« PreviousContinue »
is a just judgment of GOD to withdraw his grace when it is despised and rejected.
Isaiah had such clear revelations of GoD's design of communicating his Divine nature to one of David's race, that he may very properly be said to have seen the glory of CHRIST, as well as to have spoken of him.
SOME GREEKS MAKE ENQUIRIES CONCERNING JESUS -A VOICE FROM HEAVEN.
From John, Chap. xii.
AND there were certain Greeks among them, that came up to worship at the feast:
The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see JESUS.
Philip cometh and telleth Andrew; and again, Andrew and Philip tell JESUS.
And JESUS answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
He that loveth his life, shall lose it: and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal.
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice
from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and wil glorify it again.
The people therefore that stood by, and heard it, said, That it thundered; others said, An angel spake to him.
JESUS answered and said, This voice was not because of me, but for your sakes.
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
(This he said, signifying what death he should die.) The people answered him, We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, the Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
Then JESUS said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you: walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth.
While ye have light believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.
JESUS cried, and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
And he that seeth me, seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me, should not abide in darkness.
And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words; hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father
which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should speak.
And I know that his commandment is life everlast→ ing: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
These things spake JESUS and departed, and did hide himself from them.
But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, LORD, who hath believeth our report; and to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed?
Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias had said again,
He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see him with their eyes nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory and spake of him.
Nevertheless, among the chief rulers also, many believed on him: but because of the Pharisees they did hot confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.
For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of GOD *.
Though it does not appear from the Evangelist, that our SAVIOUR's discourse, contained in the latter part of the xiith chap. of St. John, was a continuation of that related in the former part of the chapter, they agree so well together, that I thought the transposition allowable, as I could not properly introduce it in the next Section.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The Greeks who desired to see our LORD, are supposed to have been some of those Gentile converts who were called Proselytes of the Gate; persons who, having renounced idolatry, and being worshippers of the God of Israel, might, according to the law of Moses be permitted to dwell in Judea, and to converse amongst the Jews. These, to shew their reverence for GoD, came up to worship at the feast; though not having been circumcised, they were not allowed to eat the passover. Perhaps this instance of their respect for JESUS was in consequence of his having cleansed the court of the Gentiles from profanation. From their application to Philip in particular, it is likely that they lived near him in Bethsaida, and were personally acquainted with him. This Apostle was at first dubious, whether to comply or not with their request, as our LORD had declared, that he was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; but when he had consulted with Andrew, they resolved to acquaint their LORD with it, who graciously permitted the Greeks to be conducted to him; and as they approached, informed this disciples that the time was at hand, when he should be glorified by the accession of the Gentiles to his church; but our LORD intimated that it was necessary his death should first happen. For as in respect to vegetation, a single grain of wheat would remain alone, and could not produce an increase if not sown in the earth; so had his FATHER ordained, that his death should prove the means of propagating the Gospel. Therefore, though it would appear to put an end to his kingdom, it would, on the contrary, bring it to perfection.
Our LORD then informed his Gentile followers of
the difficulties they must prepare themselves to encounter, if they became his disciples, and encouraged them with promises of eternal rewards. We are not told how they determined, but may imagine that they were converted, as they came with minds so properly disposed to receive the Gospel.
Our LORD's answer to his disciples when they informed him of the desire which these Greeks had to see him, plainly shews that he had a conflict in his mind; when the time was at hand for his being betrayed, he was tempted to wish he might avoid the dreadful sufferings which he knew would be inflicted upon him; but he resolved to follow the dictates of the HOLY SPIRIT, which suggested, that he came into the world on purpose to suffer, that God through him might be glorified in the salvation of mankind, and he accordingly resigned himself to endure all that was required of him, for the accomplishment of this great end; on which he received a public testimony, that his Sacrifice of himself would be accepted, which our LORD taught his followers to consider as given for their sakes, as a confirmation of their faith in respect to redemption through his death, and as an example to his disciples to submit to the trials and persecutions they would meet with in the course of their ministry, on the like principle of constant regard to the glory of God. In respect to himself, our LORD was so perfectly convinced of THE FATHER's love for him, and he had such a constant communication with HIM, that he did not stand in need of this proof.
Our LORD then proceeded to explain what was meant by God's promise, that "he would glorify his name," viz. that this should be effected by the destruction of Satan's power and the triumph of the MESSIAH's kingdom: and our LORD prophesied, that his crucifixion should