|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:12-16 Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, and Christ is the image of the invisible God. One sun enlightens the whole world; so does one Christ, and there needs no more. What a dark dungeon would the world be without the sun! So would it be without Jesus, by whom light came into the world. Those who follow Christ shall not walk in darkness. They shall not be left without the truths which are necessary to keep them from destroying error, and the directions in the way of duty, necessary to keep them from condemning sin.
Verses 13-19. -
(2) The refusal of the Pharisees to accept this claim on his unsupported testimony, and Christ's reply. Verse 13. - The fact that the Pharisees respond shows that the circumstances of the previous day are changed. They have been the secret and organized opponents of Jesus throughout. The synoptic Gospels show with what perverse ingenuity and doggedness they followed him from place to place, venturing to assail him through his disciples, through his omissions of ritual, and by reason of his Divine freedom in interpreting the sacred Scripture; nor did they refrain from attributing his miracles to the power of the evil one (Matthew 9.). They were the nucleus of the bitter opposition to him current among the rulers in Jerusalem, and they reveal here a reminiscence of the discussion which had taken place in the temple or its neighbourhood after the healing of the impotent man (John 5:31, etc.). There the Lord had said that if he bore witness of himself, without any corroboration, his witness, thus isolated and deprived of evidence, would, on the ordinary grounds of a prima facie testimony, not be true; but be went on to say, further, that his testimony was variously corroborated by the manifest presence and cooperation of the Father. Forgetting thus his own vindication of himself - which many months of varied proof of his personality had confirmed for candid minds - they assail his comparison of himself to the Light of the world, with: Thou bearest witness of thyself; thy witness - according to the canon he had himself admitted and supplemented; but they forgetting the supplement, add - (thy witness) is not true. "If thou art simply making such exalted claims as this, in forgetfulness of the well known maxim about self-witness, we take the liberty to dispute and reject it."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Pharisees therefore said unto him,.... On account of his declaring himself the light of the world: these were either the same who went out of the temple, filled with remorse of conscience, and were now returned, and bearing him a grudge, came to take some advantage against him, if they could; or they were others of the same complexion, sent by them, to make their observations on him:
thou bearest record of thyself. The Ethiopic version renders it, "dost thou thyself?" which does not seem so decent and comely; see Proverbs 27:2; though it does not follow, that what a man says of himself is not truth, as these suggest:
thy record is not true; for John testified of himself, that he was not the Christ, nor Elias, nor that prophet; but the voice of one crying in the wilderness; and this testimony he bore of himself, at the importunity of the Jews themselves, John 1:19; and his testimony was true; so was that which Christ bore of himself; but their sense rather seems to be, that it was not firm and authentic, and would not pass in any court of judicature, since no man can be a witness in his own cause.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
8:13 Thou testifiest of thyself; thy testimony is not valid - They retort upon our Lord his own words, John 5:31; if I testify of myself, my testimony is not valid. He had then added, There is another who testifieth of me. To the same effect he replies here, John 8:14, Though I testify of myself, yet my testimony is valid; for I am inseparably united to the Father. I know - And from firm and certain knowledge proceeds the most unexceptionable testimony: whence I came, and whither I go - To these two heads may be referred all the doctrine concerning Christ. The former is treated of John 8:16, and c, the latter John 8:21, and c. For I know whence I came - That is, For I came from God, both as God and as man. And I know it, though ye do not.
John 8:13 Parallel Commentaries
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