Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, you may believe that I am he.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Now I tell you before it come.—The marginal rendering is to be preferred. (Comp. John 1:51; John 14:7.)
Ye may believe that I am he.—Comp. Note on John 8:24; John 14:29. The result of His henceforth declaring these things unto them before the events, will be that they will find confirmation of their faith in Him as the Messiah. Had He not then declared His knowledge of all, and traced even His choice of Judas to the will of God, there would have been room for doubt whether that choice was consistent with His being the Messiah.
that when it is come to pass; and they had seen it fulfilled exactly to a tittle, and according to this Scripture:
ye may believe that I am he: the Lord God omniscient, who knows and declares things before they come to pass, just as they do come to pass, which none but the eternal God can do; and that he was the Saviour and Redeemer, the Messiah spoken of and promised, the very person prophesied of, in Psalm 41. For that whole "psalm" is applicable to Jesus Christ, the true Messiah; in Psalm 41:1, the happiness of such is declared, who "consider the poor"; the Messiah, in his low estate of humiliation, who became poor for the sake of his people; in Psalm 41:5, his enemies are represented as wishing for his death; their hypocrisy, perfidy, and vile designs upon his life, are aptly described in Psalm 41:6, which they executed by suborning false witnesses, bringing a wrong charge, , "a wicked accusation against him", Psalm 41:8, which succeeded, to the taking away of his life; and then they are introduced as triumphing over him, lying dead in the grave, whom they believed would never rise more; but in this they were mistaken, for he was raised up again; for which he prays, Psalm 41:10, that he might requite them, as he did, by destroying their city, temple, and nation; and the whole is concluded with thankfulness to God, for raising and exalting him, and setting him before his face for ever, Psalm 41:11. There is but one passage in it, which has any difficulty in applying it to Christ, and that is, Psalm 41:4, where he is spoken of as having sinned against the Lord; but the words may be rendered thus, "heal my soul", i.e. deliver me out of my sorrows and afflictions, , "because I have made an offering for sin unto thee"; and well agrees with Christ, who was to make, and has made his soul an offering for sin.Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 13:19. This grave announcement was made at this point and not previously, ἀπʼ ἄρτι, “from henceforth” (as if the knowledge resulting from the announcement rather than the announcement itself were dictating the expression) “I tell you before it happens, that when it has happened you may know that I am He,” i.e., the Messiah in whom these predictions were destined to be fulfilled.19. Now] Better, as the margin, From henceforth (comp. John 1:51, John 14:7; Revelation 14:13). Hitherto Christ had been reserved about the presence of a traitor; to point him out would have been to make him desperate and deprive him of a chance of recovery. But every good influence has failed, even the Eucharist and the washing of his feet; and from this time onward Christ tells the other Apostles.
before it come] Add to pass, as in the next clause. Comp. John 14:29. The success of such treachery might have shaken their faith had it taken them unawares: by foretelling it He turns it into an aid to faith.
may believe that I am he] See on John 8:24; John 8:28; John 8:58.John 13:19. Ἀπʼ ἄρτι) from this time [Now, Engl. Vers.]; for He presently after again says it, and more expressly, John 13:21, “One of you shall betray Me.”—πρὸ τοῦ γένεσθαι, before that it happens) ch John 14:29, “Now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe.”—ἵνα, that) This has the same scope as ch. John 14:29; John 16:4, “These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.”—πιστεύσητε, ye may believe) This is a great criterion of truth, the correspondence of the event to the prophecy.Verse 19. - I tell you from henceforth - ἀπ' ἄρτι of Matthew 26:64 corresponds with Luke 22:69, ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν; the word also implies that our Lord would again recur to the subject. This is the true meaning of ἀπάρτι in the New Testament (John 1:52; 14:7; Matthew 23:39 - before it come to pass, that ye may believe when it is come to pass, that I am; i.e. I am what I have said, none the less, but all the more, the Son of God (cf. Isaiah 43:11-13; John 8:24, 28, 58). It is more than the words will bear to make the ἐγώ εϊμι, the equivalent of a Divine claim to equality with Jehovah; but "all that I have said of myself, and all you have admitted to be true." It is not a promise of continual prevision of events, but a startling proof that in this case our Lord had completely fathomed the mind of Judas, and was communicative of what he saw there to the rest of the disciples, so that when the tragedy should be consummated, this peculiarity, instead of shaking their faith in him, will prove that he was taken by no surprise, and throughout his great career was what he said he was.
I am he (ἐγώ εἰμι)
Or, I am. See on John 8:24.
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