Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Agreeably to this, we learn that the Father imparted the Spirit without measure to Jesus, anointing him, and putting the Spirit of the Lord upon him, for every part of his mediatorial work; (John iii. 34; Luke iv. 18, 19.) He gives to him also, those true sheep who hear the voice of Christ, and who follow him ; (John X. 29.) And no man (saith Christ) can come unto me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him; (John vi. 44.) The Father gave to Christ power also to bave life in himself, and to quicken whom he will: he hath committed all judgment unto the Son; he hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man: and what things soever the Father doeth, those also doeth the Son likewise; (John v. 17—27.) “ For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth.” .

Such are the statements of this Evangelist, who enlarges upon this doctrine of the relation between the Father and the Son, perhaps more fully than any other of the New Testament writers. And from the expression of our Lord, “ Now they have known,” it may properly be inferred that all the eleven had distinctly received this doctrine: they had in truth, only a short time before, declared their conviction to be, that Jesus came forth from God; (John xvi. 30.) They had faith in this fact, as a fundamental truth; to be kept, published, and transmitted to the Church, from generation to generation.

Let us all heartily' bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for this Covenant of grace, which he hath ordained in the hands of a Mediator! The Covenant is an everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things and sure: the Mediator is condescending, faithful, and prevailing; and He is the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him. We have cause, moreover, to adore the good providence of our God, in that, when the Covenant had been ratified by the death of his Son, he did not suffer it to remain unknown; as it were, a treasure unprofitably hid in a field: but He sent forth faithful men, to preach everywhere the unspeakable riches of Christ. He sent them “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world had been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ : “ To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” To this end “ he gave some, apostles: and some, prophets : and some, evangelists: and some, pastors and teachers.” May we, through their inspired teaching, come, in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ!”

CHRIST GLORIFIED IN HIS DISCIPLES.

JOHN xvii. 9, 10. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glori. fied in them.

How must 'this short sentence have touched the disciples! They were gathered round their Lord, and heard him declare on their behalf, “ I pray for them !” To feel that Jesus loved them, owned them, and presented them and all their concerns in fervent intercessions at the throne of the Most High-where they knew he must prevail-how would it comfort and secure their hearts! And this same assurance, may not all believers equally enjoy? Doth not Jesus pray for us also ? Yes: he takes our imperfect petitions, and offers with them the plea of his own merit: he presents our sighs and groans, rendering them acceptable to God. Together with our supplications he mingles “much incense,” that is, his own powerful iutercession; and thus he obtains for us exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think.

For the world he prayed not. At that time, certainly, he did not offer up any petition for the ungodly; but for those only, who were given to him of the Father. On their behalf he presents an argument that was irresistible; “For they are thine.”—6 The Lord knoweth them that are his :"

Others pro

and he bath determined that they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of his hands. Yet their election of God did not preclude the necessity for prayer on their behalf! Jesus, we perceive, prayed even for those whom he knew to be believers. Believers must in like manner pray for themselves, and for one another.

On another occasion-namely, when extended on the cross-Jesus prayed even for his murderers; “ Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Some of them, no doubt, were afterwards converted: the account of the transactions on the day of Pentecost, prove this. bably persisted in unbelief. It is not revealed to us, why Christ omitted at this time to plead for “the world” in his prayer; while, on another occasion, he prayed for those wicked men who crucified him.

The distinction which Jesus made in this part of his prayer, furnishes no rule to us in regard to our petitions. We, following the general direction of Scripture, are bound to pray that all men living, and all the generations yet unborn, may be brought to the saving knowledge of Christ. We are not to guide or limit our prayers, according to our notions of the secret decrees of God. We are directed by St. Paul to pray comprehensively, relying on the general character of God for mercy, so fully declared in his holy word: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings,

and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy ii. 1—4.)

It is worthy of remark how Jesus, in this part of his intercession, asserts his dignity, as being, not mere man, but also God. “ All mine (that is, all my things) are thine; and thine are mine." What words could possibly describe with greater force the perfect oneness, equality, and harmony subsisting between the Father and Christ Jesus ?

Yet, while Jesus passes by “ the world,” with what condescending complacency does he dwell on the character of these his humble followers ! They had been made, through grace, “ the excellent of the earth ;” and in them was all his delight. Insignificant as they were in the eyes of mankind generally, yet were they men, of whom the world was not worthy! And as, on one occasion, “ Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things, and hast revealed them unto babes ;" so, on this evening, he declares concerning these simple, unadorned disciples, “I am glorified in them.” It is a thought, applicable to all who have “the mind of Christ.” Our Lord and Master declares himself honoured by our attachment to his Person, his doctrine, his cause, his people. Consequently, he is not ashamed to call us, brethren. He accepts

« AnteriorContinuar »