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The One Who Comes from Heaven

31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all.


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31. He who cometh from above. By another comparison he shows how widely Christ differs from all the rest, and how far he is above them; for he compares him to a king or distinguished general, who, speaking from his lofty seat, ought to be heard with reverence for his authority, but shows that it is enough for himself to speak from the lowest footstool of Christ. 6969     “Au marchepied de Christ.” In the second clause the old Latin translation has only once the words, is of the earth; but the Greek manuscripts agree in repeating the words twice. I suspect that ignorant men considered the repetition to be superfluous, and therefore erased it; but the meaning is: he who is of earth gives evidence of his descent, and remains in an earthly rank according to the condition of his nature. He maintains that it is peculiar to Christ alone to speak from above, because he came from heaven

But it may be asked, Did not John also come from heaven, as to his calling and office, and was it not therefore the duty of men to hear the Lord speaking by his mouth? For he appears to do injustice to the heavenly doctrine which he delivers. I reply, this was not said absolutely, but by comparison. If ministers be separately considered, they speak as from heaven, with the highest authority, what God commanded them; but, as soon as they begin to be contrasted with Christ, they must no longer be anything. Thus the Apostle, comparing the Law with the Gospel, says,

Since they escaped not who despised him that spoke on earth, beware lest you despise him who is from heaven,
(Hebrews 12:25.)

Christ, therefore, wishes to be acknowledged in his ministers, but in such a manner that he may remain the only Lord, and that they may be satisfied with the rank of servants; but especially when a comparison is made, he wishes to be so distinguished that he alone may be exalted.




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