I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…
We learn from the text the rightness of personal preferences — certain minds being more akin to other minds than others — but also that in the highest hearts this affinity will be determined by spiritual resemblances, not mere accidental agreeabilities, accomplishments, politenesses, or pleasant manners. Again, I imagine that the union had nothing to do with mental superiority; that might have been more admirable. John was lovable. Not talent, as in Paul's ease, nor eloquence, nor amiability, drew Christ's spirit to him, but that large heart, which enabled him to believe because he felt, and hence to reveal that "God is love." It is very remarkable, however, that his love was a trained love. Once John was more zealous than affectionate. But he began by loving the human friend, by tending the mother as a son, by attachment to his brother James; and so through particular personal attachments he was trained to take in and comprehend the larger Divine love. I should say, then, that he was most lovable, because, having loved in their varied relationships "men whom he had seen," he was able to love "God whom he had not seen." He is most dear to the heart of Christ, who loves most, because he has most of God in him; and that love comes through missing none of the preparatory steps of affection given us as primer lessons.
(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.