He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.…
No Scripture has so directly and immoveably stood in the way of opposers of Christ's divinity, from Socinius backwards, than this chapter. In the text we have —
I. CHRIST'S COMING INTO THE WORLD.
1. The person who came. The Second Person in the Trinity, whose infinity makes the act of His coming miraculous. But Christ, who delighted to mingle mercy with miracle, took a finite nature, so that what was impossible to a Divine nature was done by a Divine Person, and being made man could do all that a man could do except sin. The endeavour to account for this mystery has been the source of all heresy, both of hypothesis and denial.
2. The state and condition from which Christ came. From the bosom of the Father, a state of eternal glory, joy, and Divine communion. How great the humiliation from this to that of a crucified malefactor! And yet it was perfectly voluntary.
3. To whom He came. Everything was "His own" by creation, possession, and absolute dominion; but the Jews were His by(1) The fraternal right of consanguinity; and(2) Churchship, as selected by Him. That it was Palestine and not Rome He came to was of His sovereign mercy.
4. The time at which He came. When they were at their worst.
(1) Nationally. Only a remnant left, and that under a foreign yoke; when to be a Jew was a mark of infamy.
(2) Ecclesiastically. When most corrupt, hypocritical, sceptical. In this we may see
(a) the invariable strength of Christ's love;
(b) the immoveable veracity of God's promise.
II. CHRIST'S ENTERTAINMENT BEING COME. May we not expect for Him a magnificent reception, a welcome as extraordinary as His kindness, especially when we consider His purpose? But His own received Him not. This is not strange. The Jews only followed the common practice of men, whose.emulation usually preys on those superior to them.
1. The grounds of His rejection.
(1) Christ came not as a temporal prince, which frustrated their carnal hopes. They therefore derided "the carpenter's son."(2) They supposed that He set Himself against the law of Moses by His spiritual interpretations, human exceptions, and exposures of rabbinical glosses.
2. The unreasonableness of these grounds.
(1) He came to be not a temporal prince, but
(a) a blessing to all nations, which is inconsistent with the idea of a warrior Messiah. This is the burden of prophecy —
(b) of a low, despised estate (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53:1.)(2) He came not to destroy the law but to fulfil it. The ceremonial law was fulfilled and passed away, therefore, of itself.
3. The reasons which should have induced them to receive Him.
(1) All the marks of the Messiah appeared in Him.
(2) His whole behaviour was a continued act of mercy and charity. Conclusion: The Jews are not the only persons concerned in this guilt, but also all vicious Christians.
(R. South, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.