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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. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.—John xii. 20-36.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE. Christ is, in Genesis, Abraham's seed; in David's Psalms and the Pro.phets, the Messiah and Redeemer of the world. Observe, the antiquity of the gospel is made manifest by the scriptures of the prophets. It was of ancient date as any prophecy : the first prophecy was nothing else but a gospel-charter : it was not made at the incarnation of Christ, but made manifest. It then rose up to its meridian lustre, and sprung out of the clouds, wherewith it was before obscured. The gospel was preached to the ancients by the prophets, as well as to the Gentiles by the apostles. How great is the goodness of God! The borders of grace are enlarged to the Gentiles, and not hid under the skirts of the Jews. He that was so long the God of the Jews, is now also manifest to be the God of the Gentiles ; now he hath manifested himself a God of truth, mindful of his promise in blessing all nations in the Seed of Abraham; and that grace that sounded in the Gentiles' ears, hath bent many of their hearts to the obedience of Christ.
Rev. STEPHEN CHARNOCK.
Shiloh, Author of Peace; such is the Messiah, as described by all the prophets through the whole Old Testament: and so he is announced in the New Testament. By the prophets universally, the Messiah is depicted as the Sovereign, under whose sceptre the nations of the earth should be united. Jesus so describes himself.—John X. 16.
From this tribe, Judah, David sprang; and this family preserved the grand promise of the everlasting kingdom. From it was the great Author of peace to descend, who should unite the nations beneath his sway, and maintain upon earth a universal ever-during dominion. And so it came to pass. All the kings that reigned at Jerusalem, were of this tribe. Zerubbabel, who brought back the Israelites from the Babylonish captivity, was so likewise. And though, after a time, the supreme government came into the hands of the Maccabees, who were of the tribe of Levi, yet the seat of government remained at Jerusalem, in the tribe of Judah. This state of things remained till the appearance of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ; the King of the true spiritual Israel. About six and thirty years after his death, was the dominion of the tribe of Judah for ever taken away, the sceptre broken, and Jerusalem destroyed. But, blessed be God, he has fulfilled his word which he had sworn to David. He hath said to Christ, the Son of David, “ Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” By the power of his glorious gospel, Jesus Christ hath conquered the nations of the earth: he has established peace among them, and has united both Jews and Gentiles in one body, under himself the only Shepherd and Supreme Head. Already is his mighty empire extended to all the quarters of the earth. In every place hath he, by his religion, brought some of mankind to adore the true God. F the rising to the setting sun, prayer is made to the Eternal Father and his Son, by whom he made the world. The voices resound of countless thousands : Praise and honour, thanksgiving and glory, be to Him that is, and was, and is to come! Hallelujah. Praise Him, ye heavens! All ye nations of the earth, proclaim the glory of our God !
“ A sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh shall come; to him [shall be] the homage of the nations." — Gen. xlix. 10. This passage is not referred to in any part of the New Testament : but the general consent of both Jews and Christians, ancient and recent, has regarded it as a prediction of the Messiah. It coincides with the prominent character of the Messiah, in the descriptions of the Old Testament, that he would be the great Author of peace
and happiness, in his capacity as a Sovereign Ruler. The application of this passage to the Messiah, rests upon the extreme difficulty, or rather impossibility, of assigning any event duly correspondent with the terms, except the cessation of a native government in Judæa on the deposition of Archelaus, and the admission of the Gentiles to the blessings of Messiah's reign. Till the former of those events, the Jewish nation had their own royal family, were a recognized people, possessing a degree of independence, and were governed by their own laws. In the kingdom of Judah, the royalty was confined to that one tribe ; while in the separated and rival kingdom of Israel, the kings were taken from any tribe.
The most usual explanation of this term, Shiloh, is the Peaceful, the Pacificator, or the Giver of Peace; thus corresponding to other wellknown descriptions of the Messiah in the Old Testament. The appellation both suits the design of the passage, and the character of the Messiah, the most illustrious descendant of the tribe of Judah: he was to be the “ Prince of peace, and to him should belong of right to have universal dominion.” The gracious and munificent reign of the Messiah is, therefore, here affirmed, a spiritual sovereignty, dispensing spiritual blessings to the nations of the earth, and receiving their obedience and allegiance.
DR. J. P. SMITH.
Honour is here done to Christ by certain Greeks that inquired for him with respect. We are not told what day of Christ's last week this was, probably not the same day he rode into Jerusalem, for that day was taken up in a public work, but a day or two after. These certain Greeks, some think, were Jews of the dispersion, some of the twelve tribes that were scattered among the Gentiles, and were called Greeks, Hellenist Jews ; but others think they were Gentiles, those whom they called Proselytes of the gate, such as the Eunuch and Cornelius. Pure natural religion met with the best assistance among the Jews, and therefore those among the Gentiles, who were piously inclined, joined with them in their solemn meetings as far as was allowed them. They were devout worshippers of the true God, even among them that were strangers to the commonwealth of Israel. It was in the latter ages of the Jewish church, that there was this flocking of the Gentiles to the temple of Jerusalem ; a happy presage of the taking down of the partition-wall between Jews and Gentiles. The forbidding of the priests to accept of any oblation or sacrifice from a Gentile, which was done by Eleazar the son of Ananias, the high-priest, Josephus saith, was one of those things that brought the Romans upon them. Though these Greeks, if uncircumcised, were not admitted to eat the passover, yet came to worship at the feast.
They made their application to Philip, one of his disciples. Some think they had acquaintance with him, and that they lived near Bethsaida in Galilee of the Gentiles: and then it teaches us that we should improve our acquaintance with good people, for our increase in the knowledge of Christ. Those who would see Jesus by faith now he is in heaven, must apply themselves to his ministers, whom he hath appointed for this purpose, to guide souls in their inquiries after him. Paul must see Ananias, and Cornelius must send for Peter. The bringing of these Greeks to the knowledge of Christ by the means of Philip, signified the agency of the Apostles, and the use made of their ministry in the conversion of the Gentiles.
Christ said to those two disciples, who spake a good word for those Greeks, but doubted whether they should speed or no,— The hour is come when the Son of Man shall be glorified, by the accession of the Gentiles to the church, and in order to that he must be rejected of the Jews.
Observe the end designed by the glorifying of the Redeemer. And is it so ? Do the Gentiles begin to inquire after me ? Doth the morning star appear to them, and that blessed day-spring, which knows its place and time too, doth that begin to take hold of the ends of the earth ? Then the hour is come for the glorifying of the Son of Man. This was no surprise to Christ, but a paradox to those about him. Note, the calling, the effectual calling of the Gentiles into the church of God, greatly redounded to the glory of the Son of Man. The multiplying of the redeemed was the magnifying of the Redeemer. There was a time, a set time, an hour, a certain hour, for the glorifying of the Son of Man, which did come at last, when the days of his humiliation were numbered and finished, and he speaks of the approach of it with exultation and triumph: The hour is come!
Rev. MATTHEW HENRY.
« By the name of Greeks all were called, who were neither Israelites nor proselytes, among whom there were not a few pious men, worshippers of the true God.” — Grotius. The difficulty, which the apostles found about mentioning these “ Greeks ” to Jesus, as well as the subsequent discourse, strongly implies, that they were uncircumcised persons. It is supposed that they lived on the confines of Galilee, and thus got acquainted with Philip. They were favourable to the Jewish religion, and came to Jerusalem to worship; yet it is not said that they ate the Passover. They had heard of our Lord's miracles, were desirous of seeing him, and receiving his instructions, and they respectfully applied to Philip for that purpose. Probably, Jesus ordered them to be introduced to him.
Our Lord, on this occasion, declared openly, that the appointed time was at hand, when he should be advanced to his exalted throne, to be glorified as the Saviour and King of both Jews and Gentiles : yet this would not take place till he had laid down his life for them.
The near prospect which our Lord had of his most tremendous sufferings, excited on this occasion such a perturbation of mind, that he publicly declared that “ his soul was troubled; and what should he say” in respect of the scene before him ? " Shall I say, Father, save me from this hour ?" Even his holy nature might have dictated this prayer ; had he not known that he came into the world, and had continued so long upon earth, with a special purpose of passing through that season of darkness and anguish; without which all his former labours, obedience, sufferings, would be unavailing as to the grand object of his incarnation. He would, therefore, in perfect acquiescence, say, “ Father, glorify thy name:" for he only desired to be supported through the dreadful scene, to the glory of the Divine justice, holiness, mercy, and truth, in the salvation of sinners. Upon this, the voice of the Father from heaven, which had attested him to be his Beloved Son, at his baptism, and when he was transfigured, proclaimed, that he “ had both glorified his name, and would glorify it." The life, miracles, and doctrine of our Lord had manifested the glory of God; and his death, resurrection, and exaltation would still more extensively and illustriously display it. Those who heard this voice less distinctly, or the Greeks who did not understand the words spoken, said that “ it thundered,” as probably it was attended by thunder: others, who understood what was spoken, supposed that an angel addressed him : but none of them seem to have understood, that the Father thus attested his complacency in him and in his whole work. He therefore assured them, that this voice did not come for his sake, as he had been always satisfied of his Father's love; but for their benefit, that they might believe in him as the Son of God.
Rev. THOMAS Scott.
Who can wonder at the desire these Greeks expressed to see so celebrated a person as Jesus was! We hope there was something more than mere curiosity in it, and that at length they saw him with believing eyes, and, according to his prediction, glorified him by a cordial acceptance of his gospel. His disciples, we see, were ready to introduce them: and surely every faithful minister of Christ will undertake the task with pleasure, when he sees souls awakened by Divine grace, and inquiring after Jesus with affectionate concern.
How admirable is the love and steadfastness of our Redeemer, who procured so great a happiness for us at so dear an expense! and even when his innocent soul was troubled in the view of his sufferings, instead of declining them, met them with joy! How should it animate us to renew that general comprehensive petition, than which none can be more suitable to us with regard to all the Divine dispensations : Father, glorify thine own name! Glorify thyself, O Lord ! and to that great end dispose of us as thou pleasest; for we should abhor ourselves if we had any interest separate from thine !
These Greeks having applied to Philip, he, together with Andrew, whom he consulted on the occasion, informed Jesus of their wishes. They were immediately conducted into his presence, and the Saviour addressed them, with great solemnity, to the following effect :
“ The Son of Man, whom you now behold in circumstances of meanness, is about to enter on a state of the highest exaltation. But be not staggered, while you observe that my glory is preceded by extreme sufferings: for these are necessary to accomplish the object which I have in view, the salvation of precious souls. As the wheat springs up from the grain, which at first seems to perish in the earth, and which, except it putrefy, will produce no increase; so a numerous company shall be redeemed to God in consequence of my death, and not one of the human race can be saved without it. He also that professes an attachment to my cause, must be willing to make the most painful sacrifices. A solicitous regard to your temporal interests will endanger your eternal welfare; but while you can cheerfully give up life itself for my sake, you adopt the most effectual method to secure your own happiness for ever. If, therefore, you would acknowledge me as your Lord and Master, you must be obedient to my command, and follow, without hesitation, wherever I shall lead, even to the severest calamities; and then you shall be with me, to behold my glory, and sit down with me in my kingdom. My Father himself will declare his approbation of your conduct, and confer distinguished honour upon you."
Our Lord having adverted to his approaching sufferings, was deeply affected with the prospect; and, as if the terrors of death had fallen upon him, he cried, “ Now is my soul troubled.” He seemed, for a moment, confounded in the view, and ready to petition that he might be rescued from the cross. But whatever the weakness of human nature might suggest, he resolved not to shrink from that which was the grand object of his incarnation; and therefore he prayed only, “ Father, glorify thy name.” Immediately a voice from heaven declared that the Divine glory had already been secured, and would yet be more signally displayed by his ministry. While the astonished multitude wondered at the sound, many of them not hearing the words distinctly, Jesus remarked, that this