John 8:19
Then said they to him, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, You neither know me, nor my Father: if you had known me, you should have known my Father also.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father?—The words seem to be asked in scorn. “You speak of two witnesses. We accept you as one. Where is the other? He should be present before us if his evidence is to be accepted.” They must have known well from the earlier discourse that He claimed God as His Father, and the recurring phrase, “the Father that sent Me,” must have now made this clear. We are not to read in these words, then, any reference to a father in the flesh, though this interpretation is that of many ancient and modern expositors. The question, moreover, is not, “Who is Thy Father?” but “Where is Thy Father?” The question is asked in another spirit in John 14:8.

It may be that to their scorn is added the desire to draw from Him express words on which to base an accusation. They perhaps expect an answer such as “My Father who is in heaven.” (Comp. the direct question in John 10:24, and the adjuration of the high priest, Matthew 27:64.) But the time has not yet come. His answer contains no words which they could lay hold of as a technical ground for blasphemy.

Ye neither know me, nor my Father.—He traces their ignorance of the Father to its true cause, i.e., to their neglect of the only means by which God could be known. This thought has met us already in John 1:18 (see Note there), and will meet us again in John 14:9; John 16:3. Here the Pharisees think they know Him, and ask “Where is Thy Father?” The answer is. that if they really knew the witness of one, they would know the witness of both.

8:17-20 If we knew Christ better, we should know the Father better. Those become vain in their imaginations concerning God, who will not learn of Christ. Those who know not his glory and grace, know not the Father that sent him. The time of our departure out of the world, depends upon God. Our enemies cannot hasten it any sooner, nor can our friends delay it any longer, than the time appointed of the Father. Every true believer can look up and say with pleasure, My times are in thy hand, and better there than in my own. To all God's purposes there is a time.Where is thy Father? - This question was asked, doubtless, in derision. Jesus had often given them to understand that by his Father he meant God, John 5:6; They professed to be ignorant of this, and probably looked round in contempt for his Father, that he might adduce him as a witness in the case.

If ye had known me ... - If you had listened to my instructions, and had received me as the Messiah, you would also, at the same time, have been acquainted with God. We may here observe,

1. The manner in which Jesus answered them. He gave no heed to their cavil; he was not irritated by their contempt; he preserved his dignity, and gave them an answer worthy of the Son of God.

2. We should meet the cavils and sneers of sinners in the same manner. We should not render railing for railing, but "in meekness instruct those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth," 2 Timothy 2:25.

3. The way to know God is to know Jesus Christ. "No man hath seen God at any time. The only-begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him," John 1:18. No sinner can have just views of God but in Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 4:6.

16. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true, &c.—Ye not only form your carnal and warped judgments of Me, but are bent on carrying them into effect; I, though I form and utter My judgment of you, am not here to carry this into execution—that is reserved to a future day; yet the judgment I now pronounce and the witness I now bear is not Mine only as ye suppose, but His also that sent Me. (See on [1806]Joh 5:31, 32). And these are the two witnesses to any fact which your law requires. Thou talkest much of thy Father, where is he? We know no father which thou hast but the carpenter, Joseph; we do not look upon him as so credible a witness in the case, as to take his testimony in such a matter as this is. Christ tells them, that the reason why they did not know the Father, was because they did not know and acknowledge, receive and believe him; for if they had received and believed him, they would not then have been at such a loss to have known where his Father was, or who he was. The eternal Father is not to be known but in, and by, and through the Son. Then said they unto him, where is thy Father?.... The Persic version adds, "show him unto us": produce this witness boasted of, let us see him; this they said in a sneering, taunting, and insulting manner; where is thy Father? what! he is in Galilee; fetch him from thence; it is Joseph the carpenter you mean; a goodly witness indeed!

Jesus answered, ye neither know me nor my Father; if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; they did not know the divine original of Christ, that he was the Son of God, and that God was his Father; they greatly boasted of their knowledge of God, but they knew him not; their ignorance of Christ showed it: the knowledge of both go together, and which is life eternal; nor can any truly know the one, without the other: and where the one is known, the other will be also; Christ is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person: so that he that has seen the one, must know the other; and indeed, no one can know the Father, but he to whom the Son reveals him: this was a severe mortification to these men of knowledge.

{6} Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

(6) No man can know God except in Christ alone.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 8:19. The question of the Pharisees, who only pretend not to understand what Jesus means by the words ὁ πέμψας με πατήρ, between which and John 8:27 there is no inconsistency, is frivolous mockery. “Where is, then, this second witness, thy Father?” He has no actual existence! He ought, surely, to be here on the spot, if, as thou hast said, He were a witness with thee on thy behalf! To regard their question as the expression of a veritable material apprehension on their part, that He referred to a physical father (Augustine, Bede, and several; also De Wette, Olshausen, Brückner, and, doubtfully, Lücke), some also having found in it a blasphemous allusion to bastardy (Cyril, Ammon), is irreconcilable with the circumstance that Jesus had already so frequently and unmistakeably pointed to God as His Father; the questioners themselves also betray their dissimulation by the word ποῦ; they do not ask τίς. Totally different is the relation of the question put by Philip in John 14:8.

The reply of Jesus unveils to them with clear composure whence it arose that they put so wicked a question. To take the words οὔτε ἐμὲ as far as μου as a question is less appropriate (Ewald), as it is scarcely likely that Jesus was taken by surprise. Εἰ ἐμὲ ᾔδειτε, etc., rest on the fact that the Father reveals Himself in Him. Comp. John 14:9, John 16:3.19. Then said they] They said therefore.

Where is thy Father?] They do not ask ‘who’ but ‘where;’ they know well enough by this time the meaning of Christ’s frequent reference to ‘Him that sent me:’ John 5:23-24; John 5:30; John 5:37-38, John 6:38-40; John 6:44, John 7:16; John 7:18; John 7:28; John 7:33. They ask, therefore, in mockery, what Philip (John 14:8) asks with earnest longing, ‘Shew us the Father: we see one of Thy two witnesses; shew us the other.’

if ye had known me, &c.] Better, If ye knew Me, ye would know, &c. (There is a similar error John 5:46). It is in the Son that the Father reveals Himself. Comp. John 14:9, John 16:3; and for the construction comp. John 8:42.John 8:19. [221] ΠΟῦ, where) They ask, where, in order that they may know whence Jesus has come, having been sent by the Father.—οὔτε ἐμέ, neither Me) Jesus does not at once answer directly to the Jews’ interrogatory, where is Thy Father? but follows up the line of discourse He began, and at the same time, however, prepares the way for making a reply. For He shows the perversity of their interrogation, and teaches them, that they must first know the Son, whom they see and hear in the flesh, if they wish to know the Father. For when the Son is known, the Father is known: comp. John 8:16, “I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me;” John 8:18, “I am one that bear witness, and the Father that sent Me beareth witness of Me,” wherein the Son is named before the Father. Add Matthew 11:27, “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him;” and below, ch. John 14:9, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father: and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?” He shows plainly where the Father is, at John 8:23, “I am from above.” And also in this passage, when asked as to the Father, He answers as to Himself; presently after, in turn, when asked Himself, He answers as to the Father; John 8:25; John 8:27, “They said, Who art Thou? Jesus saith—Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning;—they understood not that He spake to them of the Father;” because Himself and the Father are one.—καί, also) Comp. ch. 14. [John 8:7] “If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also; and from henceforth ye both know Him and have seen Him.”—ᾔδειτε ἄν, ye should have known) So that there should be no need for you to inquire, where He is. This passage contains a most clear testimony concerning the unity of the Father and of the Son: wherefore at John 8:20 [27?] it is described as something wonderful, that they did not understand Jesus.

[221] Ver. 18, καί, and) Here the two that bear witness are mentioned expressly: there is to be added the testimony of a third, the Holy Spirit.—V. g.Verse 19. - They said to him, in angry, wilful irony, Where is thy Father? - that he may bear to thee the witness which thou art appropriating. "Thou hast freed thyself from the charge of bearing unsupported testimony to thyself, by assuming the coordinate testimony of thy Father? Let thy Father manifest himself!" There is no need to explain this of the absence or insignificance of the earthly father of Jesus, or to suppose that they looked for some human attestation of such a kind (Augustine, Lange). They rather scoffed at his claim of unique relation to the Father, and asked with mockery," Where is he?" not "Who or what is he?" What proof has he given of any special relation to thee? Jesus answered this taunt with sublime patience and pity, with distress at the resolute and judicial blindness they were fastening upon themselves: Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye knew me, ye would know my Father also. Another stupendous utterance, implying the most intimate relation between his own personality and the Father's. Any fair or adequate knowledge of himself must reveal to them that he is in the Father and the Father in him; must bring forth to their consciences the overshadowing presence, the Divine glory. "You are wrapping yourself in impenetrable mists; you are refusing the light of life, and all the evidence given to you that I am the Light of the world. You do not see less recondite truths, nor perceive ideas far more elementary still; you cannot, in your spiritual blindness, apprehend the outline of my human character. If you had done this, you would have known my Father at least enough to prevent the utterance of so crude and disheartening a query. You know me not: why should I talk to you? All this ministry of mine has left me, so far as you Pharisees are concerned, perfectly unknown." There is awful severity and unutterable pathos in these closing words of the discourse. Where

The testimony of an unseen and unheard witness would not satisfy them.

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