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John 18:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

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.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

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.

In secret … - He had taught no private or concealed doctrine. He had taught nothing to his disciples which he had not himself taught in public and commanded them to do, Matthew 10:27; Luke 12:3.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Simon Peter denied his Master. The particulars have been noticed in the remarks on the other Gospels. The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water. The sin of lying is a fruitful sin; one lie needs another to support it, and that another. If a call to expose ourselves to danger be clear, we may hope God will enable us to honour him; if it be not, we may fear that God will leave us to shame ourselves. They said nothing concerning the miracles of Jesus, by which he had done so much good, and which proved his doctrine. Thus the enemies of Christ, whilst they quarrel with his truth, wilfully shut their eyes against it. He appeals to those who heard him. The doctrine of Christ may safely appeal to all that know it, and those who judge in truth bear witness to it. Our resentment of injuries must never be passionate. He reasoned with the man that did him the injury, and so may we.
Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 285.4

Peter denied his Lord in the hour of trial, but Jesus did not forsake His poor disciple. Although Peter hated himself, the Lord loved him, and after His resurrection He called him by name and sent him a loving message. O what a kind, loving, compassionate Saviour we have! And He loves us though we err. TMK 285.4

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 180.3

Peter, when brought to the test, sinned greatly. In denying the Master he had loved and served, he became a cowardly apostate. But his Lord did not cast him off; He freely forgave him.... Henceforth, remembering his own weakness and failures, he would be patient with his brethren in their mistakes and errors. Remembering the patient love of Christ toward him, affording him another opportunity to bring forth the fruit of good works, he would be more conciliatory toward erring ones.... TMK 180.3

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 199.2

Where shall we find the purity, goodness, and holiness where we shall be secure? Where is the fold where no wolves will enter? I tell you ... 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 to 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. RC 199.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 17.3

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 17.3

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