Verse 42. "Many believed on him there." - The people believed on him:
1. because of the testimony of John the Baptist whom they knew to be a good and a wise man, and a prophet of the Lord; and they knew he could neither deceive nor be deceived in this mater; and, 2. they believed because of the miracles which they saw Jesus work. These fully proved that all that John had said of him was true. The scribes and Pharisees with all their science could not draw a conclusion so just. Truth and common sense are often on the side of the common people, whom the insolently wise, the unsanctifiedly learned, and the tyrannically powerful sometimes disingenuously brand with the epithets of mob and swinish multitude.
1. THIS and the preceding chapter contain two remarkable discomfitures of the Jewish doctors. In the former they were confounded by the testimony of a plain uneducated man, simply appealing to the various circumstances of a matter of fact, at which they cavilled, and which they endeavoured to decry. In this chapter the wise are taken in their own craftiness: the Pharisees are confounded by that wisdom which is from above, speaking of and manifesting the deep things of God. Sometimes God himself stops the mouths of gainsayers; at other times he makes the simplest of his followers too mighty for the most learned among the doctors. Ancient and modern martyrologies of the people of God abound with proofs of both these facts. And the persecutions of the Protestants by the Papists in the reign of Queen Mary afford a very large proportion of proofs. In these the mighty power of God, and the prevalence of truth, were gloriously apparent. Both the word of God and the Protestant cause were nobly illustrated by those transactions. May that abomination that maketh desolate never more sit in the holy place! 2. It must be remarked, by every serious reader, that our Lord did frequently speak of himself to the Jews, as being not only sent of God as their Messiah, but as being one with him. And it is as evident that in this sense the priests and Pharisees understood him; and it was because they would not credit this that they accused him of blasphemy. Now, if our Lord was not the person they understood him to state himself to be, he had the fairest opportunity, from their strong remonstrances, to correct their misapprehension of his words, if they really had mistaken his meaning-but this he never attempts. He rather strengthens his assertions in his consequent discourses with them; which, had not his positions been true, he could not have done, even as an honest man. He not only asserted himself to be equal with God, but wished them to believe it to be true; and he amply confirmed this heavenly doctrine by the miracles he wrought.