John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 4:37 - 4:37

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 4:37 - 4:37


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37.For in this is the saying true. This was a common proverb, by which he showed that many men frequently receive the fruit of the labor of others, though there was this difference, that he who has labored is displeased at seeing the fruit carried away by another, whereas the Apostles have the Prophets for the companions of their joy. And yet it cannot be inferred from this, that the Prophets themselves are witnesses, or are aware, of what is now going on in the Church; for Christ means nothing more than that the Prophets, so long as they lived, taught under the influence of such feelings, that they already rejoiced on account of the fruit which they were not permitted to gather. The comparison which Peter employs (1Pe_1:12) is not unlike; except that he addresses his exhortation generally to all believers, but Christ here speaks to the disciples alone, and, in their person, to the ministers of the Gospel. By these words he enjoins them to throw their labors into a common stock, so that there may be no wicked envy among them; that those who are first sent to the work ought to be so attentive to the present cultivation as not to envy a greater blessing to those who are afterwards to follow them; and that they who are sent, as it were, to gather the ripe fruit, ought to be employed with equal cheerfulness in their office; for the comparison which is here made between the teachers of the Law and of the Gospel may likewise be applied to the latter, when viewed in reference to each other.