For judgment I am come - I am come to manifest and execute the just judgment of God:
In a word, salvation shall be taken away from the Jews, because they reject it; and the kingdom of God shall be given to the Gentiles.
For judgment - The word “judgment,” here, has been by some understood in the sense of condemnation - “The effect of my coming is to condemn the world. But this meaning does not agree with those places where Jesus says that he came not to condemn the world, John 3:17; John 12:47; John 5:45. To judge is to express an opinion in a judicial manner, and also to express any sentiment about any person or thing, John 7:24; John 5:30; Luke 8:43. The meaning here may be thus expressed: “I came to declare the condition of men; to show them their duty and danger. My coming will have this effect, that some will be reformed and saved, and some more deeply condemned.”
That they - The Saviour does not affirm that this was the design of his coming, but that such would be the effect or result. He came to declare the truth, and the effect would be, etc. Similar instances of expression frequently occur. Compare Matthew 11:25; Matthew 10:34; “I came not to send peace, but a sword” - that is, such will be the effect of my coming.
That they which see not - Jesus took this illustration, as he commonly did, from the case before him; but it is evident that he meant it to be taken in a spiritual sense. He refers to those who are blind and ignorant by sin; whose minds have been darkened, but who are desirous of seeing.
Might see - Might discern the path of truth, of duty, and of salvation, John 10:9.
They which see - They who suppose they see; who are proud, self-confident, and despisers of the truth. Such were evidently the Pharisees.
Might be made blind - Such would be the effect of his preaching. It would exasperate them, and their pride and opposition to him would confirm them more and more in their erroneous views. This is always the effect of truth. Where it does not soften it hardens the heart; where it does not convert, it sinks into deeper blindness and condemnation.
By many, the words which the Lord sent will be rejected, and the words that man may speak will be received as light and truth. Human wisdom will lead away from self-denial, from consecration, and will devise many things that tend to make of no effect God's messages. We cannot with any safety rely upon men who are not in close connection with God. They accept the opinions of men, but cannot discern the voice of the true Shepherd, and their influence will lead many astray, though evidence is piled upon evidence before their eyes, testifying to the truth that God's people should have for this time (Letter 1f, 1890). 4BC 1147.1
1-3. Christ's Grace and Virtue Did Not Appeal to Jews—[Isaiah 53:1-3 quoted.] These words do not mean that Christ was unattractive in person. In the eyes of the Jews, Christ had no beauty that they should desire Him. They looked for a Messiah who would come with outward display and worldly glory, one who would do great things for the Jewish nation, exalting it above every other nation on the earth. But Christ came with His divinity hidden by the garb of humanity, unobtrusive, humble, poor. They compared this man with the proud boasts they had made, and they could see no beauty in Him. They did not discern the holiness and purity of His character. The grace and virtue revealed in His life did not appeal to them (Manuscript 33, 1911). 4BC 1147.2Read in context »
Again the priests and rabbis cried out against Jesus as a blasphemer. His claim to be one with God had before stirred them to take His life, and a few months later they plainly declared, “For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.” John 10:33. Because He was, and avowed Himself to be, the Son of God, they were bent on destroying Him. Now many of the people, siding with the priests and rabbis, took up stones to cast at Him. “But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” DA 470.1
The Light was shining in darkness; but “the darkness apprehended it not.” John 1:5, R. V. DA 470.2
“As Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.... When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” DA 470.3Read in context »
Oh, that we might comprehend the love of God, and even to a faint degree take in the compassion that has been manifested toward fallen man! How would we look and live! By beholding Christ man becomes changed and transformed in character from glory to glory. The conflict between light and darkness is entered upon. Look, poor sinner, represented by the lost sheep after whom the shepherd is seeking, look to the cross! ... In the poor blind man restored to sight by the compassionate Shepherd was one whom the self-righteous Pharisees thought only worthy of ... hatred (The Signs of the Times, November 20, 1893). LHU 207.5Read in context »