John 7:19 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. That our Lord, having vindicated his doctrine in the former verses, comes now to vindicate his practice in healing the impotent man on the sabbath-day, for which the Jews sought his life, as a violation of the fourth commandment given by Moses. Our Saviour tells them, That notwithstanding their pretended zeal for the law of Moses, they more notoriously broke the sixth commandment, by going about to kill him, an innocent person, than he had broken the fourth commandment, by making a man whole on the sabbath-day.
Hence learn, That it is damnable hypocrisy, when men pretend great zeal against the sins of others, and do allow and tolerate worse in themselves. This is for their practice to give their profession the lie: the Jews condemn our Saviour for a supposed breach of the fourth commandment; whilst they are guilty themselves of a real breach of the sixth commandment.
Observe, 2. The ignominy and reproach which the Jews fix upon our blessed Saviour, in the height of their rage and fury against him, Thou hast a devil. The king of saints in heaven, as well as the whole host of saints on earth, hath been frequently smitten and deeply wounded with reproach. Christ was reproached for our sake, and when we are reproached for his sake, he takes our reproach as his own. Moses's reproach was the reproach of Christ, Heb 11:26 And he esteemed it a treasure, which did more enrich him with its worth, than press him with its weight. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.
Observe, 3. The wonderful meekness of Christ, in passing over this reproach and calumny, without one word of reply. Guilt is commonly clamorous and impatient, but, innocence is silent and regardless of misreports. Our Saviour is not at the pains of a word to vindicate himself from their impotent censure, but goes on with his discourse, and justifies his own action, in healing a man on the sabbath-day, from the Jews own practice in circumcising their children on that day, if it happen to be the eighth day: and the argument runs thus: "If circumcision may be administered to a child on the sabbath-day, which is a servile kind of work, and bodily exercise, without blame or censure, why must I fall under censure, for healing a man on the sabbath-day thoroughly and perfectly, only by a word speaking?"
Hence learn, that the law of doing good, and relieving the miserable at all times, is a more ancient and excellent law, than either that of the sabbath rest, or of circumscion upon the eighth day. A ritual law must and ought to give place to the law of nature, which is written in every man's heart. As if our Lord had said, "If you may wound a man by circumcision on the sabbath-day, may not I heal one? If you may heal on that day one member of the circumcised, may not I make a man whole every whit. If you be at pains cure such a one with your hand, may not I without pains cure a man with the word of my mouth?
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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.