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An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

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is, know and love them. " And am known of mine,"
known and loved of them. Doubtless, he knows every
one of us ; who of us are his sheep, and who are not.
But it is here said, that he also is known of them. In
order to be his sheep, we must know him. Let us come to
the point. Do we know him, to trust in him for the supply
of all our wants, for remission of sins, an obedient will, and
a new heart to love God }

15. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father :
and I lay down my life for the sheep.

I know the Father, even his whole heart of love to man-
kind. " And I lay down my life for the sheep," in full
union with my Father's will.

16. Aud other sheep I have, which are not of this fold : them
also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice ; and there shall
be one fold, and one shepherd.

They shall hear my voice, proclaiming the glad tidings
of salvation to them, to their unspeakable comfort. The
Jews were the only fold then. We are now gathered to it,
by the mercy of God, according to the tenor of these
words. O ! let us be sure that we are of Christ's fold, by
hearing his voice, following him faithfully, and cleaving to
him for the life of our souls. O ! let us think more
especially of the time when Christ's one flock will be ga-
thered to him in heaven out of all nations, and what it is
to be separated from that flock for ever.

17. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my
life, that I might take it again.

This is a most amazing discovery of God's love to us.
Let us mark well what is here said, and let it sink deep into
our hearts, " The Father therefore loveth the Son," as if
he was dearer to him than ever, or, as if he never loved
him before, because he willingly suHered death fur our

VER. 19—30.] ST. JOHN. 457

redemption. Who can think of this without astonishment .''
AVho can measure the depth of man's misery^ or the height
of God's love ?

Christ takes his life again, for the benefit of mankind ;
thus overcoming death for the whole human nature.

18. No man takelli it from me, but I lay it down of myscH':

It was not in the power of all the world to take it, if he
had not freely laid it down for perishing sinners.

18. I have jiowev lo lay it down, and I have power to take it

Christ had power inherent in himself, as God, to speak
tile breath out of his body, as he did at his crucifixion ;
to quicken it again, as he did at his resurrection.

18. This commandment have I received of my Father.

The Father commands, and tlie Son gladly obeys.
Think again, for what .'' That we might be snatched from
the brink of hell, to live with God in heaven. Will you
perish after this ? Will not such love draw us to God ?


Chap. X. ver. 19—30.


19. There was a division therefore again among tlie .lews lor
lliese sayings.

20. And many of them said, He lialh a devil, and is mad ; why
hear ye liim P

21. Others said. These are not the words of liim that hath a
devil : can a devil open the eyes of tlie blind ?

22. And it was ul ■leriisalem the feast of the dedication, and it
was winter.

23. And .lesiis w;dkeil in the temple in Suldmon's poicli.

24. Tben came ihe Jews round abuiil bini, and said unto biiii,

458 ST. JOHN. [chap. X.

How long (lost thou make us to doubt ? It' tlioii be the Christ, tell
us plainly.

In answer, he says he had told them, and that his mira-
cles spoke plainly enough for him. And he farther tells
them, and us, that the cause of unbelief is in ourselves,
and arises from the hardness of our own hearts.

25. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not : the
woiks that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

26. But ye believe not ; because ye are not of my sheep, as I
said unto you.

They had not teachableness and simplicity enough to
(jualify them for believing. Christ's sheep are willing to
hear, and to be governed by him ; all others are wild and
untractable. He knows this of them, whatever they think
of themselves, or however they may appear to men.

27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know tliem, and they
follow me :

28. And I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never
perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my baud.

If any think eternal life worth anything, let them come
to Christ. lie gives nothing less ! If they can secure it
to themselves without him, or give themselves anything
better, then let them turn a deaf ear to him.

29. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all ; and
none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

This was the reward of Christ's sufferings, and all that
he desired, that he might be the Father's gift to his sheep.
But this grant does not take place, unless we give ourselves
irrevocably to him ; and then we are his, in spite of men
or devils. And farther, we are given to Christ to be
washed in his blood, purified by his Spirit, and presented
in his spotless righteousness to the Father.

30. I and my Father are one

In essence, power, ami will. Put the words, " 1 and my

VEU. 31—42.] ST. JOHN. 459

Father,"" into the mouth of any creature, the greatest
prophet, or highest angel ; and the absurdity and blas-
phemy of them will immediately appear. The Jews
understood him in the obvious and strict sense: and if
they had misapprehended his words, he would have been
one of the worst of men, if he had not told them plainly,
how much he abhorred their mistake.

Chap. X. ver. 31 — 42.


31. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you
from my Father ; for which of those works do ye stone me ?

33. The Jews answered him saying, For a good work we stone
tliee not, but for blasphemy ; and because that thou, being a man,
makest thyself God.

34. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said,
Ye are gods ?

35. If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came,
and the Scripture cannot be broken :

36. Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctiliod, and sent
into die world, Thuu blusphcuicst ; because I said, I am the Son
of God ?

37. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe die works ;
that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I
in him.

The Jews accused Christ of blasphemy, for saying, he
was the Son of God. He answered them, that their
Scriptures call princes, and magistrates, gods ; and that
though considered in his human nature, yet as sanctified
and sent of God, lie had a better title to the appellation
than those to whom tiie ScriptuiT> gave it : at the same

4(30 ST. JOHN. [chap. XI.

time not retracting from what he had said, and what they
understood him to say, of his essential unity with God ;
but expressly asserting and confirming it, by proclaiming
his power of doing the works of his Father, and that in
virtue of his union with him.

39. Therefore they souglit again to take him ; but lie escaped
out of their hand.

He escaped with no other design but to do good else-
where, and to give himself up to them at a proper time.

40. And went away again beyond Jordan, into the place where
John at first baptized ; and there he abode.

41. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no mira-
cle : but all things that John spake of this man were true.

They were fully convinced of the truth of John's testi-
mony concerning Christ, by his miracles. But what did
John testify of him? That he is "The Lamb of God
that taketh away the sin of the world :" and that he bap-
tizeth with the Holy Ghost.

42. And many believed on him there.

Believing on Christ, is believing on Christ for the remis-
sion of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as the way
to eternal life. God grant that all who are here, capable
of exercising faith, may so believe on him !

Chap. xi. ver. 1 — 15.


1. Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the
town of Mary and her sister Martha.

2. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment,
and wijicd his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

3. Therefore liis sisters !-enl unlo him, sayhig, Lord, behold, he
wliom thou IdVcsl is sick.

VER. 1 15.] ST. JOHN. 461

Christ says to each of us in eflFect, Art tliou sick ? And
do I not love tliee? Apply to him, call upon him, trust in
him. If it were for thy body, thou wouldest have such a
physician at any rate.

4. When .Tesus liearci that, he said, This sickness is not unto
death, but for the glory of God, tliat the Son of God might be glo-
rified thereby.

The sickness was not for Lazarus's continuance in death :
and farther, that is no death in Christ's account, which he
is happily to raise us from. " But for the gh)ry of God,
that the Son of God might be glorified thereby :" namely,
in our belief of him. But to what end do we know this, if
we do not seek to him for help in our own case, if he has
no power in us, and gets no glory by our conversion .''

5. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazuriis.

He loved them with a peculiar affection. What an un-
speakable happiness was this I If I were to be asked, who
were some of the most renowned persons in history, I
should say Lazarus, and his sisters. And yet Christ's love
to all passeth knowledge. I^et us not lose it for the world.
And, O ! that we might burn with desire to have a chief
place in his love !

6. When he bad heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two
days still in the same place where he was.

That Lazarus might die before he came. His sisters
would have had him come io prevent it, but he knew bet-
ter what he had to do. Learn from hence to leave all to
liim. His own time and way arc best, and his help is not
the less sure for being delayed.

7. Then after that saith be to his disciples. Let us go into JiuUea

8. His disciples say unto him. Master, the .Tews of late soiiglit
to stone thee : and goest thou thither again i'

They thought of nothing but the danger : he thought of
nothing but the glory of Goil, in the salvation of souls.

9. .Tesus answered, Ave there nol twelve hours in the day ? If

462 ST. JOHN. [chap. XI.

any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seoth the
light of this world.

10. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there
is no light in him.

In these verses, he gives them to understand, that, like
all other men, he had a time assigned him, in which to do
his work, and he must not lose any of it. This is the wis-
dom we must learn of him, to think for what purpose the
short day of our life was given us, and how fast it is

11. These things said he: and after that, he saith unto them,
Our friend Lazarus sleepeth ; but I go that I may wake him out
of sleep.

There was but one way whereby Lazarus could become
entitled to this glorious and happy distinction ; and the
Scripture informs us how we may all become such friends
of Jesus, as to be saved by him from eternal death. Let
us mark the word 67ee/)e^/< ; so he teaches us to think and
speak of a happy death.

12. Then said his disciples. Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

13. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death : but they thought that
he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

14. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

15. And I am glad for your sakes, that I was not there, (to the
intent ye may believe,) nevertheless^ let us go unto him.

He says this to us, and to the intent that we may believe
in him. The miracle and their belitf of it, is nothing to us,
but as we believe, and apply it, for ourselves. He has a
work to do in us ; till we believe this, and come to him for
it, whatever else we believe of him is in vain.

VER. \G — 27.] ST. JOHN. 4G3


Chap. xi. ver. 16 — 27.


16. Then said Thomas, whicli is called Didymiis, unto his (VI-
low-disciples, liCt us also go, that we may die with him.

He meant that Jesus was running himself upon certain
death, but that, whatever happened, he was ready to die
with him.

17. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the

Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 33 of 39)