John 7:18
He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
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(18) He that speaketh of himself.—Again the words repeat the thoughts of the earlier discourse. (See Notes on John 5:41-44.) They contrast His position and that of His hearers. Professional teachers, they sought glory one from another, and regarded their teaching as of themselves, the special honour of their caste. In the pride of their own knowledge they willed not the glory of God, and so had not the faculty to know and receive His teaching. He sought the will of Him that sent Him, and therefore was true, in harmony with the eternal will of God. The effect of the submission of His will to the Father’s, and His seeking in word and work the Father’s glory, was that there was no possibility of unrighteousness in Him. This emphasis laid upon truth and righteousness has reference to the charges which they are plotting against Him, and which have already been expressed in the murmuring of the multitude (John 7:12). The words are clearly to be explained with special reference to their position and His, but the general form of the expressions, “He that speaketh of himself . . .” “He that seeketh His glory . . .” show that this is not the exclusive reference. They, too, hold good of every man who speaketh of himself, and of every man who seeketh the glory of Him that sent Him.

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.That speaketh of himself - This does not mean about or concerning himself, but he that speaks by his own authority, without being sent by God, as mere human teachers do.

Seeketh his own glory - His own praise, or seeks for reputation and applause. This is the case with mere human teachers, and as Jesus in his discourses manifestly sought to honor God, they ought to have supposed that he was sent by him.

No unrighteousness - This word here means, evidently, there is no falsehood, no deception in him. He is not an impostor. It is used in the same sense in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. It is true that there was no unrighteousness, no sin in Jesus Christ, but that is not the truth taught here. It is that he was not an impostor, and the evidence of this was that he sought not his own glory, but the honor of God. This evidence was furnished:

1. in his retiring, unobtrusive disposition; in his not seeking the applause of people;

2. in his teaching such doctrines as tended to exalt God and humble man;

3. in his ascribing all glory and praise to God;

18. seeketh his own glory—(See on [1800]Joh 5:41-44). Here our Saviour giveth them another note, by which they might know that his doctrine was of God, because he spake not of himself, nor sought his own glory in what he delivered. No man doth an action of and from himself, but he maketh himself the end of his action; for to what purpose should a man devise and broach new notions, but for some selfish advantage, that he may get some profit, or some honour and applause from men? But if a man acts as servant to another, and seeketh only the honour and applause of another, he is true, and cannot be presumed to have spoken of and from himself, but of and from him whose honour and glory he seeketh to advance; and in reason ought to be judged sincere and faithful in the execution of the trust committed to him, and to be without fraud and deceit, having no unrighteousness in him; there being no just cause to be presumed which should move him to speak any thing that is false. Hence also may be learned a good rule or direction, which divines ordinarily make use of to help us to judge of the truth of doctrines. Those doctrines which most tend to the advancing the honour and glory of God, and least to the advancement of the creature, those are most likely to be of God. And this also much tendeth to confirm the reputation of holy writ, and the penmen of it; for it is manifest that the penmen of it sought not their own glory in their writings, but the honour and glory of God, taking all shame to themselves.

He that speaketh of himself,..... What he himself has devised, and is a scheme of his own; for which he has no divine warrant and commission:

seeketh his own glory; honour and applause from men; as did the Scribes and Pharisees, who taught for doctrines the commandments of men, the traditions of the elders, their own glosses upon the law, and their own decisions and determinations: and as did the false teachers, who had nothing else in view but themselves, their worldly interest, or vain glory; these suited their doctrines to the minds and lusts of men, in order to gain their point:

but he that seeketh his glory that sent him; that gave him in commission what he should say and speak, and his only; as did Christ, and so his apostles after him:

the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him; he is an upright and faithful man, and what he says is truth; he brings true doctrine along with him, and there is no fraud or imposture in him; nor any insincerity "in his heart", as the Syriac and Persic versions render it; nor any dishonesty in his conduct; he is no cheat or deceiver; was he, he would seek his own glory and interest; but as he appears to be a man of no design, his doctrine is to be depended on and received; and such was Christ.

{6} He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

(6) The true doctrine of salvation differs from the false in this, that the true doctrine sets forth the glory of God, and the false doctrine by puffing up men, dishonouring the glory of God.

John 7:18. Here is the characteristic proof and token, given almost in syllogistic form, that He spoke not of Himself.

τὴν δόξ. τ. ἰδ. ζητ.] that is, among others. Comp. John 5:41.

ὁ δὲ ζητῶν, κ.τ.λ.] minor premiss and (οὗτος, κ.τ.λ.) conclusion, in which, instead of the negative, “He speaks not of Himself,” we have the positive, “the same is true,” etc. But this positive conclusion is logically correct, both in itself, because ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ λαλεῖν is throughout the context regarded as something untrue and immoral (Grotius: “sua cogitata proferens, cum Dei mandatum prae se ferat”), and with reference to the hierarchy, and some of the people, who took Jesus to be a deceiver. Observe further, that ὁ δὲ ζητῶν, κ.τ.λ., is in the form of a general proposition, corresponding with the opposite proposition, ὁ ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ λαλῶν, κ.τ.λ.; but it is derived exclusively from the relation of Jesus, and is descriptive therefore of no other than He.

ἀδικία] improbitas, immorality of nature, a stronger antithesis to ἀληθής than ψεῦδος, for which τινὲς in Euthymius Zigabenus, Grotius, Bengel, B. Crusius, Maier, and many take it,—a view which cannot be justified by the inexact LXX. translation of Job 36:4 (Psalm 52:4; Theod. Micah 6:12). Ἀδικία is the inner (ἐν αὐτῷ) moral basis of the ψεῦδος. For the contrast between ἀλήθεια and ἀδικία, see Romans 1:18; Romans 2:8; 1 Corinthians 13:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:12; see also on John 8:46. An allusion to the charge of breaking the Sabbath (Godet) is not indicated, and anticipates what follows, John 7:21.

John 7:18. There are also two different kinds of teachers: the one ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ λαλῶν, speaks his own mind, teaches his own ideas, does not represent God and reveal His mind; because he τὴν δόξαν τὴν ἰδίαν ζητεῖ, “seeks his own glory,” which of course cannot be reached by representing himself to be merely the herald of another’s glory. The other style of teacher is described in the words ὁ δὲ ζητῶνἔστιν. Plainly He who seeks the glory of Him whose ambassador He is, has no interest in falsifying matters to advance His own interests. If His aim is to advance the glory of Him who has sent Him, He will truthfully deliver His message; ἀληθής ἐστι, καὶ ἀδικία … and injustice, dishonesty, is not in Him. The application of this general principle to Jesus was obvious.

18. Proof almost in the form of a syllogism that He does not speak of Himself. It applies to Christ alone. Human teachers who seek God’s glory are not thereby secured from erroneous teaching. These verses (16–18) remind us, and might remind some of His hearers of an earlier discourse delivered in Jerusalem some seven months before: comp. John 5:19; John 5:30; John 5:37; John 5:44.

the same is true] and therefore does not speak of himself, for whoever speaks what comes from himself is not true.

no unrighteousness is in him] Or, unrighteousness is not in him. S. John does not say ‘falsehood’ as we might expect, but uses a wider word which points out the moral root of the falsehood. Comp. John 8:46. Throughout S. John’s writings the connexion between truth and righteousness, falsehood and unrighteousness is often brought before us. Hence his peculiar phrases ‘to do the truth’ (1 John 1:6), ‘to do a lie’ (Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15).

There is no need to suppose that anything is omitted between 18 and 19, though the transition is abrupt. Christ has answered them and now takes the offensive. He exposes the real meaning of their cavillings; they seek His life.

John 7:18. ) Most sure characteristics. A syllogism; He who speaks of himself, seeketh his own glory, being untrue and unrighteous; but Jesus doth not seek His own glory, but truly the glory of the Father, by whom He was sent. Therefore Jesus doth not speak of Himself, but is true and worthy of belief.—τὴν δόξαν τοῦ πέμψαντος, the glory of Him, who sent) Two things are here included; that He was sent; and that He seeks the glory of Him, who sent Him. The latter is the test of the former.—οὗτος) he, and he only.—ἀληθής) true, and to be esteemed as true.—ἀδικία, unrighteousness) falsehood; comp. John 7:24 [Judge righteous judgment], true, righteous.

Verse 18. - The following sentence is perfectly general and applicable to all teachers of Divine truth, though it only reaches its highest expression in Christ himself. But while it has numerous applications, its first use is to ratify the previous statements, and prepare the way for what is to follow. He that speaketh from himself. This was an act which he, in his own case, disclaimed. The "himself" was here the personality which then was in question as a human Teacher. He that speaketh from himself as the Source of all his instructions. He who would take the credit of being the primal Cause and Orion of the message which he delivers is a man who seeketh his own glory, his own reputation, at the expense of those who instructed him. The Jewish schoolmen were most anxious at all times to found their instructions on Rabbi "This," or "That," who had himself quoted from some more ancient father of their erudition. A man who should presume to teach in his own name would be one who was manifestly not seeking any higher end than his own glory. Ambition of personal glory and renown is the very thing the absence of which the multitude condemned in Christ's case. The brethren of Jesus had tauuted him with the lack of bold self assertion. Our Lord's own position just taken was that his teaching was not self-originated, but was the teaching or message "of him that sent him." But whoso (he added) seeketh the glory of him that sent him, whether the sender be a mortal man and earthly teacher, or be the Lord God of the whole world, i.e. "whoso loses his own individual purpose in the will of God, and is content to be nothing so that God may be glorified," this person (οῦτος) is true, trustworthy; his message is not perverted by any of the contaminating influences of the self-hood, or flesh, and there is no unrighteousness (a)diki/a is a stronger antithesis to ἀληθής than ψεῦδος is. It is the moral basis out of which falsehood springs) - no unrighteousness in him. The sentence is general, but has its prime application to Christ's own ease. It is a reply to the charge that "he deceiveth the people." It is a further challenge to those who are willing to do the will of God. It is a summons to proceed a step further, and recognize the fact that the glory of God, and not his own glory, was the sole end of his teaching, and that the direct command from him that sent him formed the substance of his doctrine, however much it might clash with their preconceived ideas or dominant prejudices. John 7:18His own glory (τὴν δόξαν τὴν ἰδίαν)

Literally, the glow which is His own; the second article throwing His own into sharp contrast with His that sent Him. On His own, see on Acts 1:7; see on Matthew 22:5; see on Matthew 25:15.

The same (οὖτος)

Notice the characteristic use of the pronoun taking up and emphasizing the principal subject of the sentence.

Unrighteousness (ἀδικία)

See on 2 Peter 2:13.

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