|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 7. - The world cannot hate you; but it hateth me, because I bear witness concerning it, that its works are evil. The "world" is here used in the current Johannine sense of "humanity unregenerate, humanity without grace, or apart from God." The hatred of the world to Christ was pressing down upon his spirit like an intolerable load. He admitted that, from its own standpoint, there was some justification for the feeling. The world hates its censor; it repels the judgment passed upon it. It is satisfied with itself and its own idea of righteousness. It is satisfied with its own standards and cries and professions, so that to be accused of wrongful notions, of a depravity under the clothing of Pharisaic propriety, of a hidden leprosy which is eating into its vitals, rouses all its animosity. If Christ were to go, he must deliver his soul. Already the thunder peal of Matthew 22-25, to be shortly delivered after full assertion of the nature of his work, and in the metropolis of the theocracy, was hurtling in his soul, and he foresaw the outburst of maddened rage which would follow; but with melancholy and some gentle irony he said, "The world against which I have to deliver my prophetic burden cannot (οὐ δύναται, moral impossibility) hate you! Your aim is to fall in with its demands, to realize its corrupt and unspiritual dreams. You are violating none of its cherished fancies; you are abasing none of its idols; your time is always ready; my time is not yet come."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The world cannot hate you,.... Because they were of the world, belonged to it; they were like unto it, and every like loves its like; and they were the world's own, and therefore instead of being hated, were loved by it; and they walked according to the course of it; and wicked men not only take pleasure in sin, but in them that do it:
but me it hateth; though without a cause; that is, without a just cause, or reason; a cause there was, and it follows:
because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil; even those works of it, which were reckoned good works; Christ bore his testimony of these, that they were evil; being done either not according to the command of God, but the traditions of the elders; or not from a right principle, as of faith and love, nor to a right end, as the glory of God; but only to be seen of men: and very severely did he inveigh against the pride, covetousness, hypocrisy, and uncleanness of the Scribes and Pharisees: and so he continued to do, and this drew upon him their hatred and ill will.
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