I spake openly to the world - To every person in the land indiscriminately - to the people at large: the τῳ κοσμῳ, here, is tantamount to the French tout le monde, all the world, i.e. every person within reach. This is another proof that St. John uses the term world to mean the Jewish people only; for it is certain our Lord did not preach to the Gentiles. The answer of our Lord, mentioned in this and the following verse, is such as became a person conscious of his own innocence, and confident in the righteousness of his cause. I have taught in the temple, in the synagogues, in all the principal cities, towns, and villages, and through all the country. I have had no secret school. You and your emissaries have watched me every where. No doctrine has ever proceeded from my lips, but what was agreeable to the righteousness of the law and the purity of God. My disciples, when they have taught, have taught in the same way, and had the same witnesses. Ask those who have attended our public ministrations, and hear whether they can prove that I or my disciples have preached any false doctrines, have ever troubled society, or disturbed the state. Attend to the ordinary course of justice, call witnesses, let them make their depositions, and then proceed to judge according to the evidence brought before you.
Openly to the world - If his doctrine had tended to excite sedition and tumult, if he had aimed to overthrow the government, he would have trained his friends in secret; he would have retired from public view, and would have laid his plans in private. This is the case with all who attempt to subvert existing establishments. Instead of that, he had proclaimed his views to all. He had done it in every place of public concourse in the synagogue and in the temple. He here speaks the language of one conscious of innocence and determined to insist on his rights.
Always resort - Constantly assemble. They were required to assemble there three times in a year, and great multitudes were there constantly.
Over the brook Kedron, past gardens and olive groves, and through the hushed streets of the sleeping city, they hurried Jesus. It was past midnight, and the cries of the hooting mob that followed Him broke sharply upon the still air. The Saviour was bound and closely guarded, and He moved painfully. But in eager haste His captors made their way with Him to the palace of Annas, the ex-high priest. DA 698.1Read in context »
The Pharisee and the publican represent two great classes into which those who come to worship God are divided. Their first two representatives are found in the first two children that were born into the world. Cain thought himself righteous, and he came to God with a thank offering only. He made no confession of sin, and acknowledged no need of mercy. But Abel came with the blood that pointed to the Lamb of God. He came as a sinner, confessing himself lost; his only hope was the unmerited love of God. The Lord had respect to his offering, but to Cain and his offering He had not respect. The sense of need, the recognition of our poverty and sin, is the very first condition of acceptance with God. “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3. COL 152.1
For each of the classes represented by the Pharisee and the publican there is a lesson in the history of the apostle Peter. In his early discipleship Peter thought himself strong. Like the Pharisee, in his own estimation he was “not as other men are.” When Christ on the eve of His betrayal forewarned His disciples, “All ye shall be offended because of Me this night,” Peter confidently declared, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.” Mark 14:27, 29. Peter did not know his own danger. Self-confidence misled him. He thought himself able to withstand temptation; but in a few short hours the test came, and with cursing and swearing he denied his Lord. COL 152.2
When the crowing of the cock reminded him of the words of Christ, surprised and shocked at what he had just done he turned and looked at his Master. At that moment Christ looked at Peter, and beneath that grieved look, in which compassion and love for him were blended, Peter understood himself. He went out and wept bitterly. That look of Christ's broke his heart. Peter had come to the turning point, and bitterly did he repent his sin. He was like the publican in his contrition and repentance, and like the publican he found mercy. The look of Christ assured him of pardon. COL 152.3Read in context »
Centuries before the Saviour's advent Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel's salvation. The psalmist had sung of “the Rock of my strength.” Isaiah had written, “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.” Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 62:7; Isaiah 28:16. Peter himself, writing by inspiration, applies this prophecy to Jesus. He says, “If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious: unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:3-5, R. V. DA 413.1
“Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11. “Upon this rock,” said Jesus, “I will build My church.” In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself,—His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail. DA 413.2
How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown. DA 413.3Read in context »
I tell you, my brethren, the Lord has an organized body through whom he will work. There may be more than a score of Judases among them, there may be a rash Peter who will under circumstances of trial deny his Lord. There may be persons represented by John whom Jesus loved, but he may have a zeal that would destroy men's lives by calling down fire from heaven upon them to revenge an insult to Christ and the truth. But the great Teacher seeks to give lessons of instruction to correct these existing evils. He is doing the same today with his church. He is pointing out their dangers. He is presenting before them the Laodicean message. 3SM 17.3Read in context »