John 18:8
Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
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(8) If therefore ye seek me, let these go their way.—It may be that some of the Roman cohort, not knowing Jesus, were already laying hands on the disciples. In any case, they are exposed to this danger, and the Good Shepherd, who Himself goes forth to meet the danger, will shield the flock from it.

18:1-12 Sin began in the garden of Eden, there the curse was pronounced, there the Redeemer was promised; and in a garden that promised Seed entered into conflict with the old serpent. Christ was buried also in a garden. Let us, when we walk in our gardens, take occasion from thence to mediate on Christ's sufferings in a garden. Our Lord Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and asked, Whom seek ye? When the people would have forced him to a crown, he withdrew, ch.Let these go their way - These apostles. This shows his care and love even in the hour of danger. He expected to die. They were to carry the news of his death to the ends of the earth. Hence he, the faithful Captain of salvation, went foremost into trials; he, the Good Shepherd, secured the safety of the flock, and went before them into danger. By the question which he asked those who came out against him, he had secured the safety of his apostles. He was answered that they sought for him. He demanded that, agreeably to their declaration, they should take him only, and leave his followers at liberty. The wisdom, caution, and prudence of Jesus forsook him in no peril, however sudden, and in no circumstances, however difficult or trying. 8. I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way—Wonderful self-possession, and consideration for others, in such circumstances! See Poole on "John 18:7"

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he,.... This he said, upbraiding them with their stupidity; signifying he was ready to deliver himself up into their hands; and which he did with intrepidity and calmness, only on this condition, with this proviso for his disciples;

if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: Christ was about to suffer for them, and therefore it was not just that they should suffer too; nor was it proper that they should suffer with him, lest their sufferings should be thought to be a part of the price of redemption. Besides, their suffering time was not come, and they had other work to do: this shows the love of Christ to his disciples, and his care of them, and also his power, and that he could have saved himself as well as them. Moreover, these words may be considered as an emblem and pledge of the acquittance and discharge of God's elect, through the suretyship engagements, and performances of Christ, who drew near to God on their account, substituted himself in their room, and undertook for them in the council and covenant of peace, and laid himself under obligation to pay their debts, to satisfy for their sins, to bring in an everlasting righteousness, to keep and preserve them in this world, and to make them happy in another. Accordingly, in the fulness of time he was made under the law, and stood in their place and stead, and was taken, suffered, died, and rose again. Now, as there was a discharge and acquittance of them from eternity, a non-imputation of sin to them, and a secret letting of them go upon the suretyship engagements of Christ, and in virtue thereof, a passing by, and over, the sins of the Old Testament saints so there was an open acquittance and discharge of them all upon the apprehension, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ; complete deliverance from wrath and condemnation being obtained, and a full title to eternal glory made. Moreover, these words may be considered not only and merely as spoken to the Jews, but as addressed to the law and justice of God; or however, as having some respect to them, while directed to the others; for justice finding the sins of all the elect upon Christ, on whom the Father had laid them, and Christ had took them upon himself, was seeking for, and about to demand satisfaction of him for them; and he being under the law, and coming into the world to fulfil it, in the room and stead of his people, was about to bear the curse of it; wherefore seeing this was the case, he insists upon it, that they who were convicted of the law as transgressors, and held under it as condemned criminals and malefactors, and who were liable, as considered in themselves, to be seized upon by the justice of God, and to have the sentence of condemnation and death executed upon them, might be discharged and let go; and accordingly, upon the satisfaction made by Christ, this is the case: Christ's people are no longer under the law, as a ministration of condemnation and death, nor liable to suffer the vindictive wrath of God; they are become free from the curses of a righteous law, and are let go by divine justice, and will never suffer the strokes of it, neither in this world nor in that to come; there is no demand to be made upon them, either by the law or justice of God; there is no wrath or punishment will be inflicted on them, either here or hereafter; and they may, and shall go their way into everlasting life, when time shall be no more with them, neither law nor justice having anything to say to the contrary.

{4} Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

(4) Christ does not neglect the office of a good pastor, not even in his greatest danger.

John 18:8-9. Jesus was apprehensive of the seizure at the same time of the disciples. That hands had already been laid on them (Bengel, B. Crusius, and several others), the text does not say. He should and would suffer alone.

ἵνα πληρ., κ.τ.λ.] Divinely-determined object of ἀπεκρίθη, in reference to the words εἰ οὖν, κ.τ.λ. John discovers in the saying, John 17:12 (the quoting of which, without verbal exactness, should be noted as an instance of the free mode of citation in the N. T.), a prophetic reference to the preservation of the disciples from their being also taken prisoners along with Him, so far, that is, as the Lord, in virtue of this protection, brought none of them into destruction, namely, by occasioning the apostasy into which many a one would have fallen had he also been taken prisoner. This prophetic reference (against Schweizer’s and Scholten’s severe judgment) is justified by the fact that Jesus, in John 17:12, delivers a closing avowal of His activity on the disciples’ behalf; consequently, that which is still further to be done on their behalf must be conformable to that saying, and appear as the fulfilment, as the actual completion of what was therein expressed.

8. I have told] Rather, I told.

let these] At first Jesus had gone forward (John 18:4) from His company, as Judas from his. Judas had fallen back on his followers while the disciples followed up and gathered round Christ. Thus the two bands confronted one another.

John 18:8. Ἀπεκρίθη, answered) Twice He says, I am [He]: if He had said it the third time, they would not have taken Him. He shall say it the third time hereafter.—τούτους, these) viz. the disciples; whom they were blindly attacking.

John 18:8These

The disciples.

Go their way (ὑπάγειν)


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