John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 8:19 - 8:19

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 8:19 - 8:19

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

19.Where is thy father ? There can be no doubt whatever, that it was in mockery that they inquired about his Father For not only do they, with their wonted pride, treat contemptuously what he had said about the Father, but they likewise ridicule him for talking loftily about his Father, as if he had drawn his birth from heaven. By these words, therefore, they mean that they do not value so highly Christ’ Father, as to ascribe any thing to the Son on his account. And the reason why there are so many in the present day who, with daring presumption, despise Christ, is, that few consider that God has sent him.

You neither know me nor my Father. He does not deign to give them a direct reply, but in a few words reproaches them with the ignorance in which they flattered themselves. They inquired about the Father; and yet when they had the Son before their eyes, seeing, they did not see, (Mat_13:13.) It was therefore a just punishment of their pride and wicked ingratitude, that they who despised the Son of God, who had been familiarly offered to them, never approached to the Father For how shall any mortal man ascend to the height of God, unless he be raised on high by the hand of his Son? God in Christ condescended to the mean condition of men, so as to stretch out his hand; and do not those who reject God, when he thus approaches to them, deserve to be excluded from heaven?

Let us know that the same thing is spoken to us all; for whoever aspires to know God, and does not begin with Christ, must wander — as it were — in a labyrinth; for it is not without good reason that Christ is called the image of the Father, as has been already said. Again, as all who, leaving Christ, attempt to rise to heaven, after the manner of the giants, (219) are destitute of all right knowledge of God, so every man who shall direct his mind and all his senses to Christ, will be led straight to the Father. For on good grounds does God declare that,

by the mirror of the Gospel, we clearly behold God in the person of Christ,


And certainly it is an astonishing reward of the obedience of faith, that whosoever humbles himself before the Lord Jesus, (220) penetrates above all the heavens, even to those mysteries which the angels behold and adore.

(219) See page 223, n. 1.

(220) “Quiconque s’ devant le Seigneur Jesus.”