John 5:45
Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom you trust.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(45) Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father.—His words were words of direct accusation, which must have cut to the very quick. He had come from the Father, and it might have seemed to follow from what He said, that He would accuse them to the Father. He guards against this misinterpretation. Love cannot accuse; He cannot be an accuser. He is ever a judge, only because love must judge hatred, and light must judge darkness, by revealing it. (Comp. Note on John 3:19.) And yet the very revelation of love and light condemns hatred and darkness. The heart, then, needs no accuser, for it accuses itself; it needs no sentence, for it condemns itself. There is no penalty so fearful as that of the soul which is awakened to its own sin, and cannot itself forgive that sin, and, therefore, cannot receive the forgiveness of the Infinite Love, which always forgives. Their accusation was their rejection of light and love in the past, and Moses was their accuser. This is the thought of the following verses.

John 5:45. Do not think that I only will accuse you to the Father — Our Lord proceeds to caution them against supposing, “that in rejecting him they sinned against no person but him, and that he alone would accuse them to the Father for their infidelity; for that Moses, in whose laws they trusted to have salvation, was likewise dishonoured by it, inasmuch as he wrote of him, namely, under the names of the Seed of Abraham; Shiloh; and a Prophet like to himself whom God would raise up unto them from among their brethren, and whom he commanded them to hear. Wherefore, seeing they refused to believe in him, Moses would accuse them as guilty of disbelieving his writings.” “This,” says Dr. Doddridge, “is one of the most expressive passages that can be imagined, in which Moses, their great lawgiver, is represented as looking down with indignation upon these elders, who gloried in being the most distinguished of his disciples; and seeing how injuriously they treated Jesus, the great Prophet, turning himself to God with a severe accusation against them, and urging his own predictions as an aggravation of their inexcusable infidelity.” For had ye believed Moses — Had ye believed his writings, which are daily read in your synagogues; you would have believed me — For these writings describe me not by types and figures only, but by particular and direct prophecies. See the margin. But if ye believe not his writings — Which it is plain from your conduct that you do not, though they are daily in your hands, and you strenuously assert their divine authority; how shall ye believe my words — I have no reason to be surprised that you do not credit me upon my own testimony. Thus Jesus asserted his own personal dignity, as the Son of God and Judge of the world, at the same time that he proposed the evidences of his mission from God with such strength of reason, perspicuity, and brevity, as are unequalled. 5:45-47 Many trust in some form of doctrines or some parties, who no more enter into the real meaning of those doctrines, or the views of the persons whose names they bear, than the Jews did into those of Moses. Let us search and pray over the Scriptures, as intent on finding eternal life; let us observe how Christ is the great subject of them, and daily apply to him for the life he bestows.Do not think that I will accuse you - Do not suppose that I intend to follow your example. They had accused Jesus of breaking the law of God, John 5:16. He says that he will not imitate their example, though he implies that he might accuse them.

To the Father - To God.

There is one that accuseth you - Moses might be said to accuse or reprove them. He wrote of the Messiah, clearly foretold his coming, and commanded them to hear him. As they did not do it, it might be said that they had disregarded his command; and as Moses was divinely commissioned and had a right to be obeyed, so his command reproved them: they were disobedient and rebellious.

He wrote of me - He wrote of the Messiah, and I am the Messiah, Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12:3; compare John 8:56; Genesis 49:10; Deuteronomy 18:15.

45. Do not think I will accuse you to the Father—"My errand hither is not to collect evidence to condemn you at God's bar."

one that accuseth you, even Moses, &c.—"Alas! that will be too well done by another, and him the object of all your religious boastings—Moses," here put for "the Law," the basis of the Old Testament Scriptures.

There will be no need of my accusing you, you will need no other accuser than that Moses for whom you have so great a reverence, and for whose sake you contemn me. John 9:28,29, they said, We are Moses’s disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. This Moses (saith our Saviour) will accuse you unto the Father. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father,.... To God the Father, as the Ethiopic version reads. The Syriac and Persic versions read by way of interrogation, "do ye think that I will?" &c. Christ is no accuser of men; no, not of the worst of men; see John 8:10; he came not into the world to bring charges against men and condemn them, but to save them; to be an accuser is not agreeable to his characters of a Surety, a Saviour, an Advocate, and Judge: there were enough to accuse these persons of; as their perverseness and stubbornness, in not coming to Christ for life; their want of love to God; their rejection of him, though he came in his Father's name; their reception of another, that should come in his own name; their taking honour one of another, and not seeking the true spiritual and eternal honour, which God gives; but though he hints these things to them, he would not have them think that he accused them of them to the Father: the Jews have a notion, that when the Messiah comes, there will be accusations lodged against their doctors and wise men (t).

"R. Zeira says, that R. Jeremiah bar Aba said, that in the generation in which the son of David shall come, there will be , "accusations against the disciples of the wise men".''

And one of their writers (u) thus interprets, Daniel 12:1,

"and at that time "shall Michael stand up"; he shall be as silent as a dumb man, when he shall see the holy blessed God contending with him, and saying, how shall I destroy a nation so great as this, for the sake of Israel? "and there shall be a time of trouble" in the family above, and there shall be "accusations" against the disciples of the wise men.''

However, there was no need for Christ to accuse them; for as it follows,

there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust; by whom is meant, not Moses personally; for when on earth, he was a mediator between God and the people of Israel, and an intercessor for them; and since he has been in heaven, as the dead know not any thing, he knew nothing of their affairs; and when he was on the mount with Christ, his discourse with him turned upon another subject: but either the writings of Moses, as in Luke 16:29; or the doctrine of Moses, as 1 Corinthians 10:2; or rather the law of Moses, Matthew 22:24. And in this the Jews trusted; they rested in it, and made their boast of it; and expected eternal life and salvation on account of their having it, and through their hearing it read every sabbath day, and by their obedience to it: and now sin being a transgression of the law, this same law brings charges against them, and accuses them of the breach of the several precepts of it, and pronounces them guilty before God; it curses and passes a sentence of condemnation on them, and according to it, will they perish eternally, without an interest in Christ; for their own righteousness by the law of works, will be of no avail to them; the law in which they trust for life, will rise up in judgment, and be a swift witness against them: so the Jews sometimes speak of the law, as witnessing against the people of Israel (w).

(t) T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 112. 2.((u) Jarchi in Daniel 12.1. Vid. Abkath Rocel, par. 2. p. 265. (w) Prefat. Echa Rabbati, fol. 40. 1.

{s} Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

(s) This denial does not set aside that which is said here, but corrects it, as if Christ said, the most severe accuser the Jews will have is Moses, not him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 5:45-47. In concluding, Jesus sweeps away from under their feet the entire ground and foundation upon which they based their hope, by representing Moses, their supposed saviour, as really their accuser, seeing that their unbelief implied unbelief in Moses, and this latter unbelief made it impossible for them to believe in Jesus. This last completely annihilating stroke at the unbelievers is not only in itself, but also in its implied reference to the cause of the hostility of the Jews (John 5:15), “maxime aptus ad conclusionem,” Bengel.

μὴ δοκεῖτε] as you might perhaps believe from my previous denunciation.

κατηγορήσω] not of the final judgment (Ewald and early writers), where certainly Christ is Judge; but in general, Jesus, by virtue of His permanent intercourse with the Father, might at any time have accused them before Him.

ἔστιν ὁ κατηγ. ὑμ.] The emphatic ἔστιν: there exists your accuser Moses—he as the representative of the law (not of the whole of the O. T., as Ewald thinks); therefore not again the future, but the present participle used as a substantive, expressing continuous accusation.

ὑμεῖς] has tragic emphasis.

ἠλπίκατε] ye have set your hope, and do hope; comp. John 3:18, and see on 2 Corinthians 1:10. As a reward for their zeal for the law, and their obedience (Romans 2:17 ff; Romans 9:31 f.), the Jews hoped for the salvation of the Messianic kingdom, towards the attainment of which Moses was accordingly their patron and mediator.John 5:45. μὴ δοκεῖτε … These words bear in them the mark of truth. They spring from Jesus’ own consciousness of His intimacy with the Father. To suppose that the Jews feared He would accuse them, is to suppose that they believed Him to have influence with God. Chiefly in view is the fact that Moses will accuse them. They thought they were defending Moses’ law in accusing Christ for Sabbath-breaking: but, on the contrary, they were themselves open to the accusation of Moses; εἰς ὅν ὑμεῖς ἠλπίκατε, in Vulgate “Moyses in quo vos speratis”.45. Do not think] As you might be disposed to do after hearing these reproaches.

that I will accuse you] If this refers to the day of judgment (and the future tense seems to point to that), there are two reasons why Christ will not act as accuser (1) because it would be needless; there is another accuser ready; (2) because He will be acting as Judge.

there is one] Your accuser exists already; he is there with his charge. Note the change from future to present: Christ will not be, because Moses is, their accuser.

in whom ye trust] Literally, on whom ye have set your hope.

45–47. Do not appeal to Moses; his writings condemn you.

Thus the whole basis of their confidence is cut away. Moses on whom they trust as a defender is their accuser.John 5:45. Μὴ δοκεῖτε, do not think) A new argument against the unbelief of the Jews, and one most suitable to establish His conclusion.—ἐγώ, I) in particular and only, just as if Moses were on your side. I am a reconciler [not one come to condemn].—ὑμῶν, you) who do not believe in Me.—Μωσῆς, Moses) i.e. the writings of Moses. Luke 16:29, [Abraham to the rich man] “They have Moses and the prophets” [i.e. their writings]; 2 Corinthians 3:15, “When Moses is read.”—εἰς ὃν ὑμεῖς ἠλπίκατε, in whom ye have placed your trust) John 5:39.Verse 45. - Think not, he added, with one concluding and sweeping exposition of their relation to the old covenant and to himself - Think not, as ye might be disposed to do, that I will accuse you to (before; see Syriac k'dom) the Father (not referring to the judgment day, where he will appear as Judge, but now), as One in intimate and awful relation with the Father, or as One whose words have set up a standard which is much loftier or severer than that which you are prepared to allow. He has charged them already with having missed the deepest teaching of their own Scriptures, with fastening on the letter rather than on the spirit of the Divine Word; that, though the prima article of t heir creed was the doctrine of "the only God," they had no love of God, no appreciation of God as the only Source of worthy glory, and therefore neither faith nor knowledge. They were snapping up worthless pretenders, and drinking the flattery of men rather than the approval of God. They were blind to the glory and deaf to the voice of the Father, and so would not come to him for life. These sad facts need not be, will not be, pressed against them, seeing that there is a primary accusation already laid. He that (or, there is one that) accuseth you, Moses, on whom ye have set your hope (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:10); Moses himself, in that very Law which you are now making the ground of the rejection of my claims - Moses is your accuser; Moses appears against you. "This," says Lange, "is the last and mightiest stroke." "Elenchus maxime aptus ad conclusionem" (Bengel); i.e. "The spirit of Moses is my vindication, the teaching of Moses is typical of mine, the institutions of Moses were symbolic of my coming and work. The predictions of Moses pointed out my coming. The mighty words of Moses will not save you, unless you penetrate to their inner meaning." I will accuse (κατηγορήσω)

From κατά, against, and ἀγορεύω, to speak in the assembly (ἀγορά). Hence, properly, to bring an accusation in court. John uses no other verb for accuse, and this only here, John 8:6, and Revelation 12:10. Once in the New Testament διαβάλλω occurs (Luke 16:1, on which see note), signifying malicious accusation, and secret, as distinguished from public, accusation (κατηγορία). Αἰτιάομαι occurs once in the compound προῃτιασάμεθα, we before laid to the charge (Romans 3:9). This has reference especially to the ground of accusation (αἰτία). Ἑγκαλέω occurs only in Acts, with the exception of Romans 8:33. It means to accuse publicly, but not necessarily before a tribunal. See Acts 23:28, Acts 23:29; Acts 26:2, Acts 26:7.

In whom ye trust (εἰσ ̔̀ον ὑμεῖς ἠλπίκατε)

A strong expression. Literally, into whom ye have hoped. Rev., admirably, on whom ye have set your hope.

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