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as are already sanctified, must labour and ought to endeavour after further measures and higher degrees of sanctification: that the most holy may yet be more holy. 2. The word of God is the great instrument in God's hand for his people's sanctification. 3. That the word of God is the truth of God: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. The word of God is a divine truth, an eternal truth, an infallible truth, an holy truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
Observe here, 1. Christ's mission ; the Father sent him into the world. Christ's sending implies the designation of his person, his qualification for the work, his authority and commission. Learn hence, That Christ did not of himself undertake the office of a Mediator, but was sent; that is, authorized and commissioned of God so to do; Thou hast sent me into the world. Observe, 2. As Christ's mission, so the apostles' mission: As thou hast sent me, so have I sent them. Learn thence, That none may, or ought, to undertake the office of the ministry, without an authoritative sending from Christ himself; not immediately and extraordinarily by voice or vision, but immediately by the officers of the church. And such as are so sent, are sent by Christ himself; and if so, it is the people's duty to reverence their persons, to respect their office, to receive their message: As thou hast sent me, so have I sent them.
19 And for their suites I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
The word sanctify here, is not to be taken for the cleansing, purifying, or making holy, that which before was unclean; but Christ's sanctifying himself imports, 1. His separation of setting himself apart to be a sacrifice for sin. 2. His consecration or dedication of himself to this holy use and service. Hence learn, That Jesus Christ did dedicate and solemnly set himself apart to the great work and office of a Mediator. Learn, 2. That the great end for which Christ did thus sanctify himself, was, that he might sanctify his members; therefore did he consecrate and set himself apart for us, that we should be consecrated to, and wholly set apart for, him.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
Hitherto our Saviour had been pray log for himself and his apostles; now he prays for all persons, both Jews and Gentiles, that should believe on him, throughout the world, by the preaching of toe gospel. Hence learn, 1. That all believers have a special interest in Christ's prayer. 2. That in the sense of the gospel they are believers who are wrought upon to believe in Christ through the word. 3. That such is Christ's care of and love to his own, that they were remembered by him in his prayer, even before they had a being: I pray not Jar these alone, but for all that shall believe in me.
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
The special mercy, and particular blessing which Christ prays for on behalf of believers, is a close and intimate union betwixt the Father, himself, and them, and also betwixt one another; such an union as doth in some sort resemble that union which is betwixt God and Christ; not an unity of essence and nature, but of wills and affections. Hence note, 1. That the mystical union betwixt Christ and his members carrieth some resemblance with that union which is betwixt the Father and the Son. 2. That union amongst the ministers and members of Jesus Christ, is of so great importance, necessity, and consequence, that he did in their behalf principally and chiefly pray for it. An unity of love and affection, of faith and profession, an unity of practice and conversation, are mercies which Christ earnestly prayed for, and has dearly paid for; and nothing is more desired by him now in hea\-en, than that his disciples should beonc among themselves here on earth: Father, may they he one, as we are one: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. Here Christ intimates one special advantage that would redound to the world by this desirable union betwixt the ministers and members of Christ; it will, if not convert, yet at least convince the world, that 1 and my doctrine came from God. Thence note, That union amongst Christ's disciples is one special mean to enlarge the kingdom of Christ,
and to cause lhe world to have better thoughts of him and his doctrine: lS» their being one, as we are one, the world will believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Here observe, 1. Christ's communication of that glory to believers, which he had received of the Father; that is, not his essential glory, but his mediatorial glory: The glory which thou gavest me. Now Christ hath no glory given him as God, but much glory bestowed upon him as Mediator. Observe, 2. The end of this communication, why he gave his disciples that glory which the Father had given him; namely, that they might be one. Learn, 1. That God the Father had bestowed much glory on Christ his Son, as he is Man, and Mediator of the church. 2. That the same glory for kind and substance, though not for measure and degree, which Christ as Mediator has received from the Father, is communicated to true believers. 3. That the great end of this communication was, and is, to oblige and enable his people to maintain a very strict union among themselves; The glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one. 4. That unity amongst believers is part of that glory which Christ as Mediator bath obtained for them.
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one: and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.
Observe here, 1. That as the Father is in Christ, so is Christ in believers, and they in him: the Father is in Christ in respect of his divine nature, essence, and attributes; and Christ is in believers, by the inhabitation of his Holy Spirit. Observe, 2. That the believers' happiness consisteth in their oneness, in being one with God through Christ, and one amongst themselves: That ihey may be made perfect in one. Observe, 3. That God the Father loveth Christ his Sou: Thou lovest them as thou hast loved me. God loveth Christ, first, as God; so he is Primum Amabile, the first object of his love, as representing his attributes exactly. Secondly, as Mediator, John x.
17. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life for my sheep. Observe 4. That God the Father loves believers, even as he loved Christ himself; that is, he loves them upon the same grounds that he loved him ; namely, for their nearness, and for their likeness to him. 1. For their nearness and relation to him; he loveth Christ as his Son, believers as his children, 1 John iii. 1. Behold what manner of love the Father bestoweth upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! 2. The properties of the Father's love towards Christ and believers are the same: doth he love Christ with a tender love, with an unchangeable love, with an everlasting love? so doth he love believers also. Observe, 5. That Christ would have the world know, that God the Father loveth the children of men, as well as himself; Christ is not ambitious to engross all our love unto himself, hut would have the world take notice of the good-will of his Father, as well as of himself, to lost mankind; of the Father's loving himself, as well as of his own love in coming: That the world may know lhat thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Our Saviour had prayed for his disciples' sanctification before, here he prays for their glorification: 1. That they may be where he is: now Christ is with them in his ordinances, in his word, and at his table; ere long they shall be with him as his friends, as his spouse, as his companions, in his kingdom. 2. That they may be with him where he is; that is more than the former; a blind man may be where the sun is, but not with the sun, because he doth not enjoy the light and benefit of it; To be with Christ where he is, imports union and communion with him. 3. That being with him where he is, they may behold his glory; that is, to see it, and everlastingly to possess and enjoy it. Learn, 1. That all those that are given to Christ as his charge, and as his reward, shall certainly come to heaven to him; Father, I will that they be with me; because I have merited that they should be With me; I will that they behold my glory, because I
have purchased it at so dear a rate. Learn, 2. That the work and employment of the saints in heaven chiefly consist in seeing and enjoying Christ's glory; for it will be a possessive sight; the language of every look will be, " This happiness is mine, this glory is mine." 3. That the top and height of the saints' happiness in heaven consists m this, that they shall be with Christ; Father, I will that they may be with me, to behold my glory.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
Observe here, 1. The appellation given to God: O righteous Father. This is the sixth time that Christ in this prayer has called God, Father, it being so sweet a relation, and producing all love, delight, joy, and confidence in God, by him that practically reproves it. But observe, That at ver. II. when Christ prayed for his people's sanctification, he said, Holy Father, making use of that attribute which is the cause of all holiness in the creature; but now praying for their glorification, he says, O righteous Father; righteous in making good thy promises both to me and them. Observe, 2. What it is that our Saviour affirms concerning the wicked and unbelieving world, that they have not known God; The world hath not known thee; not as if the world hath not known him at all, but not known him aright; the unbelieving and unsanctified part of the world having no saving knowledge of God, not living answerably to what they know to be their duty. Observe, 3. What Christ affirms concerning himself: But I have known thee, and these have known thee. Intimating thus much unto us, that Jesus Christ knows God immediately, and all others know him by the means of Christ; Christ is the original and fontal cause of all the saving knowledge that believers have of God. There is not the least ray of saving illumination that doth not descend from Christ and the Spirit of Christ: / have known thee, and these have known that thou didst send me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, und will declare i7;
That is, "I have made known unto them thy nature, attributes, counsels, will, and commands, and I will continue the
manifestation of the same unto the end. Learn thence, That the saving knowledge of God was not attainable by natural ahilities, but cometh to us by the special revelation of Jesus Christ: I have declared unto them thy name. Learn, 2. That they that have the name of God, his nature, and will, savingly declared to them, do not stand in need of any farther declarations and discoveries of God's nature and will to be made unto them: 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.
That is, " That the love which is originally in thyself, as the fountain of all grace, may be communicated and dispensed from thee to them, and become inherent in them." Learn hence. That it is not enough for the people of God that they are beloved of him, and that his love is towards them; but they must endeavour to have it in them ; that is, experience it in the effects of it, and in the sense and feeling of it ■ their own souls. The safety of a christian lies in this, that God loves him ; but the joy, the comfort, and happiness of a christian, consists in the knowledge, in the sensible apprehension and feeling, of bis love; therefore Christ closeth his prayer for his members, with this affectionate and comprehensive petition: Let the lore wherewith thou hast loved me, be in them, and I in them.
^M7"HEN 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. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place; for Jesus oft-times resorted thither with his disciples.
No sooner had our dear Lord ended hs divine prayer, recorded in the foregoing chapter, but he goes forth to meet his sufferings with a willing cheerfulness. He retires with his disciples into a garden, not to hide and shelter himself from his enemies; for, if so, it had been the most improper place he could have chosen; it being the accustomed place where he was woot to pray, and a place well known to Judas, who was now coming to seek him. Judas
which betrayed him knew the place; for Jesus oft-times resorted thither with his disciples; so that Christ repaired to this garden, not to shun but to meet the enemy, to offer himself a prey to the wolves, which in the garden hunted him, and laid hold upon him; be also resorted to this garden now for privacy, that he might freely pour out his soul to God. Learn hence, That the Lord Jesus Christ was praying to his Father in the garden, when Judas with his black guard came to apprehend him. As the sin of the first Adam, which brought destruction upon his posterity, was committed in a garden, so the salutary passion of the second Adam, which was to rescue us from that destruction, did begin in a garden also.
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.
Observe, 1. What a multitude were here employed by the chief priests and Pharisees, for apprehending a single person: gown men and sword men, young and old, Jew and Gentile: all sorts of persons contriving bis death, as all conditions of people were afterwards to receive benefit by it. But what need these lanterns and torches, it being then, as some observe, full moon, when they sought him in the garden? All this argued their zealous industry for our Saviour's apprehension, that they might be sure to find him, in case he should hide himself in any holes or corners of the garden. Learn hence, That persecutors and wicked apostates are not asleep in their designs and actings, but very vigilant and active; when at the same time Christ's own disciples and followers are asleep and careless. How active was Judas, and how watchful was his bloody crew, even at that time when Christ's disciples could not keep their eyes open!
4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 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.
Observe here, 1. How our Lord's sufferings were all foreknown to himself, before they came upon him, and yet how willingly and cheerfully did he go forth to meet them. Should our sufferings be known unto us before they come upon us, how would it disquiet and disturb us! yea, not only discompose us, but distract us! In great wisdom, therefore, and in tender mercy, has God concealed future events from us. But it was otherwise with Christ; he had an exact knowledge of those bitter sufferings which he was to undergo, and yet with a composed mind he goes forth to meet them: Jesus knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth. "Lord 1 how endearing are our obligations to thyself, that when thou knewest before-hand the bitterness of that cup, which the justice of God was about to put into thy hand, thou didst not decline to drink it off for our sakes! Observe, 2. That it was not man's power, but Christ's own permission, which brought his sufferings upon him. How easily could Christ have delivered himself out of his enemies' hands, who with a word from his mouth caused them to go backward and fall to the ground! Christ in speaking those words did let out a little ray or beam of his deity, and this struck them down. Mark what a strange power was here in the word of Christ, and that not an angry word neither. He did not chide them, and say, " You wretches, how dare you lay hands on me, and carry me to judgment who shall one day be your judge! Christ only said, I am he, and down they fell. O what fear will Christ send out when he cometh to judge the world, who could send forth such a fear when he yielded up himself to be judged and condemned in the world! If there was so much majesty in the voice of Christ, in one of the lowest acts of his humiliation, what will the voice of a glorified Christ be to sinners, when he shall come as a judge to condemn the world.
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 lie fulfilled which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
Here note, 1. How voluntarily and freely Christ laid down his life! When his enemies were fallen to the ground, he suffered them to rise again, and offers himself to thsm to take him and carry him away. Note, 2. How the sight of this glorious miracle of the soldiers falling to the ground did not deter or discourage them from their wicked purpose; they get up again, and go on with their bloody design. Learn hence, That obstinate and obdurate sinners will not be reclaimed by the most evident and convincing, by the most miraculous and surprising, appearances of God against them. Note, 3. How mindful, in the midst of his sufferings, Christ was of his dear disciples, to secure them, at this time, from death and danger; If ye seek me, let these go their way: that is, my disciples, against whom ye have no warrant at this time. Learn hence, That Christ is so tender of his followers, that he will not put them upon trials, or call them forth to sufferings, till they are ripe and ready, fitted and prepared for lhem. The disciples yet were weak and feeble, timorous and fearful, and Christ had much work and service for them to do in the world; namely, to plant and propagate the gospel in foreign countries; he therefore resolves not to lose any one of them by persecution at this time. And thus was his word fulfilled, Of them which thou gavest me have I tost none.
10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and smote the highpriest's servant, and cut off his right car. The servant's name was Malchus. 11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: .
Observe here, St Peter's love unto, and zeal for, his Lord and Master, in defence of whom he now draws his sword: but why did he not rather draw upon Judas than upon Malchus? Possibly, because though Judas was most faulty, yet Malchus might be most forward to carry off our Saviour. O, how doth a pious breast swell with indignation, at the sight of an open affront offered unto its Saviour! Observe farther, The rebuke which Christ gave St. Peter for what he did: though his heart was sincere, yet his hand was rash; good intentions are no warrant for irregular actions: Christ will thank no man for drawing a sword in defence of him, without a warrant and commission from him. To resist a lawful magistrate, even in
Christ's own defence, is rash zeal, and discountenanced by the gospel.
The cup which my Father
hath given me, shall I not drink, it?
Here observe, 1. A metaphorical description of Christ's sufferings: they are a cup put into his hand to drink off, and that by his own Father. They are a cup, and but a cup: God will not over-charge his people j and this cup is from the hand of a Father, yea, from the hand of our Father: The cup which our Father hath given me. Observe, 2. Our Lord's resolution to drink off this cup, how bitter soever, being put to his mouth by his Father's hand: Shall 1 not drink it? that is, I will drink it. Leam hence, 1. That oft-times the wisdom of God is pleased to put a cup, a very bitter cup, of affliction into the hand of those to drink whom he doth most sincerely love. 2. That when God doth so, it is their duty to drink it with silence and submission: Shali I not drink it? That is, 1 will certainly drink it with cheerfulness and resignation.
12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews, took Jesus, and bound him, 13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high-priest that same year. 14 Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
Judas having made good his promise to the chief priests, and delivered Jesus a prisoner bound into their hands, those evening wolves no sooner seize the Lamb of God, but they thirst and long to suck his innocent blood; yet, lest it should look like a downright murder, they allow him a mock-trial, and abuse the law by perverting it to injustice and bloodshed. How impossible is it for the greatest innocence and virtue to protect from slander and false accusation! and no person can be so innocent or good, whom false witnesses may not condemn.
15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. That disciple was known unto the high-priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high-priest. 16 But Peter stood at the door