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1. We see Jesus justly appealing to his prediction of the treachery of Judas, as a proof of his being the Messiah, and resting the justice of his claim to that character upon the event; a conduct wholly inconsistent with that of an impostor. Had this been indeed the only time in which he had given proofs of knowledge of the treachery of Judas, as the infamous bargain was already made with the high priest, and an opportunity only wanted for executing it, we might conceive it possible that he should acquire this knowledge by natural means, some concealed friend disclosing the secret to him, in order to preserve his life but when we find that the evangelist declares that he gave proofs of his possessing this knowledge long before Judas had discovered his intentions, observing, on one occasion, that he knew from the beginning who it was that believed not and who should betray him; and, on another, saying to them, Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? that is, a false accuser ; such knowledge as this of the secret intentions of the human heart we are sure can proceed from God only; and it clearly proves a supernatural intercourse between Jesus and his heavenly Father. It is therefore justly appealed to as an evidence of his dia vine mission in the character which he assumed as the Messiah ; and in this view it deserves to be seriously reflected upon by us for the confirmation of our faith.
2. The account here given of Judas Iscariot exa hibits a shocking picture of ingratitude and treachery. He that eateth bread with me has lift up his heel against me; he whom I had chosen as my companion, whom I had fed at my table, whom I had treated as my confidential friend and instructed as my child,
šias betrayed me; taken advantage of the confidence which I had placed in him, to put me in the hands of my enemies. This he has done not to save his own life by sacrificing that of his friend, which might have afforded some apology for his conduct, on the ground of human infirmity; not for the sake of honour, which affords some excuse for men when they do wrong; not to save his country by delivering up an impostor, which would have been a laudable act; but hc has done it for the sake of money; and therefore for mercenary motives. What base ingratitude! What complicated villainy! So it is we exclaim. But oba serve,
3. With what calm dignity Jesus bears the treacha ery of his apostle. We might have expected that he would have indulged himself in bittet reproaches, and have uttered the strongest expressions of rage at such unjust treatment. For thus men of ordinary character would have acted: but Jesus beheld it with a coma posed and unruffled mind, only hinting at his ingratitude by a quotation from the Psalms, and saying, What thou doest do quickly.
• 4. The conduct of Jesus in reserving a part of his small store for the use of the poor, is well worthy the imitation of his followers.
That store was supplied not from his own property, for he had none, but from the contributions of his friends, who ministered to him of their substance; and it contained little more than was necessary for daily subsistence. In such circumstances others would have deemed themselves excused from acts of liberality to the poor; but even here Jesus deducts something, to relieve the wants of the necessitous. Let all his disciples learn to do as he has done, and while the rich give liberally, in proportion to their abundance, let not those of meaner condition think themselves excused,
John xiii. 31. to the end.
Jesus having pointed out Judas as the person among the apostles who was to betray him, he immediately left the company, and went to the high priest to procure a band of soldiers to apprehend his master. Dura ing the interval between his leaving Jesus and returning, some very interesting conversation took place between Jesus and his disciples, which has been carefully' recorded by John, although omitted by the other evangelists, and of which he now proceeds to give an account.
31. Therefore when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
That is, grievous and dishonourable as you will esteem my death to be, it will be accompanied or followed with circumstances which will confer upon me the highest honour, as well as display in a striking manner the perfections of God.
In this language Jesus alludes to his resurrection and ascension, and he speaks of himself as having already attained this honour, although it was still future, because it was rendered certain by the errand on which Judas was just gone. He is still endeavouring to reconcile his own mind, as well as the minds of his disciples, to the painful event which was approaching, and therefore represents it as a source of honour rather than a cause of disgrace. That by “glorified,” he refers to his ascension, is rendered probable from what John says, viia 39. where, assigning the reason why the Holy Ghost, or miraculous powers, was not yet bestowed," he says, it was because Jesus was not yet glorified.
32. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, or, 66 with himself," and shall strait-way glorify him.
Since God will derive honour from the sufferings and death of his Son, he will take care to reward him for it, by taking him out of the world to spend an endless life with himself, and will do this without delay. Some refer the words, “ in himself,” to Christ, and suppose some honour to be spoken of which would be peculiarly his own, arising from his exemplary behaviour under his sufferings, and in opposition to miraculous performances, which were, properly speaking, the works of God; but the above interpretation seems to me most natural *. This language contained intimations that he should be removed from them; but the disciples, probably, did not understand it; he therefore speaks more plainly.
33. Little children, yet a little while I am with you; I shall be very soon removed from you ; Ye shall seek me, and, as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go ye cannot come, so now I say unto you.
You will hereafter wish for my company, but then you will find it impossible to enjoy it; for I shall be removed to a place which you cannot approach. I therefore warn you, as I before warned the Jews, to take advantage of it while it is in your power, that you may leave as little room as possible for useless regret.
34. A new commandment I give unto. you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you that ye also love one another.
The last part of the sentence seems intended to ex. plain the former; to love one another, is to do so in
* Wakefield on this passage.
the degree in which Christ had loved them, namely, by laying down his life for their benefit. In this consisted the novelty of the commandment; for it could not be supposed but that Jews, who lived together and followed the sanie master, would love one another to a certain degree; but that they should possess so much disinterested benevolence as was necessary for this purpose, required that they should believe in the same principles, and be animated by the same hopes, as their master. This new command was not so much intended for the twelve apostles as for all Christians, requiring them to love one another with the most cordial affection, of whatever nation they might be, and however distinguished by rites and ceremonies, whether Jews or Gentiles.
35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another
Benevolence is so distinguished a part of my characą ter, that you will be known to be my disciples by resembling me in this instance. The disciples of the different doctors of the law among the Jews were known by their different methods of interpreting particular parts of the law of Moses, according to the sente iments of their respective masters: the disciples of the Pharisees, by their dress and their attention to ceremonies: those of John the Baptist, by the austerity of their manners: but that which would distinguish Christians was mutual benevolence.
Peter, having heard Jesus intimate that he was about to leave them, and that something would prevent their following him, desires to know whither he is going, thinking in his own mind that no obstaçlę should prevent him from following bis master.
36. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou ? Jesus answered him, Whither I go thou canst