John 10:23 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentIn these verses we have recorded a new and fresh debate betwixt our Saviour and the Jews, and therein we have observable, 1. The time of this debate, Joh 10:22.
It was at the feast of dedication, in the winter, our Saviour taking that opportunity to publish his doctrine, when a concourse of people were gathered together at that solemnity.
Observe, 2. That place of this debate, in Solomon's porch.
Although the temple and porch built by Solomon were destroyed by the Babylonians: yet when the temple was rebuilt, there was a porch like it, which retained the ancient name.
Observe, 3. The debate itself; If thou be the Christ tell us plainly. Not that they affected the knowledge of the truth, but only designed to ensnare him: for it he had affirmed himself to be the Messias, he had brought himself in danger of the Roman governor; because the Jews expected the Messias to be a temporal prince, that should deliver them from the Roman power.
Now if Christ had declared himself such a Messias as the Jews expected, it might have cost him his life. Therefore his hour being not yet come, he answers with his usual prudence and weariness to their ensnaring question.
Learn hence, That Christ's enemies are full of subtile policies, and can turn themselves into all shapes, that, if possible, they may entrap and ensnare him; and accordingly, they pretend here great earnestness of desire to be satisfied, whether he was indeed the true and promised Messias; when in truth they had another design.
Observe, 4. The wisdom and caution of our Saviour's answer; he refers them to his miracles, The works that I do in my father's name, they bear witness of me. Our Saviour's miraculous work were sufficient for the Jews to have grounded and bottomed their faith upon, and to have confirmed them in the belief, that he was the promised and expected Messias, had not prejudice, obstinacy, and malice, blinded their eyes, that they could neither see nor consider.
Observe, lastly, How Christ points out to these Jews the true cause of their infidelity: which was not the obscurity of his doctrine, but their not being his sheep; that is, not as yet converted, they not having the properties of his sheep, which he sites down in the following verses.
Learn hence, That men's final unbelief under the means of faith, is a clear evidence of their being in a lost and perishing condition.
Infidelity is the sin that doth consign a man over to damnation; and to such as sit under the gospel, doth not only procure damnation, but no damnation like it.
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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.