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they did not as yet understand either the meaning or the value. The Holy Spirit was to teach them nothing new, but to bring out that which they had received from Jesus.
Verses 14, 15. “He shall glorify me : for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine ; therefore, said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
These two last verses describe the three persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, (the Holy Trinity) at work together in the mighty plan of man's salvation. The Son speaks of the Spirit's carrying out His and the Father's scheme; and when we turn to the epistles, wbich were written after the Holy Spirit had taught the disciples the full meaning of all they had heard from Him before He left them, we can scarcely fail to perceive the meaning of His words, when He said" He (the Spirit of truth) shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
These few last verses are of especial importance, as they plainly put before us the scriptural doctrine of the IIoly Trinity ; shewing to us the separate existence and one mind, of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, working together, yet each taking a separate part, in the performance of one mighty whole; three persons and one God.
Having thus spoken, Jesus again passes from the giving of the Holy Ghost, to His own personal communion with IIis disciples, again repeating what He had said before,
Verses 16, 17. “A little while and ye shall not see me : and again a little while and ye shall see me : because I go to the Father. Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me, and again a little while and ye shall see me, and, Because I go to the Father."
That his going to the Father was to be the very cause of their beholding Him again, perplexed them sorely, for they did not yet understand the promise either of his bodily resurrection, or (that which is much more intended here,) of his divine life and perpetual presence in their hearts, through the Holy Spirit whom he should send unto them.
Verses 18, 19. “ They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while ? We cannot tell what he saith. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him."
Yes, the Saviour knows all our desires and doubts. Dull and slow to believe though we be, he never wearies of instructing us. With gentle patience he led his disciples on from the present sorrow which seemed to stupify their minds, to the future joy which lay before them. Pain and sorrow it is true was before them, but that very pain and sorrow should bring a joy so great that in it all past anguish should be forgotten.
Verses 19-22. “He said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me : and again, a little while, and shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice : and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come : but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow : but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
The time of a woman's travail is full of pain for herself, and of anxiety for her friends. When her child is born, what a change comes over her feelings, and those of all to whom she is dear. Joy fills the house, and nothing in it is, for the time
so precious as the little new-born stranger. Under this strong and familiar figure, the Lord Jesus expressed to his disciples the bright hope that should cheer them through the fast-coming and inevitable hour of anguish. The terrors of His crucifixion would cause their passionate and despairing grief : yet they were but the birth-throes which were to bring into life a new-born world, over which the universal family of God in heaven and in earth should evermore rejoice; and that figure which best describes the pains and joys of the universal Church, does also best describe the pains and joys of each separate soul, first labouring under the anguish of the sense of sin,* then finding peace and holy rest in deliverance from it. Then the consciously redeemed sinner gazes as it were upon his own soul in wonder and delight, as upon a newborn child of God. The Saviour always was the Saviour, but till now He has not been comprehended and embraced. May not the picture also well describe that unspeakable, because as yet unknown, rapture which will usher in each redeemed spirit, escaped from the agonizing bed of death, to the bosom of the Father, welcome for Christ's sake into the family of God, the newly-born child of a blissful eternity ?
Verse 23. “ And in that day ye shall ask me nothing." The mother, when she folds her new-born infant to her bosom, for the time desires no more. Her joy is complete, and she is satisfied. As time goes on, the cares and wants of life return. She must turn again to the occupations of her family, and its daily requirements. She must exert herself even for the sake of her precious new-born child. So would it be with the disciples. In the first rejoicing of their hearts over the full discovery that the end of their grief was just the fulfilment of the prophetic song of the angels at the Redeemer's birth : Glory to God in the highest, Peace on earth, and good will to man,they would feel no sense of need. Soul-satisfied, in that day they should ask nothing of their Lord; but He knew well that though no man could ever take their joy from them, they would still have many needs, for a life-time of glorious work was before them, therefore he left one unfailing promise :
* Not that this anguish is the necessary sign of a Christian calling, for there are some who grow up in God's faith and fear, never losing the blessed sense of. peace and acceptance through Christ.
Verses 23, 24.“ Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name : ask, and ye
shall receive, that your joy may be full.” They had not hitherto comprehended the reality of the relationship between the eternal Father and the eternal Son. Now their joy would be full in the clear comprehension that He, their own beloved Lord was indeed that eternal Son, and his name so powerful in heaven, that whatever was asked in it would certainly be granted. How full of tender wisdom were the Saviour's dealings with his afflicted disciples! Sorrow upon sorrow was gathering round them; but He was leading their thoughts beyond the hour of grief ; never were his words so full of joy. It was not hope, it was certainty, that he put before them; and he showed them that even as the darkness of this world's frown should thicken round them when his presence was withdrawn, so the brighter should shine the light within. They had known him as man, they had striven to follow the mighty truths that had been shadowed out to them in parables, but the full light he now promised had not yet shone upon
them. He said,
Verses 25—27. “These things (the things which explained the reality of his union with God the Father,) have I spoken unto you in proverbs : but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name : and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you : For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.”
Our Lord did not say that he would not pray for them, but that it was not needful for him to do so, because now God the Father, for the sake of His Son, loved all who loved Him. In him God and man were reconciled.
Verses 28–30. “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world : again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee : by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.”
The whole of the Saviour's history was expressed in these few words now spoken by Him. “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world, again, I leave the world, and go to the Father," and the disciples gladly caught at them. A ray of light seemed to beam upon their minds; yet very imperfect still was their understanding ; but their Lord knew that, according to his own word, the small seed of childlike faith would grow into a great tree. He did not chill their ardour by telling them that as yet they perfectly understood nothing; He only gently cautioned them against trusting too far to the belief they felt that he had indeed come forth from God. This faith of theirs was immediately to be tried, and it would be found too weak to carry them unshrinking through the fiery trial.
Verses 31, 32.“ Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold the ur cometh, yea, is now come, when ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone : and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”