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 »