John 8:29
And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
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(29) The Father hath not left me alone.—The Greek words mean exactly, the Father (or, as the better MSS. read, without change of meaning, He) left Me not alone, and they are sometimes taken to refer to the time of His mission into the world. The context rather points to their application to every moment of life. He was ever conscious of a Presence which they knew not of, but which the future should reveal to them. We shall find Him resting in this consciousness again when He looks on to the dark hour when the disciples shall be scattered every man to his own, and He shall be left as men would think alone. (Comp. Note on John 16:32.)

For Ι do always those things that please him.—It would be less ambiguous to read, because I do always . . . The words furnish the reason for the presence of the Father in every act and moment of His life. All things done by Him at all times were in accordance with the Father’s will. In His human nature perpetual communion is conditioned by perpetual obedience. The same thought recurs in His words to the disciples in John 15:10. Comp. also, on the relation of the Son to the Father, Note on John 5:19.

Emphasis should be laid here upon the pronoun, “for I do always.” It was true of His human nature, as distinct from all others, that no act, at any moment of life, had cast its shadow on the brightness of the vision of the Father’s presence. Later in this same discourse (John 8:46) He appeals to their knowledge of His holy life. Here, in words that none other in human form could ever utter, He appeals to His own consciousness of a life, every act of which was pleasing in the presence of God.

[(b) Jesus is Light (continued).

(γ)True discipleship and freedom (John 8:30-59).

Freedom by the Son’s word (John 8:30-36).

Natural and ethical sonship (John 8:37-47).

Eternal life by the Son’s word. The Son’s eternity (John 8:48-59).]

8:21-29 Those that live in unbelief, are for ever undone, if they die in unbelief. The Jews belonged to this present evil world, but Jesus was of a heavenly and Divine nature, so that his doctrine, kingdom, and blessings, would not suit their taste. But the curse of the law is done away to all that submit to the grace of the gospel. Nothing but the doctrine of Christ's grace will be an argument powerful enough, and none but the Spirit of Christ's grace will be an agent powerful enough, to turn us from sin to God; and that Spirit is given, and that doctrine is given, to work upon those only who believe in Christ. Some say, Who is this Jesus? They allow him to have been a Prophet, an excellent Teacher, and even more than a creature; but cannot acknowledge him as over all, God blessed for evermore. Will not this suffice? Jesus here answers the question. Is this to honour him as the Father? Does this admit his being the Light of the world, and the Life of men, one with the Father? All shall know by their conversion, or in their condemnation, that he always spake and did what pleased the Father, even when he claimed the highest honours to himself.Is with me - In working miracles, etc.

Hath not left me alone - Though men had forsaken and rejected him, yet God attended him.

Those things that please him - See Matthew 3:17; "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Philippians 2:8; Isaiah 53:10-12; 2 Peter 1:17; Luke 3:22; Matthew 17:5. His undertaking the work of redemption was pleasing to God, and he had the consciousness that in executing it he did those things which God approved. It is a small matter to have men opposed to us, if we have a conscience void of offence, and evidence that we please God. Compare Hebrews 11:5; "Enoch - before his translation had this testimony that he pleased God." See also 1 Corinthians 4:3.

29. the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him, &c.—that is, To you, who gnash upon Me with your teeth, and frown down all open appearance for Me, I seem to stand uncountenanced and alone; but I have a sympathy and support transcending all human applause; I came hither to do My Father's will, and in the doing of it have not ceased to please Him; therefore is He ever by Me with His approving smile, His cheering words, His supporting arm. I have the presence of God with me, as I am Mediator; the Father hath not sent me into the world to do his will, and left me alone without his presence; for I do his will; I drive no separate design from my Father, but always do those things which please him. From whence all faithful ministers and Christians may learn how to conclude of God’s presence with them, which they can no longer promise to themselves, than they speak and do those things that please him.

And he that sent me is with me,.... By virtue of that near union there is between them, they being one in nature, essence, power, and glory, and by the gracious, powerful, comfortable, assisting, and strengthening presence of his Father, which he vouchsafed to him as man, and Mediator;

the Father hath not left me alone; Christ, as the word, was with the Father from all eternity, and, as the Son of God, was in heaven, and in the bosom of the Father, when he, as the son of man, was here on earth; for though he came forth from the Father into this world, by assumption of the human nature, yet the Father was always with him, and he with the Father, through the unity of the divine nature; nor did he withhold his supporting and assisting presence from him as man; nor did he withdraw, at least he had not yet withdrawn his gracious and comfortable presence from him, though he afterwards did, when upon the cross: compare with this John 16:32;

for I do always those things that please him; by submitting to Gospel ordinances, as to baptism, at which the Father declared his well pleasedness in him; and by complying with the ordinances of the ceremonial law, which were typical of him; and by perfectly obeying the precepts of the moral law, and bearing the penalty of it; or by suffering and dying in the room and stead of his people; all which were the will of God, and well pleasing to him.

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
John 8:29. καὶ ὁ πέμψαςπάντοτε. His fidelity to the purpose of the Father that sent Him secured His perpetual presence with Him. By His entire self-abnegation and freedom from self-will He gave room to the Spirit of the Father. Or, as Westcott supposes, the ὅτι clause may give the evidence or sign of the preceding rather than its cause; and the meaning may be that the result of the Father’s presence is seen in the perfect correspondence of the conduct of the Son with the will of the Father.

29. the Father hath not left me alone] Here again we have an aorist, not a perfect; ‘He left Me not alone’ (‘the Father’ being omitted in the best MSS.). It will depend on the interpretation whether the aorist or perfect is to be used in English. If it refers to God sending the Messiah into the world, then we must keep the aorist; He left. But if it refers to Christ’s experience in each particular case, the perfect may be substituted: He hath left. In some cases it is the idiom in English to use the perfect where the aorist is used in Greek, and then to translate the Greek aorist by the English aorist would be misleading. See on John 16:32.

for I do always] Or, because the things which are pleasing to Him I always do. ‘I’ and ‘always’ are emphatic; and ‘always’ literally means ‘on every occasion,’ which is somewhat in favour of the second interpretation in the preceding note. ‘He hath never left me alone, because in every case I do what pleaseth Him.’ The emphasis on ‘I’ is perhaps in mournful contrast to the Jews. In any case it is a distinct claim to Divinity. What blasphemous effrontery would such a declaration be in the mouth of any but the Incarnate Deity. The theory that Jesus was the noblest and holiest of teachers, but nothing more, shatters against such words as these. What saint or prophet ever dared to say, ‘The things which are pleasing to God I in every instance do?’ Comp. John 8:46. And if it be said, that perhaps Jesus never uttered these words, then it may also be said that perhaps He never uttered any of the words attributed to Him. We have the same authority for what is accepted as His as for what is rejected as not His. History becomes impossible if we are to admit evidence that we like, and refuse evidence that we dislike.

John 8:29. Καὶ, and) and so.—οὐκ ἀφῆκε με, hath not left me) The Præterite signifies that He is never at any time abandoned. The πάντοτε, always, corresponds to this.[226]—ὅτι, because) Comp. ch. John 15:10, “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.”—τὰ ἀρεστὰ αὐτῷ, the things, which are pleasing to Him) The same argument, by which the Jews were led to believe in Jesus Christ, serves also to prove the whole authority of Holy Scripture, and of the Christian religion. At all times, in all places, in every way, He requires of all, and teaches all, all those things, which are pleasing to God, and worthy of God.—πάντοτε, at all times) The Lord spake these things with the utmost sweetness).[227]

[226] In the next clause, i.e. I always please Him, therefore at no time does He leave me.—E. and T.

[227] Ver. 30, ἐπίστευσαν, believed) This was as it were the delicate bud of faith. But a severe conflict followed between good and evil, ver. 44.—V. g.

Verse 29. - And he that sent me - of whom I now plainly speak to you as "the Father" - is with me. He is not in some inaccessible region of indifference to my mission or my word, but with me. He encompasses the Son of man, finds willing, unswerving response to his will in my words. He sent me, and commissioned me to undertake this work. He is affirming in his own way all my message, and corroborating my testimony. You have asked, "Where is thy Father?" and I now tell you, "He is with me." He (the Father) hath not left me at any moment of my career alone. He has confirmed and sustained my word, and upheld my life; and you can see the signs of this abiding communion: Because (i.e. Christ does not account for the abiding companionship by the fact of his own obedience, but refers to the reasons which his hearers might find for his great assertion; cf. Luke 7:47) I do always the things that are pleasing to him. I do this because he has never left me to my mere human nature. This self-consciousness of Christ is one of the loftiest and most entirely unique phenomena recorded in history. This absolute confidence with reference to his whole course lifts our Lord to a pinnacle of the loftiest elevation. He declares himself absolutely free from sin, and even in thought or deed to have left undone nothing that seemed good to the Father. If such an utterance had not flashed the conviction of his Divine nature upon some of his hearers, it is impossible to conceive what would or could have done so John 8:29The Father

The best texts omit.


See John 8:16.

Those things that please Him (τὰ ἀρεστὰ αὐτῷ)

Literally, as Rev., the things that are pleasing to Him. Always (πάντοτε) closing the sentence, is emphatic. Jesus' holy activity is habitual and continuous. See John 4:34.

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