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THE INTERPELLATION OF JUDAS, NOT ISCARIOT.
St. John xiv. 22-24.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world ? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
There is something sadly affecting in this short parenthesis, the two words the Evangelist throws in, -"not Iscariot.” Let not the one Judas be for a moment confounded with the other; the Lord's brother with the betrayer of the Lord; the true Apostle with the traitor. The Judas or Jude here spoken of was the inspired author of the Epistle that bears his name. That he should have asked this question is most natural, when we call to mind that he was one of those who had said in an earlier stage of the history, “If Thou doest these things, shew Thyself to the world.” 1 The question seems to have been suggested by those words above, “ Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me.” ? Judas not even yet understanding such a saying as that, “ My Kingdom is not of this world,” speaks still somewhat in the former strain, only not now in the former spirit; not now in the language of unbelief or of sarcasm, but with the humbler temper of the true disciple; contenting itself with inquiry, and not venturing on reproach ; feeling that there must be a reason, though that reason be unknown. Judas judges rightly when he applies to himself and his fellows the general promise which the Lord had come from making; but the Lord in His answer seems to intimate that they are not to restrict it to them
I St. John v. ii. 3, 4. 2 V, 19 above.
3 In v. 22 the word rendered wilt means art about.
selves. “In the question it was asked how God would manifest Himself to His servants. In the answer it was shown how He would make His abode with them.” Judas asks for light; the Lord's answer is of love. In like manner when Moses asks for a glimpse of the unapproachable glory, God gives him instead a vision of the Divine goodness. 4 The Lord does not enter now into a confutation of His Disciples' mistaken view of the nature of His Kingdom. The Spirit was coming to teach them all things, and the time was at hand when all these matters should be made plain. He contents himself with expanding his former saying. Here, as in the verse which follows, the union between the Father and the Son is again implied, and one phase or another brought out of that mysterions unity. So that to keep the sayings of Christ, is to keep the word of God. It is not the word of the Son alone, but of the Father also.” The Lord having shown in what true love to Him consists, gives us its converse. Disobedience is un-love. To what purpose is it to profess love with the lips, if there be rebellion in the heart and life? How can we say we love God, when we love to do the things which displease God ? 8
THE SAME SUBJECT —continued.
St. John xiv. 25-31.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto
. you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you : for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father ; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence,
In these last words the Lord seems to have in view His law of love, which He would impress on the family He is about to leave. And again adverting to the mission of the Comforter, He shows the necessity for His coming, and one of its results. He Himself, the very Word of God, had spoken to them; but till the Spirit come (one of whose offices was this of Divine interpreter), they would not understand the word spoken. When He 3 should come, the seed hitherto lying dormant would be quickened and begin to spring. The Comforter should be sent in the "name " of Christ; that is with His co-operation, and in answer to His prayer. This ample promise accounts also for the record of these conversations, and for the other Scriptures of the New Testament. But what is this promise to which the Saviour passes, this legacy of peace which the Lord in departing left to His Disciples ? It was no common leave-taking, no ordinary farewell, such as the world, even when most sincere, offers to its own. It is the bequest of the Prince of peace to His own. It is,- as in that form of blessing with which His Church, after Holy Communion, lets the people depart, —.The Peace of God, which passeth all under1 St. John xiii. 33-35.
5 V. 16 above. 2 1 St. John iv. 16-21.
Cyprian, De Unitate Eccl. Cath. 3 Note the emphatic pronoun of ? In this mention of “the world" the original.
there may be allusion to their worldly + St. John ii. 22 ; xii. 16.
question in v. 22. So in vv. 30, 31.
standing." He is Himself our Peace. He gives us Himself, and so He gives us Peace. And again the Lord repeats those soothing words we have heard before,3 “ Let not your heart be troubled ;” and He adds, in full view of what was shortly coming upon Him, “neither let it be afraid.” He reminds them of His former words to reconcile them to their temporary loss. It was indeed love that made them grieve; but, says the Saviour, if your love were perfect, ye would rather rejoice. Why should they be sad at His saying, when they considered that His return to the bosom of the Father should be for His comfort and theirs. But now they were so intent upon the man, that they failed to realize the God. The words, “My Father is greater than I," are by no means inconsistent with what He had said before, “I and my Father are one.' He is not here comparing His own nature with that of the Father, but He is comparing His present condition with that glory which He had with His Father before the world was." Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead ; inferior to the Father, only as touching His manhood. And again the Lord tells them why He forewarned them; gives them another sign, whose fulfilment might assure their hearts and confirm their faith." But not long would He thus converse with them. His hour was well-nigh come. Yet Satan's triumph should be short lived. His schemes would recoil upon himself. That which seemed Christ's failure was but the exhibition of His strength,
a prison to console some captive, and not being able to do so in any other way, he were to put off his senator's dress and put on the prison uniform, this would not impair his real dignity. Phil. ii. 6-11.
? Eph. ii. 14,
8 This doctrine of the Athanasian Creed is brought out by Augustine in the Sermon before cited. He says, it' a senator should accept the vesture of a slave, if for instance entering into
9 St. John xiii. 19; xvi. 4.
19 St. John xii. 31 ; xvi. 11; Heb. ü. 14, 15. The construction in v. 31 is evidently elliptical. “ But-all this is done—that, &c.” The clause understood may be supplied from the “So I do,” which follows. Compare St. John xiii. 18; xv. 25 ; St. Matt. i. 22.
the very token of success; love strong as death, obedience unto death. And so He pauses for the present, rising from that Table where He had fed them, and washed their feet. Yet as loth to leave the children? that He loved, the Lord lingers over and prolongs this last leave-taking;3 fortifying His Disciples with further last words, and finally commending them to the Father."
THE TRUE VINE.
St. John xv. 1, 2.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Let us recall the circumstances under which this wondrous allegory was uttered. They had been partaking together of the fruit of the Vine; and this, it might be, or the sight of a spreading vine trained about the court-yard of the guest-chamber, gave occasion for this gracious illustration of the union betwixt Christ and His people. This figure of the Vine is a frequent one in Holy Scripture. There are
i St. John x. 17, 18; xv. 10.
higher instruction; even as the union 2 St. John xiii. 33.
between the vine and its branches is 3 Compare Phil. i. 23, 24.
of a more intimate nature than that • Alford considers that the guest
between the Shepherd and his sheep. chamber was still the scene of all that 6 6 The Vine was the emblem of follows to the end of ch. xvii.
the nation on the coins of the Mac. 5 Of the two allegories in this Gospel cabees, and in the colossal cluster of according to St. John, we may note golden grapes which overhung the that the former, “The Good Shep- porch of the Second Temple; and herd,” was addressed, at a compara- the grapes of Judah still mark the tively early period of our Lord's tombstones of the Hebrew race in the ministry, generally to the Jews; this oldest of their European cemeteries, at latter, of “The True Vine," at its Prague.”— Dean Stanley's Syria and very close, in private to His Disciples. Palestine, p. 164. See Josephus Antt. We have here therefore, as we might xv. 11; B. J. v. 5. expect, the deeper meaning, the yet