Then took they up stones, etc. - It appears that the Jews understood him as asserting his Godhead; and, supposing him to be a blasphemer, they proceeded to stone him, according to the law. Leviticus 24:16.
But Jesus hid himself - In all probability he rendered himself invisible - though some will have it that he conveyed himself away from those Jews who were his enemies, by mixing himself with the many who believed on him, ( John 8:30, John 8:31;), and who, we may suppose, favored his escape. Pearce.
But where did they find the stones, Christ and they being in the temple? It is answered:
2dly. They might have gone out so the outer courts for them; and, before their return, our Lord had escaped. See Lightfoot and Calmet.
Going through the midst of them, and so passed by - These words are wanting in the Codex Bezae, and in several editions and versions. Erasmus, Grotius, Beza, Pearce, and Griesbach, think them not genuine. The latter has left them out of the test. But, notwithstanding what these critics have said, the words seem necessary to explain the manner of our Lord's escape.
1st. He hid himself, by becoming invisible; and then,
2dly. He passed through the midst of them, and thus got clear away from the place.
See a similar escape mentioned, Luke 4:30, and the note there.
The subjects of this chapter are both uncommon and of vast importance.
Then took they up stones - It seems they understood him as blaspheming, and proceeded, even without a form of trial, to stone him as such, because this was the punishment prescribed in the law for blasphemy, Leviticus 24:16. See John 10:31. The fact that the Jews understood him in this sense is strong proof that his words naturally conveyed the idea that he was divine. This was in the temple. Herod the Great had not yet completed its repairs, and Dr. Lightfoot has remarked that stones would be lying around the temple in repairing it, which the people could easily use in their indignation.
Jesus hid himself - See Luke 4:30. That is, he either by a miracle rendered himself invisible, or he so mixed with the multitude that he was concealed from them and escaped. Which is the meaning cannot be determined.
The Samaritan had fulfilled the command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” thus showing that he was more righteous than those by whom he was denounced. Risking his own life, he had treated the wounded man as his brother. This Samaritan represents Christ. Our Saviour manifested for us a love that the love of man can never equal. When we were bruised and dying, He had pity upon us. He did not pass us by on the other side, and leave us, helpless and hopeless, to perish. He did not remain in His holy, happy home, where He was beloved by all the heavenly host. He beheld our sore need, He undertook our case, and identified His interests with those of humanity. He died to save His enemies. He prayed for His murderers. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, “These things I command you, that ye love one another”; “as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 15:17; 13:34. COL 381.1
The priest and the Levite had been for worship to the temple whose service was appointed by God Himself. To participate in that service was a great and exalted privilege, and the priest and Levite felt that having been thus honored, it was beneath them to minister to an unknown sufferer by the wayside. Thus they neglected the special opportunity which God had offered them as His agents to bless a fellow being. COL 382.1
Many today are making a similar mistake. They separate their duties into two distinct classes. The one class is made up of great things, to be regulated by the law of God; the other class is made up of so-called little things, in which the command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” is ignored. This sphere of work is left to caprice, subject to inclination or impulse. Thus the character is marred, and the religion of Christ misrepresented. COL 382.2Read in context »
I was shown that Satan and his angels were very busy during Christ's ministry, inspiring men with unbelief, hate, and scorn. Often when Jesus uttered some cutting truth, reproving their sins, the people would become enraged. Satan and his angels urged them on to take the life of the Son of God. More than once they took up stones to cast at Him, but angels guarded Him and bore Him away from the angry multitude to a place of safety. Again, as the plain truth dropped from His holy lips, the multitude laid hold of Him and led Him to the brow of a hill, intending to cast Him down. A contention arose among themselves as to what they should do with Him, when the angels again hid Him from the sight of the multitude, and He, passing through the midst of them, went His way. EW 159.1
Satan still hoped that the great plan of salvation would fail. He exerted all his power to make the hearts of the people hard and their feelings bitter against Jesus. He hoped that so few would receive Him as the Son of God that He would consider His sufferings and sacrifice too great to make for so small a company. But I saw that if there had been but two who would have accepted Jesus as the Son of God and believed on Him to the saving of their souls, He would have carried out the plan. EW 159.2
Jesus began His work by breaking Satan's power over the suffering. He restored the sick to health, gave sight to the blind, and healed the lame, causing them to leap for joy and to glorify God. He restored to health those who had been infirm and bound by Satan's cruel power many years. With gracious words He comforted the weak, the trembling, and the desponding. The feeble, suffering ones whom Satan held in triumph, Jesus wrenched from his grasp, bringing to them soundness of body and great joy and happiness. He raised the dead to life, and they glorified God for the mighty display of His power. He wrought mightily for all who believed on Him. EW 159.3Read in context »