John 1:31 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. That though John the Baptist was a near kinsman of Christ, according to the flesh, yet the providence of God so ordered it, that for thirty years together they did not know one another, nor converse with each other, nor probably ever saw the faces of each other; to be sure, he did not know him to be the Messiah. This, no doubt, was overruled by the wisdom of God to prevent all suspicion, as if John and Christ had compacted together to give one another credit; that the world mnight suspect nothing of the truth of John's testimony concerning Christ, or have the least jealousy that what he said of Christ was from any bias of mind to his person, therefore he repeats it a second time, I knew him not. Joh 1:31; Joh 1:33.
Hence we may learn, That a corporal sight of Christ, and an outward personal acquaintance with him is not simply needful, and absolutely necessary, for enabling a minister to set him forth, and represent him savingly to the world.
Observe, 2. The means declared by which John came to know Christ to be the true Messiah; it was by a sign from heaven, namely, The Holy Ghost descending like a dove upon our Saviour: He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining, the same is he.
Learn hence, 1. that Christ taking upon him our nature, did so cover his glory with the veil of our flesh and common infirmities, that he could not be known by bodily sight from another man. Till John had a divine revelation, and an evident sign from heaven, that Christ was the Son of God, he knew him not.
Learn, 2. That Christ in his solemn entry upon his office, as Mediator, was sealed unto the work by the descending of the Holy Ghost upon him; he was sealed by the Holy Ghost's descending, and the Father's testifying, that this was his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased. Now it was, that God gave not of the Spirit to Christ by measure, for the effectual administration of his mediatorial office; now it pleased the Father, that in Christ should all fulness dwell. He was filled extensively with all kinds of grace, and filled intensively with all degrees of grace, in the day of his inauguration, when the Holy Spirit descended upon him.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.