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that I came out from God. Their love to Christ, and their faith in Him, were evidences to them that they were objects of the Father's love. His own love to them had won their hearts, and led them to receive the instructions which He had communicated to them ; so that they had declared, Thou hast the words of eternal life ; and we believe and are sure that Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.19
As they thus appeared to have some glimpses of His exalted character, He thought it needful to remind them from whence He had proceeded. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world. He was truly a Divine Personage; who had come down from heaven, to dwell with sinful men on earth, and to be the Redeemer of mankind. During His sojourn in this world, He had veiled His glory from the view of those with whom He was conversant ; so that He was commonly considered to be merely a man like others; but now the object for which He came into the world was just on the point of completion ; and He therefore declared, again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. In this statement our Saviour showed not only His high dignity, but the importance of the work for the perforınance of which He had come from heaven to earth. His return to the Father would prove that this object was accomplished ; as we find Him saying shortly afterwards to His Father, I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.13
12 Jolin vi. 68, 69.
The disciples of Jesus had complained before that they did not understånd His meaning, when He had spoken of leaving them and going to the Father. In consequence of that complaint, He had now so far explained Himself that they could no longer misunderstand Him. They therefore said unto Him, Lo, now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no proverb, or dark saying, which was not easily to be comprehended. But although they made this remark, it does not appear that they understood Him further than that they were willing to acknowledge His high dignity. This they did for their own sakes, hoping to be benefited by it in a temporal point of view. As He had spoken of having come from the Father, they expressed their belief in His omniscience, as a Divine Per
Now we are sure that Thou knowest all things. And as He had told them so plainly that He was going to the Father, they said they had no occasion to inquire further of Him on that subject. Thou needest not that any man should ask Thee. And in consequence of the kind manner in which He had spoken of the
13 John xvii. 4.
Father's love to them, and of the blessings which they would enjoy through Him, they were induced to add, By this we believe that Thou camest forth from God. As He led them to God in this way, and assured them of what they would not otherwise have presumed to believe, even that the God of heaven was indeed their reconciled Father; they were thankful for this token of His regard which He had given them.
When they had thus expressed their sense of what was His real character, Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? He wished them to consider whether this statement which they had made, was the real conviction of their minds. For their faith in Him would shortly be put to a very severe trial. He warned them, Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come, the event of which I speak will take place immediately, in this very night, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone. Notwithstanding your profession of faith in My Divine power, you will not stand by Me in the hour of trial, but will think only of taking care of yourselves, and will forsake Me and flee away.14 But although you will all leave Me in this manner, yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. He who sent Me into the world as His Servant, to accomplish His will, will not leave Me to Myself, notwithstanding all others will depart from Me, and refuse to own Me in the time of My affliction and distress. An affectionate son is happy when his kind and tender parent is with him, and desires nothing more or better. Thus the presence of His Father was the joy of our blessed Redeemer. It was His being forsaken of God the Father, that was the bitterest ingredient in our Saviour's cup
14 Mark xiv. 50.
of affliction. This occasioned the horror of great darkness that fell upon Him. This produced the exceeding great and bitter cry, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me.15 This caused that parching thirst,16 which tortured His whole frame, when He was suspended on the cross. It was needful that He should then be left alone, in order that the wrath due to sin might come upon Him to the uttermost, that thus He might deliver us from the wrath to come.17 It was this being left alone that occasioned all the distress which He endured. The prospect of this made Him complain, Now is My soul troubled; and yet He added, what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? Shall I ask this petition? No; for this cause came I unto this hour. I will therefore say, Father, glorify Thy name.18 Let the purposes of Thy grace be accomplished by Me. The nearer prospect of it, however, made Him pray in the garden of Gethsemane, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me.19 Nevertheless, for the joy that was set before Him,20 He consented to be left alone, to be forsaken of His heavenly Father, to endure ignominy and reproach, agony and pain. Was there ever love like this? But how affecting is the complaint which our Saviour here makes to His disciples, that they would leave Him alone. And what consolation did He evidently derive from the thought, that His Father would still be with Him. From this we may see how severely He afterwards felt being left alone of His Father. Here He seems to put away the thought of it, as far as possible; because He knew that He should then be bereft of His greatest, His only consolation. Let us meditate on His love to us sinners with humble and thankful hearts, and love Him because He so loved us.
15 Mat. xxvii. 46. 16 John xix. 28. 17 1 Thes.i. 10. 18 John xii. 27,28.
When our blessed Lord had thus admonished His disciples of what was coming upon Him, He concluded His discourse with a practical application of the subject. These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. . In the world ye shall have tribulation : but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. He had commenced this His last discourse by saying to them, Let not your hearts be troubled; ye be
19 Luke xxii. 42.
20 Hebrews xii. 2.