Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.…
I. THE GRAND PRINCIPLE ASSERTED. It is impossible to shut our eyes to the fact that a teaching is gaining ground whose fundamental principle is opposed to this, and which affirms that the Scripture can be broken. It is of the first importance that we should distinctly understand the amount of authority which is due to the Bible. The Romanists say that tradition is of co-ordinate authority with the Bible; the Rationalists that only part of the Bible is authoritative, and what portions are to be received as such is determined by the "verifying faculty." When Christ endorses, as He does in the text, the Old Testament, these philosophers affirm that He was liable to mistake, and so overthrew His prophetic office and nullify His mission, which was to "bear witness to the Truth." But turn from theory to fact, and we find that Christ's affirmation is proved.
1. From the history of the Jews, who from their first settlement as a nation down to the present moment show in all their vicissitudes that the Scripture cannot be broken.
2. From the fate of heathen nations. Nineveh, Babylon, Tyre, and Sidon, etc., verify the predictions to the very letter.
3. The life of our Lord, every detail of which from Bethlehem and Calvary was detailed beforehand, and occurred "that it might be fulfilled."
II. THE BASIS ON WHICH THE PRINCIPLE RESTS.
1. That man's word may be broken. Why is it that friends and relatives in the slightest business transaction have a legal and written form?
(1) Because man is changeable. That which he honestly and determinately promises today he may see reasons to change tomorrow, or he may change from simple fickleness.
(2) Man is sometimes unfaithful, and deliberately false to his engagements.
(3) Man is often unable to fulfil his promises and obligations, however willing he may be.
2. That for contrary reasons God's word cannot be broken.
(1) God is unchangeable. "His counsel shall stand."(2) God is faithful. God is not a man that He should lie.
(3) God is able. These points are well illustrated in the promise to Abraham.
1. For comfort.
(1) To the Church. In every age God's people have been depressed by the taunt, "Where is the promise of His coming?" But God takes time to fulfil His word. Be patient, it cannot be broken.
(2) To the individual believer. He has delivered in six troubles and He will deliver in seven. Past promises fulfilled are assurances that His word cannot be broken.
2. For warning. Though God's threatenings be long delayed for merciful reasons they will assuredly be fulfilled.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.