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pare for : since if this is heaven, “what manner of persons ought we all to be in all holy conversation and godliness ?"
So that the difference between those whom God has given to Christ, and those whom he has not given, is as visible in their present state as it will be in their future condition. Those who will hereafter be partakers of Christ's glory, are here dis tinguished as desiring it, seeking it, and living for it. Those who are to “ rejoice with him,” in heaven, have begun by being his subjects in this world. So his concluding words imply.
25. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
Those, then, for whom Christ is now interceding, are those who differed from the world in this, the world had not known the Father ; but these had known him; and had given this proof of knowing him, that they had received the message which he had sent by his beloved Son.
And here is removed whatever doubt and difficulty might hang upon our minds from the words preceding--I will that those whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am. Whom thou hast given me. And who are these? We cannot examine the book in which their names are written. But there is an outward superscription which all
These have known that thou hast sent me. They have received the Son, in the character which the Father sent him to sustain : received “ him as made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” They have received him, as giving heavenly wisdom to those who were ignorant without him, as giving righteousness to those who had no righteousness of their own, as sanctifying those who were by nature corrupt and sinful, as redeeming those who were lying under condemnation.
It is a natural question, (we would that all should ask it,) Are we among those whom God
given to Christ, that they may behold his glory? And it must be answered by entering into our own hearts, and seeing what our faith is; and into our lives, and seeing what our practice is. These have known that thou hast sent me. Such is their short but sufficient description. They have known that thou hast sent me, “ to save my people from their sins.” They have not closed their eyes to the proofs that I came from God. They have not closed their ears against the truths which they heard from me. They have not “ loved darkness rather than light,” because of the evil deeds which they desired to persist in. But they have heard my invitation, and have listened to it; have “ taken my yoke upon them, and learnt of me, that they might find rest unto their souls."
4 1 Cor. i. 30.
Such were they, who were the objects of the Redeemer's
and for whose comfort and encouragement he left the words on record, Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory. Of these he says,
I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it ; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may
be in them, and I in them. Because “ the world had not known God :" because “no man knoweth the Father, but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." 66 And this is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.
This is life eternal. But it must be reserved for that eternal state to understand fully the secret wonders involved in this mysterious prayer. St. Paul felt that he could ask no higher blessing for his beloved disciples, than that “ being rooted and grounded in love, they might be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that they might be filled with all the fulness of God.”5
5 Eph. iii. 17-19.
JESUS IS TAKEN BY THE OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS, AND BROUGHT BEFORE THE HIGH PRIEST.
JOHN xviii. 1-23.
1. When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 1
2. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place; for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
3. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
4. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek
5. They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
7. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
8. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
9. That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
A striking scene is represented to us here. “The 1 The garden called Gethsemane.
rulers stand up and take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed.” 2 But in this they accomplish the secret purposes of him against whom they had conspired : he against whom they had conspired, and whom they came to take as a criminal, by surprise, meets the band of men and officers, and says at once, I am he whom ye seek. That which you come to do against me, is determined from above, or it could not be done at all : and therefore you hear me openly declare, I am he.
It was quickly proved that whatever power they had against him, was “given them from above :" for, hearing him acknowledge, I am he, instead of seizing him, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
An emblem of that time which is foretold, when all the enemies of Christ shall
say to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the wrath of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.”3
Still, however, Jesus was to suffer, though he laid down his life of himself, and no man took it from him. But he first provides for the safety of his apostles. “ Those whom he loved, he loved unto the end.” If ye seek me, let these go He knew their strength, that it was but weakness : therefore he proportions their trial to it: and allows them not to be tempted “above that which they were able to bear.” Hereafter they might have resolution to say, “ None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself. At present their strength was but like “ the bruised 2 Ps. ii. 2.
3 Rev, vi. 16. 4 Acts xx. 24.