Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 11:52

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And not for that nation only, etc. - These, and the preceding words in John 11:51, are John's explication of what was prophetic in the words of Caiaphas: as if John had said, He is indeed to die for the sins of the Jewish nation, but not for theirs alone, but for the sins of the whole world: see his own words afterwards, 1 John 2:1, 1 John 2:2.

Gather together in one - That he should collect into one body; - form one Church out of the Jewish and Gentile believers.

Children of God that were scattered abroad - Probably John only meant the Jews who were dispersed among all nations since the conquest of Judea by the Romans; and these are called the dispersed, John 7:35, and James 1:1; and it is because he refers to these only, that he terms them here, the children of God, which was an ancient character of the Jewish people: see Deuteronomy 32:5; Isaiah 43:6; Isaiah 45:11; Jeremiah 32:1. Taking his words in this sense, then his meaning is this: that Christ was to die, not only for the then inhabitants of Judea, but for all the Jewish race wheresoever scattered; and that the consequence would be, that they should be all collected from their various dispersions, and made one body. This comports with the predictions of St. Paul: Romans 11:1-32. This probably is the sense of the passage; and though, according to this interpretation, the apostle may seem to confine the benefits of Christ's death to the Jewish people only, yet we find from the passage already quoted from his first epistle, that his views of this subject were afterwards very much extended; and that he saw that Jesus Christ was not only a propitiation for their sins (the Jews) but for the sins of the whole world: see his 1st epistle, 1 John 2:2. All the truths of the Gospel were not revealed at once, even to the apostles themselves.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Should gather together in one - All his chosen among the Jews and Gentiles. See John 10:16.

The children of God - This is spoken not of those who were then Christians, but of all whom God should bring to him; all who would be, in the mercy of God, called, chosen, sanctified among all nations, John 10:16.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
There can hardly be a more clear discovery of the madness that is in man's heart, and of its desperate enmity against God, than what is here recorded. Words of prophecy in the mouth, are not clear evidence of a principle of grace in the heart. The calamity we seek to escape by sin, we take the most effectual course to bring upon our own heads; as those do who think by opposing Christ's kingdom, to advance their own worldly interest. The fear of the wicked shall come upon them. The conversion of souls is the gathering of them to Christ as their ruler and refuge; and he died to effect this. By dying he purchased them to himself, and the gift of the Holy Ghost for them: his love in dying for believers should unite them closely together.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 66

Christ's crowning miracle—the raising of Lazarus—had sealed the determination of the priests to rid the world of Jesus and His wonderful works, which were fast destroying their influence over the people. They had crucified Him; but here was a convincing proof that they had not put a stop to the working of miracles in His name, nor to the proclamation of the truth He taught. Already the healing of the cripple and the preaching of the apostles had filled Jerusalem with excitement. AA 66.1

In order to conceal their perplexity, the priests and rulers ordered the apostles to be taken away, that they might counsel among themselves. They all agreed that it would be useless to deny that the man had been healed. Gladly would they have covered up the miracle by falsehoods; but this was impossible, for it had been wrought in the full light of day, before a multitude of people, and had already come to the knowledge of thousands. They felt that the work of the disciples must be stopped or Jesus would gain many followers. Their own disgrace would follow, for they would be held guilty of the murder of the Son of God. AA 66.2

But notwithstanding their desire to destroy the disciples, the priests dared not do more than threaten them with the severest punishment if they continued to speak or to work in the name of Jesus. Calling them again before the Sanhedrin, they commanded them not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered: “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” AA 66.3

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 265

“If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” These words were proved true in the history of the Jewish nation. Christ's last and crowning miracle was the raising of Lazarus of Bethany, after he had been dead four days. The Jews were given this wonderful evidence of the Saviour's divinity, but they rejected it. Lazarus rose from the dead and bore his testimony before them, but they hardened their hearts against all evidence, and even sought to take his life. (John 12:9-11.) COL 265.1

The law and the prophets are God's appointed agencies for the salvation of men. Christ said, Let them give heed to these evidences. If they do not listen to the voice of God in His word, the testimony of a witness raised from the dead would not be heeded. COL 265.2

Those who heed Moses and the prophets will require no greater light than God has given; but if men reject the light, and fail to appreciate the opportunities granted them, they would not hear if one from the dead should come to them with a message. They would not be convinced even by this evidence; for those who reject the law and the prophets so harden their hearts that they will reject all light. COL 265.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 537-42

This chapter is based on John 11:47-54.

Bethany was so near Jerusalem that the news of the raising of Lazarus was soon carried to the city. Through spies who had witnessed the miracle the Jewish rulers were speedily in possession of the facts. A meeting of the Sanhedrin was at once called to decide as to what should be done. Christ had now fully made manifest His control of death and the grave. That mighty miracle was the crowning evidence offered by God to men that He had sent His Son into the world for their salvation. It was a demonstration of divine power sufficient to convince every mind that was under the control of reason and enlightened conscience. Many who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus were led to believe on Jesus. But the hatred of the priests against Him was intensified. They had rejected all lesser evidence of His divinity, and they were only enraged at this new miracle. The dead had been raised in the full light of day, and before a crowd of witnesses. No artifice could explain away such evidence. For this very reason the enmity of the priests grew deadlier. They were more than ever determined to put a stop to Christ's work. DA 537.1

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