Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 12:36

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Children of light - Let the light, the truth of Christ, so dwell in and work by you that ye may be all light in the Lord: that as truly as a child is the produce of his own parent, and partakes of his nature, so ye may be children of the light, having nothing in you but truth and righteousness.

Did hide himself from them - Either by rendering himself invisible, or by suddenly mingling with the crowd, so that they could not perceive him. See John 8:59. Probably it means no more than that he withdrew from them, and went to Bethany, as was his custom a little before his crucifixion; and concealed himself there during the night, and taught publicly every day in the temple. It was in the night season that they endeavored to seize upon him, in the absence of the multitude.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

While ye have light - This implied two things:

1.that he was the light, or was the Messiah.

2.that he was soon to be taken away by death.

In this manner he answered their question - not directly, but in a way to convey the truth to their minds, and at the same time to administer to them a useful admonition. Jesus never aroused the prejudices of men unnecessarily, yet he never shrank from declaring to them the truth in some way, however unpalatable it might be.

Believe in the light - That is, in the Messiah, who is the light of the world.

That ye may be the children … - That ye may be the friends and followers of the Messiah. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. Compare John 8:12; Ephesians 5:8; “Now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”

Did hide himself from them - John 8:59. He went out to Bethany, where he commonly passed the night, Luke 21:37.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The people drew false notions from the Scriptures, because they overlooked the prophecies that spoke of Christ's sufferings and death. Our Lord warned them that the light would not long continue with them, and exhorted them to walk in it, before the darkness overtook them. Those who would walk in the light must believe in it, and follow Christ's directions. But those who have not faith, cannot behold what is set forth in Jesus, lifted up on the cross, and must be strangers to its influence as made known by the Holy Spirit; they find a thousand objections to excuse their unbelief.
Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 308.3

The Lord Himself has established a separating wall between the things of the world and the things which He has chosen out of the world and sanctified to Himself. The world will not acknowledge this distinction.... But God has made this separation, and He will have it exist. In both the Old and the New Testaments the Lord has positively enjoined upon His people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice; to be a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they may show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness. This distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time.... TMK 308.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 70.2

Provision has been made whereby the communication between heaven and our souls may be free and open. Finite man can place himself where rays of light and glory from the throne of God will be given him in abundance. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God which shines in the face of Jesus Christ may shine upon him. He may stand where it can be said of him, “Ye are the light of the world.” Were it not for the communication between heaven and earth there would be no light in the world. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, all men would perish beneath the just judgment of God. But the world is not left in darkness. The long-suffering mercy of God is still extended to the children of men, and it is His design that the rays of light which emanate from the throne of God shall be reflected by the children of light.... HP 70.2

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 168.1

While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. John 12:36. RC 168.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 90-1

I state truth. The souls who love God, who believe in Christ, and who eagerly grasp every ray of light, will see light, and rejoice in the truth. They will communicate the light. They will grow in holiness. Those who receive the Holy Spirit will feel the chilling atmosphere that surrounds the souls of others by whom these great and solemn realities are unappreciated and spoken against. They feel that they are in the council of the ungodly, of men who stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of the scornful. TM 90.1

The word of God speaketh truth, not a lie. In it is nothing strained, nothing extreme, nothing overdone. We are to accept it as the word of the living God. In obedience to that word, the church have duties to perform which they have not done. They are not to flee from the post of duty; but in trial and temptation they should lean more heavily upon God. There are difficulties to be met, but God's people as one must rise to the emergencies. There are duties to be discharged to the church and to our God. TM 90.2

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