Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why go you about to kill me?…
I. THE COGITATIONS OF THE JERUSALEMITES.
(1) The fearlessness of Christ (ver. 26) startled them, considering that He was a marked Man (ver. 25). Being themselves destitute of moral courage (ver. 13), they had no idea of such fortitude as innocence and truth could inspire, and that he whom God shields is invulnerable (Isaiah 54:17) until his work is done (Deuteronomy 33:25) and his hour is come (John 9:4; Hebrews 9:27).
(2) The timidity of the rulers (ver. 26) puzzled them. They had as little comprehension of the essential cowardice of wickedness (Proverbs 28:1; Job 18:7-21) as of the majesty of goodness.
2. Suspicion. Ruminating on the inaction of the authorities, they began to whisper that something had occurred to change their tactics; that perhaps they had ascertained that Jesus was the Messiah (ver. 26) — a conjecture that was immediately dismissed, little guessing that truth often presents itself in such seemingly involuntary suggestions.
3. Decision. Who Jesus was they could settle in a moment.
(1) When Messiah came, no one would be able to tell whence He came, or His parentage (ver 27), though His birthplace would be known (ver. 42).
(2) Everybody knew Jesus' birthplace and parentage.
(3) Therefore He could not be Messiah, but only "a man," like His fellows. Good logic, it is obvious, is not the same thing as sound Divinity.
II. THE DECLARATIONS OF JESUS.
1. A concession. Their knowledge of His origin was —
(1) Ostensibly complete.
(2) Essentially erroneous, since they had no acquaintance with His higher nature.
2. A proclamation.
(1) Concerning Himself.
(a) His Divine Mission. "I am not Come of Myself." "He sent Me."
(b) His Divine knowledge. "I know Him," the Sender.
(c) His Divine essence. "I am from Him."(2) Concerning them.
(a) Their ignorance of God. "Whom ye know not."
(b) As a consequence, their non-recognition of Him.Lessons:
1. The true humanity of Jesus.
2. To know Christ after the flesh only is to be ignorant of Him in reality.
3. No one knows Christ who recognizes not His Divine origin and mission.
4. A knowledge of the Father necessary to a true acquaintance with the Son (Matthew 11:27).
5. It is not possible for wicked men to do all they wish except God wills.
(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?