|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:48-53 Observe Christ's disregard of the applause of men. those who are dead to the praises of men can bear their contempt. God will seek the honour of all who do not seek their own. In these verses we have the doctrine of the everlasting happiness of believers. We have the character of a believer; he is one that keeps the sayings of the Lord Jesus. And the privilege of a believer; he shall by no means see death for ever. Though now they cannot avoid seeing death, and tasting it also, yet they shall shortly be where it will be no more forever, Ex 14:13.
Verse 53. - Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? This use of ποιεῖν is not uncommon. "By thy own statements, whom wouldst thou have us believe that thou art?" (cf. John 5:18; John 10:33; John 19:7, 12). This claim to be Giver of immunity from death, and the further assumption that the belief of and continuance in his word would metamorphose and transfigure death itself, implied functions which "made" Jesus mightier, more august, than either Moses or Elijah, Abraham or the prophets, who were dead. "These all died who art thou?"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Art thou greater than our father Abraham?.... So the woman of Samaria said, concerning Jacob, John 4:12. The Jews had a mighty opinion of their ancestors, especially of Abraham; and yet they allow the Messiah to be greater than he, as Jesus truly was: so one of their ancient commentators (w) on those words of Isaiah 52:13 thus paraphrases them,
""Behold my servant shall deal prudently", this is the King Messiah; "he shall be exalted" above Abraham, as it is written, Genesis 14:22, "and extolled" above Moses, as it is written, Numbers 11:12, and he shall be higher than the ministering angels, as it is written, Ezekiel 1:26, for he shall be , "greater than the fathers".''
They add here, of Abraham,
which is dead; he was a great and good man, and yet dead:
and the prophets are dead; though they truly kept, and faithfully delivered the word of God:
whom makest thou thyself? who art a poor carpenter's son, a Galilean, a Nazarene, and yet makest thyself greater than Abraham, or any of the prophets; yea, makest thyself to be God, to promise security from death, and an everlasting continuance of life upon keeping thy word.
(w) Tachuma apud Huls. p. 321.
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