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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 5 - Verse 35

Verse 35. He was. It is probable that John had been cast into prison before this, Hence his public ministry had ceased, and our Saviour says he was such a light.

Light. The word in the original properly means a lamp, and is not the same which in Joh 1:4,5 is translated light. That is a word commonly applied to the sun, the fountain of light; this means a lamp, or a light that is lit up or kindled artificially from oil or tallow. A teacher is often called a light, because he guides or illuminates the minds of others. Ro 2:19. "Thou art confident that thou art a guide of the blind, a light of them that sit in darkness;" Joh 8:12; 12:46; Mt 5:14.

 

A burning. A lamp lit up that burns with a steady lustre.

Shining. Not dim, not indistinct. The expression means that he was an eminent teacher; that his doctrines were clear, distinct, consistent.

Ye were willing. You willed, or you chose; you went out voluntarily. This shows that some of those whom Jesus was now addressing were among the great multitudes of Pharisees that came unto John in the wilderness, Mt 3:7. As they had at one time admitted John to be a prophet, so Jesus might with great propriety adduce his testimony in his favour.

For a season. In the original, for an hour—denoting only a short time. They did it, as many others do, while he was popular, and it was the fashion to follow him.

To rejoice in his light. To rejoice in his doctrines, and in admitting that he was a distinguished prophet; perhaps, also, to rejoice that he professed to be sent to introduce the Messiah, until they found that he bore testimony to Jesus of Nazareth.

{h} "ye were willing" Mt 21:26; Mr 6:20

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