John 7:48
Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?
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(48) The rulers were the Sanhedrin, among whose official duties it was to prevent the introduction of false doctrines. (Comp. Note on Johnm 1:19.) “The Pharisees” were the orthodox party of the day, and they are the persons who ask the question. The matter was to be decided by authority, and not by truth. In the pride of the certainty that no one in a position of power or authority had believed on Jesus, they ask the scornful question, “Hath any one of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed? “They are stung to the very heart at seeing first the multitude, then their own officials, going after Him. They know not that there is one sitting in their midst, both ruler and Pharisee, who long before had listened to the teaching of the Galilean, and was in heart, if not in name, a disciple (John 3), and that during this very feast many of the chief Jews will believe on Him (John 8:30-31).

7:40-53 The malice of Christ's enemies is always against reason, and sometimes the staying of it cannot be accounted for. Never any man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, that convincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christ spake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and who speak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose their convictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishly swayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, are willing even to be damned for fashion's sake. As the wisdom of God often chooses things which men despise, so the folly of men commonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord brings forward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them to defeat the designs of his enemies.The rulers - The members of the Sanhedrin, who were supposed to have control over the religious rites and doctrines of the nation.

The Pharisees - The sect possessing wealth, and office, and power. The name Pharisees sometimes denotes those who were high in honor and authority.

Believed on him - Is there any instance in which those who are high in rank or in office have embraced him as the Messiah? This shows the rule by which they judged of religion:

1. They claimed the right of regulating the doctrines and rites of religion.

2. They repressed the liberty of private judgment, stifled investigation, assumed that a new doctrine must be heresy, and labored to keep the people within inglorious bondage.

3. They treated the new doctrine of Jesus with contempt, and thus attempted to put it down, not by argument, but by contempt, and especially because it was embraced by the common people. This is the way in which doctrines contrary to the truth of God have been uniformly supported in the world; this is the way in which new views of truth are met; and this the way in which those in ecclesiastical power often attempt to lord it over God's heritage, and to repress the investigation of the Bible.

48. any of the rulers or … Pharisees believed—"Many of them" did, including Nicodemus and Joseph, but not one of these had openly "confessed Him" (Joh 12:42), and this appeal must have stung such of them as heard it to the quick. You ought to be ruled by us, and guided by us, who are your rulers, and your teachers: so early did the doctrine of implicit faith and obedience creep into the world; which is indeed to suppose an infallibility in teachers and rulers; to whom indeed we owe all imaginable reverence, but we must live by our own faith. And though the Jews were bound to do according to the sentence that the priests and Levites in Jerusalem should show them, Deu 17:10,11; yet it must be the sentence of the law, and it was in civil matters, as appeareth by John 7:8, controversies between blood and blood, plea and plea, stroke and stroke.

Have any of the rulers,.... In the sanhedrim, or of the synagogues; or the civil magistrates, the noble, rich, and wealthy:

or of the Pharisees, believed on him; men famous for wisdom, learning, and holiness. It must be owned, there were but very few of this sort, and perhaps not an instance of this kind had as yet occurred to them; there was Nicodemus, who is mentioned in the context, who was both a ruler and a Pharisee; and Joseph of Arimathea, a rich counsellor; but they neither of them openly showed themselves to be the disciples of Christ till his death: and besides these, there were some women, as Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, Susanna, and some other women, who ministered to him of their substance; but the far greater part of his followers were poor and illiterate: and this has been the common case of those that have believed in Jesus, for the most part, ever since, and therefore should not be a stumbling to any. God is pleased to hide the great things of the Gospel from the wise and prudent, the rich and noble, and preach and reveal them to the poor and foolish: nor is a doctrine a whit the truer for being espoused by the rich, and wise men of this world, but rather to be suspected on that account.

{18} Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

(18) False pastors are so stupid and foolish that they consider the Church of God to be of value according to the number of people in it, and from the outward show of it.

48. What right have you to judge for yourselves, contrary to the declared opinion of the Sanhedrin and of the orthodox party? What right have you to wear our livery and dispute our resolutions?

John 7:48. Μή τις, whether has any) This is their inference: Men ought not to believe in Him, in whom the rulers do not believe. Zealots of the present day, especially the Romanists, use a similar mode of reasoning and blustering.—ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαῖων, of the Pharisees) knowing the law, they mean.[211]

[211] As opposed to this people, who knoweth not the law, ver. 49.—E. and T.

Verse 48. - Hath any one of the rulers believed on him, or of the Pharisees? They soon find they have reckoned on the emphatic negative of the query (μή τις;) too soon. There is, however, a touch of weakness in the question. They seem to say, if one of the rulers, one of the Pharisees, had taken a different course, there might be some colour for the pusillanimity of the officers. The question which they put, thus expecting a negative answer, might be answered differently. There were Pharisees who had shown some sympathy with Jesus. Certain steps, moreover, taken by him were not so hopelessly hostile to their own views. In their momentary animosity, blinded by passion, they are ready to ignore this and other facts as well. Some of the higher classes in Galilee had already admitted his claims (see John 4:46; Luke 7:36, etc.). The language of the Pharisees has been a stock objection to every great spiritual movement in its beginning. The writer thus reveals a knowledge of proceedings to which he must have had some exceptional means of access. The obvious familiarity which he suggests with Nicodemus and with friends in the high priest's palace (ch. 18:15) is the simplest explanation. John 7:48Of the rulers or of the Pharisees

The Greek order, as followed by Rev., is more suggestive: Hath any of the rulers believed on Him, or (to appeal to a larger circle) of the Pharisees?

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