Ver. 2. This was the festival of Tabernacles, on which the Jews made tents, in imitation of those which were their habitations during their sojournment in the wilderness, for forty years. See Lev. xxiii. 34. The Jews called it a festival day; though it consisted not of one, but of many days successively. S. Austin, tract. 28. in Joan.
Ver. 3. These brethren of Christ were the relatives of the blessed Virgin, not her children. For, as in the sepuchre, were the body of our Saviour was deposited, no other mortal lay either before or since; so neither did the womb of Mary ever either before or after bear any other body but that of her divine Son. S. Austin, ut supra.
Ver. 5. Neither did his brethren believe in him; by his brethren here, we are to understand his kindred, this townsmen or countrymen, at or about Nazareth. Wi.
Ver. 8. Go you up to this festival day, which lasted eight days.
--- I go not with you, nor to be there at the first day, nor in that public manner as you desire. But when the feast was half over, about the fourth day, Jesus went thither in a private manner, yet so that when he arrived, he spoke publicly in the temple. Wi.
Ver. 10. But why does he ascend to the festival day, when he said he would not? He did not say, I will not ascend, but only, I do not ascend; that is, in your company. S. Chrys. hom. xlvii. in Joan.
--- Or, I do not go up to this festival, viz. the first or second day of the feast, which lasted eight days, and to which you wish me to ascend: but he went afterwards, when the first part of the festival was over. S. Austin, tract. 28. in Joan.
Ver. 12. It was the people that held the favourable opinion of Christ, whilst on the contrary, the Scribes and Pharisees speak ill of him, saying, he seduceth not us, but he seduceth the multitude. S. Chrys. hom. xlviii. in Joan.
Ver. 13. No one publicly took the part of Jesus, however favourable were their private sentiments; for the Jews hated and persecuted such as sided with him. V.
Ver. 15. Whilst the Jews proceeded no farther than to admire the wisdom of our Saviour, when they could easily have seen that what he taught he knew by the power of God, Christ himself reveals to them the source of his wisdom, saying: My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. S. Chrys. hom. xlviii. in Joan.
--- S. Thos. Aquinas, the great doctor of the schools, and styled the angelic doctor, informs us that in all the scriptural difficulties he met with, he uniformly had recourse to prayer, and that he acquired greater light and knowledge at the foot of his crucifix than from any books or masters. A.
Ver. 16. My doctrine is not mine; i.e. not mine only, but also the Father's; from whom I proceed, and with whom I am always. Wi.
Ver. 18. He is true: seeketh truth, and not his own glory. Wi.
Ver. 19. The law of Moses prescribes that you shall not kill, but this law you transgress; for, why do you seek to kill me? You yourselves are transgressors of the law, and therefore no ways proper persons to judge me for transgressing it. S. Chrys. hom. xlviii. in Joan.
--- You do not observe the law; otherwise you would learn from that law, that I am the Christ, and not seek to put me to death, when I appear amongst you. S. Aust. tract. 30, in Joan.
--- If I cure on the sabbath-day, do not you also give circumcision, and also cure the wound on the sabbath? V.
--- See v. 23, of this chapter.
Ver. 20. Thou hast a devil: art possessed with a devil, mad, &c. Wi.
Ver. 21. One work I have done. He means by healing the man at the pond, who had been ill thirty-eight years. Wi.
--- Jesus here speaks of the cure that he had performed on the paralytic, eighteen months before, and which had scandalized the Jews. See C. v, v. 9. et dein. of this gospel. V.
Ver. 26. Have the rulers, &c. the chief priests, elders, and all the members of the great sanhedrim. Wi.
Ver. 27. We know this man whence he is. They looked upon him as no more than a man, and they thought they knew his father to be S. Joseph; they knew his Mother and kindred.
--- But when the Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. Thus said some of the people; but, doubtless, the more learned knew Christ was to be born at Bethlehem. Wi.
--- The Jews had imbibed this opinion of the secrecy of the origin of Christ from the prophet Isaiah, C. liii. Who shall relate his generation? But they likewise were acquainted with many other texts of Scripture relative to the Messias, which plainly point out the place of his birth, viz. Bethlehem, and also the place of his residence, when it is said, He shall be called a Nazarite. His generation is indeed unknown with regard to his divinity, as Christ himself told the Jews in his answer: He is true that sent me, but you know him not. But as to his humanity, his origin is well known: You know me, and whence I am you know. S. Aust. tract. 31. in Joan.
Ver. 28. You both know me; i.e. you know me as man, and where I have been educated.
--- But him that sent me, from whom I proceeded, and who sent me into this world to be its Redeemer, you know not; because you know not, that he was always, and from all eternity, my eternal Father, and I his eternal Son. Wi.
Ver. 31. The faith of these was not at all sound, as appears from the following words, which they spoke. S. Chrys. hom. xlix. in Joan.
Ver. 32. The Pharisees understood well enough that his words signified he was their Messias, and the true Son of God. And they sent some servants to seize him, and bring him to them. Wi.
Ver. 33. Yet a little while and I am with you: and then I go, and return to him that sent me, with whom I am always; but as man, I shall leave the world. Wi.
Ver. 34. And shall not find me. Some understand it, you shall wish me conversing with you, as at present, healing diseases, &c. but as I shall suffer death shortly, you shall not find me. Others expound it, you shall seek for your Messias, but not owning me, who am truly he, you shall not find your Messias; and you cannot come to me in my kingdom of glory, because you will not believe in me. Wi.
--- Or where I shall be. The present tense is not unfrequently used for the future, by the hagiographers. See C. xiii. 33.
Ver. 35. Will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, or to the dispersed Gentiles, and Jews among them to preach to them? Wi.
Ver. 38. Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. By this living water, are signified the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were promised to the faithful. Wi.
Ver. 39. As yet the spirit was not given, in that particular and extraordinary manner, because Jesus was not yet glorified by his ascension and the coming of the Holy Ghost. Wi.
--- It is said that the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb of his mother; that Zachary, when he prophesied concerning his son, and the blessed Virgin, when she prophesied concerning our Lord, were both filled with the Holy Ghost; that Simeon and Anna were inspired by the Holy Ghost, to declare the greatness of Christ. How can this be otherwise reconciled with this text of S. John, that by saying that this gift of the Holy Ghost, after the ascension of Christ, was much more abundant than it had ever been before? It had something which essentially distinguished it from all preceding gifts. For we never read that men inspired by the Holy Ghost before the coming of Christ, spoke languages which they had never learned. S. Aust. 4 de Trin. c. xx.
--- The Holy Ghost is still received, but none speak with tongues: because the Church herself, being spread over the whole earth, speaks the languages of all. Idem. tract. 32. in S. Joan.
--- The primitive Christians of Corinth consulted S. Paul on the subject of these spiritual gifts or graces, frequently communicated in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. In his Epistle, addressed to them, (C. xii.) he explains those gifts, and complains that some among the Corinthians made not a right use of these gifts; especially those who had the gift of tongues, and made use of it rather through vanity, than for the profit of others. In v. ult. ibid. he adds: But be zealous for the better gifts. And I shew to you a yet more excellent way. And in the 13th chapter, he describes the excellence, the characters of charity which he extols far above all other gifts. A.
Ver. 41. A prophet does not come from Galilee, but the Lord of the prophets does. S. Aust. tract. 38. in Joan.
--- Without faith, without advantage, they again return to their habitations of infidelity and impiety. Alcuin.
BethlehemBethlehem of Juda, where Booz also was born. C. --- That place was, moreover, to be honoured with the birth of the Messias. S. Aug. q. 165. --- Ephrata: another name of Bethlehem. Ch.
Ver. 49. But this multitude . . . are accursed; i.e. falls under the curses of the law, by being seduced and led away by false preachers. Wi.
Ver. 52. They say to Nicodemus: Art thou also a Galilean, who defendest this Galilean, whereas no prophet, nor especially the Messias, comes from Galilee? Wi.
--- A prophet, properly the prophet: for they could not be ignorant that the prophet Jonas was from Galilee. We have not indeed the article the in this verse, but we find it in ver. 40, with which this appears to correspond. A.