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power, which is employed, engaged, and concerned for them, and for their perseverance and preservation, notwithstanding all opposition to the contrary: My Father which gave them me is greater than all: and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. Learn, 1. That eternal life is the portion of Christ's sheep. 2. That eternal life is the gift of Christ. 3. That eternal life is now given to Christ's sheep: they have it now in the purchase, in the promise, and in the first-fruits. 4. That all Christ's sheep are put by God the Father into Christ's hand for security: My Father hath given them me. 5. The Father doth so intrust Christ with his sheep, as yet to take care of them himself; they arc in the Father's hand, as well as in the Son's, and their being in the hands of both, doth assure them of the certainty of their perseverance; None shall pluck them out of my hand: none shall be able to pluck them out of my Father's hand; implying, that there are many that would pluck them out of their hands, sin, Satan, the world, cfc, but they shall be kept by the almighty power of God, through faith unto salvation; for who can be too strong for omnipotent power?
30 I and my Father are one.
That is, one in essence and nature, one in authority and power, and not barely one in will and affection, one in concord or consent. That this is the genuine signification of the word, appears by a threefold argument. 1. From the original words; it is not said, I and my Father are (tic) one person in the masculine gender, but in the neuter («v) I and my Father are one thing. Now if that thing be not the divine being, they cannot be one; for since the Father is confessed to be God, the Son cannot be one thing with the Father, if he be not God too. 2. It appears from the context: our Saviour, in the preceding verses, ascribed the preservation of his sheep to the power of his Father: None can pluck them out of my Father's hand. and he ascribes it also to his own power; None shall pluck them out of my hand: plainly intimating, that his sheep were equally safe in his own hand, as well as in his Father's; for says he, I and my Father are one, that is, one in power ; and if they be one in power, they must be one in nature; unless we make an almighty creature, which is a contradiction. 3. It appears evidently by what follows in the
next verse, that the Jews understood our Saviour in this sense, why else did they take up stones to stone him - ttV stone thee, say they, for blasphemy: because that thou, being a man, makest thyttlf God. The Jews took our Saviour's meaning aright, and were satisfied that whm be said, I and my Father are one, he asserted himself to be God, and deserved to die; and well he had deserved it, if he had not been God. The adversaries of our. Saviour's divinity, to elude the force of these words, which make so much against thera, interpret the words thus, / and my Father are one; that is, say they, we are (fua fiaXnaic) one in will and affectiom, one in concord and consent; This B a truth, but not the great truth contained m these words; for the believers are one with God, and one with another; namely, by a harmony of wills and desires; so far as they are regenerated, God's will and theirs ase unisons; they will and desire the same thing, and are of one heart and of one mind. But God and Christ are one, in a much higher sense than Christ and believers are one; namely, one in essence and nature, one n authority and power, Christ being consubstantial with God. Learn hence, That the Lord Jesus Christ is for nature c sential, for dignity co-equal, and for duration co-eternal, with the Father. 2. That although Christ be one in essence with the Father, yet are they distinct persons one from another i I and my Father, we are one. 3. Learn hence, That the Son being one in essence, one in power, one in consent and will with the Father, they are both equally concerned for the perseverance of the saints, for preserving them in grace, and for bringing them to glory: None shall pluck them out of mine or my Father's hand; for I and my Father are one. If the power be the same, the essence must be the same.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works bate I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do >e stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Observe here, 1. How the Jews understood our Saviour affirming, that he and the Father are one; that is, one in essence and nature, and himself a person equal with God. This they looked upon as blasphemy in him, to arrogate to himself what is proper to God only. Observe, 2. That the Jews looked upon it as a piece of justice in them to stone Christ for this apprehended blasphemy: Then the Jews took up stones to stone him. According to the law of God, the blasphemer was to be stoned to death; but then he was first to be judicially tried and judged: But such was the furious and fiery zeal of these Jews, that in a tumultuous manner they attempt to stone him to death. Lord! how far doth the fury of men, in opposing truth, outstrip the true zeal of thy faithful servants in defending the truth! Observe, 3. With what meekness our Lord receives this horrid indignity of stoning; (for it is probable that some stones were cast at him, he saying, For -which of those works do ye stone me .*) he clears his own innocence, and expostulates with them for rewarding him evil for good; Many good works haie I showed you from my Father; that a, by my Father's authority and commission; I have been sight to the blind, feet to the lame, a tongue to the dumb, and hearing to the deaf: do any of these works deserve such usage as stoning at your hands? Learn hence, That such was the perfect and spotless innocence of Christ in all his actions, that he durst and did appeal to the consciences of his most inveterate adversaries: For which of those works do ye stone me?
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 sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
Here our Saviour by a two-fold argument vindicates himself from the imputation of blasphemy, in asserting himself to be God. I. Because the Old Testament gave to magistrates and judges the title of gods, as Psal. Ixxxii. 6. / have said, ye are gods. Now Christ argues strongly from the less to the greater, thus: "If judges and magistrates may be called gods, because they are commissioned by him, and derive their authori
ty from him, how much more is that title due to me, who was sanctified, separated, and ordained for a mediator, and appointed to the work of redemption before I came into the world, and consequently was God from all eternity." This place the Socinians (those professed adversaries of our Saviour's godhead) produce to prove, that Christ was not God by nature, but only in respect of his sanctification and mission. It is a certain truth, that he that was sanctified and sent, was the Son of God; but he was not therefore the Son of God, because sanctified and sent. His sanctification was not the ground of his sonship; but his sonship was the cause of his sanctification. Christ was not therefore God's Son, because he was sanctified and sent; but he was therefore sanctified and sent, because he was his Son. He was a Son before he was sent, even from eternity, otherwise it must have been said that God sent him to be his Son, and not that God sent his Son. This supposes him before he was sent to have been actually his Son, as certainly he was from before the foundations of the world. Prov. viii. 23. / was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 31? But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me: and I in him.
Here we have a second argument, by which our Saviour proves, that it was no blasphemy to call himself God, but that he was God in very deed ; namely, an argument taken from his works: If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. And the argument runs thus: If (says Christ) I do those miraculous works, which no power less than a divine power can effect, then you ought by these works to be led to believe and acknowledge, that I am truly and really God; but the works which I do are the effect and product of an omnipotent power, therefore you ought to believe, that I am one in essence with the Father, there being a mutuul in-existence of one person in the other, so that the Father is in me, and I in him; and thus I and the Father arc one. Learn hence, That Christ never required of his disciples and followers an implicit faith, or a blind obedience ; but as he submitted his doctrine to the trial of reason, so he submitted his miracles to the examination and judgment of sense: therefore he says, If I do not the -works of my Father, that is, divine works, believe me not to be a divine person.
39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand; 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 miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. 42 And many believed on him there.
Obserre here, 1. The violence and fury of these unbelieving Jews, against the holy and innocent Jesus! They sought again to take him. Observe, 2. The prudential care of Christ for his own preservation; his time being not yet come, he withdraws from Jerusalem, the nest of his enemies, and goes beyond Jordan: when Christ was persecuted in one city, he fled to another; he has sanctified a state of persecution to his ministers, and members, by his own being in it. Tis no disgrace for any of them to fly, when their Captain did it, and hids them do it, saying, When they persecute you in one city, flee unto another. Observe, 3. The success of Christ's ministry beyond Jordan: Many resorted to him, and believed on him. This place about Jordan was the place where John had exercised a great part of his ministry, and now, many years after John's death, the fruit of his ministry appears; for many believed on him there; that is, about Jordan, where John had preached and baptized. Learn hence, That the labours of faithful ministers may seem to be lost, and lie long like seed under the ground, and yet at last, by some new watering, may spring up, and the fruit appear in abundance. Here John's ministry about Jordan hath fresh fruit upon Christ's coming long after John was dead. Observe, 4. The dignity of Christ above John, John did no miracle; but Christ did all. The wisdom of God so ordered it, that though the Old-Testament prophets, Elijah and Elisha, wrought many miracles for the confirmation of their divine mission, yet John the Baptist coming immediately before Christ, as his messenger and forerunner, wrought noDe, for these three reasons probably: 1. That so the
glory of Christ in working mirracles, when he came upon the stage of his ministry, might be the more clear and evident . 2. That the evidence of Christ being the Messias, might be the more clear by the miracles which he wrought. 3. That the minds of the people might not be divided and distracted between John and Christ, and that there might be no pretence or competition between them: Therefore John did no miracle; but all things that John spake of Christ were true.
TVfOW 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 wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
This chapter relates unto us the miraculous power of Christ, in raising of dead Lazarus, which, as it was one of his last, so was it one of the greatest miracles which be wrought; and yet we find none of the evangelists make mention of it, but only St . John: the reason is supposed to be this; because when the other evangelists wrote their history, Lazarus was then alive; (for Epiphanius says, he lived thirty yean after he was raised by Christ;) and probably the mention of this relation might have brought Lazarus into danger and trouble; but St. John wrote his Gospel after Lazarus'- death. This miracle was a sufficient demonstration of Christ's godhead: none but an almighty power could recall a man four days dead, from a settled corruption to a state of life. None but he that created Lazarus could thus make him anew. Here observe, 1. The tender sympathy of these two endeared sisters with their afflicted brother; they feel his sorrows, and acquaint their Saviour with his sufferings Lord! behold he whom thou lovest it sick. They do not say, Our brother that loves thee is sick: he whom thou lovest is sick: thereby pleading not the merit of
Lazarus, but the merit of Christ. For how can the love of Christ, which is infinite and eternal, have any cause but itself. Note, The person whom Christ loved is sick, and dies. Learn thence, That strength of grace, and dearaess of respect, even from Christ himself, cannot prevail either against death or against diseases. Lazarus, whom Christ loved, is sick. Observe, 2. The gracious answer which Christ sent to the sisters' message: This sickness is not unto death, butfor the glory of God. That is, This sickness shall not bring upon him such a death as he shall remain under the power of, to the general resurrection; but is only designed to give me an opportunity of glorifying God, by exerting my miraculous power in restoring him to life. Learn hence, 1. That as God's own glory is his supreme aim and end in all his actions, so in particular it is designed by him, in sending afflictions upon his people, to glorify his power and wisdom, mercy and love, in and upon them. The saints' sicknesses are all for the glory of God. 2. That God is glorified when his Son is glorified; as none do honour the Father who do not honour the Son, so the Father accounts himself glorified when the glory of the Son is advanced: This sickness is for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again. 8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 0 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the lightof this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
Observe, 1. What an happy because an holy and religious family, was here, and much honoured by Christ: Jesux loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Wherever true piety dwells, it draws the eye and heart of Christ towards it. Christ had fre
quently and familiarly lodged under their roof, and he rewards them for their entertainment with his love: Jesus loved Martha and her sister. Where note, That Martha is here named first, though elsewhere Mary had the precedency; to show, no doubt, that they were both equally dear to Christ. Observe, 2. That although Christ loved Lazarus, yet he seems to neglect him: he delays going to him for some days. But could Christ absent himself from one so long, whom he loved so well t We find he did. Let us take heed then that we do not misinterpret Christ's delays. He seldom comes at our time, but never stays beyond his own: our Saviour had a double end in staying thus long, namely, for greatening of the miracle, and confirming their faith. Had Christ gone before Lazarus was dead, they might have attributed his recovery rather to the strength of nature than to Christ's miraculous power; or had Christ raised Lazarus as soon as he was dead, they might peradventure have thought it rather some trance or eestasy, than a death and dissolution; therefore Christ stays so many days, that God might be the more glorified, and his own omnipotent power the more magnified. We learn then, That when Christ delays to help them whom he dearly loves, it is always for wise ends and holy purposes. Observe, 3. How the disciples, though they were dearly affected to Lazarus, (for they had learned to love where their Master loved,) yet they discourage Christ from going to him into Judea, for fear of violence offered to him: Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee, and goest thou thither again? Here the disciples pleaded for their Master's safety, at the same time aiming at their own; they were to go with him into Judea, and they well knew that their danger was inwrapped in his, therefore they seek to divert him from his intention. O how has the fear of suffering made many of the friends of Christ decline an opportunity of glorifying God, and doing good to others! But cannot God give safety in the midst of danger, if he pleaseth? Let us not then notchoose our way according to our own apprehension, either of danger or safety ; but as we see God going before us, if our call be clear.let us goonwithcourage, whatever difficulties lie in our way. Observe, 4. How our Saviour corrects these fears for his disciples, by acquainting them with his call from God, to undertake this journey into Judea: Are there not twelve hours in the day? If a man walk there
tn, he stumbleth not: but in the night he siumbleth. As if Christ bad said, "As he that walks it) the day is in no danger of stumbling, but in the night he is in danger; so, as long as I have a call from God, and my working time lasts, there is a divine providence that will watch over me, and secure me from all danger: now my day is not fully spent, therefore it is not in the power of mine enemies to precipitate my passion, or to bring the night of sufferings upon me, before the appointed time; but ere long the night will come on, the working time will be over, and then shall both I and you stumble upon death; but while the day lasteth we are safe." Learn hence, 1. Every man has his twelve hours, that is, his working time, assigned him by God in this world. 2. Whilst these hours are not spent, and whilst his working time is unexpired, he shall not stumble, he shall not die, he shall not be disabled from working, while God has any work for him to do; neither the malice of men, nor the rage of devils, shall take him of)' till his work be finished. 3. Every man has his night as well as his day, in which he must expect and prepare to stumble; that is, to fall by death ; for, when God has done his work by us and with us, he will withdraw his protection from us, but not his care over us. We stumble upon death, and fall into the grave: hut God receives us to himself, and at the end of our working season rewards us for our work.
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep.
Observe here, 1. Our Saviour cometh near to Bethany, tells his disciples that Lazarus sleepeth; that is, plainly, he was dead. This showed his omniscience, and that he was truly God; for he had received no advice of his death from any person, but as God he knew that he was deceased. Observe, 2. The sweet title given both to death and Lazarus: death is called a steep, Lazarus is styled & friend: yet Christ says, not my friend, but our friend Lazarus sleepeth; intimating that gracious familiarity and mutual friendship which was betwixt himself and all his members. Learn hence, 1. That all true believers are Christ's friends. 2. That the friends of Christ must die as well as others. 3. That their death is but a sleep. Our friend
Lazarus sleepeth. It followeth, but I go that 1 may awake him out of sleep. Observe, Christ says not, We will go and awake him; but, I will go, and I will awake him. The disciples, who were companions in the way, must not be partners in the work; witnesses they may be, actors they cannot be; none can awake Lazarus but the Maker of Lazarus. Who can command the soul to come down and meet the body, and who can command the body to rise up and meet the soul, but that God that created both soul and body? Lord' it is our comfort against the dread and terror of death, that our resurrection depends upon thy almighty power. / -will go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
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 1 am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. 16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
Observe here, 1. How desirous the disciples were that Christ should not go to Bethany where Lazarus was, Bethany being within two miles of Jerusalem, where the seat of our Saviour's enemies was. But our Lord, knowing his call to be clear, resolves to go: Nevertheless, says Christ, Let us go unto him. O love, stronger than death! the grave cannot separate betwixt Christ and his friends. Other friends accompany us to the brink of the grave, and there they leave us to worms and dust; for death hath both horror and noisomeness to attend it: but for thee, O Saviour, the grave-stone, the earth, the coffin, are no bounders of thy dear respects. Blessed be God, that neither life nor death can separate from the love of Christ; but even after death and burial he is graciously affected to those be loves. Christ has a gracious regard to the dust of his saints: though his holy ones see corruption, they shall not always lie under the power of corruption; their dead bodies are a part of the undoubted members of Christ's rays