He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth…
We notice the perfect originality and independence of His teaching. We have a great many men who are original, in the sense of being originators, within a certain boundary of educated thought. But the originality of Christ is uneducated. That He draws nothing from the stores of learning can be seen at a glance. The impression we have in reading His instructions justifies to the letter the language of His contemporaries, when they say, "This man hath never learned." There is nothing in any of His allusions or forms of speech that indicates learning. Indeed, there is nothing in Him that belongs to His age or country — no one opinion, or task, or prejudice. The attempts that have been made, in a way of establishing His mere natural manhood, to show that He borrowed His sentiments from the Persians and the Eastern forms of religion, or that He had been intimate with the Essenes, and borrowed from them, or that He must have been acquainted with the schools and religions of Egypt, deriving His doctrine from them — all attempts of the kind having so palpably failed, as not even to require a deliberate answer. If He is simply a man, as we hear, then He is most certainly a new and singular kind of man, never before heard of; one who visibly is quite as great a miracle in the world as if He were not a man. We can see for ourselves, in the simple directness and freedom of His teachings, that whatever He advances is for Himself. Shakespeare, for instance, whom we name as being probably the most creative and original spirit the world has ever produced, one of the class, too, that are called self-made men, is yet tinged in all his works with human learning. His glory is, indeed, that so much of what is great in history and historic character lives and appears in his dramatic creations. He is the high-priest, we sometimes hear, of human nature. But Christ, understanding human nature so as to address it more skilfully than he, never draws from its historic treasures. He is the High Priest, rather, of the Divine nature, speaking as one that has come out from God, and has nothing to borrow from the world. It is not to be detected by any sign that the human sphere in which He moved imparted anything to Him. His teachings are just as full of Divine nature as Shakespeare's of human.
(H. Bushnell, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.