|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-13 The brethren or kinsmen of Jesus were disgusted, when they found there was no prospect of worldly advantages from him. Ungodly men sometimes undertake to counsel those employed in the work of God; but they only advise what appears likely to promote present advantages. The people differed about his doctrine and miracles, while those who favoured him, dared not openly to avow their sentiments. Those who count the preachers of the gospel to be deceivers, speak out, while many who favour them, fear to get reproach by avowing regard for them.
Verse 13. - Howbeit no man - either those who murmured to each other a favourable or a calumnious judgment - spake out openly concerning him, by reason of (their) fear of the Jews. The hierarchy, the guardians of orthodoxy, the authorities, the rabbis by whose verdict the character and claims of Jesus must be decided, had not publicly delivered their opinion. Those who believed in the "goodness" of Jesus were silenced, or did not proceed beyond a feeble murmur of applause, however much some may have felt the truth of their own impression. Those who came to an adverse opinion were also so much cowed by the "Jews," by the ecclesiastical authorities, that even they did not venture to express themselves save "with bated breath and whispered humbleness," lest they might err in the form of their condemnation. The section vers. 14-36 contains three discourses: one of which (vers. 14-24) describes the nature and ground of his human ministry; vers. 25-29, while treating the insolence of the multitude, portray an animated scene of conflicting opinion, in the course of which the Lord renewed the assurance of his Divine origin, as well as of the Divine sources of his teaching; vers. 30-36 refer to his approaching death or departure, as part of a Divine plan concerning him. Throughout, with dramatic propriety, the varying opinions of different classes of the people are introduced.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Howbeit, no man spoke openly of him,.... So loud as to be overheard, at least by many, but in a secret and whispering way; or did not speak with freedom, or all their mind, what they really thought of him, nor with courage and boldness:
for fear the Jews; for fear of being mobbed by them, or up and prosecuted, or turned out of the synagogue; for a law was made, that whoever confessed him, should be so used; and this deterred persons from expressing the true sentiments of their minds about him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. none spake openly of him—that is, in His favor, "for fear of the [ruling] Jews."
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