From Above.

Omicron (T. Oliver).

The Lord Jesus answers the deadly enmity of the Jews around Him by telling them that He was from above (ano.) He employs this locative adverb to emphasise the moral antagonisms of the earth generally, and particularly that of their hard hearts in unbelief, for they were from "beneath," i.e., they belonged to a distant sphere in which enmity to God was paramount (John 8:23). He goes a step further in their condemnation, v. 44, "Ye are of your father the devil," declaring that these antagonisms had their inspiration and parentage from a still lower region.

To a ruler of the Jews, Jesus had said, "Except a man be born again (anothen = anew, or from above), he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Anothen, akin to ano is a temporal and a locative adverb, relating to creative beginnings, as well as to the upper and highest sphere and source of divine power. Palin is the customary Greek word for "again" = a simple repetition or continuance of the natural process, whereas anothen = an analogous process in the higher sphere of the Holy Spirit's power, and consequently a divinely pure, and entirely new beginning, opposed to the natural order.

The spiritual significance of the temple vail being rent from the "top" (anothen) is well known, as well as the garment of the Lord, "woven from the top" (anothen). In John 3:31, "He that cometh from above (anothen) is above (ep-ano) all." Here the preposition epi, compounded with ano intensifies the adverbial force to the extent of a superlative, thus bringing into prominence the supreme value of the testimony of the Son of God, with regard to heavenly things. In Luke 1:3, anothen is translated "from the very first," i.e., another aspect of the temporal force of the adverb with regard to the creative beginnings of the new era of grace. The eye witnesses had imparted in detail events which he had not seen. Being divinely inspired, Luke wrote from this supreme authority with confidence as to the events surrounding the holy incarnation of the Son of Man, His pathway, His cross, and its glorious sequels. In the most remarkable of existent genealogy (Ch. 3.), the inspired Evangelist traces on the upward line, through many generations, covering thousands of years the lineage of Jesus, to God, the source and origin of all blessing for man!

Man (anthropos), the generic name of one having the upturned countenance, in contradistinction to the beasts of the field whose gaze is directed earthward, he is the object of the love of God. This love is reciprocated by the believer, who like the apostle Paul stretches out, and presses on for "the prize of the calling on high, (ano) of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13, 14). All is of God, so that even the bodies of our humiliation will be conformed to His body of glory, by His power, at His coming for us, when He shall carry us above to His own home of perfect light and love and joy (verse 21 ).