John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 8:49 - 8:49

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 8:49 - 8:49


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49.I have not a devil. He passes by the first charge, and clears himself only of the second. Some think that he did so, because he disregarded the insult offered to his person, and undertook only the defense of the doctrine. But they are mistaken, in my opinion; for it is not probable that the Jews were so ingenious in distinguishing between the life and the doctrine of the Lord Jesus. (244) Besides, the dislike of this name arose, as we have said, from this circumstance, that the Samaritans, being perverse and degenerate observers of the Law, had debased it by many superstitions and corruptions, and had polluted the whole worship of God by foreign inventions. Augustine flies to allegory, and says that Christ did not refuse to be called a Samaritan, because he is a true guardian of his flock. But Christ’ intention appears to me to have been different; for since the two reproaches cast upon him had the same object, by refuting the one, he refutes the other; and, indeed, if the matter be duly considered, they insulted him more grievously by calling him a Samaritan than by calling him a demoniac But, as I have already said, Christ satisfies himself with a simple refutation, which he draws from what is contrary, when he asserts that he labors to promote the honor of his Father; for he who duly and sincerely honors him must be guided by the Spirit of God, and must be a faithful servant of God.

You have dishonored me. This clause may be explained, as if it were a complaint of Christ, that he does not receive the honor due to him on account of his promoting the glory of God. But I think that he looks much higher, and connects the glory of the Father with his own, in this manner. “ claim nothing for myself which does not tend to the glory of God; for his majesty shines in me, his power and authority dwells in me; and therefore, when you treat me so disdainfully, you pour contempt on God himself.” He immediately adds, therefore, that God will revenge this insult. For they might have alleged that he was ambitious, if he had not testified that it was not from any personal feelings of a carnal nature that he cared about the honor or contempt showed to himself, but so far as the honor or contempt of God is concerned. Besides, though we are at a great distance from Christ, let every man be fully convinced that, if he be sincerely desirous to promote the glory of God, he will find that God has secured for him abundant commendation; for we shall always find that saying to be true,

Those who honor me, I will render honorable,

(1Sa_2:30.)

If men not only despise, but even load him with reproaches, let him calmly wait till the day of the Lord come.

(244) “Du Seigneur Jesus.”