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15. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil, rather, u from the evil one" that is, the devil,
I pray not that thou wouklest remove them from puhhc life, as thou art about to remove me; but that thou wouklest preserve them from apostatizing from the Christian faith in consequence of the sufferings to which they will be exposed, and from acting in any other way, from that cause, in a manner unbecoming my disciples. The words of Christ imply that temptations to apostacy and to other offences proceed from the devil, an imaginary being, the principle of evil personified.
16. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
This persecution is no more than what is to be expected by my disciples: for the principles by which they are governed, as well as myself, are totally different from those of the unbelieving Jews.
17- Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.
To sanctify, in the ceremonial sense of the word, is to fit for the service of God, and Christ here prays that his disciples may be fitted for that service in preaching the gospel, by a firm belief of the truth. That the apostles might understand what truth he meant, he adds, Thy word is truth; that is, the gospel revelation is that truth to which I refer.
18. As thou hast sent me into the
world, even so have I also sent them
into the world.
As thou hast given me, so have I given them, a commission to preach the gospel. As no one here supposes that the apostles pre-existed, because they are said to be sent into the world, we ought not to conclude that Christ did, because similar language is used concerning him.
19. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
I have prepared myself for the service of God, in undertaking the office of a divine messenger, for their sakes, that I might qualify them, by the communication of the truth, for the same service in preaching the gospel to the world.
Having prayed for himself and his apostles, he proceeds to intercede for the first Christians; and what he has to request for them, is that they may be joint partakers with himself in miraculous powers; in order that the world, from these marks of divine favour bestowed upon his disciples, may derive fresh evidences of his divine mission, and be convinced that the disciples of Jesus are as much the objects of divine regard as their master.
20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; for the proselytes whom they may make;
21. That they all may be one* as thou Father art in me and I in thee jr that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
The Father was in Christ by the miraculous gifts. communicated to him, and Christ was in the Father by the knowledge which he had of the divine counsels respecting the Christian dispensation. This relation . constituted an union of powers and counsels, or made
them one; and Christ prays here that there may he the like union between them both and the first proselytes to Christianity, by a like participation of di* vine power; which request he enforces by the consideration that this would tend to establish the evidence of his divine mission. For If the disciples of a master who professed to come from God were distinguished by such extraordinary marks of divine favour, it was a complete proof that his pretensions were well founded. For the illustration of this passage see John Xiv. 10, 11,20, 23..
22. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one even as we are one;
23. I in them and thou in me;
The honour of enjoying miraculous powers, by which I have been distinguished, I have also destined for them, that they may be united to me as I am united to thee: I dwelling in them by miraculous powers, and thou dwelling in me by the same means.
That they may be made perfect in one, that they may make up a complete person, or a perfect whole; that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.
That the world .may know, by the communication. of these miraculous powers, that thou bearest the same affection to my disciples as to myself. Such a persuasion will be a strong inducement to men to become my disciples.
24. Father, I will, rather, " / defire" that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I arttj that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
The last thing that Christ requests for his disciples is that they may be with him in his heavenly residence, to behold and share in the glory which, he says, God had given him, although Only destined for him in the divine counsels, and not yet bestowed. To show why he spoke of that as already bestowed which was only future, he adds, "for thou lovedst me befOre the foundation of the world;" that is, thou didst intend this favour for me before the beginning of time, even from eternity. Some choose to render the latter part of the verse thus, as the 6riginal will certainly admit, "that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me before the foundation of the - world, because thou lovedst me;" but it makes very little difference in point of sense, whether Christ be said to have received glory or to have been loved before the foundation of the world: both expressions are equally figurative, and imply the same thing: neither of them supposes any pre-existencc.
He urges this request both for himself and them, on the ground that he was acquainted with the perfections and benevolent designs of his heavenly Father, and that his disciples had become acquainted with both from himself; while the majority of the Jews, by rejecting his message, remained in ignorance.
25. O righteous Father, the w6rld
hath not known thee; but I have
known thee, and these have known?
that thou hast sent me.
For this reasbn I trust that thou wilt comply with ,vAf request in favour of my disciples, tlisft-they may tol. 4taj
hereafter be permitted to dwell in my presence. "Righteous Father," signifies the same thing as *' Benevolent Father."
He lastly mentions what more he would do, to render them worthy of this favour.
26. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
I have declared to them thy perfections and designs, and will do it more fully hereafter, when I am risen from the dead, that hereby they may become equally the objects of divine favour with myself, and that all the knowledge which 1 possess may dwell in them; hereby fitting and qualifying them for the work in which they are to be engaged here, and for living in my presence in heaven.
1. We have here a striking example of the disinterested character and humility of Christ. He speaks of his disciples as enjoying the same glory as himself, and as sent into the world in the same manner: he wishes and prays that God would manifest to the world, by the communication of miraculous powers, that they were, equally with himself, the objects of divine favour. If pride had any place in the mind of Jesus, he would nave taken the opportunity of speaking to God in the presence of his disciples, to represent himself, as, what he was in fact, far superior to them, and to all former prophets and messengers of God: but he overlooks this distinction, and places himself on a level with his inferiors. Had