John 12:34 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. The objection which the Jews make against our Saviour's being the true Messias. Their argument runs thus: " It was foretold under the law, that Christ or the Messias abideth for ever; but thou sayest, the Son of man must be lifted up and die. How then canst thou be the promised Messias?" The answer is, " In his state of humiliation unto death, he was lifted up: but, in his state of exaltation, he abideth for ever."
Learn hence, that Christ's lifting up by death, and his abiding for ever, do very well consist together; for both are true of him, the one in his state of humiliation, the other in his state of exaltation.
Observe, 2. Our Saviour returns no answer to their cavilling objection, nor doth he undertake to demonstrate how his sufferings and his abiding for ever, are consistent: but gives them intimations that he was the light of the world, and advises them, whilst they had, the light with them, to prize it highly, and improve it faithfully. Yet a little while is the light with you, walk whilst ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.
Note here, 1. A choice and singular privilege enjoyed; the light is with you, a personal light, Christ; a doctrinal light, the gospel: both these brought with them a light of knowledge, answering our darkness of ignorance; a light of grace and holiness, answering our darkness of sin, which we had brought upon ourselves; and a light of joy and comfort, answering the darkness of misery and horror, which we lay under by reason of our guilt.
Note, 2. The time of enjoying this privilege limited: yet a little while is the light with you. The time of a people's enjoying the light and liberty of the gospel, it is a limited time, it is a short time.
Note, 3. A duty enjoined by Christ answerable to the privilege enjoyed by us; Walk whilst ye have the light. An uniform and constant course of holy walking, according to the rule of the gospel, is the indispensible duty and obligation of all those that enjoy the light and liberty of the gospel; namely, to walk according to the precepts and commands of the gospel, answerable to the privileges and prerogatives of the gospel, answerable to the helps and supplies of grace which the gospel affords, and answerable to the glorious hope and expectation which the gospel raises us unto.
Note, 4. A danger threatened to the neglecters of this duty; lest darkness come upon you; namely, a darkness of ignorance and judicial blindness, a darkness of error and seduction, a darkness of horror and despair, and the fatal and final darkness of death and hell; for all contemners of gospel-light, there is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Where sin and torment run parallel, their torment makes them sin, and their sin feeds their torment.
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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.