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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. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my ever. 23. name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27d for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from
t render, parables.
I render, the hour, or, an hour.
render, tell you plainly concerning. 2 render, as in next verse, came forth.
7, and mark the difference between the command then and now,-that in my name is added.
25-33.] Their present real weakness and imperfection, though fancied strength: their future high blessedness and share in His triumph, though in tribulation in the world. 25.] The word used here signities literally, as rendered in A. V., a proverb but it is better for the English reader to render it parable, because proverb has the technical appropriated sense of a short pithy saying of concentrated wisdom, whereas this implies generally something dark and enigmatical-deep truth wrapped up in words, as in a parable. This is true of the whole discourse -and of the discourses of the Lord in general, as they must then have seemed to them, before the Holy Spirit furnished the key to their meaning. the hour cometh] viz. the same as that indicated in vv. 16 and 23;-but here again, not one hour only exclusive of all others, but to be understood of the several steps of spiritual knowledge. Olshausen finely remarks, that all human language is a parable, or dark saying, only able to hint at, not to express fully, the things of God; and that the Lord contrasts the use of this weak and insufficient medium, with the inward teaching of the Holy Spirit. This inward teaching, because it is a real imparting of the divine Nature and Life, brings with it not only prayer in the name of Jesus, but a free access to the Father Himself. This speaking plainly however, he continues, is described here by the Lord in its ideal perfection (as it will hereafter be): and is only approximated to on earth; for, as long as the old man yet lives in us, we require still the Lord's intercessory prayer (ch. xvii. 15), daily washing from the pollution of the world; by which Intercession alone the faithful man, notwithstanding his imperfection, can enjoy in peace the grace of God vouchsafed to him. 26.] The
d ch. xiv. 21,
e ver. 30. ch.
ii. 13: xvii.
more knowledge, the more prayer in the name of Jesus,' Lücke. Knowledge begets prayer,' Bengel. The approaching the Father through Him shall be a characteristic of their higher state under the dispensation of the Spirit. I say not unto you .] This has been variously understood. Grotius's rendering, "I pass by this, as a lesser thing than that which I am about to mention," comes I believe the nearest to the truth, though it does not express the whole meaning. The Lord is now describing the fulness of their state of communion with Himself and the Father by the Spirit. He is setting in the strongest light their reconciliation and access to the Father. He therefore says, Ye shall ask the Father in My name: and I do not now say to you,-I do not now state it in this form, that I will ask the Father for you as if there were no relation of love and mercy between the Father and yourselves (27) for the Father Himself (i. e. of His own accord) loveth you; why? Because ye love and believe on Me. The whole mind of the Father towards mankind is Love: both in Redemption itself (ch. iii. 16),- and then in an especial manner by drawing those who come to Christ (vi. 44),-and again by this fuller manifestation of His love to those who believe on and love Christ. The aim of this saying is, to shew them that His intercession (which is still going on under the dispensation of the Spirit, 1 John ii. 1) does not imply their exclusion from access to the Father, but rather ensures that access, by the especial love which the Father bears to them who believe in and love His Son : CHRIST being still the efficient cause of the Father's love to them, and the channel of that Love. No stress must be laid (Lücke) on ye have loved here coming before ye have believed, as to Faith coming after Love: probably "ye have loved" is placed first as corresponding to the word "loveth" just before:-and it might be
God. 28 f I came forth from the Father, and am come into
yet I am not alone, 33 These things I have
spoken unto you, that m in me ye
might have peace. "In
the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good
p Rom. iii. 37.
1 John iv.: cheer: P I have overcome the world.
ch. xiii. 3.
gch. xxi. 17.
h ver. 27 ch. xvii. 8.
1 Matt. xxvi.
31. Mark xiv. 27.
k ch. xx. 10.
1 ch. viii. 29:
xiv. 10, 11,
m Isa. ix. 6.
ch. xiv. 27.
n ch. xv. 19,
2 Tim. iii. 12.
o ch. xiv. 1.
a render, parable.
render, Know we. It is the same verb as knowest, which follows.
e render, may.
said with just as much reason that the
or, an hour. f read, have.
31.] Our Lord does not clear up their misunderstanding, but leaves that for the coming day of the Spirit. He only assures them that their belief, though sincere and loving, was not so deeply grounded in knowledge of Him and His appointed course, as they imagined. The opening words of our Lord's answer are much better taken not as a question; for this very belief was by our Lord recognized and commended, see ch. xvii. 8, also Matt. xvi. 17, 18. And as Stier remarks, "it was the aim and purpose of the whole prophetic office of Jesus, to prepare some first disciples (not the Apostles alone) for the reception of the Spirit of Truth and the fruits of His Death, by grounding in them firm belief in His Person." He therefore recognizes their faith; but shews them how weak it as yet was. 32.] See Matt. xxvi. 31, to which same prophecy the reference here is. I am not alone] The Father can never leave the Son, even in the darkest hour of His human suffering-the apparent desertion implied in the cry Why hast Thou forsaken me?' being perfectly consistent with this; see note, Matt. xxvii. 46. 33.] On the first clause, especially the words in me, see ch. xv. 7. This presupposes the return from the scattering in ver. 32, the branches again gathered in the vine.
ye have tribulation] The words are spoken of their normal state in the world.
This tribulation is not only perse
XVII. 1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify b thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2b g as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give
cution from the world, but trouble, inward distress, while we are in the world,―ch. xvii. 11;-a comforting sign that we are not of the world. And this latter idea is implied between the two clauses: Be of good cheer; for ye belong not to the world, but to Me, who have (anticipation again,by that which is now at hand) overcome the world, so that it shall have no power over you, externally by persecution, or internally by temptations and discourage ments. See 1 John v. 4, 5.
grender, according as.
h render, whatsoever thou hast given him, to them he should give eternal life.
CHAP. XVII. 1-26.] HIS LOVE IN GLORIFICATION OF THE SON OF
GOD. The parting prayer of the Lord Jesus and herein, for Himself (1-5): for His disciples (6—19): for all believers, that they may be one (20, 21), that they may be glorified in the completion of that unity (22-24),-for their abiding in the union of love, the perfection of divine knowledge (25, 26). Bengel observes that this, of all chapters in Scripture, is the simplest in words, and the deepest in meaning. "Our Lord, the Onlybegotten, and co-eternal with the Father, when in the form of a servant, might, from this His condition of humiliation, have prayed in silence, if He had need of prayer: but it was His pleasure so to shew Himself as a suppliant to the Father, as to be mindful that He was our Teacher. Accordingly, the prayer which He made for us, He made known also to us: such a Master taught His disciples not only by His discourses to them, but by His prayers to the Father for them. And if them, who were to hear these words, then us also, who were to read them when written." Augustine. 1.] These words, the foregoing discourse. St. John very seldom depicts the gestures or looks of our Lord, as here. But this was an occasion of which the impression was indelible, and the upward look could not be passed over. to heaven] Nothing hereby is determined as to the locality. The guestchamber no doubt was the place of this prayer. The eyes may be lifted to heaven in-doors, as well as out-of-doors; heaven is not the sky, but that upper region, above our own being and thoughts, where we all
ach. xl. 28:
Dan vi 14.
Matt. xi. 27: xxviii. 18.
ch, iii. 35: v. 27. 1 Cor. xv. 25, 27. Phil. ii. 10. Heb. ii. 8.
agree in believing God to be especially present; and which we indicate when we direct our eyes or our hands upward. The Lord, being in all such things like as we are, lifted up His eyes to heaven when addressing the Father (not His hands, for He prays not here as a suppliant-but as an intercessor and a High Priest, standing between earth and heaven, see ver. 24, where he says, I will, that . . . . . ). It is impossible to regard the following prayer otherwise than as the very words of our Lord Himself,-faithfully rendered by the beloved Apostle in the power of the Holy Spirit. Father] not, Our Father,which He never could say,-nor, My Father, which would be too great a separation between Himself and His for such a prayer (see Matt. xxv. [39,] 42, where He prays for Himself only)-but simply FATHER; that Great Name in which all the mystery of Redemption is summed up. the hour is come] See ch. xii. 23, 28; xiii. 31, 32. The Glorification is-the exaltation by Death and Resurrection: He prays in the Manhood, and for the exaltation of the Manhood, but in virtue of His Godhead, ver. 5. thy Son] He prays first as concerning Himself, in the third person, to set the great matter forth in all its majesty; then from Himself, in the first person, ver. 5, putting Himself into the place of "thy Son" here. that thy Son also may glorify thee] "These words are a proof that the Son is equal to the Father as touching His Godhead. What creature could stand before his Creator and say, Glorify Thou me, that I may glorify Thee ?"" Stier. This glorifying of the Father by the Son is, the whole great result of the glorification of the Son by the Father, the manifestation of God to and in men by the Son through the Spirit. 2.] The causal connexion expressed by according as is this, that the glorification, the end, must correspond to the beginning, to the sending, the preparation, and office of the Son.' (Lücke.) We must also bear in mind that the giving of power' in this verse is the ground and source, as well as the type and manner, of the glorification: see Rom. i. 28; 1 Cor. i.
e ver. 6, 9, 24. eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
d Isa. liii. 11.
is life eternal, i that they might know thee
Jer. ix. 24.
3 And d this
the only true
e 1 Cor. viii. 4.
1 Thess. i. 9. God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 81 I have
fch. iii. 34:
v. 36, 37: vi.
29: X. 36:
g ch. xiii. 31: xiv. 13.
glorified thee on the earth: h1 I have finished the work
i which thou m gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father,
h ch. iv. 34: v. 36: ix. 3: xix. 30.
i ch. xiv. 31: xv. 10.
i render, for perspicuity, to know.
k render, him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.
1 literally, I glorified. . . . I finished: see note.
m render, hast given. But in all three places there is some uncertainty about the reading.
6. all flesh is not only 'all mankind,' but (see Gen. vii. 15, 16, 21) all that has life, all that is subject to death, all that is cursed on account of sin. But of this all, mankind is the head and crown, and in the full blessings of the Lordship of Christ mankind only can participate. All flesh is given by the Father, from before the foundation of the world, to Christ; the whole creation is His to rule, His to judge, by virtue of His being, in the root of that human nature, to which sovereignty over the world was given, THE SECOND AND RIGHTEOUS ADAM.
But in this wide gift, there is a more special gift,-whatsoever thou hast given him in the stricter sense,-the chosen, they who believe on Him. And to them, and them only, He imparts the further and ineffable gift consequent on union with Him their God in the Spirit,-viz. ETERNAL LIFE (compare ch. v. 26, 27; also vi. 37). 3.] See a similar definition of a term just used, in ch. iii. 19. this Is life eternal, not is the way to it. The knowledge spoken of is no mere head or heart knowledge, the mere information of the mind, or excitation of the feelings, -but that living reality of knowledge and personal realization, that oneness in will with God, and partaking of His nature, which is itself life eternal:-the knowledge, love, enjoyment, of Him who is infinite, being themselves infinite. "The beginning of life is the result of the participation of God: and participation of God is the knowing God and enjoying His goodness." Irenæus. The Latin Fathers, Augustine, Ambrose, and Hilary, anxious to avoid the inference unwarrantably drawn by some from this verse against the Godhead of Christ, tried to arrange it thus: "that they might know Thee, and Jesus Christ whom Thou didst send, (to be) the only true God." But this treatment of the original is inadmissible. Others, as Chrysostom and Euthymius, construing
rightly, yet regarded Jesus Christ as included in the words "the only true God.” But all such violences to the text are unnecessary. For, first, the very juxtaposition of Jesus Christ here with the Father, and the knowledge of both being defined to be eternal life, is a proof, by implication, of the Godhead of the former. The knowledge of God and a creature could not be eternal life, and the juxtaposition of the two would be inconceivable. Secondly, the words whom Thou didst send most distinctly express the coming forth from God, ver. 8-imply the unity expressed in ver. 22, and cannot, in connexion with what follows, possibly be understood in a Socinian, or an Ariau sense. I do not scruple to use and preach on the verse as a plain proof of the co-equality of the Lord Jesus in the Godhead. A difficulty has been found in the use of the name JESUS CHRIST by the Lord Himself-and inferences have been hence made that we have St. John's own language here:-but surely without any ground. He who said "Thy Son," ver. 1, might well here, before the change to the first person in ver. 4, use that prophetic Name JESUS, which had been divinely given Him as the Saviour of men, and its weighty adjunct CHRIST, in which Names are all the hidden treasures of that knowledge of which He here speaks. And as to the later use of the two names together having led to their insertion here by the Apostle,-what if the converse were the case, and this solemn use of them by our Lord had given occasion to their subsequent use by the Church? This is to me much more probable than the other. 4, 5.] The past tenses are anticipatory. The past tenses are, in the original, indefinite; I glorified Thee... I finished... Our Lord stands by anticipation at the end of His accomplished course, and looks back on it all as past, as historically gathered up in one act. In English we
x. 30: xiv. 9. Phil. ii. 6.
Col. i, 15, 17.
Heb. i. 3, 10.
ver. 26. Ps.
glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which
x. 29: xv. 19.
xii. 40: xiv.
" which thou gavest me; and they [have] received them, n ch. viil. 28 : and have known surely that I came out from thee, and [ they have] believed that thou didst send me. 9 It pray for
o ver. 25. ch.
n render, know. P render, Because. rrender, knew.
or, am praying:
can hardly retain these indefinite past tenses. They admit with us of another meaning, seeming to refer to a period far removed, and not to one just completed. Wherever they can be retained in their proper force, I have done so. the work which thou gavest me to do is not only the ministerial life of our Lord, but the whole Life, with all its appointed manifestations of humility and purity;-the perfect righteousness which by that life He has planted in our nature, and His prophetic and declarative office, terminated by His Passion and Death. 5. glorify thou me] Notice the relation between I have glorified Thee before and glorify Thou Me now. The same Person who had with the Father glory before the world, also glorified the Father in the world, and prays to be again received into that glory. A decisive proof of the unity of the Person of Christ, in His three estates of eternal præ-existence in glory, humiliation in the flesh, and glorification in the Resurrection Body. This direct testimony to the eternal præ-existence of the Son of God has been evaded by the Socinian and also the Arminian interpreters, by explaining the word had to mean, "possessed by Thy decree which destined it for Me." On the identity of the glory in ver. 22 with this glory, see note there. before the world was] i. e. before all creation.' with thee] See ch. i. 1, 18. 6-19.] He prays for His disciples. 6.] This verse particularizes ver. 4, and forms the transition to the intercessory prayer. thy name] Thy Name of FATHER, which was so constantly on the lips of our Lord;-and which derived its living meaning and power from His teach
• render, from. q omit.
Brender, came forth. see note.
ing; see Exod. xxiii. 21. the men which thou gavest me] The Father gave them to Christ, by leading them to Christ, see ch. vi. 37, 44, 45. thine they were-Israelites-Thy people before:not only outwardly, but Israelites indeed, see ch. i. 48, and thus prepared to receive Christ. And thus the expression out of the world answers to the taking to Himself a nation out of another nation, Deut. iv. 34. But see the fuller sense below, on ver. 9. they have kept thy wordwalked in the path of Thy commandments; -see ch. viii. 51, 52; xiv. 23. Stier understands their walking in the Old Test. ordinances blameless, as Luke i. 6, -and thus (compare ch. i. 42, 46) recognizing Christ as the Messiah when He came. But this is perhaps hardly likely to have been set at the end of the sentence, after "Thou hast given them Me."
7.] all things whatsoever thou hast given me, 'My whole words and works.'
On this their conviction, which however had not reached its ripeness yet, see ch. xvi. 30. 8.] I have given unto them the words..., and the similar sayings ch. xv. 15 al., seem to be a reference to Deut. xviii. 18, 19, where it is said that the Prophet shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him.' The imparting to them of these "words" was the efficient cause of their faith-see their confession ch. vi. 68, 69, where "we have believed and know" are connected as here. On the two last clauses we may notice, that our Lord's coming forth from the Father is with them more a matter of conviction from inference, and is therefore connected with they knew (see ch. iii. 2): whereas the other side of the same