|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:30-36 Such power attended our Lord's words, that many were convinced, and professed to believe in him. He encouraged them to attend his teaching, rely on his promises, and obey his commands, notwithstanding all temptations to evil. Thus doing, they would be his disciples truly; and by the teaching of his word and Spirit, they would learn where their hope and strength lay. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts feel no other grievances than those that molest the body, and distress their worldly affairs. Talk to them of their liberty and property, tell them of waste committed upon their lands, or damage done to their houses, and they understand you very well; but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and liberty by Christ; tell of wrong done to their precious souls, and the hazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange things to their ears. Jesus plainly reminded them, that the man who practised any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which was the case with most of them. Christ in the gospel offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. But often we see persons disputing about liberty of every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.
Verse 35. - This being the fact as to sin and its servitude, the Lord proceeds to deal with servitude in God's house. Servitude and its spirit are manifested in the house of the Father. The bond slave abideth not in the house forever. So long as he is a bond slave and not emancipated from the fetters of mere race, so long as he is ruled by the servile spirit, there is no perpetuity about his relation to the Father. He can be sold away (Genesis 21:10; Galatians 4:30). An involuntary subject of the Law, who belongs to the theocracy as a slave merely, and because he cannot help himself, and occupies a position which a slave does in the family of sin, has lost all freedom and spontaneity in his service, and will find himself cast out at last. But the son abideth forever. Sonship is the only principle on which continuance in the house can be secured. It has been much debated whether the ὁ υἱός of the thirty-fifth verse goes beyond the idea of sonship, the generic antithesis to the idea of slave. Certainly this seems the primary reference. In the following verse, the Son, in his loftiest functions, and as identifying himself with "the truth" of ver. 32, entirely fulfils the conception of "Sonship" and eternal abiding in the Father's house, and therefore is entrusted with the power of emancipating all slaves, of adopting sons into the Father's royal house. Thus we may suppose that the first use of the term "son," though laying special emphasis on the spirit and conditions of sonship, yet points to him who entirely embodies, enshrines, and has from before all worlds realized the Divine idea of Son - the only begotten Son - in the bosom of the Father.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the servant abideth not in the house for ever,.... The servant of God, and of Christ, does, but not the servant of sin: there may be servants of sin in the house or church of God here below; and such were these Jews Christ is speaking to; but such shall not abide there for ever: some that get into this house are quickly discerned, as Simon Magus was, and are soon removed; and others that may stay longer, are sometimes suffered to fall into some foul sin, or into some gross error and heresy, for which they are cast out of the house or church of God, according to the rules of God's word; others make parties, draw disciples after them, and separate themselves, and go out of their own accord, to serve their own purposes: and others, when persecution and tribulation arise because of the word, they are offended and gone; this is the fan with which Christ sometimes winnows his floor, and removes the chaff; and those that continue longest, even to the end of their days, or of the world, or the second coming of Christ, as the foolish virgins, will then be discerned and separated; for the ungodly shall not stand in judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; they shall not enter into the house above, into the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, which is Christ's Father's house: none but sons are brought to glory; these are the only heirs of salvation; others will be bid to depart, as workers of iniquity, as the servants of sin; even such who have made a profession of religion, and have been, and have had a standing in the house of God below. The allusion is to the case of servants in common; and, in a literal sense, it is true both of good and bad servants: good servants do not always continue in their master's house; even an Hebrew servant, that loved his master, and would not go out free at the end of his servitude; and who, after having his ear bored, is said to serve him for ever, Exodus 21:6; yet that "for ever" was but until the year of jubilee, whether near or remote, as the Jewish commentators (d) in general explain it; nay, if his master died before that time, he went out free: he was not obliged to serve his son or heirs; and so say the Misnic doctors (e):
"one that is bored is obtained by boring, and he possesses himself (or becomes free) by the year of jubilee, and by the death of his master.''
And to this agrees what Maimonides (f) says;
"he that has served six years, and will not go out, lo, this is bored, and he serves until the year of jubilee, or until his master dies; and although he leaves a son, he that is bored does not serve the son; which may be learned from the letter of the words, "he shall serve him", not his son, "for ever", until the jubilee: from whence it appears, that he that is bored does not possess himself (or is free) but by the jubilee, and by the death of his master.''
And one of their writers (g) observes, that the word rendered, "shall serve him", is by Gematry, and not his son. And among the Romans, good servants were oftentimes made free, and bad ones were turned out, and put into a work house, to grind corn in mills, a sort of bridewell; and such evil servants may more especially be respected, since Christ is speaking of servants of sin:
but the Son abideth ever: the Son of God, the only begotten Son of God the Lord Jesus Christ will always continue as a Son in his own house, as the Lord and proprietor of it; and as an high priest over it, having an unchangeable priesthood; and as he that takes care of it, provides for it, and manages all the affairs thereof, the family in heaven and in earth being named of him. And as he, so all the adopted sons of God shall continue, being pillars in this house, that shall never go out: such are no more servants, nor foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God; and being sons, are heirs and shall never be cast out, as the bondwoman and her son have been: but these being the children of the free, shall for ever enjoy the inheritance they are adopted to; once sons, always so; the relation ever continues; they will ever remain in the family, and being entitled to the heavenly estate, shall ever possess it.
(d) Jarchi, Aben Ezra, & ben Gersom in Exodus 21.6. (e) Misn. Kiddushin, c. 1. sect. 1.((f) Hilchot Abadim, c. 3. sect. 6, 7. (g) Baal Hatturim in Exodus 21.6.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth ever—that is, "And if your connection with the family of God be that of BOND-SERVANTS, ye have no natural tie to the house; your tie is essentially uncertain and precarious. But the Son's relationship to the Father is a natural and essential one; it is an indefeasible tie; His abode in it is perpetual and of right: That is My relationship, My tie: If, then, ye would have your connection with God's family made real, rightful, permanent, ye must by the Son be manumitted and adopted as sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty." In this sublime statement there is no doubt a subordinate allusion to Ge 21:10, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son, with Isaac." (Compare Ga 4:22-30).
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