Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 12:36

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

While ye have light - This implied two things:

1.that he was the light, or was the Messiah.

2.that he was soon to be taken away by death.

In this manner he answered their question - not directly, but in a way to convey the truth to their minds, and at the same time to administer to them a useful admonition. Jesus never aroused the prejudices of men unnecessarily, yet he never shrank from declaring to them the truth in some way, however unpalatable it might be.

Believe in the light - That is, in the Messiah, who is the light of the world.

That ye may be the children … - That ye may be the friends and followers of the Messiah. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. Compare John 8:12; Ephesians 5:8; “Now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”

Did hide himself from them - John 8:59. He went out to Bethany, where he commonly passed the night, Luke 21:37.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The people drew false notions from the Scriptures, because they overlooked the prophecies that spoke of Christ's sufferings and death. Our Lord warned them that the light would not long continue with them, and exhorted them to walk in it, before the darkness overtook them. Those who would walk in the light must believe in it, and follow Christ's directions. But those who have not faith, cannot behold what is set forth in Jesus, lifted up on the cross, and must be strangers to its influence as made known by the Holy Spirit; they find a thousand objections to excuse their unbelief.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Children of light - Let the light, the truth of Christ, so dwell in and work by you that ye may be all light in the Lord: that as truly as a child is the produce of his own parent, and partakes of his nature, so ye may be children of the light, having nothing in you but truth and righteousness.

Did hide himself from them - Either by rendering himself invisible, or by suddenly mingling with the crowd, so that they could not perceive him. See John 8:59. Probably it means no more than that he withdrew from them, and went to Bethany, as was his custom a little before his crucifixion; and concealed himself there during the night, and taught publicly every day in the temple. It was in the night season that they endeavored to seize upon him, in the absence of the multitude.

Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 308.3

The Lord Himself has established a separating wall between the things of the world and the things which He has chosen out of the world and sanctified to Himself. The world will not acknowledge this distinction.... But God has made this separation, and He will have it exist. In both the Old and the New Testaments the Lord has positively enjoined upon His people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice; to be a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they may show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness. This distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time.... TMK 308.3

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 168.1

While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. John 12:36. RC 168.1

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 70.2

Provision has been made whereby the communication between heaven and our souls may be free and open. Finite man can place himself where rays of light and glory from the throne of God will be given him in abundance. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God which shines in the face of Jesus Christ may shine upon him. He may stand where it can be said of him, “Ye are the light of the world.” Were it not for the communication between heaven and earth there would be no light in the world. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, all men would perish beneath the just judgment of God. But the world is not left in darkness. The long-suffering mercy of God is still extended to the children of men, and it is His design that the rays of light which emanate from the throne of God shall be reflected by the children of light.... HP 70.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 67

Be assured that God will not work a miracle to save you from the result of your own course of action. You have not had a liberal supply of air. Brother I has labored in his store, closely applying himself to his business and allowing himself but a limited amount of air and exercise. His circulation is depressed. He breathes only from the top of his lungs. It is seldom that he exercises the abdominal muscles in the act of breathing. Stomach, liver, lungs, and brain are suffering for the want of deep, full inspirations of air, which would electrify the blood and impart to it a bright, lively color, and which alone can keep it pure and give tone and vigor to every part of the living machinery. 2T 67.1

You, my dear brother and sister, can have a much better condition of health than you now enjoy, and can avoid very many ill turns, if you will simply exercise temperance in all things—temperance in labor, temperance in eating and drinking. Hot drinks are debilitating to the stomach. Cheese should never be introduced into the stomach. Fine-flour bread cannot impart to the system the nourishment that you will find in the unbolted wheat bread. The common use of bolted wheat bread cannot keep the system in a healthy condition. You both have inactive livers. The use of fine flour aggravates the difficulties under which you are laboring. 2T 68.1

There is no treatment which can relieve you of your present difficulties while you eat and drink as you do. You can do that for yourselves which the most experienced physician can never do. Regulate your diet. In order to gratify the taste, you frequently place a severe tax upon your digestive organs by receiving into the stomach food which is not the most healthful, and at times in immoderate quantities. This wearies the stomach and unfits it for the reception of even the most healthful food. You keep your stomachs constantly debilitated because of your wrong habits of eating. Your food is made too rich. It is not prepared in a simple, natural manner, but is totally unfitted for the stomach when you have prepared it to suit your taste. Nature is burdened, and endeavors to resist your efforts to cripple her. Chills and fevers are the result of those attempts to rid herself of the burden you lay upon her. You have to suffer the penalty of nature's violated laws. God has established laws in your system which you cannot violate without suffering the punishment. You have consulted taste without reference to health. You have made some changes, but have merely taken the first steps in reform diet. God requires of us temperance in all things. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 2T 68.2

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