John 7:16
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.—The answer carries them once more to the words uttered by Him. (Comp. John 5:19; John 5:30.) Then he had again and again referred to the Father who sent Him (John 7:24; John 7:36-38), and claimed as His own work the doing of the Father’s will (John 7:30). In the Capernaum synagogue, in the hearing of some of these Jews, He had declared that all who were taught of God, and heard and learned the lesson, would come to Him (John 6:45). There is, then, no ground for their present wonder. The teaching which is His in relation to them, is not His of original source. He claims to be in His humanity as a messenger, carrying the message of Him that sent Him. He is the Word by whom the mind of God is spoken.

Doctrine represents a word which is frequently used in the Gospels, of our Lord, but only here and in the next verse by Him. It has acquired a definite and concrete meaning not found in the original, which is better rendered by teaching (comp., e.g., Mark 4:2).

7:14-24 Every faithful minister may humbly adopt Christ's words. His doctrine is not his own finding out, but is from God's word, through the teaching of his Spirit. And amidst the disputes which disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to do the will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God, or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate the truth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely it was as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore health to the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus told them to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual import of the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by their outward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts and graces of God's Spirit in them.My doctrine - My teaching, or what I teach. This is the proper meaning of the word "doctrine." It is what is taught us, and, as applied to religion, it is what is taught us by God in the Holy Scriptures.

Is not wine - It is not originated by me. Though I have not learned in your schools, yet you are not to infer that the doctrine which I teach is devised or invented by me. I teach nothing that is contrary to the will of God, and which he has not appointed me to teach.

His that sent me - God's. It is such as he approves, and such as he has commissioned me to teach. The doctrine is divine in its origin and in its nature.

16-18. doctrine … not mine, &c.—that is, from Myself unauthorized; I am here by commission. My doctrine is not mine, considering me as the Son of man; not taught, or to be taught, me by men; not learned out of books, or by the precepts of men; not invented by me; but it is mine as it is the doctrine of the Father that sent me, and I and my Father both are one, and agree in one, 1Jo 5:7,8; and being so, there was no such need that Christ should be learned, in their sense, viz. at the feet of their doctors, and in their schools. But enthusiasts vainly argue from hence, that there is no need of human learning for him who is to be a preacher of the gospel; for Christ was not mere man, but one in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. No such thing will follow from the prophesying of Amos, who was a herdsman, or the apostles, who were fishermen; much less from the preaching of Christ. We must distinguish betwixt an extraordinary and an ordinary calling. And though it be truth, that the ministers of the gospel preach doctrine which is not theirs, but his that sent them; yet it doth not follow, that they must come by the knowledge of this doctrine in the same manner that Christ did, who was in the bosom of the Father, and knew his will, and came from him to communicate it to the world; nor yet in the same manner that the prophets and the apostles came to the knowledge of it, as by Christ’s vocal instruction. So also by the influence of the Holy Spirit upon them in the days of Pentecost, which abode upon them.

Jesus answered them and said,.... Having heard them express their surprise, and state their objection:

my doctrine is not mine: it was his, as he was God; as such, he was the author of it, it was from him, by the revelation of him; and it was of him, or he was the subject of it, as Mediator; it respected his person as God-man, his offices, as prophet, priest, and King, and his grace, righteousness; and salvation; and it was his, as preached by him as man; it came by him, and first began to be spoken by him; and was so spoken by him, as it never was before, or since: but it was not human; it was not acquired by him, as man; he did not learn it of man; he needed no human teachings; he increased in wisdom without them, from his infancy: they said right, in saying he had never learned; the spirit of wisdom and knowledge rested on high, and the treasures of them were hid in him; nor was it a device or invention of his, as man; it was not from himself as such, but it was from heaven, from his Father: wherefore he adds,

but his that sent me; thereby intimating, that it was of God, and was communicated to him by his Father; from whom he received it, and from whom he had a commission to preach it; so that his doctrine was that wisdom which comes from above, and is pure and peaceable, divine and heavenly, and ought to be received by men.

{5} Jesus answered them, and said, {e} My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

(5) Therefore there are few to whom the gospel appeals, because the giving of serious attention to godliness is very rare.

(e) See above in Joh 5:22; and he speaks this in accordance with the opinion of the Jews, as if he said, My doctrine is not mine, that is, it is not the doctrine of myself, whom you consider to be just a mere man and therefore treat me lightly, but it is his that sent me.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 7:16. Jesus at once solves for them the riddle. “The contradictory relation: that of learning in the case of one who had been uninstructed, would be found in my teaching only if it were mine,” etc.

ἡ ἐμή and οὐκ ἐ. ἐμή are used in different senses: “the teaching which I give,” and “it is not my possession, but God’s;” how far, see John 7:17, comp. John 5:19; John 5:30.

τοῦ πέμψ. με] a carefully-chosen designation, because the Sender has communicated to His messenger, and continually communicates what He is to say in His name.[261]

οὐκἀλλά] here also not: non tam … quam, but simply excluding human individuality. Comp. John 8:28, John 14:24.

[261] Bengel (in Wächter in the Beitr. z. Beng. Schrifterklär. 1865, p. 125). “If we may speak after the manner of men, the heavenly Father gives him a collegium privatissimum, and that upon no author.” This relation, however, does not justify such onesided exaggerations as those of Delitzsch, Jesus u. Hillel, 1866.

John 7:16. But though not received from them, it was a derived teaching. He is not self-taught. Ἡ ἐμὴ διδαχὴμε. The teaching which I give has not its source in my knowledge but in Him that sent me. “Der Autodidakt in Wahrheit ein Theodidakt ist,” Holtzmann. The truest self-renunciation is the highest claim. That this claim was true He proceeds to show (1) from the conviction of every one who desired to do God’s will, John 7:17; and (2) from His own character, John 7:18.

16. My doctrine is not mine] ‘The teaching which I give does not originate with Me; that is the reason why I have no need to learn in the schools. He Who sent Me communicates it to Me.’

16–36. The remark made on the Jews’ question in John 7:15 applies also to their questions and comments throughout this dialogue. They are too exactly in keeping with what we know of the Jews in our Lord’s day to be the invention of a Greek more than a century later. They “are all exactly what we should expect from the popular mode of interpreting and applying the Messianic prophecies.” S. p. 146.

John 7:16. Οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμή, is not Mine) not acquired by any labour on My part in learning.—τοῦ πέμψαντός με, who sent Me) For this reason, saith He, that I should learn after the manner of men: The Father hath taught Me: ch. John 8:28, “As My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things.”

Verse 16. - Jesus therefore answered them and said, etc. He met this particular allegation as follows: My teaching is not mine. The "my" refers to the teaching itself, the "mine" to the ultimate authority on which it rests. I am not a self-taught Man, as though out of the depths of my own independent human consciousness I span it. I do not mean you to suppose that my mere human experience is the sole source of my instructions (ch. 5:31). If you have sat at the feet of those who taught you, I, too, am a Representative of another; but (the ἀλλά after οὐκ is not equivalent to tam...quam. It introduces here the absolute source of all his teaching) it is the teaching of him who sent me. I have not learned in your schools, but am uttering the thoughts that come from an infinitely deeper source. "He who sent me" gave them to me. I have been in intimate communion with HIM. All that I say is Divine thought. I have drawn it all from the Lord of all. I came from him, and represent to you the will of God. This is a lofty prophetic claim, more urgent, more complete, than that made by Moses or Isaiah. Special messages, oracles, and burdens were delivered by the prophets with a "Thus saith the Lord." But Jesus says his thoughts are God's thoughts, his ways God's ways, his teachings not his own, but altogether those of him who sent him. John 7:16Doctrine (διδαχὴ)

Better, teaching, as Rev. Doctrine has acquired a conventional sense which might mislead.

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