He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's lace I am not worthy to unloose.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He it is . . . is preferred before me.—Insertions made to harmonise the verse with John 1:15; John 1:30. Omitting them we have, “He who cometh after me” as the subject of the verb “standeth,” and the whole sentence, is “He who cometh after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to unloose, standeth among you and ye know Him not.” This is the authority for baptism, the outer sign of the Messiah’s Advent, for He is already standing in their midst. Here is the answer to their question. John’s work is simply ministerial. The baptism of the Spirit is at hand. The coming One has come. (Comp. Notes on Matthew 3:11 and Mark 1:7.)Matthew 3:11. The "latchet" of sandals was the string or thong by which they were fastened to the feet. To unloose them was the office of a servant, and John means, therefore, that he was unworthy to perform the lowest office for the Messiah. This was remarkable humility. John was well known; he was highly honored; thousands came to hear him. Jesus was at that time unknown; but John says that he was unworthy to perform the humblest office for Jesus. So we all should be willing to lay all that we have at the feet of Christ, and feel that we are unworthy to be his lowest servants. He that cometh after me is preferred before me, See Poole on "John 1:15". He now repeateth those words; and it is observable, that the three other evangelists all put this passage before the history of Christ’s coming to him to be baptized. So as it is probable that these messengers came to John as he was baptizing; and either immediately before or after Christ’s baptism, Christ being yet in the crowd, he repeateth to his hearers what he had a little before said of him, that he was to be preferred before him.
Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose; he here enlargeth upon it with a proverbial speech, which the other evangelists have, with a very little variation: Matthew saith, Whose shoe’s I am not worthy to bear; that is, to perform unto him the very meanest service or office. We have such forms of speech in use at this day amongst us; when we would express the great preeminence of some one above another, we say of that other, He is not worthy to tie his shoes; or, to carry his shoes after him. There is a vast difference between Christ and the most excellent of his ministers; which as to baptism lieth here; the ministerial baptism is but with water; Christ baptizeth with the Holy Ghost and with fire, Matthew 3:11, or, with the Holy Ghost, as Mark 1:8.
is preferred before me: being not only of a more excellent nature, the Son of God, and of an higher extract, the Lord from heaven; but in an higher office, and having greater gifts, and the Spirit of God without measure on him; and also being more followed by the people; for John decreased, but he increased: or rather the words may be rendered, who was before me; being the eternal Son of God, whose goings forth were of old, from everlasting; who was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was; the firstborn, or first bringer forth of every creature; and therefore must be before all things, which are created by him; see Gill on John 1:15.
Whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose; which was one of the meanest services done by a servant to his master; see Gill on Matthew 3:11.He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. He it is] These words and ‘is preferred before me’ are wanting in authority: the sentence should run, He that cometh after me, whose shoe’s latchet, &c., is standing in the midst of you, and ye know Him not. ‘Ye’ is emphatic; ‘Whom ye who question me know not, but Whom I, the questioned, know.’John 1:27. Αὐτός) Himself.
The best texts omit the first two words. Westcott and Hort also omit ὁ so that the rendering is, whom ye know not, coming after me.
Was preferred before me
The best texts omit.
To unloose (ἵνα λύσω)
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