John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 4:42 - 4:42

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 4:42 - 4:42

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

42.On account of thy speech. Though I have followed Erasmus in rendering this word by oratio, (speech,)because loquela, which the ancient interpreter uses, is a barbarous term; yet I wish to warn my readers that the Greek word λαλία has the same meaning with the Latin word loquentia, that is, talk, ortalkativeness; and the Samaritans appear to boast that they have now a stronger foundation than a woman’ tongue, which is, for the most part, light and trivial.

We believe. This expresses more fully the nature of their faith, that it has been drawn from the word of God itself, so that they can boast of having the Son of God as their Teacher; as, indeed, it is on his authority alone that we can safely rely. True, indeed, he is not now visibly present, so as to speak to us mouth to mouth; but, by whomsoever we happen to hear him, our faith cannot rest on any other than on himself. And from no other source proceeds that knowledge which is likewise mentioned; for the speech which comes from the mouth of a mortal man may indeed fill and satisfy the ears, but will never confirm the soul in calm confidence of salvation, so that he who has heard may be entitled to boast that he knows In faith, therefore, the first thing necessary is, to know that it is Christ who speaks by his ministers; and the next is, to give him the honor which is due; that is, not to doubt that he is true and faithful, so that, relying on so undoubted a guarantee, we may rely safely on his doctrine.

Again, when they affirm that Jesus isthe Christ andthe Savior of the world, they undoubtedly have learned this from hearing him. Hence we infer that, withintwo days, the sum of the Gospel was more plainly taught by Christ than he had hitherto taught it in Jerusalem. And Christ testified that the salvation, which he had brought, was common to the whole world, that they might understand more fully that it belonged to them also; for he did not call them on the ground of their being lawful heirs, as the Jews were, (87) but taught that he had come to admit strangers into the family of God, and to bring peace to those who were far off, (Eph_2:17.)

(87) “Ainsi qu’ les, Juifs.”