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33. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
The plain reasoning of this man, did not convince them ; but rather provoked their enmity still more. When men cannot answer an argument, they too often revile those who offer it.-Edit.
34. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
Because he was born blind, they accused him of having been born in sin. We are often falling into the same rashness, and presumption: Christ knew better.
“ Dost thou teach us?” Observe the blindness and pride of worldly wisdom. They thought not of sin in themselves, and would not be taught by an illiterate man. Nevertheless, he was well qualified for the office, by the recovery of his sight, and the knowledge of Christ's power in himself.
“ And they cast him out," namely, of their communion. If man's judgment were always to be ratified in heaven, many saints would be excluded.
35. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found bim, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God ?
Doubtless we think it great condescension in Jesus, and a great blessing to this poor man, that he would be at the pains to seek him. O! did he not come down from heaven with bowels of pity, to seek and to save us all, to suffer and die for us? Does he not seek us in his word, and make the first offer of himself to us by his Spirit ? And does he not rejoice over us when we are found of him ? Let us think ourselves lost and undone without him, and we shall be found of him.
Remember that, “ by grace ye are saved, through faith," Eph. ii. 8, and then we shall see how necessary it is that every one of us should be able to answer this important question for ourselves, “ Dost thou believe on the Son of God ?
36. He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him ?
We have not this question to ask. We know it is he, the only begotten Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary, and who came into the world to save sinners.
37. And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
He has been speaking to us throughout this chapter, as well as to the blind man ; he speaks to us in every one of the gospels, and all to this end, that he may bring us to a spiritual sight of him, and speak himself into our hearts.
38. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, as thy Saviour and Redeemer, and the worship of thy heart will follow.
39. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Christ says, “ I am come for judgment,"—to give to every man according to the truth of his case.“ That they which see not might see;" who though blind, as all men are by nature, yet know themselves, and are willing to have their eyes opened ; these, through mercy, shall see. “ And that they which see might be made blind.” Who think they see when they do not, and are too wise to learn of Christ. These, by the judgment of God, shall be left to their natural blindness.
40. And some of the Pharisees which were with himn heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also ?
We need not their learning to have enough of their pride, and self-conceit. What !
take me for a reprobate ? Have I not been baptized ? Would you make me believe that I am more ignorant than the rest of the world? Another says, Do you think I have lived all this time for nothing? One question put home to yourselves would stagger all this unbelief. Did you ever sit down
We see ;
one hour in your whole lives, to think of your state, and what you must do to be saved ?
41. Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say,
sin remaineth, Better would it be for you, if ye were quite blind; for then the sin you could not see, would not be laid to your charge. You are now condemned out of your own mouth, as sinning against light, because ye say, “We see ; therefore your sin remaineth.”
Chap. X. ver. 1-9.
CHRIST THE DOOR.
1. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
He that entereth not by Christ, and for Christ, by faith in him, and a sincere desire to bring others to him, “but climbeth up some other way,” has some of his own ends in view ; and has no regard to the flock for its own good, but to make a prey of it for himself, “the same is a thief and a robber.”
2. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
And no other is, in God's account, whatever he may be in his own, or in the opinion of the world.
3. To him the porter openeth ; and the sheep hear his voice : and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
To understand this, and what follows, we must know that the way of keeping sheep in that country, was in some respects different from ours. Besides the shepherd, they
had a porter, or door-keeper, to guard the sheep by night from wild beasts and thieves ; and they gave names to their sheep, which they were taught to know; and they followed the shepherd's call. In the spiritual meaning, God, or the Holy Spirit, is the door-keeper; and if he does not open to the shepherd, the sheep cannot follow him.
4. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him : for they know his voice.
The shepherd of souls (the minister of Christ) should go before his sheep, in doctrine and example. “And the sheep follow him,” as they ought to do, knowing his concern for them, and discerning the wholesomeness of his instructions.
5. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him : for they know not the voice of strangers.
The sheep would not follow a stranger ; and persons enlightened by the Holy Spirit should not follow false teachers. The meaning farther is, that they shall be enabled to discern false teachers. If they are first disposed to follow God, he will not suffer them to be deceived to their ruin. John vii. 17.
6. This parable spake Jesus unto them : but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Christ explains himself sufficiently, in what follows; and the way is so clearly marked out for all succeeding pastors, that, though they may desert, they cannot mistake it.
7. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
To the sheep; or, by which the shepherd enters to the care of them. For he is speaking of the shepherds, and their manner of entering upon their office.
8. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers : but the sheep did not hear them.
Those who pretended to be the Messiah, as many did about that time, were thieves and robbers : but the true sheep, well-meaning disciples, deservedly so called for their sincerity and simplicity, "did not hear them.” For sone did hear them, and the generality did not hear Christ.
9. I am the door : by me if any inan enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
“ He shall go in and out,” with the consent and appro bation of the door-keeper, (the Holy Ghost,) “and shall find pasture,” for his dear sheep, by an abundant supply from the chief shepherd.
Christ, sent of God to be the great shepherd of the sheep, is also the door by which all others enter upon their office; and under this similitude, his own care and concern for the sheep, and the qualifications of every true shepherd, are described in the most lively and affecting manner. Let all who are concerned, that is, the ministers of Christ, keep their eyes and hearts upon this pattern. And do thou, o blessed Jesus, enable us to follow thee, in a diligent and compassionate feeding the flock, which thou hast purchased with thy own blood.
Chap. x. ver. 10–18.
CHRIST THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
10. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy : I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Behold the nature, and character of the false shepherd. His great aim is to feed himself; and of course the sheep must be neglected, and perish under his hands. come that they might have life," food, the means of life,
6 I am