He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He that rejecteth me . . .—The word rendered “rejecteth” (more exactly nullifieth) occurs only here in St. John. (Comp. Luke 7:30, “The Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves”; and John 10:16, “He that despiseth you despiseth Me.)
The word that I have spoken.—The very fact that He was so rejected was itself the judgment of those who rejected it.Luke 10:16. The word "reject" means to despise, or to refuse to receive him.
Hath one - That is, he needs not my voice to condemn him. He will carry his own condemnation with him, even should I be silent. His own conscience will condemn him. The words which I have spoken will be remembered and will condemn him, if there were nothing further. From this we learn:
1. that a guilty conscience needs no accuser.
2. that the words of Christ, and the messages of mercy which the sinner has rejected, will be remembered by him.
3. that this will be the source of his condemnation. This will make him miserable, and there will be no possibility of his being happy.
4. that the conscience of the sinner will concur with the sentence of Christ in the great day, and that he will go to eternity self-condemned. It is this which will make the pains of hell so intolerable to the sinner.
5. The word that Christ has spoken, the doctrines of his gospel, and the messages of mercy, will be that by which the sinner will be judged in the last day. Every person will be judged by that message, and the sinner will be punished according to the frequency and clearness with which the rejected message has been presented to his mind, Matthew 12:41.
and said, He that believeth on me, &c.—This seems to be a supplementary record of some weighty proclamations, for which there had been found no natural place before, and introduced here as a sort of summary and winding up of His whole testimony.and receiveth not my words, expound the former: not to receive in heart, to believe, and embrace the words of Christ in the gospel, is to reject Christ. So Luke 10:16, He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me. And he that doth so, hath one that judgeth him, that is, my Father who hath sent me, and will vindicate mine honour. Nay, the word that I have spoken shall rise up in judgment against him at the last day, and prove that he hath judged himself unworthy of everlasting life.
and receiveth not my words; the doctrines of the Gospel, but disbelieves them, and denies them to be true, looking upon them as the doctrines of a mere man, and an impostor:
hath one that judgeth him; let not such an one think that he shall escape righteous judgment; though Christ does not judge him now, there is one that judges him, yea, even now; and declares, that he that believeth not shall be damned, and that he is condemned already:
the word that I have spoken unto you, the same shall judge him in the last day; according to the different dispensations wicked men are under in this world, will be the rule of their judgment hereafter: such who are only under the law of nature, will be judged according to that, that will accuse them, convict them, and condemn them: such who have been under the law of Moses, or the written law, will be arraigned, proved, and pronounced guilty, and punished by, and according to that law; and such who have been under the Gospel dispensation, and have been favoured with the revelation of the Gospel, but have condemned and denied it, that will judge them at the last day. The judge will act by its present declaration, and according to that proceed, as it stands in Mark 16:16. It will rise up in judgment against such persons, and be an aggravation of their condemnation.He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 12:48. Not on that account, however, is the unbeliever scatheless: ὁ ἀθετῶν … ἡμέρᾳ, “he that rejecteth me”; ἀθετεῖν here only in John but used in a similar connection and in the same sense in Luke 10:16; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:8. For the sense cf. John 1:11. The rejecter of Christ “has one to judge him; the word which I spake, it will judge him in the last day”. Nothing personal enters into the judgment: the man will be judged by what he has heard, by his opportunities and light.48. my words] Better, My sayings (see on John 12:47): ‘word’ in the next clause is right.
hath one that judgeth him] Hath his judge already, without My sentencing him. Comp. John 3:18, John 5:45. The hearer may refuse the word, but he cannot refuse the responsibility of having heard it.
in the last day] Peculiar to this Gospel: comp. John 6:39-40; John 6:44; John 6:54, John 11:24. This verse is conclusive as to the doctrine of the last judgment being contained in this Gospel.John 12:48. Ἐμέ, τὰ ῥήματά μου, Me, My words) Inasmuch as the Jews were rejecting Christ Himself, for this reason they received not His words; ch. John 8:43, “Why do ye not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My word.”—ἔχει) hath already.—ἐκεῖνος, that word) This pronoun looks a long way forward.—ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ, in the last day) ch. John 6:39, “This is the Father’s will—that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Both the resurrection and the judgment shall be on the one day. The mention of the last day has great force both as regards believers and as regards unbelievers.Verse 48. - He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings (ῤήματα), hath one that judgeth him - perhaps, that which judgeth him - the word (λόγος) which I spake, that will judge him at the last day. There is no more awful utterance than this (romp. 1 John 4:17; 2 Corinthians 5:10, where the irresistible power of a searching inviolable Law is vindicated). How strange that some critics should, with a view to disparage the authenticity of the Gospel, make it appear that there is no reference in it to judgment to come, or to the last day, and should deliberately ignore this feature of the Johannine Gospel!
See on Luke 7:30.
The word (ὁ λόγος)
Comprehending all the sayings (ῥήματα).
The same (ἐκεῖνος)
That. The pronoun of remote reference Westcott finely remarks: "The resumptive, isolating pronoun places in emphatic prominence the teaching which is regarded as past, and separated from those to whom it was addressed. It stands, as it were, in the distance, as a witness and an accuser."
The last day
Peculiar to John. See John 6:39.
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