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For I say
no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
From the prospect of coming greatness the Lord turns to a present danger. He warns that same one to whom the promise He has just renewed was first addressed.1 Satan, the adversary of their souls, not content with Judas,2 had desired to try them all,-as he had been allowed to try Job of old, to sift or shake them as corn is shaken in a sieve, in the hope of doing them some harm. Simon, by reason of his self-confidence, seemed in special danger. For him therefore in particular our Lord had prayed, in words which recall a former passage of his history,3 and He anticipates the answer to His prayer. Let him when turned from his presumptuous but timid temper, mindful of his own weakness, strengthen his brethren. Let him learn from his own fall to keep others from falling. But as yet he feels no need of this conversion. Again he professes, in his lack of self-knowledge, what he is prepared to do. Before he was willing to die for Him; * now he is ready to die with Him. And again the Lord foretells what that same day should come to pass. He who boasted that he was ready to accompany his Master not only to prison, but even to death, should even thrice deny all knowledge of Him. Such is even an Apostle when left to himself. The Lord proceeds to remind them of a former passage in their history, "the mysterious charge which He had given to the Twelve, and again repeated to the Seventy." But now times are changed. Different emergencies must be met differently, as different diseases require
1 St. Matt. xix. 27.
2 Bengel. The you is in the plural. 3 St. Matt. xiv. 28-31.
4 St. John xiii. 37.
"It is remarkable that on this occasion, (and no other,) our Saviour should be related to have addressed Simon by his name of strength.”—A
6 A Plain Commentary. The Author adds, "As if He had said,When I bade you provide yourselves with no human aids, did ye not find my words come true that neither would ye require any?" St. Matt. x. 9, 10; St. Luke x. 4.
different treatment. What suited a time of peace, will not suit a time of war. The Scrip was a sort of wallet or bag for carrying food needed by warriors and wayfarers. The Lord, still speaking figuratively, indicating by such proverbial sayings the sort of times in store for them, bids those who have no money for the purpose even to part with their overcoat to provide them a weapon. The one at such a time is more necessary than the other. A soldier must at any rate be armed. Thus He intimated "that a season of exceeding trial was at hand." For when the Commander is captured, what shall become of those under him? Our Lord "quotes certain well-known words of Prophecy as still requiring fulfilment; for that is the meaning of the expression have an end."" His words as to preparing for war were symbolical. But they understood Him literally. And the two probably who had been sent on ahead,3 and who after the manner of the Jews when on a journey had thus equipped themselves, give Him the scanty inventory of their armoury, as once before of their provision.5 The Lord breaks off the subject with a common formula. Time will show them soon enough how they have misapprehended Him.
St. John xiv. 1-3.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place
for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Their Lord's words had filled His Disciples with strange forebodings Sadly they sounded in His servants' ears. An atmosphere of gloom seemed to be settling down over them. A cloud overshadows them. Then the merciful Lord speaks to their heart, once and again,2 words of strength and consolation; as a tender Parent might cheer his children in the prospect of his approaching departure. And what is the remedy He recommends for this trouble of heart? It is Faith, that is trust or confidence. "Believe in God, believe also in me." It is a double imperative.3 Believe in God, for your faith is at present very feeble, and you get less comfort from it than you might. Believe also in me, who came forth from the Father, and am returning to the Father, and for your sake. So He comforts their hearts, and raises their thought from earth to Heaven. Now in the Temple at Jerusalem, with which those whom He was addressing were familiar, were numerous chambers, prepared originally for the multitude of Levites engaged in the Temple-service.* Already we have heard Him call that building by this same title. And in that "house not made with hands," of which this was but the imperfect pattern, are "many mansions;" not temporary, transient resting-places, soon to pass away, as "the earthly house of this tabernacle," but lasting abodes; many in number, durable in their nature; "a building of God, eternal in the heavens." "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are
1 Compare St. John xvi. 6.
2 V. 27 below.
3 Erasmus notes four interpretations. (1) Ye believe in God and ye believe in me.
So Chrysostom seems to have read it. The faith which they had in God and in the Son of God should be sufficient safeguard against the coming storms of persecution. (2) Believe in God, and believe in me. Hilary (de Trinitate, 1. 9) cites it thus.
(3) Ye believe in God, believe also in me. Ye believe in God as Jews, believe in me that ye may be Christiaus. (4) Believe in God, and ye believe in me. Faith in God is faith in Christ.
1 Ki. vi. 5; 1 Chron. ix. 26, 27; xxiii. 28; Jer. xxxv. 1-4; Eze. xl. 7, 10; xli. 5-7; xlii. 1-14.
5 St. John ii. 16.
the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us ;" and to prepare a place for each and all of His servants, according to the degree and capacity of each for the glory that shall be revealed.1 He adds with a touching simplicity, "If it were not so, I would have told you." They might trust Him. He had never deceived them. Truth was His only object. Their overweening ideas of an earthly kingdom He had often had occasion to repress. If now their hopes of a kingdom in the heavens had been excessive, would He not have checked them here also? When in the East a caravan or company of travellers was journeying to some distant place, one of their number usually went on before, to prepare a place of reception for those that followed after. This gracious office of Fore-runner,3 the Lord Himself would discharge for His Disciples. As surely too as He goes on before for this purpose, so surely will He return, and fetch them from the midst of their labours, and take them to the place He has prepared for them, that they may share His reward. This was the subject of His promise before; this the subject of His prayer afterwards.5
THE INTERPELLATION OF THOMAS.
St. John xiv. 4–7.
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and
1 "One of Christ's disciples may be more holy, more wise, more righteous than another; but none of His disciples will be excluded from that paternal house, where every child of God will have a mansion proportioned to the use he has made of the grace given him in this life. The term 'many mansions' signifies that there will be different degrees of felicity in the same eternity, as there are stars differ
ing from one another in glory in the
Heb. vi. 20. "They which follow are to go in the same way, and to attain unto the same place . . . and we hope to follow Him as coming late to the same perfection."-Pearson On the Creed, Art. vi.
4 St. John xii. 26.
how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
If the Disciples knew not whither their Lord was going, it was not for want of having been often told of it. If they knew not the way thither, it was not that He had never shown them. Yet Thomas here seems to intimate that Peter's question has not yet been answered. This interpellation is Thomas first, Philip
one of three we have at this time. next, Judas (not Iscariot) afterwards, each has his question. In our Lord's reply to the first of these, He inverts the order. He does not speak of the "whither" till He has told them of the "way." He tells them of the Father, when He has first told them of Himself. Often indeed already had He told them of both. His whole life indeed was the demonstration of this. Nevertheless He condescends to His servants' infirmity, and replies plainly, without any parable. Three things the Lord here predicates of Himself. Already in a Divine Allegory we have heard Him utter language like this, "I am the Door of the Sheep." This is the first thing; and it is the point, it will be observed, on which alone our Lord comments in the close of His sentence. Vain all other ways which the fancies of men may fashion for repairing the ruin of our nature. Next, He is not only true, but He is "the Truth." "The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."5 He is the substance of all those shadows. Lastly, He is "the Life."" He came to a world lying in wickedness, under sentence of death, and infused into it life. He gave it the hope, the prospect, the promise, the power of life eternal. That life which is in Him,' He imparts to His people.
1 St. Johu xiii. 36.
2 St. John x. 7, 9.
3 See George Herbert's Poem of The Call:
"Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life!
4 Acts iv. 12; 1 Tim. ii. 5; Heb. x.
19-22; 2 St. Pet. i. 4.
5 St. John i. 14, 17.
6 St. John i. 4.
71 St. John v. 11-13, 20.
St. John x. 10, 11, 15, 27, 28; xi.
25, 26; xvii. 3.