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An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

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better. It is a hopefid time with us, when we are will-
ing to know the worst of oui'selves. And whenever we are



398 ST. JOHN. [chap. IV.

so willing, we know too also who has been working in
us.

30. Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.

This conversation was revealed to St. John for our sakes,
and that we might come to Christ. O that we did, one
and all ! That is the happiest hour of our lives, in which we
come to Jesus.

31. In the meanwhile his disciples prayed him, saying. Mas-
ter, eat.

32. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know
not of.

O the hidden life, and spiritual joys of Christ ! The
same appetite, the same feast. We want nothing but the
mind that was in him to be happy.

33. Therefore said the disciples one to another. Hath any man
brought him aught to eat ?

34. .Tesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that
sent me, and to finisli his work.

Let ministers, especially, think whether they are in this
mind or not. Let all think what is their great hunger and
thirst : and wherein they enjoy themselves most,

35. Say not ye. There are four months, and then cometh liar-
vest ? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the
fields; for tliey are white already to harvest.

The harvest was within four months in Judsea, at that
time; and from this circumstance, and probably, seeing
the Samaritans coming to him, he takes occasion to turn
their thoughts to another harvest, which was then ready
for their hands in all corners of the world. The souls of
men are Christ's harvest ; and great is his joy when they
are brought to him.

36. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathei'etb fruit
unto life eternal : that both he that sovveth and he that reapeth
may rejoice together.

"He that reapeth receiveth wages," according to his



VER. 39—45.] ST. JOHN. 399

diligence and faithfulness. " He gathered fruit unto eter-
nal life," for himself, and those who are gathered by him.
God grant that the minister of Christ, and iiis flock, may
rejoice together for ever, he for sowing, and they for re-
ceiving the seed !

37. And herein is that saying true. One sowetli, and another
reapeth.

38. I sent yon to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour :
otber men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

The persons who had laboured were prophets and mi-
nisters of God, who lived before the time of Christ. The
disciples had "entered into their labours," to complete
what they had begun, with no less labour. This harvest
is now, has been ever since the time here spoken of, and
will continue to the end of the world. Let us consider
whether or not we are fit for Christ's barn. We die either
wheat, or chaff.



SECTION XVII.
Chap. iv. ver. 39 — 45.

CHRIST CONVERTS THE SAMARITANS.

39. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on hhn
for tlie saying of the woman, wliich testified, He told me all that
ever I did.

It seems, he has nothing to tell us. When we are
spoken to for this purpose, we say, we do no harm.

40. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought
him that he would tarry with them : and he abode there two
days.

These were willing to learn, who wished him to remain
with them to instruct them. He remained as lonor as he



400 ST. JOHN. [chap. IV.

could. It was a precious time for them, which was im-
proved by many of them, and what they will praise God
for to all eternity.

41. A-nd many more believed because of his own word ;

42. And said unto the woman. Now we believe, not because of
thy saying : for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this
is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

We have a great many of Christ's own words, and, if
not the very same, yet the same in substance which he
spoke to these Samaritans; and it is our own fault, if
they do not bring us to the acknowledging of him, as the
Christ, the Saviour of the world. What they heard did
not convert them, merely as coming from his mouth, but
as gladly received, and mixed with faith.

43. Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Ga-
lilee.

44. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour
in his own country.

Jesus himself had occasion to testify this. Though a
spotless man, in his outward appearance he was but a man ;
and they objected especially to the meanness of his birth,
and want of learning. What can his servants, who have
faults, expect but, to have them thrown in the way of their
preaching .''

Let us observe carefully, that he would not stay where
he could do but little good. He bears long with a har-
dened soul, or hardened people, but he knows his time of
leaving them.

45. Then when he was come into Galilee, The Galilaeans re-
ceived him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at
the feast : for they also went unto the feast.

The Galilaeans entertained him, and listened to his
preaching, and some probably received him into their hearts.
That is the reception he expects from all, and all he did
and taught was for this end.



VEIL 46—54.] ST. JOHN. 401

SECTION XVIII.

Chap. iv. ver. 4G — 54.

CHRIST HEALS THE RULER's SON.

46. So Jesus caine again into Cana of Galilee, where he made
the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son
was sick at Capernaum.

47. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judeea into
Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come
down and heal his son : for he was at the point of death.

Let us beseech Christ, and healinpj will certainly follow.
Here is a pattern for us. " He was at the point of death ;"
here is the trial of our faith. Our case may seem to us to
be desperate, but then is Christ's time. " Man''s extremity
is God's opportunity."

48. Then said Jesus unto him. Except ye see signs and won-
ders, ye will not believe.

The nobleman ex))ected that he would go with liini, that
he might see him heal the child : thinking that the cure
could not otherwise be performed.

49. 'J'he nobleman saith unto him. Sir, come down ere my child
die.

As if Christ could heal him with going, but that he
could not without. We have always something to plead
against a full, unreserved belief of Christ's power.

.00. Jesus saith unto him. Go thy way ; thy son liveth. And
the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and
he went his way.

Now he left the cure wholly to Clirist in his own way.
It is the excellency of faith not to prescribe to Jesus, as to
the time or manner of his working.

51. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and
told him, saying. Thy son liveih.

VOL. II. D D



402 ST. JOHN. [chap. v.

52. Then eiiqiiired he of thein the hour when he began to
amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour
the fever left him.

53. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the
which Jesus said unto him. Thy son liveth : and himself believed,
and his whole house.

The miracle had its full effect, and was the means of
healing all their souls, by leading them to believe in him ;
and it is now recorded for our benefit, that we may hear
and believe.

54. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he
was come out of Judsea into Galilee.



SECTION XIX.
Chap V. ver. 1 — 9.

CHRIST CURES AN INFIUM MAN.

1. After this there was a feast of the Jews ; and Jesus went up
to Jerusalem.

If this were the feast of Pentecost, as some say, St. John
makes mention of three passovers, and then Christ''s mi-
nistry lasted only a little more than two years. If it was
the passover, as others say, then he makes mention of four,
and Christ's ministry lasted a little more than three years.
'■' The latter opinion is the more correct one.'' — Edit.

2. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which
is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

3. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt,
withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

These persons afford a true picture of mankind, before
their healing by Christ.

4. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and



VEU. 1 - 9.J ST. JOHN, 403

troubled the water : whosoever then first after the troubUng of the
water stepped in, was made whole of whatsoe\er disease he had.

An illiterate, simple reader of the scriptures, sees nothing
here but a miracle. The learned who are indisposed to
religion, turn themselves into all shapes to get rid of it.
Each one who stepped in was made whole cf whatsoever
disease he had. If God has made no exception, do thou
make none in thine own case, O sinner !

5. And a certain man was there, winch had an infirmity thirty
and eight years.

Length of time is no hindrance to Christ''s power in our
conversion. The difficulty is on the part of man. Gene-
rally speaking, the older we are, the more hardened w-e
become in unbelief, and the more averse to a cure.

6. "When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a
long time in that case, he saith unlo him, Wilt thou be made
whole ?

Could Christ doubt of this ? Is not every one glad of a
bodily cure ? Where the will to be healed is, opportunity
is often wanting. Surely then he asked this question, to
put an answer into our mouths for our souls, and to make
us understand that he wants nothing else from us but a
will to be cured. Let us observe too, that he puts this
question to every one of us, as much as if he now stood over
us, and says, " Wilt tliou be made whole .''" Let us feel
ourselves sick, and we shall be willing.

7. The imi)otent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when
the water is troubled, to put me into the pool : but while I am
coming, another steppeth down before me.

Observe how he opens his grievance to Christ. The
Saviour heeds not how bad the case is, if we will but tell
him of it, and implore his aid.

8. Jesus saith unto him. Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his
bed, and walked : and on the same day was the sabbath.

D D 2



404 ST. JOHN. [chap. v.

He who before could not carry himself could now carry
his bed. Who can be more disabled in his soul, than this
man was in his body .'' And who is not naturally as much.''
He who restored him to perfect soundness, can restore W5;
and Christ did not work this miracle upon him only for his
own sake, but that we all might come to him for ourselves.
Let us see in what manner we are to get the marrow of
scripture.



SECTION XX.

Chap. V. ver. 10—20.

THE JEWS FIND FAULT.



10. The Jews therefore said unto him ihat was cured. It is the
sabbath-day : it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

11. He answered them. He that made me whole, the same said
unto me. Take up thy bed, and walk.

12. Then asked they him. What man is that which said unto
tliee, Take up thy bed, and walk ?

13. And he that was healed, wist not who he was : for Jesus
had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

We may think, perhaps, that he should rather have
stayed to show himself upon the occasion ; but Jesus de-
clined popularity for two reasons.

1st, From his humility, and that we might imitate his
self-denial.

2dly, He best knew his own time of manifesting himself,
and till then he would not expose himself to the malice of
the Jews.

14. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto
him. Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing
come unto thee.

Where did tlie feet of this man carry him, after he was
able to walk ? Let none ever say that Christ has made them



VER. 10 — 20.] ST. JOHN. 405

whole, if their hearts are not bent towards the place of
God's worship.

Sin made this man a cri])})le, and in more ways than we
think of, it plagues us. But for what end does Christ
loose us from the bonds of sin, by bestowing upon us for-
giveness ? Hear it from his own mouth, and let the hea-
venly instruction sink deep into our souls, if we woukl not
lose his mercy for ever. It is that we may sin no more;
that is, live in no known sin.

15. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus which
had made him whole.

He was not afraid to do it : his cure made him speak.
It is happy for us when we confess Jesus from our own
experience.

16. And therefore did the Jews jiersecute Jesus, and sought to
slay him, hecause he had done these things on the sabbath-day.

Sabbath-breaking was death : but this charge against
Jesus was only a cover for a persecuting spirit. They
never stayed to inquire whether Jesus had broken the sab-
bath, or not.

17. But Jesus answered them. My Father worketh hitherto,
and I work.

The law of the sabbath is no law to God ; and especially,
no bar to the continual work of the Father, and the Son,
in governing, blessing, and saving mankind. Christ, there-
fore, instead of directly answering the accusation, takes
occasion from it t



Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 29 of 39)