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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 1 - Verse 3
Verse 3. All things. The universe. The expression cannot be limited to any part of the universe. It appropriately expresses everything which exists—all the vast masses of material worlds, and all the animals and things, great or small, that compose those worlds. See Re 4:11; Heb 1:2; Col 1:16.
Were made. The original word is from the verb to be, and signifies "were" by him; but it expresses the idea of creation here. It does not alter the sense whether it is said "were by him," or "were created by him." The word is often used in the sense of creating, or forming from nothing. See Jas 3:9; Ge 2:4 Isa 48:7, in the Septuagint.
By him. In this place it is affirmed that creation was effected by the Word, or the Son of God. In Ge 1:1, it is said that the Being who created the heavens and the earth was God. In Ps 102:25-28, this work is ascribed to Jehovah. The Word, or the Son of God, is therefore appropriately called God. The work of creation is uniformly ascribed in the Scriptures to the second person of the Trinity. See Col 1:16; Heb 1:2,10.
By this is meant, evidently, that he was the agent, or the efficient cause, by which the universe was made. There is no higher proof of omnipotence than the work of creation; and hence God often appeals to that work to prove that he is the true God, in opposition to idols. See Isa 40:18-28 Jer 10:3-16; Ps 24:2; 39:11; Pr 3:19.
It is absurd to say that God can invest a creature with omnipotence. If he can make a creature omnipotent, he can make him omniscient, and can in the same way make him omnipresent, and infinitely wise and good; that is, he can invest a creature with all his own attributes, or make another being like himself, or, which is the same thing, there could be two Gods, or as many Gods as he should choose to make. But this is absurd. The Being, therefore, that created all things must be divine; and as this work is ascribed to Jesus Christ, and as it is uniformly in the Scriptures declared to be the work of God, Jesus Christ is therefore equal with the Father.
Without him. Without his agency; his notice; the exertion of his power. Comp. Mt 10:29. This is a strong way of speaking, designed to confirm, beyond the possibility of doubt, what he had just said. He says, therefore, in general, that all things were made by Christ. In this part of the verse he shuts out all doubt, and affirms that there was no exceptions; that there was not a single thing, however minute or unimportant, which was not made by him. In this way he confirms what he said in the first verse. Christ was not merely called God, but he did the works of God, and therefore the name is used in its proper sense as implying supreme divinity. To this same test Jesus himself appealed as proving that he was divine. Joh 10:37: If I do not THE WORKS of my Father, believe me not. Joh 5:17: MY FATHER worketh hitherto, and I work.
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