Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and you do dishonor me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Jesus answered, I have not a devil.—One of the disciples, who was probably present on this day, and heard these words, speaks of Christ our example, “who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously” (1Peter 2:23). The charge of being a Samaritan He passes over. His words soon after taught that a Samaritan may be more truly the child of God than priest or Levite is. The statement that He is possessed by an evil power from the spirit world He denies.
I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.—There is a connection between all His works and words and the unseen world. It is the union of Father and Son, and His life had been the constant honouring of the Father, whose will it was His meat to do (John 4:31). Their works and words were as constantly—and this last calumny is an instance of it—dishonouring Him. The contrast suggests that this dishonour was not of Him only; but also of the Father whom He honoured, and whom they claimed as their God.
I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me—the language of wounded feeling. But the interior of His soul at such moments is only to be seen in such prophetic utterances as these, "For thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face; I am become a stranger unto my brethren, an alien unto my mother's children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me" (Ps 69:7-9).I have not a devil; that is, I am not possessed with an evil spirit, as you blaspheme; or, (as others think), I am not mad, I speak the words of truth and soberness, (for it is said, that the Jews held an opinion, That all who were distracted were influenced by all evil spirit, and had a devil). It is true in both senses, Christ had no devil. He did nothing that he did, but for the honour of his Father; this was but a term of scandal and reproach they cast upon Christ. In the mean time it must be observed, with how much meekness the Lamb of God received these most unworthy reproaches cast upon him; that we may learn to behave ourselves in like manner under such temptations.
but I honour my Father; by ascribing his doctrine and miracles to him, by doing his will, seeking his glory, and speaking well of him; all which he would not, had he been in confederacy with the devil; for no man can be familiar with him, or be assisted by him, and honour God; nor could a man out of his senses do all this:
and ye do dishonour me: by such wicked charges, and scandalous imputations: and Jews, who deny Jesus to be the Messiah, and treat him in this opprobrious manner, are not the only persons that dishonour Christ; there are many that are called by his name, who greatly dishonour him; some by their bad principles, and others by their evil practices: such highly reflect upon him, who deny his proper deity, and eternal sonship; who assert, that he is only God by office, and did not exist before his incarnation; who despise and reject his righteousness, submit not to it, but establish their own; who account his blood as common and useless, and speak disrespectfully of his sacrifice and satisfaction; and who consider his sufferings and death only as an example to men, and for the confirmation of his doctrine, but not as in the room and stead of his people, to answer and satisfy divine justice for them: and others they dishonour him, though they talk much of him, and pretend to faith in him, and love to him, and hope of eternal life by him, through their scandalous lives and conversations; dishonour his name and Gospel; give the enemy an occasion to reproach and blaspheme, and by reason of them, the ways and truths of Christ are evil spoken of.Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 8:49. δαιμόνιον ἔχεις, possessed, or crazed. Cf. John 10:20. To this Jesus replies: Ἐγὼ … αἰῶνα. The ἐγώ is emphatic in contrast to the expressed ὑμεῖς of the last clause; “I am not out of my mind, but all I do and say springs from my desire to honour my Father, while you for your part and on this very account dishonour me”. This dishonour does not stir His resentment, because (John 8:50) ἐγὼ … μου, “I am not seeking my own glory”. Cf. John 5:41. Nevertheless His glory is not to be carelessly slighted and turned into reproach (Psalm 4:2) for ἔστιν ὁ ζητῶν καὶ κρίνων, “there is who seeketh it and judgeth” (John 8:22-23).49. I have not a devil] He does not notice the charge of being a Samaritan. For Him it contained nothing offensive, for He knew that Samaritans might equal or excel Jews (John 4:39-42; Luke 10:33; Luke 17:16) in faith, benevolence, and gratitude. There is an emphasis on ‘I,’ but the meaning of the emphasis is not ‘I have not a demon, but ye have.’ Rather it means ‘I have not a demon, but honour My Father; while you on the contrary dishonour My Father through Me.’John 8:49. Τιμῶ τὸν πατέρα μου, I honour My Father) by making manifest His name.—καὶ ὑμεῖς) and ye notwithstanding.—ἀτιμάζετε με, treat me with insult) This they had done at John 8:48.Verse 49. - To this Jesus answered, in calm and patient remonstrance, I have not a daemon. No strange or evil power haunts me; I am perfectly clear in my consciousness. Once before, when accused of complicity with Beelzebub, he had retorted with awful solemnity, and an appeal to the conscience of his enemies and to the patent facts of his own warfare with all the kingdom of Satan. It is interesting to observe that he takes no notice of the charge, "Thou art a Samaritan." If the above suggestion of Edersheim were accepted, the silence would be explained; but it was more probably occasioned by Christ's unwillingness to repudiate fellowship with this persecuted nationality. The parable of the good Samaritan was probably delivered about this time. Here he simply repudiated the second charge, and added, But I honour my Father, in declaring that these words of his would be acceptable to you if you were of God (ver. 47), and (the καὶ strengthens the contrast between the two clauses rather than between: the "I" and "you") - and, while I am doing honour to my Father, ye are dishonouring me; for you are casting these reproaches upon me, refusing my offers of mercy, freedom, and life, veritable revelations though they be of the heart of the Father.
He ignores the charge of being a Samaritan, refusing to recognize the national distinction. For devil read demon.
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