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John 5:35 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, John's character, and the people's carriage.

1. John's character; he was a light, a burning and a shining light: he had in him a light of knowledge, to enlighten, direct, and comfort others; and this his knowledge was accompanied with zeal: he was a burning light in his doctrine and a shining lamp in his conversation: he had the light of knowledge in his head, the warmth of zeal in his heart, and the influence of both in his life.

Learn hence, 1. That those whom God calls to the office and work of the ministry, he furnishes with abilities and endowments suitable to their great employment, he endows them with a light of knowledge, which is animated by the heat and warmth of zeal.

2. That ministerial gifts and abilities are not bestowed alike upon all, but dispensed variously. All are lights according to their measure, but all are not equally burning and shining lights for proportion and degree.

3. That the brightest burning and clearest shining lights in the church of Christ, have but their time in this world; they are subject, as well as other men, to the common condition of mortality, and the lamps of their lives burn out the faster, by lighting others to heaven. John was a burning and a shining light; but now is put out and gone.

Observe, 2. As John's character, so the people's carriage; Ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. Here is a three-fold gradation; they rejoiced, they rejoiced in his light, and they rejoiced for a season.

1. They rejoiced. The word signifies, they leaped for joy, and danced about him as children do about a bonfire, when he first began his ministry among them. O, how warm are the affections of a people, when a pious and zealous minister comes first among them.

2. They rejoiced in his light, not in his heat. Or, they rejoiced in John's light, not in Christ's; for when they found that John bare record to Christ, they soon grew cold in their affections towards John.

3. They rejoiced only for a season; for an hour, as the word signifies. For a short time John's ministry was acceptable.

Learn hence, 1. That it has been an old practice among the professors, not to like their pastors long, though they have been ever such burning and shining lights. John was not ever such burning and shining lights. John was not changed, but his hearers were changed; he did burn and shine in the candlestick of the church with equal zeal and lustre to the last: but they had changed their thoughts of him, and lost their esteem for him.

Learn, 2. That as nothing in general is so mutable as the mind of man, so nothing in particular is so variable as the affections and opinions of people towards their ministers. The lamp of John's ministry was always alike burning and shining, his oil did not waste, but his hearer's zeal wasted, and their affection cooled: those whose gifts are not all abated, may yet find a great abatement in the acceptation of their gifts: therefore let no man live upon the breath of men; least of all let ministers live upon the popular air, or the speech of the people.

O, let us live upon the credit which we have with God, and rejoice chiefly in his esteem. If our performances find acceptance with God, we are safe and happy, though they fall under contempt with men.

Consult other comments:

John 5:35 - The Greek Testament

John 5:35 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

John 5:35 - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

John 5:35 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

John 5:35 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

John 5:35 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

John 5:35 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

John 5:35 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

John 5:35 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

John 5:35 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

John 5:35 - The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Robertson

John 5:35 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

John 5:35 - Geneva Bible Notes

John 5:35 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

John 5:35 - Gnomon of the New Testament

John 5:35 - Henry Alford's Greek Testament

John 5:35 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

John 5:35 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

John 5:35 - Lightfoot Commentary Gospels

John 5:35 - Expositions Of Holy Scripture by Alexander MacLaren

John 5:35 - Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's New Testament Commentary

John 5:35 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

John 5:35 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

John 5:35 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

John 5:35 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 5:35 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

John 5:35 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

John 5:35 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

John 5:35 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

John 5:35 - Combined Bible Commentary

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament