The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The world cannot hate you.—Because they were of the world. To have hated them, would have been to have hated itself. (Comp. John 3:19-20.)
But me it hateth, because I testify . . .—He had placed Himself in a position of antagonism to it, and must necessarily do so. His words and acts must be a witness against the evil of its deeds. This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. But men who love darkness must also hate light. Its very presence makes the darkness visible; and nothing cuts to the very quick, like that which makes the heart condemn itself.
I testify of it - I bear witness against it. This was the main cause of the opposition which was made to him. He proclaimed that men were depraved, and the result was that they hated him. We may expect that all who preach faithfully against the wickedness of men will excite opposition. Yet this is not to deter us from doing our duty, and, after the example of Jesus, from proclaiming to men their sins, whatever may be the result.
your time is always ready—that is "It matters little when we go up, for ye have no great plans in life, and nothing hangs upon your movements. With Me it is otherwise; on every movement of Mine there hangs what ye know not. The world has no quarrel with you, for ye bear no testimony against it, and so draw down upon yourselves none of its wrath; but I am here to lift up My voice against its hypocrisy, and denounce its abominations; therefore it cannot endure Me, and one false step might precipitate its fury on its Victim's head before the time. Away, therefore, to the feast as soon as it suits you; I follow at the fitting moment, but 'My time is not yet full come.'"the world, our Saviour plainly understandeth the men of the world; men not regenerated, renewed, and sanctified. These men, saith he, cannot as yet hate you. There was a time afterward when this part of the world hated all the disciples of Christ, as Christ foretold, John 15:18; but that was after the doctrine of the gospel was more preached, and made known to the world by the preaching of the apostles: and therefore Christ saith (in that place) that it hated him before it hated them. Christ first published the doctrine of the gospel, and so became the first object of the world’s hatred on that account. These his brethren were not concerned (that we read of) at this time in the publication of it, nor had any occasion to make themselves known and odious to the world upon that account; therefore he saith, The world (the wicked Jews, here so called) could not be reasonably imagined to have any spite or malignity to them.
But, saith he, me it hateth: that is apparent from what we met with John 5:18. But this was not for any fault in Christ, but only for his preaching the doctrine of the gospel, and free reproving them for the evil of their works, the corruption of their doctrine, and the errors of their life and conversation.
but me it hateth; though without a cause; that is, without a just cause, or reason; a cause there was, and it follows:
because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil; even those works of it, which were reckoned good works; Christ bore his testimony of these, that they were evil; being done either not according to the command of God, but the traditions of the elders; or not from a right principle, as of faith and love, nor to a right end, as the glory of God; but only to be seen of men: and very severely did he inveigh against the pride, covetousness, hypocrisy, and uncleanness of the Scribes and Pharisees: and so he continued to do, and this drew upon him their hatred and ill will.The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 7:7-8. οὐ δύναται] “psychologically it cannot, because you are in perfect accord with it.” “One knave agrees with another, for one crow does not scratch out the eye of another crow,” Luther; τὸ ὅμοιον τῷ ὁμοίῳ ἀνάγκη ἀεὶ φίλον εἶναι, Plato, Lys. p. 214 B; comp. Gorg. p. 510 B.
ὁ κόσμος] not as in John 7:4, but with a moral significance (the unbelieving world). Comp. here 1 John 5:19.
ἐγὼ οὐκ ἀναβαίνω, κ.τ.λ.] not an indefinite answer, leaving the matter spoken of uncertain (Hengstenberg), but, as the Present shows, a direct and categorical refusal: I, for my part, do not go up. Afterward He changed (John 7:10) His intention not to go up to the feast, and went up to it after all, though as secretly as possible. Porphyry’s reproach (in Jerome) of inconstantia is based upon a correct interpretation, but is not in itself just; for Jesus might alter His intention without being fickle, especially as the particular motive that prompted the change does not appear. In the case of the Canaanitish woman also, Matthew 15:26 ff., He changed His intention. The result of this change was that once more, and for some length of time before the last decision, He prosecuted His work by way of opposition and instruction at the great capital of the theocracy. The attempt to put into οὐκ the sense of οὔπω, or to find this sense in the context, is as unnecessary as it is erroneous. Either the Present ἀναβ. has been emphasized, and a νῦν introduced (Chrysostom, Bengel, Storr, Lücke, Olshausen, Tholuck), or ἀναβ. has been taken to denote the manner of travelling, viz. with the caravan of pilgrims, or the like; or the meaning of ἑορτήν has been narrowed (Apol.: Οὐ ΜΕΤᾺ ἹΛΑΡΌΤΗΤΟς; Cyril: ΟὐΧ ΟὝΤΩς ἙΟΡΤΆΖΩΝ), as, besides Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erf. II. p. 113, and Lange, Ebrard’s expedient of understanding the feast “in the legally prescribed sense” does; or οὐκ has been regarded as limited by the following ΟὔΠΩ (De Wette, Maier, and most), which is quite wrong, for ΟὔΠΩ negatives generally the fulfilment of the ΚΑΙΡΌς in the present (i.e. during the whole time of the feast). So little does the true interpretation of the οὐκ justify the objection of modern criticism against the evangelist (B. Bauer: “Jesuitism;” Baur: “the seeming independence of Jesus is supposed thus to be preserved;” comp. also Hilgenfeld), that, on the contrary, it brings into view a striking trait of originality in the history.
Observe in the second half of the verse the simple and emphatic repetition of the same words, into which ΤΑΎΤΗΝ, however, is introduced (see the critical notes), because Jesus has in view a visit to a future feast. Observe also the repetition of the reason already given in John 7:6, in which, instead of ΠΆΡΕΣΤΙΝ, the weightier ΠΕΠΛΉΡΩΤΑΙ occurs.
 Comp. Bengel, Luthardt (who would supply “as ye think”), Baumgarten, p. 228; Baeumlein; in like manner Godet, who explains ἀναβαίνω, “I go not up as King Messiah.” As if one had only to foist in such interpolations!
 See his Leben Jesu, II. 927: He did not actually visit the feast, but He went up in the second half of the week of the feast, and not before. Jesus never resorted to any such subtleties.John 7:7. The reason of the different procedure lies in the different relation to the world held by Jesus and His brothers. οὐ δύναται … ἐστιν. There is no danger of your incurring the world’s hatred by anything you do or say; because your wishes and actions are in the world’s own spirit. But me the world hates, and I cannot at random or on every occasion utter to it my claims and purpose, because the very utterance of these claims causes it to be conscious that its desires are earthly (see chap. 6 passim). This hatred of the world compelled Him to choose His time for manifesting Himself.7. The world] Unbelievers; the common meaning in S. John. In John 7:4 ‘the world’ means all mankind. See on John 1:10.
cannot hate you] Because you and it are of one mind; because you are part of it: it cannot hate itself; see on John 15:19. Hence it is that they can always manifest themselves: they can always count upon favourable surroundings and a sympathetic audience.
me it hateth] Comp. John 3:20, John 7:34; John 7:36, John 8:21, John 12:39.John 7:7. Ὁ κόσμος, the world) concerning which [they had said], at John 7:4, “Show Thyself to the world.”—ὑμᾶς, you) as being of the world.—ἐμέ, Me) Comp. John 5:1, “The Jews sought to kill Him.”—μισεῖ, it hateth) So also men regard the followers of Christ either with the greatest love, or else with the greatest hatred. Those who please all men at all times, ought deservedly to look on themselves with suspicion.—μαρτυρῶ, I testify) The especial work of the Christ. It was thus He had testified, ch. John 5:33-47—πονηρά, evil) springing from the Evil One; 1 John 5:19, “The whole world lieth in wickedness.” [That the works of the world are evil, the men of the world themselves all confess; but there is no one that does not try to except himself. There is to be added the detestable evil, hypocrisy; namely, they wish to appear very far removed from hatred towards Jesus Christ.—V. g.]Verse 7. - The world cannot hate you; but it hateth me, because I bear witness concerning it, that its works are evil. The "world" is here used in the current Johannine sense of "humanity unregenerate, humanity without grace, or apart from God." The hatred of the world to Christ was pressing down upon his spirit like an intolerable load. He admitted that, from its own standpoint, there was some justification for the feeling. The world hates its censor; it repels the judgment passed upon it. It is satisfied with itself and its own idea of righteousness. It is satisfied with its own standards and cries and professions, so that to be accused of wrongful notions, of a depravity under the clothing of Pharisaic propriety, of a hidden leprosy which is eating into its vitals, rouses all its animosity. If Christ were to go, he must deliver his soul. Already the thunder peal of Matthew 22-25, to be shortly delivered after full assertion of the nature of his work, and in the metropolis of the theocracy, was hurtling in his soul, and he foresaw the outburst of maddened rage which would follow; but with melancholy and some gentle irony he said, "The world against which I have to deliver my prophetic burden cannot (οὐ δύναται, moral impossibility) hate you! Your aim is to fall in with its demands, to realize its corrupt and unspiritual dreams. You are violating none of its cherished fancies; you are abasing none of its idols; your time is always ready; my time is not yet come."
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