John 12:37 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentThe place which our Evangelist alludes to, is, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. Isa 6:3
From whence, a clear argument for Christ's divinity may be thus drawn. He whom Isaiah saw environed with seraphims, and praised as most holy by them, was the true and eternal God; for such acclamations belong to none but the great Jehovah, God blessed for evermore. But says St. John, it was the glory of Christ that Isaiah saw in his vision, it was Christ whom he called, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts: therefore Christ is undoubtedly God, blessed for evermore. For the Evangelist was not speaking of the Father, but the Son, and cites these words out of Isaiah saw and spake of, if the words of the Evangelist be of any credit. Besides, the angels are too holy to give acclamations belonging to God, to any but him that is God.
Observe here, 1. The astonishing infidelity and unbelief of the Jews, who heard our Saviour's doctrine, and were eye-witnesses of his miracles; though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him. Let not the faithful minister of Christ be discouraged, and overmuch dejected, at their want of success in dispensing of the gospel, when they observe and consider the small success of our Saviour's own ministry in the hearts and lives of his hearers: yea, though his minstry was accompanied with miracles, and though his miracles were many in number, mighty in nature, clear and obvious to sense, being wrought before their eyes, yet his ministry succeeded not, and his miracles prevailed not: Lord, what little success has the offer of Christ in the gospel met with, from the first original tender to this day! Obstinate infidelity, and cursed hypocrisy, draw more souls to hell than all the devils in hell.
Observe, 2. How the present infidelity of these unbelieving Jews was long before foretold, and prophesied of, by the prophet Esaias, Lord, who hath believed our report? Isa 53:1 That is, our preaching.
Where note, That Isaiah's complaint of the small success of his preaching, was a prophesy and prediction of the like success that Christ and his ministers should have under the gospel.
Learn hence, That the gospel in all ages have met with more that have rejected it by unbelief, than have savingly entertained it by faith. Isaiah complained before Christ, and his apostles and minsters in every age since, that few have believed their reports.
Observe, 3. That though the present unbelief of the obstinate Jews was long foretold by the prophets of God, yet the prophet's prediction was no cause of their unbelief, or that which laid them under an impossibility of believing; but the fault lay in their own obstinate wills, with respect to which, by the just judgment of God, they were blinded and hardened, for their contempt of Christ, the promised Messias. When men close their eyes wilfully, and say, they will not see, it is just with God to close their eyes judicially, and say, they shall not see. He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts, &c.
Learn hence, That the infidelity of the people is to be resolved into the perverseness of their own wills, and the evil disposition of their own hearts, not to any judicial blindness or obduration wrought by God upon them, antecedent to their own sin: God's act of hardening was consequential upon their sinning.
Consult other comments:
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.