Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 18:37

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thou sayest - A common form of expression for, yes, it is so. I was born into the world that I might set up and maintain a spiritual government: but this government is established in and by truth. All that love truth, hear my voice and attend to the spiritual doctrines I preach. It is by truth alone that I influence the minds and govern the manners of my subjects.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Art thou a king then? - Dost thou admit the charge in any sense, or dost thou lay claim to a kingdom of any kind?

Thou sayest … - This is a form of expression denoting affirmation. It is equivalent to yes.

That I am a king - This does not mean simply that Pilate affirmed that he was a king; it does not appear that he had done this; but it means, “Thou affirmest the truth; thou declarest what is correct, for I am a king.” I am a king in a certain sense, and do not deny it.

To this end … - Compare John 3:11-12, etc. Jesus does not here affirm that he was born to reign, or that this was the design of his coming; but it was to bear witness to and to exhibit the truth. By this he showed what was the nature of his kingdom. It was not to assert power; not to collect armies; not to subdue nations in battle. It was simply to present truth to men, and to exercise dominion only by the truth. Hence, the only power put forth in restraining the wicked, in convincing the sinner, in converting the heart, in guiding and leading his people, and in sanctifying them, is that which is produced by applying truth to the mind. Men are not forced or compelled to be Christians. They are made to see that they are stoners, that God is merciful, that they need a Redeemer, and that the Lord Jesus is fitted to their case, and yield themselves then wholly to his reign. This is all the power ever used in the kingdom of Christ, and no men in his church have a right to use any other. Alas! how little have persecutors remembered this! And how often, under the pretence of great regard for the kingdom of Jesus, have bigots attempted by force and flames to make all men think as they do! We see here the importance which Jesus attached to truth. It was his sole business in coming into the world. He had no other end than to establish it. We therefore should value it, and seek for it as for hid treasures, Proverbs 23:23.

Every one … - See John 8:47.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Art thou the King of the Jews? that King of the Jews who has been so long expected? Messiah the Prince; art thou he? Dost thou call thyself so, and wouldest thou be thought so? Christ answered this question with another; not for evasion, but that Pilate might consider what he did. He never took upon him any earthly power, never were any traitorous principles or practices laid to him. Christ gave an account of the nature of his kingdom. Its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within men, set up in their hearts and consciences; its riches spiritual, its power spiritual, and it glory within. Its supports are not worldly; its weapons are spiritual; it needed not, nor used, force to maintain and advance it, nor opposed any kingdom but that of sin and Satan. Its object and design are not worldly. When Christ said, I am the Truth, he said, in effect, I am a King. He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth; he rules by the commanding power of truth. The subjects of this kingdom are those that are of the truth. Pilate put a good question, he said, What is truth? When we search the Scriptures, and attend the ministry of the word, it must be with this inquiry, What is truth? and with this prayer, Lead me in thy truth; into all truth. But many put this question, who have not patience to preserve in their search after truth; or not humility enough to receive it. By this solemn declaration of Christ's innocence, it appears, that though the Lord Jesus was treated as the worst of evil-doers, he never deserved such treatment. But it unfolds the design of his death; that he died as a Sacrifice for our sins. Pilate was willing to please all sides; and was governed more by worldly wisdom than by the rules of justice. Sin is a robber, yet is foolishly chosen by many rather than Christ, who would truly enrich us. Let us endeavour to make our accusers ashamed as Christ did; and let us beware of crucifying Christ afresh.
Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 26

To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. John 18:37. SD 26.1

Christ's conscious superiority, even as He descended step by step in the path of humiliation, gave His words an amazing power. What lessons of instruction He gave, and with what authority He rebuked the sins of men in high position. Truth was truth to Him, and it never suffered in His hands; for He was the author of truth. “To this end,” He says, “was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” ... He was the embodiment of truth and holiness. He who had stood in the councils of God, who had dwelt in the innermost sanctuary of the Eternal, was speaking that whereof He knew.... But the men who claimed to stand high in knowledge and spiritual understanding failed to comprehend His meaning; and that which had been evolved from eternity by the Father and the Son, they in their ignorance stood as critics to condemn. SD 26.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), 1148

20, 21 (Matthew 25:14, 15; Mark 13:34). Unity in Diversity—[John 17:20, 21 quoted.] What kind of unity is spoken of in these words?—Unity in diversity. Our minds do not all run in the same channel, and we have not all been given the same work. God has given to every man his work according to his several ability. There are different kinds of work to be done, and workers of varied capabilities are needed. If our hearts are humble, if we have learned in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly, we may all press together in the narrow path marked out for us (Manuscript 52, 1904). 5BC 1148.1

20-23. No Destruction of Personality—Christ is one with the Father, but Christ and God are two distinct personages. Read the prayer of Christ in the seventeenth chapter of John, and you will find this point clearly brought out. How earnestly the Saviour prayed that His disciples might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. But the unity that is to exist between Christ and His followers does not destroy the personality of either. They are to be one with Him as He is one with the Father (The Review and Herald, June 1, 1905). 5BC 1148.2

[John 17:20-23 quoted.] What a wonderful statement! The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. In mind, in purpose, in character, they are one, but not in person. By partaking of the Spirit of God, conforming to the law of God, man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ brings His disciples into a living union with Himself and with the Father. Through the working of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind, man is made complete in Christ Jesus. Unity with Christ establishes a bond of unity with one another. This unity is the most convincing proof to the world of the majesty and virtue of Christ, and of His power to take away sin (Manuscript 111, 1903). 5BC 1148.3

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 340.7

In Him was found the perfect ideal. To reveal this ideal as the only true standard for attainment; to show what every human being might become; what, through the indwelling of humanity by divinity, all who received Him would become—for this, Christ came to the world. He came to show how men are to be trained as befits the sons of God; how on earth they are to practice the principles and to live the life of heaven.—Education, 73, 74. RC 340.7

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 166.1

For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. John 18:37. LHU 166.1

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