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Verse 39. For judgment. The word judgment, here, has been by some understood in the sense of condemnation— "The effect of my coming is to condemn the world." But this meaning does not agree with those places where Jesus says that he came not to condemn the world, Joh 3:17; 12:47; 5:45.

To judge is to express an opinion in a judicial manner, and also to express any sentiment about any person or thing, Joh 7:24; 5:30; Lu 8:43.

The meaning here may be thus expressed:

"I came to declare the condition of men; to show them

their duty and danger. My coming will have this effect,

that some will be reformed and saved, and some more

deeply condemned."


That they, &c. The Saviour does not affirm that this was the design of his coming, but that such would be the effect or result. He came to declare the truth, and the effect would be, &c. Similar instances of expression frequently occur. Comp. Mt 11:25; 10:34: "I came not to send peace, but a sword "—that is, such will be the effect of my coming.

That they which see not. Jesus took this illustration, as he commonly did, from the case before him; but it is evident that he meant it to be taken in a spiritual sense. He refers to those who are blind and ignorant by sin; whose minds have been darkened, but who are desirous of seeing.

Might see. Might discern the path of truth, of duty, and of salvation, Joh 10:9.

They which see. They who suppose they see; who are proud, self-confident, and despisers of the truth. Such were evidently the Pharisees.

Might be made blind. Such would be the effect of his preaching.

It would exasperate them, and their pride and opposition to him would confirm them more and more in their erroneous views. This is always the effect of truth. Where it does not soften it hardens the heart; where it does not convert, it sinks into deeper blindness and condemnation.

{a} "For judgment" Joh 5:22,27; 12:47

{b} "they which see not" 1 Pe 2:9 {c} "they which see" Mt 13:13; Joh 3:19

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