He is near that justifies me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is my adversary? let him come near to me.…
Near is he that justifieth me. Reference is to the Servant of Jehovah, whom we identify as the Messiah. The associations of our Lord's trial and death may suggest that he was a malefactor. God allows no such impression to remain. He justifies him, by raising him from the dead and granting him full acceptance. He declares him to have been innocent and righteous. The security of those who have a standing in Christ lies in the plea made for them by their Justifier (see Romans 8:33, 34). (For the earlier form of appeal to God as Justifier, see Job and David: Job 27:5; Psalm 28:20, etc.) Compare the expressions, "It is God that justifieth;" "Raised again for our justification;" "Justified in the Spirit." "The Father justified him when he accepted the satisfaction he made for the sin of man, and constituted him 'the Lord our Righteousness,' who was made sin for us." It is not, however, the doctrine of justification which is first suggested by the text. Its reference is to the confidence which a wronged, slandered, persecuted 'good man may have, that God will stand by him, and in due time justify him, bringing forth his righteousness as the light. Our Lord and his servants may say, with misrepresented Job, "I know that" God, my Goel, "my Redeemer, liveth."
I. GOD JUSTIFIES BY GIVING THE INWARD WITNESS OF HIS ACCEPTANCE. It is plain that he gave such witness to Christ in his last hours. Even in the dreadful sense of "being forsaken," our Lord could say, "My God, my God," add commit himself into the Father's hands. Before Pilate he held such confidence in God's approval that he could calmly reply to him, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me unless it were given thee from above." A divinely whispered "Fear not," from our Justifier, enables us to bear all things.
II. GOD JUSTIFIES BY THE LASTING IMPRESSION THE GOOD MAN PRODUCES. Illustrate from the exclamation of the centurion, "Truly this was the Son of God." A careful estimate of the inward struggles of Saul of Tarsus brings to view a deep feeling that the claims of Jesus of Nazareth possibly might be true. The good man only gains more power when his goodness is shown on a background of persecutions.
III. GOD JUSTIFIES BY THE FINAL RESULTS OF THE GOOD MAN'S WORK. The slandering and the suffering pass, but the work a man does, and the witness a man makes, abide. Men mistook the Christ. We know the results of his work, and they become the fullest justification of him. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.