Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 2. This
was the festival of Tabernacles, on which the Jews made tents, in imitation of those which were their habitations during their
sojournment in the wilderness, for forty years. See Leviticus xxiii. 34. The Jews called it a festival day; though it consisted
not of one, but of many days successively. (St. Augustine, tract. 28. in Joan.)
Ver. 3. These
brethren of Christ were the relatives of the blessed Virgin, not her children. For, as in the sepuchre, were the body of our
Saviour was deposited, no other mortal lay either before or since; so neither did the womb of Mary ever either before or after
bear any other body but that of her divine Son. (St. Augustine, tract. 28. in Joan.)
Ver. 5. Neither
did his brethren believe in him; by his brethren here, we are to understand his kindred, his townsmen or countrymen, at
or about Nazareth. (Witham)
Ver. 8. Go
you up to this festival day, which lasted eight days. --- I go not with you, nor to be there at the first
day, nor in that public manner as you desire. But when the feast was half over, about the fourth day, Jesus went thither
in a private manner, yet so that when he arrived, he spoke publicly in the temple. (Witham)
Ver. 10. But
why does he ascend to the festival day, when he said he would not? He did not say, I will not ascend, but only, I do
not ascend; that is, in your company. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlvii. in Joan.) --- Or, I do not go up to this festival, viz.
the first or second day of the feast, which lasted eight days, and to which you wish me to ascend: but he went afterwards,
when the first part of the festival was over. (St. Augustine, tract. 28. in Joan.)
Ver. 12. It
was the people that held the favourable opinion of Christ, whilst on the contrary, the Scribes and Pharisees speak ill of
him, saying, he seduceth not us, but he seduceth the multitude. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlviii. in Joan.)
Ver. 13. No
one publicly took the part of Jesus, however favourable were their private sentiments; for the Jews hated and persecuted such
as sided with him. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 15. Whilst
the Jews proceeded no farther than to admire the wisdom of our Saviour, when they could easily have seen that what he taught
he knew by the power of God, Christ himself reveals to them the source of his wisdom, saying: My doctrine is not mine,
but his that sent me. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlviii. in Joan.) --- St. Thomas Aquinas, the great doctor of the schools,
and styled the angelic doctor, informs us that in all the scriptural difficulties he met with, he uniformly had recourse to
prayer, and that he acquired greater light and knowledge at the foot of his crucifix than from any books or masters. (Haydock)
Ver. 16. My
doctrine is not mine; i.e. not mine only, but also the Father's; from whom I proceed, and with whom I am always. (Witham)
Ver. 18. He
is true: seeketh truth, and not his own glory. (Witham)
Ver. 19. The
law of Moses prescribes that you shall not kill, but this law you transgress; for, why do you seek to kill me? You do not
observe the law; otherwise you would learn from that law, that I am the Christ, and not seek to put me to death, when I appear
amongst you. (St. Augustine, tract. 30, in Joan.) --- If I cure on the sabbath-day, do not you also give circumcision, and
also cure the wound on the sabbath? (Bible de Vence) --- See ver. 23, of this chapter.
Ver. 20. Thou
hast a devil: art possessed with a devil, mad, &c. (Witham)
Ver. 21. One
work I have done. He means by healing the man at the pond, who had been ill thirty-eight years. (Witham) --- Jesus here
speaks of the cure that he had performed on the paralytic, eighteen months before, and which had scandalized the Jews. See
Chap. v, ver. 9. et dein. of this gospel. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 26. Have
the rulers, &c. the chief priests, elders, and all the members of the great sanhedrim. (Witham)
We know this man whence he is. They looked upon him as no more than a man, and they thought they knew his father to
be St. Joseph; they knew his Mother and kindred. --- But when the Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. Thus
said some of the people; but, doubtless, the more learned knew Christ was to be born at Bethlehem. (Witham) --- The Jews had
imbibed this opinion of the secrecy of the origin of Christ from the prophet Isaias, Chap. liii. Who shall relate his generation?
But they likewise were acquainted with many other texts of Scripture relative to the Messias, which plainly point out the
place of his birth, viz. Bethlehem, and also the place of his residence, when it is said, He shall be called a Nazarite.
His generation is indeed unknown with regard to his divinity, as Christ himself told the Jews in his answer: He is true that
sent me, but you know him not. But as to his humanity, his origin is well known: You know me, and whence I am you know. (St. Augustine, tract. 31. in Joan.)
Ver. 28. You
both know me; i.e. you know me as man, and where I have been educated. --- But him that sent me, from whom I proceeded,
and who sent me into this world to be its Redeemer, you know not; because you know not, that he was always, and from
all eternity, my eternal Father, and I his eternal Son. (Witham)
Ver. 31. The
faith of these was not at all sound, as appears from the following words, which they spoke. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlix. in
Ver. 32. The
Pharisees understood well enough that his words signified he was their Messias, and the true Son of God. And they sent
some servants to seize him, and bring him to them. (Witham)
Ver. 33. Yet
a little while and I am with you: and then I go, and return to him that sent me, with whom I am always; but as
man, I shall leave the world. (Witham)
Ver. 34. And
shall not find me. Some understand it, you shall wish me conversing with you, as at present, healing diseases, &c.
but as I shall suffer death shortly, you shall not find me. Others expound it, you shall seek for your Messias, but not owning
me, who am truly he, you shall not find your Messias; and you cannot come to me in my kingdom of glory, because
you will not believe in me. (Witham) --- Or where I shall be. The present tense is not unfrequently used for the future,
by the hagiographers. See Chap. xiii. 33.
Ver. 35. Will
he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, or to the dispersed Gentiles, and Jews among them to preach to them? (Witham)
Ver. 38. Out
of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. By this living water, are signified the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which
were promised to the faithful. (Witham)
Ver. 39. As
yet the spirit was not given, in that particular and extraordinary manner, because Jesus was not yet glorified
by his ascension and the coming of the Holy Ghost. (Witham) --- It is said that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy
Ghost from the womb of his mother; that Zacharias, when he prophesied concerning his son, and the blessed Virgin, when she
prophesied concerning our Lord, were both filled with the Holy Ghost; that Simeon and Anna were inspired by the Holy Ghost,
to declare the greatness of Christ. How can this be otherwise reconciled with this text of St. John, that by saying that this
gift of the Holy Ghost, after the ascension of Christ, was much more abundant than it had ever been before? It
had something which essentially distinguished it from all preceding gifts. For we never read that men inspired by the
Holy Ghost before the coming of Christ, spoke languages which they had never learned. (St. Augustine, 4 de Trin. chap. xx.)
--- The Holy Ghost is still received, but none speak with tongues: because the Church herself, being spread over the whole
earth, speaks the languages of all. (St. Augustine, tract. 32. in S. Joan.) --- The primitive Christians of Corinth consulted
St. Paul on the subject of these spiritual gifts or graces, frequently communicated in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation.
In his Epistle, addressed to them, (1 Corinthians chap. xii.) he explains those gifts, and complains that some among the Corinthians
made not a right use of these gifts; especially those who had the gift of tongues, and made use of it rather through
vanity, than for the profit of others. In the last verse of 1 Corinthians chap. xii. he adds: But be zealous for the better
gifts. And I shew to you a yet more excellent way. And in the 13th chapter, he describes the excellence, the characters
of charity which he extols far above all other gifts. (Haydock)
Ver. 41. A prophet
does not come from Galilee, but the Lord of the prophets does. (St. Augustine, tract. 38. in Joan.) --- Without faith, without
advantage, they again return to their habitations of infidelity and impiety. (Alcuin)
Ver. 49. But
this multitude ... are accursed; i.e. falls under the curses of the law, by being seduced and led away by false preachers.
Ver. 52. They
say to Nicodemus: Art thou also a Galilean, who defendest this Galilean, whereas no prophet, nor especially the Messias,
comes from Galilee? (Witham) --- A prophet, properly the prophet: for they could not be ignorant that the prophet
Jonas was from Galilee. We have not indeed the article the in this verse, but we find it in ver. 40, with which this
appears to correspond. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Christ goes up to the feast of the tabernacles: he teaches
in the temple.
1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee, for he would not walk in
Judea: because the Jews sought to kill him.
2 Now the Jewish feast of *tabernacles was at hand.
3 And his brethren said to him: Pass from hence, and go into Judea, that
thy disciples also may see thy works which thou dost.
4 For there is no man that doth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh
to be known openly: If thou do these things, manifest thyself to the world.
5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.
6 Then Jesus said to them: My time is not yet come: but your time is
7 The world cannot hate you: but me it hateth: because I give testimony
of it, that the works thereof are evil.
8 Go you up to this festival day, but I go not up to this festival day:
because my time is not yet fulfilled.
9 When he had said these things, he himself staid in Galilee.
10 But after his brethren were gone up, then he also went up to the feast,
not openly, but as it were in secret.
11 The Jews, therefore, sought him on the festival day, and said: Where
12 And there was much murmuring among the multitude concerning him. For
some said: He is a good man. And others said: No, but he seduceth the people.
13 Yet no man spoke openly of him, for fear of the Jews.
14 Now about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple, and
15 And the Jews wondered, saying: How doth this man know letters, having
16 Jesus answered them, and said: My doctrine is not mine, but his that
17 If any man do the will of him: he shall know of the doctrine, whether
it be from God, or whether I speak from myself.
18 He that speaketh from himself, seeketh his own glory: but he that
seeketh the glory of him that sent him, he is true, and there is no injustice in him:
19 *Did not Moses give you the law: and none of you keepeth the
20 *Why seek you to kill me? The multitude answered, and said: Thou hast
a devil; who seeketh to kill thee?
21 Jesus answered, and said to them: One work I have done: and you all
22 Therefore *Moses gave you circumcision: (not because it is of Moses,
**but of the fathers,) and on the sabbath-day you circumcise a man.
23 If a man receive circumcision on the sabbath-day, that the law of
Moses may not be broken: are you angry at me because I have healed the whole man on the sabbath-day?
24 *Judge not according to the appearance, but judge just judgment.
25 Some therefore of Jerusalem said: Is not this he whom they seek to
26 And behold he speaketh openly, and they say nothing to him. Have the
rulers known for a truth that this is the Christ?
27 But we know this man whence he is: but when the Christ cometh, no
man knoweth whence he is.
28 Jesus, therefore, cried out in the temple, teaching and saying: You
both know me, and you know whence I am: and I am not come of myself: but he that sent me, is true, whom you know not.
29 I know him: because I am from him, and he hath sent me.
30 They sought, therefore, to apprehend him: but no man laid hands on
him, because his hour was not yet come.
31 But of the people many believed in him, and said: When the Christ
cometh, shall he do more miracles than these which this man doth?
32 The Pharisees heard the people murmuring these things concerning him:
and the rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend him.
33 Jesus, therefore, said to them: Yet a little while I am with you:
and I go to him that sent me.
34 *You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, you cannot
35 The Jews, therefore, said among themselves: Whither will he go, that
we shall not find him? will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?
36 What is this saying that he hath said: You shall seek me, and shall
not find me: and where I am, you cannot come?
37 Now on the last *great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried
out, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.
38 *He that believeth in me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly
shall flow rivers of living water.
39 Now this he said of the spirit which they should receive who believed
in him: for as yet the spirit was not given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
40 Of that multitude therefore, when they had heard these words of his,
some said: This is the prophet indeed.
41 Others said: This is the Christ. But some said: Doth the Christ come
out of Galilee?
42 *Doth not the Scripture say: That Christ cometh of the seed of David,
and out of Bethlehem, the town where David was?
43 So there arose a dissension among the people because of him.
44 And some of them would have apprehended him: but no man laid hands
45 The ministers therefore came to the chief priests and the Pharisees.
And they said to them: Why have you not brought him?
46 The ministers answered: Never did man speak like this man.
47 Then the Pharisees answered them: Are you also seduced?
48 Hath any one of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees?
49 But this multitude, that knoweth not the law, are accursed.
50 Nicodemus said to them, *he that came to him by night, who was one
51 Doth our law judge any man, unless it first hear him, *and know what
52 They answered, and said to him: Art thou also a Galilean? Search the
Scriptures, and see that out of Galilee a prophet riseth not.
53 And every man returned to his own house.
2: Leviticus xxiii. 34.
19: Exodus xxiv. 3.
20: John v. 18.
22: Leviticus xii. 3. --- ** Genesis xvii. 10.
24: Deuteronomy i. 16.
34: John xiii. 33.
37: Leviticus xxiii. 27.
38: Deuteronomy xviii. 15.; Joel ii. 28.; Acts ii. 17.
42: Micheas v. 2.; Matthew ii. 6.
50: John iii. 2.
51: Deuteronomy xvii. 8. and xix. 15.