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Life of Jesus Christ in Its Historical Connexion and Historical Developement.
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§ 274. Of Prayer in the Name of Christ. He promises the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter; and His own Return. (John, xiv., 13-26.)

The disciples were to enter into new relations with Christ. He, therefore, specially taught them to pray in his name. As they had before, during his bodily presence, expressed their wants to him person. ally, so now, trusting in him, and conscious of the new relations in which, through him, they stood to the Father, they were to apply to the Father in his name. “And whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name (i. e., through his mediation), that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (by what the Son should work among men to the glory of the Father, by the spread of the kingdom of God through him). At the same time, certain conditions were essential on their part: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

And this forms the transition to the promise which follows: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” Through his mediation, the Father would send them, instead of Him who had, up to that time, been their help in all things, another Helper, who should not leave them, as He was about to do. “Even the Spirit of Truth:” and he calls the Spirit so, because it alone can unfold the meaning of his truth, and because union with the Holy Spirit can only be obtained by appropriating that truth. This Spirit, he told them, the world could not receive, because it was totally foreign to the world; but they were to know it, in the only way in which it could be known, by inward and personal experience: “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

His description of the Spirit makes it, in relation to his own previous personal presence among them, something different from himself. This prepared them to apprehend, in a more spiritual way than before, the announcement of his own return, which he now repeated. With this Spirit it was that he himself was to come to them: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” He speaks now of himself, just as he had before spoken of the Spirit: “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more, but ye see me; because I live, and ye live; I reveal myself, as the Living, to the living.” The world, cut off from the Divine life, and therefore dead, knows nothing of Christ, as the Living it holds him dead; but to those who are susceptible of Divine communion of life with him, he will reveal himself as the Living one.

He then tells them that only at the period when they should reach this higher communion with him, would they be able fully to under. stand his relation to the Father and to them: “At that day shall ye know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” Throughout these final discourses, promises alternate with duties; so now he points out an essential requisite on their part—love, proved in keeping his commandments: “He that hath (knows and preserves) my commandments, and also keepeth (faithfully observes) them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him (including an active demonstration of love), and will manifest myself to him.” One of the disciples, yet blinded by carnal expectations, said to him, “Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” This led Christ to say that this manifestation spoken of would be made only to those who should be spiritually susceptible of it, thereby implying that it would be entirely a spiritual manifestation (v. 23, 24).

Finally, he referred them again (v. 26) to the Holy Ghost, to be sent through his mediation, who should teach them rightly to understand his own (Christ’s) doctrine; and should call back to their memories any thing which might, through misunderstanding, become darkened in their minds.

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