John 8:54
Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
(54) If I honour myself, my honour is nothing.—The word rendered “honour” is not the same as that in John 8:49. It is better to read glorify here. Following all the better MSS. the tense is past. We have then, If I shall have glorified Myself, My glory is nothing. Stress is to be laid upon the pronoun. “If I, for My part, as distinct from the Father, shall have glorified Myself.”

It is my Father that honoureth me.—Better, as before, . . . glorifieth Me. This is the answer to their question, “Whom makest Thou Thyself?” The attribute of life in Himself, and the power to communicate this to those who kept His word, was the gift of the Father to the Son. (See Note on John 5:26.)

Of whom ye say, that he is your God.—Some of the better MSS., and most modern editors, read . . . “He is our God.” The identification of the Father with the God of Israel is important. It may be, as some have supposed, that the phrase, “He is our God,” belonged to common liturgical forms or hymns, and was thus frequently on their lips.

John 8:54-55. Jesus answered, If I honour myself, (referring to their words, Whom makest thou thyself?) my honour is nothing — If I should speak in praise of myself, you would call it vain and foolish; and say to me as the Pharisees did lately, (John 8:13,) Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true, nor to be regarded. Wherefore, instead of giving a description of my dignity, I shall only tell you, it is my Father that honoureth me, which he does in a remarkable manner, by the miracles which he enables me to perform, by the descent of his Spirit upon me at my baptism, and by his voice uttered from heaven, declaring me to be his beloved Son. This I think may be sufficient to convince you that I am able to do for my disciples what I said, especially when I tell you further, that my Father is he of whom ye say, that he is your God — And whom you pretend to worship as such. Yet ye have not known him — Yet you are ignorant of him. You neither form right conceptions of his attributes, nor acknowledge him in the manner you ought to do; so that you give the lie to your profession. But I know him — Perfectly and intimately; and if I should say, I know him not — If I should retract my pretensions to that peculiar and intimate knowledge of him, which I have so often professed; I should be a liar like unto you — And you would have reason to doubt my testimony as to other things. But I know him, and keep his saying Τον λογον, his word. I have both a perfect acquaintance with him, and obey his laws. This clause plainly shows that Christ is not speaking here of a speculative, but of a practical knowledge of God.

8:54-59 Christ and all that are his, depend upon God for honour. Men may be able to dispute about God, yet may not know him. Such as know not God, and obey not the gospel of Christ, are put together, 2Th 1:8. All who rightly know anything of Christ, earnestly desire to know more of him. Those who discern the dawn of the light of the Sun of Righteousness, wish to see his rising. Before Abraham was, I AM. This speaks Abraham a creature, and our Lord the Creator; well, therefore, might he make himself greater than Abraham. I AM, is the name of God, Ex 3:14; it speaks his self-existence; he is the First and the Last, ever the same, Re 1:8. Thus he was not only before Abraham, but before all worlds, Pr 8:23; Joh 1:1. As Mediator, he was the appointed Messiah, long before Abraham; the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, Re 13:8. The Lord Jesus was made of God Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, to Adam, and Abel, and all that lived and died by faith in him, before Abraham. The Jews were about to stone Jesus for blasphemy, but he withdrew; by his miraculous power he passed through them unhurt. Let us stedfastly profess what we know and believe concerning God; and if heirs of Abraham's faith, we shall rejoice in looking forward to that day when the Saviour shall appear in glory, to the confusion of his enemies, and to complete the salvation of all who believe in him.If I honour myself - If I commend or praise myself. If I had no other honor and sought no other honor than that which proceeds from a desire to glorify myself.

My honour is nothing - My commendation or praise of myself would be of no value. See the notes at John 5:31.

54-56. If I honour myself, my honour is nothing, &c.—(See on [1813]Joh 5:31, &c.). If I honour myself, my honour is nothing; this is much the same with what our Saviour said, John 5:31, which he seemed to contradict, John 5:14; (see the notes on both those places); the meaning is, If I seek mine own honour and glory; or, If I arrogate to myself what indeed doth not belong to me; or, If I alone honour myself, which (by the next words) seemeth to be the true sense of the phrase here. My Father is he who honoureth me, by witnessing from heaven that I am his beloved Son; by sending me into the world to accomplish his work; by many signs and wonders: and you say, that this my Father is your God. If therefore you will not give credit to me and my testimony, yet you ought to give credit to him, whom you own as your God.

Jesus answered, if I honour myself, my honour is nothing,.... It is empty and vain, and will not continue; see 2 Corinthians 10:18;

it is my Father that honoureth me: by a voice from heaven, both at his baptism, and transfiguration, declaring him to be his beloved Son, and by the works and miracles he did by him; as he afterwards also honoured him by raising him from the dead, and setting him at his own right hand, by pouring forth his Spirit on his disciples, and succeeding his Gospel in every place:

of whom ye say that he is your God; your covenant God and Father, being the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; of this the Jews boasted. The Alexandrian copy, and some others, and all the Oriental versions read, "our God".

{18} Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is {s} nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

(18) There is no one further from seeking glory than Christ, but his Father has set him above all things.

(s) In saying this Christ grants their opinion, though not agreeing with it, as if he had said, Be it so, let this report which I give of myself be of no force; yet there is another that glorifies me, that is, that honours my name.

John 8:54-55. Justification against the charge of self-exaltation contained in the words τίνα σεαυτ. ποιεῖς. Jesus gives this justification a general form, and then proceeds to make a special declaration regarding Abraham, which makes it clear that He is really greater than Abraham.


ἐμαυτόν] emphatic designation of self (comp. John 5:30-31, John 7:17); δοξάσω, however, is not the future [see the critical notes] (although ἐάν with the indicative is not absolutely to be condemned; see on Luke 19:40; Matthew 18:19), but, according to regular usage, the Conj. Aor.: in case I shall have glorified myself.

ἔστιν ὁ πατήρ μου, etc.] my Father is the one who glorifies me, He is my glorifier. The Partic. Praes. with the article has a substantival force, and denotes habitual, continuous doing; hence it refers not merely to a particular mode and act of δοξάζειν exclusively, but to its whole course (in the works wrought, in the divine testimonies, and in His final glorification).

ὃν ὑμεῖς λέγετε, etc.] On the construction see John 10:36. Comp. on John 5:27, John 9:19; Acts 21:29. Jesus unfolds to them why this activity of God, by which He is honoured, is hidden from them; notwithstanding, namely, their theocratic fancy, “it is our God,” they have not known God.[37] Jesus, on the contrary, is certain that He knows Him,[38] and keeps His word.

ὅμοιος ὑμῶν ψεύστης] a liar like unto you. “Mendax est qui vel affirmat neganda, vel negat affirmanda,” Bengel. The charge points back to John 8:44; ὅμοιος with the Gen. as in Theophr. H. pl. ix. 11, also Xen. Anab. iv. 1. 17; see Bornemann, ad h. l.

ἀλλά] but, far from being such a liar.

τὸν λόγ. αὐτ. τηρῶ] exactly as in John 8:51. The entire life and work of Christ were in truth one continuous surrender to the counsel of God, and obedience (Php 2:8; Romans 5:19; Hebrews 5:8) to the divine will, whose injunctions He constantly discerned in His fellowship with the Father, John 4:34. Comp. as to the subject-matter, John 8:29.

[37] Not because they held another divine being, their own national god, to be the highest (Hilgenfeld); but because they had formed false conceptions of the one true God, who had manifested Himself in the Old Test., and had not understood His highest revelation in Christ, in consequence of their blindness and hardness of heart. Comp. ver. 19, and see Weiss, Lehrbegr. p. 60 f. In Hilgenfeld’s view, indeed, John teaches that the Jewish religion, as to its substance, was the work of the Demiurge, and it was only without his knowledge that the Logos hid in it the germs of the highest religion! By the same exegesis by which this doctrine is derived from John, one might very easily show it to be taught by Paul, especially in the sharp antagonism he assumes between νόμος and χάρις,—if one desired, i.e. if one were willing to bring down this apostle to the period of transition from the Valentinian to the Marcionite Gnosis.

[38] Regarding Himself, Jesus does not say ἔγνωκα (although considered in itself He might have said it, comp. John 17:25), because He here speaks in the consciousness of His immediate, essential knowledge of the Father.—According to Ewald, the words, “It is our God,” contain an allusion to well-known songs and prayers which were constantly repeated. But the frequent occurrence of “our God” in the O. T. is quite sufficient to explain their import.

John 8:54. To their question Jesus, as usual, gives no categorical answer, but replies first by repelling the insinuation contained in their question and then by showing that He was greater than Abraham (see Plummer).—Ἐὰν ἐγὼ δοξάζω. “If I shall have glorified myself, my glory is nothing; my Father is He who glorifieth me.” He cannot get them to understand that it is not self-assertion on His part which prompts His claims, but fulfilment of His Father’s commission. This “Father” of whom He speaks and who thus glorifies Him is the same ὃν ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι … “of whom you say that He is your God?”. His witness therefore you ought to receive; and the reason why you do not is this, οὐκ ἐγνώκατε αὐτόν, ἐγὼ δὲ οἶδα αὐτόν, “you have not learned to know Him, but I know Him”. The former verb denotes knowledge acquired, by teaching or by observation; in contrast to the latter, which denotes direct and essential knowledge.—καὶ ἐὰν εἴπωτηρῶ. So far from the affirmations of Jesus regarding His connection with the Father being false, He would be false, a liar and like them, were He to deny that He enjoyed direct knowledge of God. “But, on the contrary, I know Him and all I do, even that which offends you, is the fulfilment of His commission, the keeping of His word.”

54. If I honour myself] Better, If I shall have glorified Myself, My glory is nothing. It is not the same word as is rendered ‘honour’ in John 8:49, therefore another English word is desirable. There is My Father who glorifieth Me—in miracles and the Messianic work generally. Comp. John 8:50.

54–56. Christ first answers the insinuation that He is vain-glorious, implied in the question ‘whom makest Thou Thyself?’ Then He shews that He really is greater than Abraham.

John 8:54. Ἀπεκρίθη, answered) He refutes those words [of last ver.] thou thyself.—ὃν ὑμεῖς λέγετε, ὅτι Θεὸς ἡμῶν ἐστι) A very similar construction occurs, ch. John 10:36, ὃν ὁ πατὴρ ἡγίασεὑμεῖς λέγετε, ὃτι βλασφημεῖς. Also Galatians 1:23, “ἀκούοντες ᾖσαν ὃτι ὁ διώκων ἡμᾶς ποτὲ νῦν εὐαγγελίζεται τὴν πίστιν ἥν ποτε ἐπόρθει, καὶ ἐδόξαζον ἐν ἐμοὶ τὸν Θεὸν;” Jam 1:13, “μηδεὶς πειραζόμενος λεγέτω ὅτι ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πειράζομαι,” and Joshua 22:34 in the Heb., “The children of Reuben and Gad, called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us,” etc. For the Septuag. have αὐτῶν for ἡμῶν; as in this passage some have written ὑμῶν for ἡμῶν [So [230][231] [232][233][234] Rec. Text. But [235][236] and Vulg. have ἩΜῶΝ.—ΛΈΓΕΤΕ, ye say)] falsely.

[230] the Vatican MS., 1209: in Vat. Iibr., Rome: fourth cent.: O. and N. Test. def.

[231] Bezæ, or Cantabrig.: Univ. libr., Cambridge: fifth cent.: publ. by Kipling, 1793: Gospels, Acts, and some Epp. def.

[232] Vercellensis of the old ‘Itala,’ or Latin Version before Jerome’s, probably made in Africa, in the second century: the Gospels.

[233] Veronensis, do.

[234] Colbertinus, do.

[235] the Alexandrine MS.: in Brit. Museum: fifth century: publ. by Woide, 1786–1819: O. and N. Test. defective.

[236] Ephræmi Rescriptus: Royal libr., Paris: fifth or sixth cent.: publ. by Tisch. 1843: O. and N. T. def.

Verse 54. - Our Lord does not immediately or directly reply to their question. He was not making himself to be anything. He was simply declaring the fact. He does not return on the astounding assertion of ver. 51, but confirms it by reaffirming his own relation to the Father, and that sense of absolute and perfect union with the Father on which his entire ministry was based. Jesus answered, If I glorify myself - if I, from the ground of my own human consciousness, and apart from the Father who is with me and in me, and who "seeketh my glory" (ver. 50), if I have no unique relation and access to the Father, as you Jews seem to imply - then my glory - the glory of giving eternal life, of conferring perfect freedom and sonship upon those who continue in and keep my word; then all this glory which I claim - is nothing. But neither is the hypothesis one of fact, nor is the conclusion (fair enough on that hypothesis) a truth. "I am not glorifying myself, making myself anything other than I am." It is my Father who is glorifying me (cf. ver. 50, both for construction and sense); of whom ye say, that he is our [your] God. They claimed for themselves that they were "of God," and that the Father of whom he spake was no other than their God and Father as well as his. But they have not comprehended their own Scriptures nor God's providence, nor all the revelation which the Father was making of himself in the Son; while their special and monopolizing claim concealed from them the face of the Father. John 8:54
John 8:54 Interlinear
John 8:54 Parallel Texts

John 8:54 NIV
John 8:54 NLT
John 8:54 ESV
John 8:54 NASB
John 8:54 KJV

John 8:54 Bible Apps
John 8:54 Parallel
John 8:54 Biblia Paralela
John 8:54 Chinese Bible
John 8:54 French Bible
John 8:54 German Bible

Bible Hub

John 8:53
Top of Page
Top of Page