to the sum total of his message, the testimony he bore to truth - that ye may be saved; for all that John said was true. "John did no miracle: but all things that he said concerning Jesus were true" (John 10:41; see notes). If the Jews had accepted the testimony of John, they wound not now be cherishing angry and rebellious thought, and have been so blinded to the truth and reality of things.
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But I receive not testimony from man,.... He stood in no need of an human testimony, nor did he rest the truth of his deity and divine sonship thereon: he had other and greater testimonies to produce; as he needed not that any man should testify of man to him, he had no need that any man should testify of him; and if the testimony of men was received, as this of John could not well be objected to, the testimony of God is greater, and which he had; and therefore should not have mentioned John's for his own sake:
but these things I say, that ye might be saved; that is, he produced this testimony of John, who was a person of so great a character among them, that they might be induced by it to believe in him as the Messiah; and so be saved from that ruin and destruction, that would come upon their nation, city, and temple, for their rejection and disbelief of him.
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