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John 1:11

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He came unto his own - Τα ιδια - to those of his own family, city, country: - and his own people, οἱ ιδιοι - his own citizens, brethren, subjects.

The Septuagint, Josephus, and Arrian, use these words, τα ιδιοι and οἱ ιδιοι, in the different senses given them above.

Received him not - Would not acknowledge him as the Messiah, nor believe in him for salvation.

How very similar to this are the words of Creeshna, (an incarnation of the Supreme Being, according to the theology of the ancient Hindoos!) Addressing one of his disciples, he says: "The foolish, being unacquainted with my supreme and divine nature, as Lord of all things, despise me in this human form; trusting to the evil, diabolic, and deceitful principle within them. They are of vain hope, of vain endeavors, of vain wisdom, and void of reason; whilst men of great minds, trusting to their divine natures, discover that I am before all things, and incorruptible, and serve me with their hearts undiverted by other beings." See Bhagvat Geeta, p. 79.

To receive Christ is to acknowledge him as the promised Messiah; to believe in him as the victim that bears away the sin of the world; to obey his Gospel, and to become a partaker of his holiness, without which no man, on the Gospel plan, can ever see God.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

He came unto his own - His own “land” or “country.” It was called his land because it was the place of his birth, and also because it was the chosen land where God delighted to dwell and to manifest his favor. See Isaiah 5:1-7. Over that land the laws of God had been extended, and that land had been regarded as especially his, Psalm 147:19-20.

His own - His own “people.” There is a distinction here in the original words which is not preserved in the translation. It may be thus expressed: “He came to his own land, and his own people received him not.” They were his people, because God had chosen them to be his above all other nations; had given to them his laws; and had signally protected and favored them, Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2.

Received him not - Did not acknowledge him to be the Messiah. They rejected him and put him to death, agreeably to the prophecy, Isaiah 53:3-4. From this we learn,

1.That it is reasonable to expect that those who have been especially favored should welcome the message of God. God had a right to expect, after all that had been done for the Jews, that they would receive the message of eternal life. So he has a right to expect that we should embrace him and be saved.

2.Yet, it is not the abundance of mercies that incline men to seek God. The Jews had been signally favored, but they rejected him. So, many in Christian lands live and die rejecting the Lord Jesus.

3.People are alike in every age. All would reject the Saviour if left to themselves. All people are by nature wicked. There is no more certain and universal proof of this than the universal rejection of the Lord Jesus.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
John the Baptist came to bear witness concerning Jesus. Nothing more fully shows the darkness of men's minds, than that when the Light had appeared, there needed a witness to call attention to it. Christ was the true Light; that great Light which deserves to be called so. By his Spirit and grace he enlightens all that are enlightened to salvation; and those that are not enlightened by him, perish in darkness. Christ was in the world when he took our nature upon him, and dwelt among us. The Son of the Highest was here in this lower world. He was in the world, but not of it. He came to save a lost world, because it was a world of his own making. Yet the world knew him not. When he comes as a Judge, the world shall know him. Many say that they are Christ's own, yet do not receive him, because they will not part with their sins, nor have him to reign over them. All the children of God are born again. This new birth is through the word of God as the means, 1Pe 1:23, and by the Spirit of God as the Author. By his Divine presence Christ always was in the world. But now that the fulness of time was come, he was, after another manner, God manifested in the flesh. But observe the beams of his Divine glory, which darted through this veil of flesh. Men discover their weaknesses to those most familiar with them, but it was not so with Christ; those most intimate with him saw most of his glory. Although he was in the form of a servant, as to outward circumstances, yet, in respect of graces, his form was like the Son of God His Divine glory appeared in the holiness of his doctrine, and in his miracles. He was full of grace, fully acceptable to his Father, therefore qualified to plead for us; and full of truth, fully aware of the things he was to reveal.
Ellen G. White
Counsels to Writers and Editors, 44-5

Examination of New Views—Truth is eternal, and conflict with error will only make manifest its strength. We should never refuse to examine the Scriptures with those who, we have reason to believe, desire to know what is truth as much as we do. Suppose a brother held a view that differed from yours, and he should come to you, proposing that you sit down with him and make an investigation of that point in the Scriptures; should you rise up, filled with prejudice, and condemn his ideas, while refusing to give him a candid hearing? CW 44.1

The only right way would be to sit down as Christians and investigate the position presented, in the light of God's word, which will reveal truth and unmask error. To ridicule his ideas would not weaken his position in the least if it were false, or strengthen your position if it were true. If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it. There must be no spirit of pharisaism cherished among us. When Christ came to His own, His own received Him not; and it is a matter of solemn interest to us that we should not pursue a similar course in refusing light from heaven. CW 44.2

We must study the truth for ourselves. No living man should be relied upon to think for us. No matter who it is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a perfect criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and to be subject to one another; but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment. We must individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God. We must not become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions.—The Review and Herald, June 18, 1889. CW 45.1

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 116

Christ came to call the attention of all men to his Father, teaching them repentance toward God. His work was to reconcile man to God. Although Christ did not come as he was expected, yet he came just as prophecy had marked out that he would come. Those who wished to believe, had sufficient foundation for their faith by referring to prophecy, which predicted the coming of the Just One, and described the manner of his coming. 4aSG 116.1

The ancient Jewish church were the highly-favored people of God, brought out of Egypt and acknowledged as his own peculiar treasure. The many and exceeding great and precious promises to them as a people, were the hope and confidence of the Jewish church. Herein they trusted, and believed their salvation sure. No other people professed to be governed by the commandments of God. Our Saviour came first to his own people, but they received him not. 4aSG 116.2

The self-righteous, proud, unbelieving Jews expected their Saviour and King would come into the world clothed with majesty and power, compelling all Gentiles to yield obedience to him. They did not expect any humiliation and suffering would be manifested in him. They would not receive the meek and lowly Jesus, and acknowledge him to be the Saviour of the world. Had he appeared in splendor, and assumed the authority of the world's great men, instead of taking the form of a servant, they would have received and worshiped him. But they rejected Christ as their Saviour, and after they had set their hearts in rebellion against him, it was not so easy for them to change their course. Notwithstanding all the mighty works they saw him do, they were too proud and self-exalted to yield their rebellious feelings. Every token and manifestation of his divine character increased the hatred and jealousy of the Jews. They were not content to turn from him themselves, but they sought to hinder all they could from listening to his teachings, or witnessing his miracles. The majority rejected him. They despised his humble appearance. They denied his testimony. They loved the praise of men, and the grandeur of the world. In their estimation of these things, they thought their judgment perfect, even as the judgment of God. 4aSG 116.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 310

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:11-16). 1SM 310.1

Those who are adopted into the family of God are transformed by His Spirit. Self-indulgence and supreme love for self are changed for self-denial and supreme love for God. No man inherits holiness as a birthright, nor can he, by any methods that he can devise, become loyal to God. “Without me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Human righteousness is as “filthy rags.” But with God all things are possible. In the strength of the Redeemer, weak, erring man can become more than conqueror over the evil that besets him. 1SM 310.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1 (EGW), 1092

3-7. Confederacy Born of Rebellion—This confederacy was born of rebellion against God. The dwellers on the plain of Shinar established their kingdom for self-exaltation, not for the glory of God. Had they succeeded, a mighty power would have borne sway, banishing righteousness, and inaugurating a new religion. The world would have been demoralized. The mixture of religious ideas with erroneous theories would have resulted in closing the door to peace, happiness, and security. These suppositions, erroneous theories, carried out and perfected, would have directed minds from allegiance to the divine statutes, and the law of Jehovah would have been ignored and forgotten. Determined men, inspired and urged on by the first great rebel, would have resisted any interference with their plans or their evil course. In the place of the divine precepts they would have substituted laws framed in accordance with the desires of their selfish hearts, in order that they might carry out their purposes (The Review and Herald, December 10, 1903). 1BC 1092.1

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