He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth…
I. THE SAVIOUR'S TESTIMONY (Isaiah 55:4, cf. John 18:37; Revelation 1:5). Christ came into the world when it was enveloped in ignorance and begirt with the miasma of heathen superstitions and unconsecrated philosophies. Even the Jewish Church had lost its glory and a wretched formalism taken the place of spiritual religion. Christ came to give us a testimony which should be all-sufficient in reference to the way of salvation.
1. Its nature. It included —
(1) The revelation of God (John 1:18). The knowledge of God was fast perishing. The spirituality of His nature — the perfection of His attributes — the sovereignty of His government — the boundless depths of His mercy, were rescued from oblivion by Christ and received clearer light and richer illustration. His own life was a revelation of God (John 14:9).
(2) The true character of man. Here all heathen sages had failed. They did not know man, his antecedents, requirements, capacities. Hence their specifics fell short of the occasion. Christ discovers the heart of man to Himself (John 2:25).
(3) The exposition of the ancient Scriptures. He constantly taught that His life and labours were the fulfilment of prophecy.
(4) Many sublime and precious subjects — the dispensation of the Spirit; the nature, worth, and reality of prayer; practical religion; future rewards and punishments; the resurrection of the body.
2. Its manner. Note —
(1) The simplicity of His precepts.
(2) The familiarity of His examples.
(3) The expressiveness of His figures.
(4) The grace of His method.
(5) The gentleness of His language.
(6) The condescension of His temper.
(7) His patience with the ignorant.
(8) His encouragement of the inquiring.
(9) His comfort of the sorrowful.
II. THE RIGHT MODE OF ITS RECEPTION.
1. Divine truth demands admittance into the heart. It first accosts the intellectual faculties, then accosts the conscience, but completely triumphs only when it enters the holiest of all. Human learning appeals only to the intelligence. Christ claims the heart.
2. Its impartation proceeds directly from Christ (Galatians 1:12; John 4:42; 2 Corinthians 10:5). The practical improvement of the process is that which make us solicitous for evidence of the work of God in the soul through the Spirit's effectual conveyance of the Word.
3. We should rejoice in its reception, because the deliverance it works is so great, the blessings it imparts so vast, and the prospect it opens so excellent.
III. THE EFFECT ASCRIBED TO BELIEF IN IT. Just as unbelief is an imputation on the Divine veracity, so cordial, unprejudiced reception is a mark of adoption into His family. It liberates a man from harassments and doubts. The obedience of the heart leads after it conviction of mind (John 7:17). The believer can set his seal over against the promise and affirm that "not one thing hath failed." Many an ancient mark may be seen in the aged saint's Bible showing that the promise has been fulfilled.
(W. G. Lewis.)
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.