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Verse 12. To as many as received him. The great mass; the people; the scribes and Pharisees rejected him. A few in his lifetime received him, and many more after his death. To receive him, here, means to believe on him. This is expressed at the end of the verse.


Gave he power. This is more appropriately rendered in the margin by the word right or privilege. Comp. Ac 1:7; 5:4; Ro 9:21; 1 Co 7:37; 8:9; 9:4,5.



Sons of God. Children of God by adoption. See Barnes "Mt 1:1".

Christians are called sons of God—

1st. Because they are adopted by him, 1 Jo 3:1.

2nd. Because they are

like him

; they resemble him and have his spirit.

3rd. They are united to the Lord Jesus, the Son of God—are regarded by

him as his brethren (Mt 25:40) , and are therefore regarded as the children of the Most High.


On his name. This is another way of saying believeth in him. The name of a person is often put for the person himself, Joh 2:23

Joh 2:18; 1 Jo 5:13. From this verse we learn,

1st. That to be a child of God is a privilege-far more so than to be the child of any man, though in the highest degree rich, or learned, or honoured. Christians are therefore more honoured than any other men.

2nd. God

gave them this privilege. It is not by their own works or deserts; it is because God chose to impart this blessing to them, Eph 2:8; Joh 15:16.


3rd. This favour is given only to those who believe on him. All others are the children of the wicked one, and no one who has not

confidence in God can be regarded as his child. No parent would acknowledge one for his child, or approve of him, who had no confidence in him, who doubted

or denied all he said, and who despised his character. Yet this the sinner constantly does toward God, and he cannot, therefore, be called his son.

{p} "as many as received him" Isa 56:4,5; Ro 8:15; 1 Jo 3:1

{1} "power to become" or, "the right or privilege

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