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many shall come in my name, saying, ływ eiges ó Xpisos, “I am the Messiah.' Here, in this place of John xiii. Jesus foretels what should happen to him, viz. that he should he betrayed by Judas ; adding this prediction to the many other particulars of his death and suffering, which he had at other times foretold to them. And here he tells them the reason of these his predictions, viz. that afterwards they might be a confirmation to their faith. And what was it that he would have them believe, and be confirmed in the belief of ? Nothing but this, ötr ływ eius • Xposòs, “ that he was the
, ότι εγώ ο Χριστός,
ó Messiah.” The same reason he gives, John xiv. 28, " You have heard how I said unto you, I
go away, and come again unto you: and now I have told you, before it comes to pass, that when it comes to pass, ye might believe.
When Judas had left them, and was gone out, he talks a little freer to them of his glory and his kingdom than ever he had done before. For now he speaks plainly of himself, and of his kingdom, John xiii. 31, « Therefore when he [Judas] was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is also glorified in him. And, if God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.”
And Luke xxii. 29, “ And I will appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink with me at my table, in my kingdom." Though he has every where, all along through his ministry, preached the
Gospel of the kingdom," and nothing else but that and repentance, and the duties of a good life : yet it has been always “the kingdom of God,” and “ the kingdom of heaven :" and I do not remember, that any where, till now, he uses any such expression as “ my kingdom.” But here now he speaks in the first person, “I will appoint you a kingdom,” and, “in my
, kingdom :" and this we see is only to the eleven, now Judas was gone from them.
With these eleven, whom he was just now leaving, he has a long discourse, to comfort them for the loss of him ; and to prepare them for the persecution of the
world, and to exhort them to keep his commandments, and to love one another. And here one may expect all the articles of faith should be laid down plainly, if any thing else were required of them to believe, but what he had taught them, and they believed already, viz. “That he was the Messiah.” John xiv. 1, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” Ver. 29. “I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye may believe.” It is believing on him without any thing else. John xvi. 31, “ Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?” This was in answer to their profession, ver. 30, “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.”
John xvii. 20, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” All that is spoke of believing, in this his last sermon to them, is only “believing on him," or believing that “he came from God;" which was no other than believing him to be the Messiah.
Indeed, John xiv. 9, our Saviour tells Philip, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” And adds, ver. 10, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doth the works.” Which being in answer to Philip's words, ver. 9, “Show us the Father," seem to import thus much: “No man hath seen God at any time;" he is known only by his works. And that he is my Father, and I the Son of God, i. e. the Messiah, you may know by the works I have done; which it is impossible I could do of myself, but by the union I have with God my Father. For that by being “in God,” and “God in him,” he signifies such an union with God, that God operates in and by him, appears not only by the words above cited out of ver. 10, (which can scarce otherwise be made coherent sense) but also from the same phrase, used again by our Saviour presently after, ver. 20, “At that day,” viz. after his resurrection, when they should see him again, "you shall know that I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in you ;” i. e. by the works, that I shall enable you to do, through a power I have received from the Father : which whosoever sees me do, must acknowledge the Father to be in me; and whosoever sees you do, must acknowledge me to be in you. And therefore he says, ver. 12, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believe eth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, because I go unto my Father.” Though I go away, yet I shall be in you, who believe in me; and ye shall be enabled to do miracles also, for the carrying on of my kingdom, as I have done; that it may be manifested to others, that you are sent by me, as I have evidenced to you, that I am sent by the Father. And hence it is that he says in the immediately preceding ver. 11, “ Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; if not, believe me for the sake of the works themselves.” Let the works that I have done convince you, that I am sent by the Father; that he is with me, and that I do nothing but by his will; and by virtue of the union I have with him; and that consequently I am the Messiah, who am anointed, sanctified, and separated by the Father, to the work for which he sent me.
To confirm them in this faith, and to enable them to do such works as he had done, he promises them the Holy Ghost, John xiv. 25, 26. “These things I have said unto you, being yet present with you." But when I am gone, “ The Holy Ghost, the Paraclet,” (which may signify Monitor, as well as Comforter, or Advocate) " which the Father shall send
you name, he shall show you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things which I have said.” So that, considering all that I have said, and laying it together, and comparing it with what you shall see come to pass ; you may be more abundantly assured, that I am the Messiah ; and fully comprehend, that I have done and suffered all things foretold of the Messiah, and that were to be accomplished and fulfilled by him, according to the Scriptures. But be not filled with grief, that Ileave you, John xvi. 7, “It is expedient for you, that I go away; for if I go not away, the Paraclet will not
come unto you.” One reason why, if he went not away, the Holy Ghost could not come, we may gather from what has been observed, concerning the prudent and wary carriage of our Saviour all through his ministry, that he might not incur death with the least suspicion of a malefactor. And therefore, though his disciples believed him to be the Messiah, yet they neither understood it so well, nor were so well confirmed in the belief of it, as after that, he being crucified and risen again, they had received the Holy Ghost; and with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, a fuller and clearer evidence and knowledge that he was the Messiah. They then were enlightened to see how his kingdom was such as the Scriptures foretold; though not such as they, till then, had expected. And now this knowledge and assurance, received from the Holy Ghost, was of use to them after his resurrection ; when they could now boldly go about, and openly preach, as they did, that Jesus was the Mes: siah ; confirming that doctrine by the miracles which the Holy Ghost empowered them to do. But till he was dead and gone, they could not do this. Their going about openly preaching, as they did after his resur: rection, that Jesus was the Messiah, and doing miracles every where, to make it good, would not have consisted with that character of humility, peace, and innocence, which the Messiah was to sustain, if they had done it before his crucifixion. For this would have drawn upon him the condemnation of a malefactor, either as a stirrer of sedition against the public peace, or as a pretender to the kingdom of Israel. Hence we see, that they, who before his death preached only the “Gospel of the kingdom;" that “the kingdom of God was at hand;" as soon as they had received the Holy Ghost, after his resurrection, changed their style, and every where in express words declare, that Jesus is the Mes. siah, that King which was to come. This the following words here in St. John xvi. 8-14, confirm ; where he goes on to tell them, “ And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin; because they believed not on me.” Your preaching then, accompanied with miracles, by the assistance of the Holy Ghost, shall be a
conviction to the world, that the Jews sinned in not be. lieving me to be the Messiah. “Of righteousness," or justice; “because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more." By the same preaching and miracles '
shall confirm the doctrine of my ascension ; and thereby convince the world, that I was that just one, who am, therefore, ascended to the Father into heaven, where no unjust person shall enter. “Of judgment; because the prince of this world is judged.” And by the same assistance of the Holy Ghost ye shall convince the world, that the devil is judged or condemned by your casting of him out, and destroying his kingdom, and his worship, wherever you preach. Our Saviour adds, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.” They were yet so full of a temporal kingdom, that they could not bear the discovery of what kind of kingdom his was, nor what a king he was to be: and therefore he leaves them to the coming of the Holy Ghost, for a farther and fuller discovery of himself, and the kingdom of the Messiah ; for fear they should be scandalized in him, and give up the hopes they now had in him, and forsake him. This he tells them, ver. 1 of this xvith chapter : “ These
" things I have said unto you, that you may not be scandalized.” The last thing he had told them, before his saying this to them, we find in the last verses of the preceding chapter: “ When the Paraclet is come, the Spirit of truth, he shall witness concerning me. He shall show you who I am, and witness it to the world ; and then, “Ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. He shall call to your mind what I have said and done, that ye may understand it, and know, and bear witness concerning me. And again here, John xvi., after he had told them they could not bear what he had more to say, he adds, ver. 13,“ Howbeit, when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; and he will show you things to come: he shall glorify me." By the Spirit, when he comes, ye shall be fully instructed concerning me; and though you cannot yet, from what I have said to you, clearly comprehend my kingdom