Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)If God were your Father, ye would love me.—This follows because they would then be in a relationship of spiritual affinity to Him. God’s children would bear the spiritual image of their Father, and would love Him who came from God, but they were seeking to kill Him (John 8:40).
I proceeded forth and came from God.—Better, am come, am here. His presence with them was the result of His proceeding from God. As the Son of God He had eternal fellowship with the Father. The Incarnation was not the mission of one whose existence was separate from that of God, but it was the mission of the Son who proceeded from the Father. (Comp. John 16:27 et seq.)
Neither came I of myself, but he sent me.—Literally, for not even of Myself am I come, but He sent Me; as opposed to the thought that His origin was distinct from the Father. His coming was not His own act, but was a mission from God to the world.
But if He is sent from God, if He is present with them from God, if He proceeded from the Father, it must be that all who are true children of God would recognise and love Him.
It is important to note here that in our Lord’s own words there is an assertion of the oneness of nature and of will with that of the Father, and yet the distinction of person is maintained. He is come from God, but He proceeded from the divine essence. He proceeded forth, and yet He was sent.
Ye would love me - Jesus was "the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his person," Hebrews 1:3. "Everyone that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him," 1 John 5:1. From this we see:
1. that all who truly love God, love his Son Jesus Christ.
2. that men that pretend that they love God, and reject his Son, have no evidence that they are the friends of God.1Jo 5:1, Every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him. But here our Saviour rather seemeth to speak of his proceeding forth and coming from God, as sent into the world to fulfil the will of God as to the redemption of man, than of his proceeding from his Father by eternal generation. It is true, that he who loves the father will also love the child, so far forth as he resembles his father, and acts like unto him; and it is as true, that he who loveth him that sends a messenger will also love the messenger, executing the commission of him that sent him.
ye would love me; for in regeneration love to Christ is always implanted: it is a fruit of the Spirit, which always comes along with the superabounding grace of God in conversion; whoever are begotten again, according to abundant mercy, love an unseen Jesus; and where there is no love to Christ, there can be no regeneration: such persons are not born again; nor is God their Father, at least manifestatively:
for I proceeded forth; and came from God; the former of these phrases is observed by many learned men to be used by the Septuagint, of a proper natural birth, as in Genesis 15:4; and here designs the eternal generation of Christ, as the Son of God, being the only begotten of the Father, and the Son of the Father in truth and love; and the other is to be understood of his mission from him, as Mediator:
neither came I of myself; or did not take the office to himself, without being called unto it, and invested with it, by his Father:
but he sent me; not by force, or against the will of Christ, or by change of place, but by assumption of nature; he sent him at the time agreed upon, in human nature, to obtain eternal redemption for his people: and upon both these accounts Christ is to be loved by all regenerate persons, or who have God for their Father; both on account of his being the Son of God, of the same nature and essence with him, see 1 John 5:1; and on account of his mission into this world, as Mediator, since he was sent, and came to be the Saviour of lost sinners.Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 8:42 f. God is not your Father, else would ye love me, because ye would be of like descent with me; ἑνὸς γεγαῶτα τοκῆος ἀῤῥαγέος φιλίης ἀλύτῳ ξυνώσατε θεσμῷ, Nonnus. This ἀγαπᾶτε ἂν ἐμὲ would be “the ethical test” (Luthardt) of the like paternity; the fact of its non-existence, although it might have existed, is evidence to the contrary.
ἐγώ] spoken with a feeling of divine assurance.
ἐξῆλθον] the proceeding forth from that essential pre-human fellowship with God, which was His as the Son of God, and which took place through the incarnation (John 13:3, John 16:27-28; John 16:30, John 17:8). The idea of a mere sending would not be in harmony with the context, the proper subject of which is the Fatherhood of God; comp. John 6:62, John 17:5.
καὶ ἥκω) Result of the ἐξῆλθον: and am here, it belongs, along with the rest, also to ἐκ τ. θεοῦ.
οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ, etc.] Confirmation of ἐκ τ. θεοῦ, etc.; for not even of my own self-determination, etc. If Jesus, namely, had not manifested Himself as proceeding from God, He might have come either from a third person, or, at all events, ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ; on the contrary, not even (οὐδέ) was this latter the case.
John 8:43. After having shown them that they were the children neither of Abraham nor of God, before positively declaring whose children they actually are, He discloses to them the ground of their not understanding His discourse; for everything that they had advanced from John 8:33 onwards had been in fact such a non-understanding. The form of expression here used, namely, question and answer (ὅτι, because; comp. Romans 9:32; 2 Corinthians 11:11), is an outflow of the growing excitement; Dissen, ad Dem, de Cor. p. 186, 347. De Wette (comp. Luther, Beza, Calvin) takes ὅτι as equivalent to εἰς ἐκεῖνο ὅτι (see on John 2:18): “I say this with reference to the circumstance that.” Illogical, as the clauses must then have stood in the reverse order (διατί οιὐ δύνασθε … ὅτι τὴν λαλιάν, etc.), because, namely, the words οὐ γινώσκετε denote the relation which is clear from what has preceded.
In the question and in the answer, that on which the emphasis rests is thrown to the end. His discourse was unintelligible to them, because its substance, to wit, His word, was inaccessible to their apprehension, because they had no ears for it. For the cause of this ethical οὐ δύνασθε, see John 8:47. λαλιά, which in classical Greek denoted talk, chatter (see on John 4:42), signifies in later writers (e.g. Polyb. 32. 9, 4; Joseph. Bell. ii. 8. 5), and in the LXX. and Apocrypha, also Discourse, Sermo, without any contemptuous meaning. Comp. Matthew 26:73. So also here; indeed, so different is it from ὁ λόγος, that whilst this last mentioned term denotes the doctrinal substance expressed by the ΛΑΛΙΆ,—the doctrine, the substance of that which is delivered,
λαλιά denotes the utterance itself, by which expression is given to the doctrine. Comp. John 12:48 : ὁ λόγος ὃν ἐλάλησα; Php 1:14; Hebrews 12:7.
 On λάλιος in bonam partem, see Jacobs, ad Anthol. vi. p. 99, vii. p. 140.
 Comp. Weizsäcker in d. Jahrb. für deutsche Theol. 1857, p. 196 f. But in the gospel it is always the verbum vocale, and it should not be confounded with the λόγος of the prologue, which is the verbum substantiale; hence, also, it furnishes no evidence of a deviation from the doctrine of the Logos. The consciousness Jesus possessed of speaking, keeping, doing, etc., the λόγος of God, rested on His consciousness of His being that which is denoted by the Logos of the prologue. Now this consciousness is not the abstract divine, but that of the divine-human Ego, corresponding to the ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο.John 8:42. But this claim Jesus explodes by the same argument: Εἰ ὁ θεὸς … ἀπέστειλε. Were God your Father you would love me, for I am from God.—ἐξῆλθον ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ expresses “the proceeding forth from that essential pre-human fellowship with God, which was His as the Son of God, and which took place through the incarnation,” Meyer. The meaning of the expression is fixed by that with which it is contrasted in John 13:3, John 16:28. ἥκω is added, as ἐλήλυθα εἰς τὸν κόσμον in John 16:28, almost in the sense in which it is used in the Dramatists, announcing the arrival of one of the “personae” on the stage, “I am come from such and such a place and here I am”. The coming itself was the result of God’s action rather than of His own: οὐδὲ … ἀπέστειλε. This is His constant argument, that as He came forth from God and was sent by Him, they must have welcomed Him had they been God’s children. Their misunderstanding had a moral root.—διατί … ἐμόν. They did not recognise His speech as Divine, because they were unable to receive the message He brought. “In λαλεῖν (= loqui) the fact of uttering human language is the prominent notion; in λέγειν (= dicere) it is the words uttered, and that these are correlative to reasonable thoughts within the breast of the utterer” (Trench, Synonyms, 271). All His individual expressions and the very language He used were misunderstood, because there was in them a moral incapacity to receive the truth He delivered.42. Moral proof that God is not their father; if they were God’s children they would love His Son. Comp. John 15:23, and ‘every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him’ (1 John 5:1). For the construction comp. John 8:19, John 5:46, John 9:41, John 15:19, John 13:36 : in all these cases we have imperfects, not aorists. Contrast John 4:10, John 11:21; John 11:32, John 14:28.
I proceeded forth and came from God] Rather, I came out (see on John 16:28) from God and am here from God among you. Surely then God’s true children would recognise and love Me.
neither came I of myself] Rather, For not even of Myself have I come. The ‘for’ must on no account be omitted; it introduces a proof that He is come from God. ‘For (not only have I not come from any other than God) I have not even come of My own self-determination.’John 8:42. Ἠγαπᾶτε, ye would love) ye would not persecute Me with such deadly hatred as ye do.—ἐξῆλθον, I came forth) Hereby is intimated the “terminus a quo” [the source from which].—ἥκω, I am come) Hereby is intimated the “terminus ad quem” [the destination to which].Verse 42. - But Jesus will not allow them to claim the full privilege of sons of God. Said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would be loving me, not seeking to slay me. Seeing that you do not love me, God is not your Father in the sense in which you are boasting such relation to him. The reason is: For I came forth out (ἐκ) of God. This expression only occurs in one other passage (John 16:28), and there the texts vary between ἐκ ἀπὸ, and παρά. It points to the momentous and unique fact of his incarnation, as the projection from the very essence of God involved in the essence of his being. The Father is the eternal Source of Christ's Divine nature. There are two ether forms of expression used by our Lord. In John 13:3 and John 16:30 ἐξελθεῖν ἀπό is adopted, which describes rather the act of the incarnated One; and in John 16:27 and John 17:8 ἐξελθεῖν παρά, whereby is suggested the procession of Christ into the condition of fellowship with the eternal Father or that of being πρὸς τὸν Θεόν or εἰς τὸν κόλπον. By ἐξελθεῖν ἐκ he implies an even sublimer conception of the prenatal glory, and that, as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews puts it, "he was the Effulgence of his glory, and the express Image of his substance." And I am come. I am here face to face with you. Meyer and others would make both verbs depend on ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ: but if we are right in the special meaning of the preposition, the force of it would be lost in the second clause. The ἐξῆλθον refers to his eternal procession from the very nature of God, and special indication of it when he took our human nature up into his own; and the ἤκω refers to his presence and appearance in their midst as a "Man who told them the truth." For neither have I come. The perfect tense here is used in contrast to the present ἥκω, to show that he has the whole past of his career as a divinely sent Messenger present in his consciousness. And he establishes the fact that he has proceeded from God by the dismission of every other alternative. I have not come from myself, as an act of self-determination; I have not come to do my own will, but the Father's. I have not come on any self-chosen, self-honouring path, with motives of self-interest; but in strict obedience to the Father's injunction - he sent me. You would have loved me, not hated me, you would have trusted me and rejoiced in me, and not sought to kill me, if God were your Father; for you would then have felt all through my career that that One Father, of whom you boast an intimate knowledge, was revealing himself as One near to you, close to you, in the bare fact of my presence among you.
Rev., came forth. The phrase occurs only here and in John 16:28. Ἑξελθεῖν is found in John 13:3; John 16:30, and emphasizes the idea of separation; a going from God to whom He was to return (and goeth unto God). Ἑξελθεῖν παρά (John 16:27; John 17:8), is going from beside, implying personal fellowship with God. Ἑξελθεῖν ἐκ, here, emphasizes the idea of essential, community of being: "I came forth out of."
And am come (ἥκω)
As much as to say, and here Iam.
Of myself (ἀπ' ἐμαυτοῦ)
Of my own self-determination, independently, but my being is divinely derived. See on John 7:17.
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