John 10:39 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. The violence and fury of these unbelieving Jews, against the holy and innocent Jesus! They sought again to take him.
Observe, 2. The prudential care of Christ for his own preservation; his time being not yet come, he withdraws from Jerusalem, the nest of his enemies, and goes beyond Jordan; when Christ was persecuted in one city, he fled to another; he has sanctified a state of persecution to his ministers and members, by his own being in it. 'Tis no disgrace for any of them to fly, when their Captain did it, and bids them do it, saying, When they persecute you in one city, flee unto another.
Observe, 3. The success of Christ's ministry beyond Jordan; Many resorted to him, and believed on him. This place about Jordan was the place where John had exercised a great part of his ministry, and now, many years after John's death, the fruit of his ministry appears: for many believed on him there: that is, about Jordan, where John had preached and baptized.
Learn hence, That the labours of faithful ministers may seem to be lost, and lie long like seed under the ground, and yet at last, by some new watering, may spring up, and the fruit appear in abundance. Here John's ministry about Jordan hath fresh fruit upon Christ's coming, long after John was dead.
Observe, 4. The dignity of Christ above John, John did no miracle: but Christ did all. The wisdom of God so ordered it, that through the Old Testament prophets, Elijah and Elisha, wrought many miracles for the confirmation of their divine mission, yet John the Baptist coming immediately before Christ, as his messenger and forerunner, wrought none, for these three reasons probably:
1. That so the glory of Christ in working miracles, when he came upon the state of his ministry, might be the more clear and evident.
2. That the evidence of Christ being the Messias might be the more clear by the miracles which he wrought.
3. That the minds of the people might not be divided and distracted between John and Christ, and that there might be not pretence or competition between them: Therefore John did no miracle; but all things that John spake of Christ were true.
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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.