J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 6.)
- 1-3. Hitherto their case had been laid before themselves, not before His Father. So with Christians. Through His name they adjudge their place, their way, their trial and their comfort from the Word. This their case they lay before the Father which was in heaven. This chapter displays our Lord fully as having finished His own, and committed the work to them. The connection of the first three verses is thus the matter of these, and the whole may be for study and fervent supplication. But it is indeed well to draw particular attention to the method of God's counsels in these three verses. The Father had given Him, He declares, power over all flesh, that He might give eternal life to as many as He had given Him. Life eternal was to know the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He had sent. Therefore says our Lord, "Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee." Thus the Father would be revealed through the light of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord in the Person of Jesus Christ. Yet is not this the end. "Glorify thy Son," for the hour determined in thy counsels is come; "to the end that thy Son also may glorify thee." But then, blessed be God for evermore! it was the counsel of His own glory to glorify Himself in that work of love, of giving eternal life by Christ Jesus, therefore "as," and the union of these, His own glory, which must necessarily be the end, with our being brought into the partaking of it through the abounding riches of His grace.
305 - 5. "With thine own self." This might seem to mean that He was to be clothed with the personal glory of the Father; but does it mean more than apud te ipsum, in correspondency to "on the earth"? The position of "with thee," in the various readings, marks the plain sense. It amounts in result to the same sense, and in this glory He is to come again.
Having thus conducted His disciples to the point of association, the point of death, where He was to be left alone, He turns to prayer, and presents them so left (first presenting the new power of the state of things) to the Father's care. Earth was now left. He had finished all possible manifestation of the Father's love there in vain. His eyes now turned to heaven. He was conscious He had declared the point at which He had arrived alone with Him. He poured forth His heart to Him concerning His Church. The earthly glory was closed; Messiah, sad word! rejected. He was now to be glorified in His real glory, the Son with the Father, "an only begotten with a father." Heaven was the place to which His thoughts and portion were now lifted up, and His eye affected His heart. He thought of His glory there, and His disciples there. How determinate, how composed, how void of uncertainty or amazement in mind is the word, "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee"!
The effect, the service, so to speak, was mutual; but One had been obediently humbled; therefore "Glorify thy Son," that so glorified He might glorify the Father: always His desire and work, for He was the display, the brightness, of His glory in His own; but He had been humbled Himself, hidden His glory, therefore looks to be glorified as now in it, "that," etc.; for here it ends in the perfectness of the Lord's will and the competency of His glory.
306 Observe, moreover, our Lord had not been glorified, though all glory was His, and faith saw through to it. His had been the full display and acting of the Father's grace. "The grace … appeared." We know it has appeared. This Jesus showed all through His life; the other was His, but not shown, save in glimpses for a moment on the Mount of Transfiguration. But now, though it seemed through death, the Son was to be glorified, and the glory to be displayed from this. This was to be the position in which the Son was to be viewed; and then He proceeds to say what He had done for His Church, His desires and will. There were two points of the glory; that is, as manifested: power over all flesh; eternal life to as many as the Father had given Him. It was not now Messiah's Jewish glory, but the Son's universal authority, power over all flesh, and these given to Him eternal life with Him, as we shall see. Here was the form and body of the manifested or manifestation of glory from His Person.
But this eternal life is not a distant thing, waiting for the glory and manifestation. "This is eternal life," a present thing, the knowledge had by virtue of this position of Jesus. First, the Father to be the only true God. They had known the true God in Jehovah, the God of the Jews. They were now to apprehend the Father as such, and so to stand in relation to Him as before the true servants of Jehovah, now known as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and to know, in which alone they so stood, Jesus Christ whom the Father had sent, to know Him as Jesus, to know Him as the Anointed, to know Him as sent, and above all to know Him; for Jesus Christ, whom the Father had sent, was the Person to be known; and thus it is He is presented to us. He is these things, and is so sent, and the point is to know Him; and this is eternal life, to know Him with whom Jesus intercedes, the Father, "the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent."
Thus we have the opening presentation of Himself, the character of His glory as acquired intermediately, the power and character of eternal life and knowledge of the Father and Him. Then the Lord opens out the service and passage into another system detailedly: "I have glorified thee on the earth." This is what Jesus had done in the midst of and tried by all the evil. He had done it, done it perfectly. That was now accomplished in the rejected Jesus, in the place of the first Adam. He was now to assume the place of the Second. He had also finished the work given Him to do as the obedient Servant even to death. There was nothing left for Him more to do here which God could require, which His Father could require. He had given Him the work, that He should do it, and He had accomplished it, filled it up. He had glorified the Father in the rebellious world, and finished the work which He had given Him to do. This as a Servant. Now then the glory: Do you, Father, says the Lord, fulfil thy part, thy due part: "Thou, Father, glorify me with thyself." This was due. But then indeed, though due to Him as Jesus, it was the glory which He had with the Father before the world was. This was a taking up the title in redemption; and so as regarded the objects of the work also. But it was a return into His own glory, in that character which He had before as Son, before the world or any creature was. This was the great thing to be manifested in the glorifying Him who had perfectly glorified God the Father, the only true God, when His whole character needed to be shown by evil, and could so be shown in grace; all His character, even in the world, upon the earth, the great scene of Adam's (man's) question, and the perfect result in Christ, then to follow the glory. Thus far of the Person of Christ. Now the objects of His work.
307 But observe that the glory is not spoken of as given. He is glorified as Man; but it is with glory which He had with the Father before the world was. It is not given glory at all here as to His Person; but all the other things are, with remarkable repetition, spoken of as given because He received them as Head of the Church, as the Man; making the exception the more remarkable. There was given glory, and that He speaks of as also given after. The glory of His Person was not given. He had it with the Father before the world was. This is a remarkable and blessed point. It proves the pre-existing Sonship, and given glory, and the parallel glory with the Father. He had subjected Himself, indeed, though He were a Son; but it was the fulness which was His which He returned into (blessed be His name!) for the Church. So He speaks in equal terms (v. 1); and indeed verse 3, and here (v. 5). In the rest, verse 2, thrice, verses 4, 6, 7, 8, 9; and after, in verse 10, we have the connection. The remarkable accuracy of these passages is most striking.
308 - 6. "I have manifested thy name to the men which thou gavest me out of the world." This was Christ's work, manifesting the Father and His name. The resurrection was the great public testimony of who Christ was, and witnessed by the Spirit is testimony: "determined Son of God with power." But He manifested (which note, for He was able, thus the Lord) the Father's name to the men actually given Him. It was not the world, but those whom the Father had given to Him. He manifested the Father's name to them, given out of the world. They were the Father's, and given to Christ. All this of Christ in office.
"And they have kept" not My, but "Thy word." All this is the grace which identifies the disciples with the Father, and Himself their Servant, only given to Him. He did them all service, His competency shown in this, the nature of the service now. But the Son could do it, for it was to reveal the Father. Christ's words, too, were His words. The disciples had kept His word. That was a great point; but that was not all: they had kept the present word, they knew the things given. Here was the blessing: "Thy name"; "Thine they were"; "they have kept thy word." There was nothing short of full blessing. It was not Christ, the Son, short of or separate from the Father. It was His things He had given to His people, even while here in flesh in the world. Christ was not there, in Person and service, separate from the Father. This was the real truth now disclosed; always true, however dull they were to receive it. But, in keeping His, the comfort was they had kept the Father's: "And now," looked at as thus received at His hand, "they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee." They saw, not merely the David excellency and Messiah distinction, but the Father's glory in [the] hands of the Son; that all the things that Christ had given Him of the Father were of the Father, in the competency of the Son to hold. The Father was shown, and it sufficed. Nothing more could be, save the actual glory. They knew that they were really the Father's. It was glorious knowledge.
The Lord all along here was speaking as Man, but asserting therein His unity with the Father. The reason was thus explained. They knew that all Christ's things were of the Father; and the manner of the revelation: "For I have given them the words which thou gavest me." This was the manner of the revelation. And they received them. This was the divine grace; but so in fact they received them as true by Jesus. But they purported to be words from the Father, therefore they knew them to be from Him; and thus the humiliation or assumption of no glory by Christ in Himself was indeed the revelation of all His real glory, though His humiliation was real.
309 We belong to a higher system. If we do not humble ourselves in this, our real belonging to another cannot, will not, come forth. For indeed the real power and consciousness of belonging to another, though not assumed, will make one grieved at, and it impossible to assume, the glory of this where evil is. There is great glory in being content to be humbled. But having received the words which He gave in His Father's name they knew truly and surely that He came out from Him; that was His real association and glory; and that the Father had sent Him, the authority of His mission. They had known One, as seen in Himself, in what He was; they recognised it: as, "Do the rulers know indeed that this is very Christ?" And they had believed; for this was not matter of recognition, but faith that God the Father had sent Him.
Thus known and manifested, having heard His word, and believed in Him that sent Him, and so having eternal life, He asks petitions about them: not about the world; they are not, and could not be, the subject of His petitions. He could not pray for unity as to it, but concerning "those whom thou hast given me; for they are thine." Thus He throws them, by the actings of His love, upon the necessity of the Father's love, and that by their fellowship and union as the Remnant. Then comes out the great truth: there is no distinction in limit, but perfect identity in common interest in all that was thus mutually theirs; and the Son was glorified (another reason for the Father's care over them) in them. They were the Father's, and all the Father's His. His the Father's, and He was glorified in them. And therefore here, besides the glory, the covenant unity, in respect of the Church, and all that was the Father's and the Son's. How blessed and marvellous the love that sent the Son! How rich and unsearchable the grace in which, in the union of the Father and the Son, every available blessing between them becomes available to the Church, because the Father has given them to the Son, and "all of one" is His and theirs! The union and consequent mutual bond, so to speak, in the covenant of the Father and the Son becomes, all of it (as afterwards prayed upon) the available blessing of the Church.
310 There is also most important truth contained in this word, "And all thine are mine, and mine are thine," and as standing counter to all false lights as to the dispensation. But I use it only now for the purpose for which it is used in blessing here. But we must take it as a positive and simple truth. Nor must "I am glorified in them" be left out. It is a great general truth. "They are thine … and I am glorified in them," are two reasons. The other brings out the statement in parenthesis, and this last rightly appends on to the subsequent part of the prayer, for it formed the necessary basis and plea of His praying for them and committing them to the Father in the persuasive plea, "they are thine"; then they prayed for on the great basis of the covenant, being the Father's and the Son's glory, peculiar to themselves; and hence not concerning the world; not thus afterwards in respect of the distinctive consequences; here of the actual relationship of love to themselves in which the Father's issued, and in which in accomplishment the Son would be glorified. Therefore He says, "Holy Father."
But this is the development of all the truth of the covenant, not in which the Church alone is concerned, but the unfolding of the glory of Christ, the love of the Father, all Christ's to be the Father's, having no inferior association, and having the advantage of their situation, and all the Father's Christ's, showing the real and full glory in which He stood as so holding them; Christ the middle point. All that Christ had as sent had the privilege, necessarily, and glory of the Father; that is, of being His; and all the glory and blessing, everything that was the Father's, was His also and so the sheep's glory too; and in them He was to be glorified. And so in some sort they to be brought into all these things common to the Father and the Son, for this community of the Father and the Son is the basis of all security of truth being known.
There was another point bringing out of this as to the state of the Church as the subject of prayer: "And now these are in the world." It was, we know, Messiah with His disciples in the world, but the development of this glorious unity in the Father: "I am no more in the world," etc., "and I come to thee." This was the position of the intercession then; they in the world, Christ not, but He gone to the Father, and now He prayed Him to keep them in His name. He had kept them in His name: for indeed, though called out in a Messiahship presented to the world (that is, the Jews as such), they were called out in the trusting of the Father's name, and so kept for the glory, not for that by the name in which its full character was stamped, "the Father"; not yet knowing its fulness, as we have just seen, but kept in it, and for it about to be revealed, though under the state of Messiah responsibly presented; but seen refusing to be so simply received, but walking as the Son of God, hence tried, exercised, and despised; rejected and tried too in being bruised so from on high, but to rise into the liberty of Sonship, and to call His disciples into it, but they in trial as yet in the world, and He not manifested, and then this their portion in knowledge, and the Father's truth received in the Son's word, and glory meanwhile.
311 And here we have very remarkably and deeply instructively the character of our Lord upon earth, His position, and how and whence led, and the bringing out of the disciples (compare Matthew 5, etc.); the subsequent state of [the] Church, and the Lord's conduct as to publicity while on earth, and so a practical precept for us; for we are not yet manifested, but we are associated with Christ as He with the Father, with the knowledge of the Spirit. But we are in an earthly system, but we walk through no divine earthly system to which we are bound, formed for earth, but spiritual fellowship with the heavenlies; as Christ the hope of glory ("I am no longer," "I come to thee," though "these are") forms just the character of our estate, and thereon our association with the "Holy Father," kept in His name, in which, not in Messiah's, He came, in His Father's name, assuming nothing, as noted. They had been given to Him. He would have been acting not to sent purpose if coming in His own name. He came so entitled, fully and perfectly; but He declined (humbling Himself in this), and kept those who owned Him Son of God in the Father's name. When another comes (to wit, Antichrist) in his own name, him they will receive. It will suit their selfishness. Hence the desolation of the Jews in the latter day. But Christ not in the world is the point of faith. But ascended, and with the Father, He acted acquiescently in that ordained. He kept really in that which was ordained, in a far higher sense now His, and so in patience kept His disciples for it, continually in feebleness turning to the other, and hard to wean from it. This is the only ordained glory, not Christ in the world (which note); and this is the point of faith. This was vital and necessary, not merely an ordained glory as Messiah's was, though that true. Flesh and blood might in a measure reveal the other; the Father alone could do this; and if done before His resurrection it was a special, anticipative act, and so done to the disciples. How specially blessed is this committal by the Son to the Father of these His people whom He knew thus left in the world! This "whom thou hast given" is an important change, and makes the sense, I think, very clear: "That they may be one"; "Keep them in thy name, that they may be one, as we."
312 The Son walked in the Father's name, as really one with Him, and so showing His glory, being outwardly humbled, though concealing it; so, if leaving in covenant revelation and unity in their own real nothingness, they would be kept as one thing. They had no independent existence. They did not belong to this world; they had no place in it, if they were kept in association with the Holy Father; as Christ's unity and union with the Father was shown by His going up there where He was before; and known to the Church so called out they would have this (necessary) unity; for they, as nothing, were known together in Christ as belonging to, as of, the Father, being indeed together vivified by one Spirit, as one life was spiritually the Father's and the Son's; as they were one, so they in one Spirit as into fellowship in Christ, with the Father and the Son, as so one. This is a great glory and mystery, but it is by the one Spirit being the life, and bringing them into this fellowship of the unity of the Father and the Son, known in and by Him in whom they were. Out of this they had no unity.
"Holy Father" was the characteristic of unity, real unity; sons in holiness in Christ, but as, according to this name, the Father kept them as one, verse 11 states the state of the circumstances or case, the consequent committal to the Holy Father, and its operation and result. The Lord now opens out the state of their case more fully in detail, in contrast with their circumstances previously. He delivers up His charge to the Father's hand, having failed in nothing: "While I was with them in the world I kept them in thy name." Of the manner of this we have spoken already. The keeping in the Father's name is the great point in unity, because the unity as known to us of Jesus and the Father is the name of Father and Son, and the Spirit in us is a Spirit of adoption.
313 In the Father's name Jesus had kept them, and He had guarded them Himself, so that none of them was destroyed but the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled; for to this obeying the counsel Jesus was subject. He watched effectually, and when this was done, if bowed in failure, we see the Scripture fulfilled therein. It becomes the occasion of meek obedience; we have not failed. This was perfectly true in Christ; in principle is for us. The joy of the Son was His unity and fellowship with the Father, and now He was going to Him. He was not of the world. It was now evinced in His going to the Father, as true in His soul ever, and this fellowship and their bringing in unity into it as put thus into the Father's hand in the knowledge of His name, and ending in fellowship with Jesus known as gone to the Father.
This identical union in the Father's love, true in Him, communicated to them, gives them His joy (in their like, though unequal, weariness, but His joy). He had also given them the Father's word, not simply His "words," the instrument of their instruction as spoken by Christ in His reception, but the subject matter of the Father's mind expressed: "Thy word." And the consequence was, this being their portion, the world necessarily hated them, because in necessary consequence they were not of the world, as He who was the very expression of that word, Who was, as it were, that word, was not of the world. As being His disciples they were no more of the world than He was. "I do not ask that thou shouldest take them out of the world [though they be not of it], but that thou shouldest preserve them [morally] out of the evil" that was there. Not merely "guard," but "Thou shouldest keep," preserve from it, out of it. This was the request antecedent to, and the foundation of, their earthly manifested unity. A separate people in the world was the character and foundation of the Church; a preserved people, as by the word given; hated of the world.
The former unity was towards God, as given and kept in the Father's name, their own unity mutually in power; this their character (in the word), and so the manifested unity. This is the position, then, of the Church, out of the evil, in unity, knowing the Father. Not out of the world, but out of the evil; its eye with Christ to heaven, hated by the world, having the Father's word from Christ; preserved out of the evil, though in the world. In result they are not of the world, as Christ is not of the world. By virtue therefore of their union with Him, and fellowship in Him, as He by virtue of His divine power and fellowship with the Father, as a matter of fact they are not of it. But there was practical daily sanctification needful for them, to keep them, because of the applicability of their nature to the things of the world around them, from the evil.
314 Now, God the Father's truth is not simply communion with Him, but the application of the principles of His character and revelation in Christ in detail to the circumstances, in contrast to and separation from, discerning separation from, the evil in which they were conversant. Thus they learnt by the evil, though not from it, and were sanctified by the truth, in knowledge of it, to God. That truth was the word of which we have spoken above, the subject matter of the revelation of God the Father in Christ, which put them in contrast and conflict with the world, and sanctified them from it in knowledge; "renewed in knowledge after the image"; so judging all things.
Then, so viewed, separated to God, and from the world as to evil: "As thou hast sent me into, so have I sent them into, the world." They were sent as witnesses of what Christ was, as He of the Father. They were merely sent; then they did not belong to it. They were sent as not belonging to it, as active witnesses of something else of which they bore the record into it, and they being thus sent in, "for their sakes" Jesus thus set Himself apart; in the world exhibited the power and character of complete separation to God, so that by the perfect exhibition of the truth in Him they might be spiritually sanctified. As He exhibited the pattern in power, so as the risen Head He became the source of the conformity formally: "Know him," says the apostle, "and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death," the full extent of our sanctification in truth to God from evil, "for he that is dead is free from sin." Jesus set Himself thus definitely apart. He did not merely come and do certain kind things, but He passed through the whole course of evil apart from it in power, and so that we might be sanctified in truth by the truth in Him, "the truth," as the apostle uses it, "as it is in Jesus" (see the passage). This was the pattern, example, and the power shown.
315 But while they were thus the primary objects He did not pray for them alone, but for those who should believe on Him through their word, that they may be all one, their union into identity with them by the one Spirit. The Father was in Him by a divine unity; for, save physically, things cannot be one else properly. He was in the Father by a divine unity, yet He was a Man; showing thus the form and power of our union with the Father and the Son. And this is still by the divine Spirit dwelling in us quickened into union with Jesus. But this is the portion of the saints, and is practically so when the Spirit is present in power. But their portion is one in, as one in spiritual acquaintance with, the Father and the Son. It is [not] merely one as by the divine Spirit dwelling in them corporately one with another, but one in actual fellowship, union in spiritual knowledge of the Father and the Son, one in us as so known as one, by the communion of the same Spirit; and yet so known as the Father and the Son by virtue of His manifestation, and the Church's knowledge of the Son by the [Spirit] come from the Father, by revealing unity of the Spirit, as of the Father by the Son, revealed and had communion with Him, and now it is Him actually known. It is known by those that have it. It flows from the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, the Son, and the Father in Him; and in knowing Him in the Father our knowledge of unity in both, our knowledge of the Father, simple in individuality; this spoken of before in "Holy Father," of the Son in the depth of the covenant, and thence in this fellowship of unity as to both the Father and the Son (compare Matthew 11:27). And in this united common acquaintance of the Father and the Son, and unity thereby, is the world's witness: "that the world may believe."
The power of the word in identifying those who were total strangers with the preachers ("shall believe through their word"), making them one in the Father and the Son, in them as one, planting them (once strangers) into the same unity in the power of divine and common unity, was evidence that He in whose name these things were wrought really was sent of the Father. The same unity, being produced in all that believed, was evidence of the divine power that accompanied it of the mission of Christ. The unity in the Son and the Father proved who the Son was, and so His mission. The glory of Sonship in rejected humiliation was Christ's glory upon earth. But it was more than this; for the thing itself was given. Christ had power to give what was given. This remarkably illustrates the supreme, and yet in His place, trusting and receiving position in which as Man He stood: "The glory which thou gavest me." The Holy Father's name, the unity of the Father and the Son, sanctified into conformity to the sanctified One known by the truth, was the previously spoken power of unity, now the glory.
316 Our Lord had sanctified Himself, set Himself apart for their sakes, showing the truth of righteousness with God. In His power, thus sanctified and separated to Him, they became by Him acquainted, in the knowledge of His unity with the Father, with the power of unity as to whoever was brought into it. But then it ended not here, because the consequent result of glory hung on it; that is, in the Person of Jesus; and then He, the Son, gives to them the glory given to Him. This constitutes the full power of unity. When I say "them," this is the position they are brought into; the glory is given to us. Here is the great triumph and blessing. Christ gives it, but it is His glory, the glory which is the display of divine fulness in Him; given of the Father for the display of all the fulness; for He shall come in His Father's glory, in His own, and of the holy angels; and He shall be glorified in the saints, and admired in all them that believe. How could they but be one when they have this portion where they have their very being by the glory being theirs, so that they are but in individual nothingness as in the glory, the glory which is the Son's, together? This is what they are in God's mind, therefore they are one: "That they may be one, as we are one." For the Father and Son being one are one in the glory, perfectly so, absolutely so. With us in the glory, so our blessing; as to them their independent existence, though still each knowing it.
Believers are made one, made one as in the glory. The glory makes them one, as the unity of the Father and the Son makes the glory, and, [He] being incarnate, we are brought by the gift of and association with the Son into the glory so given to Him, which fact gave them fellowship with Him in that which, as to Him, was that which He had with the Father before the world was. Not that the given glory was essential glory; for Christ had the double glory, the glory with the Father before the world was, and given of love in covenant place which He had in virtue of His humiliation, redemption glory. Into this we are brought, but into fellowship with Him who had the other. Therefore He says, "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected in one." Verse 22, it is clear to me, in full relates to future glory; and though it ought to be comparatively so now by the energy of the Spirit, then will they be fully perfected in one, the Father in Christ (in glory), and Christ in them. When all the saints have the glory this will be the case, for this actually takes them out of the occasion of disunion. The other end of it is that the world may know that the Father sent the Son, and loved them as He loved Him.
317 We may remark that it is not here "believe," as in verse 21, but "know"; and then, when the glory is, the world will know that the Father has loved them as Jesus, for it will be manifested in the giving of glory, the same glory. There may be measure of realisation of the power of the glory, and so known; but this is only relatively in witness, and not properly. Thus the Lord is said to manifest forth His glory, and His disciples believed on Him; and this might be in a measure true with Peter and Paul, and the like, but not in the proper sense of the thing itself; for our Lord had not then the glory, but says, "Now glorify thou me," etc. So rather of us. But then the world will know. It is as far as it was Jesus' in the world. The Church had occasion to show forth the pattern of it as to personal conduct.
But it behoves us ever to remember that the connection of the Church is with Christ risen, and the glory which is His consequently; and hence the power which it showed was witness, not simply of what He was divinely upon earth, but of His risen glory, and pre-eminence over the creature, and the power of Satan in it; and hence He even could properly give the glory actually given Him, but in resurrection. And then the extent of the Father's love to the saints, now despised by the world, will be manifested to the world. Then they are perfected, all being now brought together into one, "that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and that thou hast loved them, as thou hast loved me," which is the consequence in blessed fulness, the world now knowing its full blessing, and they who were rejected shown to be loved as Jesus in the glory given to Him, and so shown accordingly. The manner and basis is spoken of differently. The former was their communion in the knowledge of the Father and of the Son; and therefore the Lord says, "As thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us." This is the Church's portion. "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." Now it is "I in them, and thou in me." This is the order and manifestation in the glory, the Father manifested in the Son, He being in His glory, and He glorified in the saints who are in His, in which all the rest follows, which could not be till then properly. Thus the prayer embraces the whole condition of the saints. I say not in what measure of manifestation it may be meanwhile, for it is written, "I have given." He is exalted.
318 First, from verses 11 to 20, their condition as set in the Father's care. Verse 19 is more His exalted state, and properly His exalted state, not His humiliation. Then verses 20, 21, the actual fellowship of the Church as knowing the Father and Son, so sanctified into the glory, and His Person known properly and fully therein. Then the gift in result, giving them the glory given Him, and its result. Verse 22 states what is given them, not the place where it is enjoyed. It is therefore the positive portion of the Church in the love of Jesus exalted. Its partaking is a matter of prerogative certainty in the due and appointed time.
The other point follows to the end of verse 21, that is, "demand," what Christ was presenting to the Father concerning the Church then, is a great fact: "I have given them the glory which thou gavest me." I have given it to them: this was manifested, through faith. Power more properly flows from His Person, which is not the glory given in humiliation, afterwards in universal dominion and glory. So in measure in us. The world had accordingly despised them; but then it was to be seen that the Father had loved Christ's people, even as Jesus, in Jesus' care.
Then comes what the Lord's own desire and delight is, His wish: "That they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am"; when the world is to learn "that thou didst send me"; just these that received Me, "where I am," "with me." They had tasted His humiliation, and were to see His glory. The world indeed despised and hated Him, and despised His disciples. But this was a thing much prior to the world, a thing (even the Father's covenant love to Jesus, to the Son), paramount to all the world's thoughts and interests: "Thou lovedst me," and I must have these, whom this poor, fallen world rejects, "with me" there, for My happiness, even in that glory which thou didst thus prepare for Me, that they may see what really belonged to Me, though the world despised Me, and they knew My reproach. It was a counsel antecedent to, paramount to, the world. He was not praying for the world now, but for the identification of that, the disciples and believers with the glory which was above it, setting out the whole Church's position, up to fellowship according to His own desires, and for His glory, in that according to His love. This was His "will," His delight.
319 Then comes, hanging on the last words of verse 24, it is not only the delight of Christ's love, the body's identification with Him in that which was the fruit of the Father's love to Him before the foundation of the world, and into which He had now brought them, but it is now, as things then stood, a matter of righteousness; not now "Holy Father," confer these blessings, but "Righteous Father." Here is the state of the case. "The world hath not known thee," so proved in their rejection of Christ, and the Father in Him. This was the cardinal hinge as to the actual state of the matter in Christ's glory. "The world hath not known thee; but I have known thee; and these have known that thou hast sent me."
Foolish world! with all its self-importance, [it] crucified Him whom the Father loved before its own foundation, and merely because it was ignorant of the Father as well as Him. What, then, did it know? Not itself, surely; no, nor yet the Spirit of truth when it testified of these things. It counts itself wise simply because it is ignorant; but unto them who are called there is One "who of God is made wisdom."
Little indeed did our Lord enjoy of His proper glory in such a world. It was in the sense of this, as the Man Christ Jesus, that our Lord here appeals to His righteous Father; suggesting, if I may so speak, in the spirit of prayer, as entering into His presence, where His own soul had refuge, that they had indeed known Him. Nothing more. It was, as it were, a vindication of His own glory, universally in right to be acknowledged, and thus giving ground for the pouring out of His spirit in humiliation, entering into glory in the access of His deepest separation. "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son." "But I have known thee; and these have known that thou hast sent me." And note how He transfers the privileges to those to whom He had made known the Father, who had owned His mission from the Father: "And will declare it; that the love," etc. So that it is given to say, "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God," etc. This opening out of our Lord's feelings is worthy of the deepest study.
320 But I say, I measure not the measure of manifestation. "We see through a glass darkly"; but the things we see are the glory. We sit in heavenly places in Christ, though not actually, as in verse 24, with Him. The glory which we have now, perhaps a reproach, is the glory that remaineth. We have it not in glory, but what we have is to menon eudoxee. We are partakers of the glory that shall be revealed, and in our union with Jesus by the Spirit we have fellowship with the glory, moral power, though not yet revealed; but the result is "where I am." In this we return to chapter 14:3, and know that it is upon the coming of Christ.
There are two points: the world will know then the mission of Jesus, and love to the Church. As to Him being where He is, their delight after all will be in dwelling on His glory: "may behold." And then will be manifested in glory the love wherewith He was loved before the foundation of the world, and we in it. As to the Church, "Holy Father"; but, now manifested "Righteous Father," He would so deal even now distinctively upon this love to Christ, Immanuel. "The world hath not known thee." Before the foundation of it Jesus was loved, and it did not know the Father. The distinctive treatment was therefore just. Love in Him had been manifested to it, as in this gospel. Chapter 3:16-17 and following is thus connected with verse 24.
- 25. "But I have known thee." He speaks of Himself as thus separate from the world in it. "And these have known" (the commencing point of vital union) "that thou hast sent me." Verse 25 a justifying reason, as verse 24 contains the blessed purpose of love in Christ. Having received Christ as sent of the Father, the consequence followed. His revelation was received and efficient. He, Jesus, declared the Father's name to them; not an idle work, but an effectual revelation of Him in that relationship. He had done so in life; He would do so in resurrection. The same thing indeed, but now effectual in its character: "That the love" (that is, the Father's, with which He had loved Him) might be in them, and He in them.
Declaring the Father's name was indeed putting them in the place of sons, partially in life, vitally in power. His constant work now being so, they stood in that relation in which the Father was perfect towards them. The love wherewith the Father loved Him was in them, for Christ's revelation of sonship (which note) was the real communication of bringing in fellowship with Himself. It was giving the communion of sonship, as He says therefore, "May be in them, and I in them." Thus He dwelt in them in the power of known sonship; for it is not here, note, as before, "that the world may know." That was the giving of the glory; this externally is manifested as by the glory; but now the general present position of the Church as informed by Christ in contrast with the world, as brought into fellowship with Him by this following His word in indwelling sonship, the love in them wherewith the Father (the righteous Father) had loved Him, and He also. This was the general and characteristic state of the Church, as the previous points had been its successively developed characteristics (v. 11), by the "Holy Father" kept one in their actual relationship in fellowship with the Son; still ever true. Secondly, as called in by the Spirit, and so as "Thou in me" and "I in you," known by the Spirit separate from the world, one in them. This is communion by the Spirit; then the glory by which manifested to the world; thus characteristically the given state of the Church in the disciples. Verse 26 is a blessed and distinct verse. It is a blessed and glorious chapter, and yet full of simple truth.
321 Before we turn to the facts which follow we would turn a little to the order which precedes. We have seen the closing moral rejection of Jesus in chapters 8 and 9, manifested in word and deed. In chapter 10 consequently we have what concerns the sheep, and the unity of the Father and Him in this purpose, their rejection of Him in this character. Then the open manifestation before the nation that He was this, in the power in which He could have brought in blessing. Then the deliberate rejection to death of the Prince of Life; but so the purpose of God brought in. This by the public authorities, who should receive and understand. Then the developing apostasy in Judas (see on Psalm 109). The manifestation, but for their rejection, of His preparedness; received, to fulfil all their hopes; praise fulfilled out of the mouth of babes and sucklings; riding King of the Jews. All things prepared on the part of God; the Gentiles ready to come in, as chapter 12:31. All this belonged to His character abstractedly; that is, as not involving death.
322 The Lord then states the necessity of His death, and that His disciples must follow Him therein. But it was the judgment of the world withal, and of the prince of it; and the attractive character and power of Christ was by His death, rejected out of this world, not accepted in it. This was the point that brought the Jews to their bearing. "Messiah abideth ever," how then "lifted up"? The warning to them. Verse 35, a little while the light with them, but they in very deed walking in blindness, verses 38-40 showing their now real state. Then returning to the consequent position of the world, though rejected in the Jews in His place, as of or in the world. The Son with the Father, and so believers on Him believers on the Father. "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in me should not abide in darkness." Gentile and Jew were both in it now, and He being rejected of the world. Here His proper new sphere in which He called the Church came out; and this He opens out in its moral power to the close of the chapter, and what the reception or rejection of Him really was individually. Then follows, consequent upon His final rejection and cutting off through Judas, His service as to the Church. First His continuous love to His own in the world to the end. Then His ministerial office in service of the brethren, priestly in its character, and their place with one another. He knew whom He had chosen. Then the ministration of present communion under this. The absence of the Lord, and their strength meanwhile in their love to one another. Natural life could not follow a rejected Christ. Then from chapters 14 to 17 comes the whole position of the Church in Christ ascended on high till the close, all that belonged to them therein, as in union with Him, distinctly and fully brought out: chapter 14, their general state of relinquishment, and position under it; chapter 15, their mystic Church union, not merely vital, in the Christ as the True Vine, the only faithful One found; the state of the old branches; the witness in them and by them; the expediency, chapter 16, of His departure, and the coming and witness and work of the Holy Ghost; His return; their state toward the Father, and their real whole state because of which His mission really was; the inability of the flesh to walk in His steps to the Father; nevertheless He had overcome the world; chapter 17 the intercession for them, and putting them, of His Priesthood and office, in their right place, and then in the glory; that is, showing it as their known portion.
323 It is very much to be noticed how it is the Father's word that is spoken of in John 17. The Father and the world (as long ago remarked) are in specific opposition. They have the Father's word, that which reveals a whole state and order of things of Him, according to His presence, His affections, His house, of which Christ the Son is the centre; and the world hates those who hear it. Their place and relationship with the Father are the Son's. They are not of the world, as He was not; even if in it. The Father's word is truth, and by that they were to be sanctified. The world is vanity and a lie; they are formed in affection and heart by the Father's revelation; but Christ especially is this, the centre and central object of the Father's house. So He sanctifies Himself, sets Himself apart to this place as Man, Son with the Father, that what was in Him might, as possessing their affections, set them thus apart to what was of the Father.
Hence, also, those brought in by their word were to be one in the Father, and the Son one in us; the Father delighting in the Son, and in Him; the Son in the Father, and in Him. Nothing could be more absolute there. They were thus fully brought into communion with both; and, living in the Father's blessedness (contrasted with the world), where Christ was the Son, were to be one in them, no two thoughts, but one; no two objects; no two delights; no two joys; they were to be one in that blessedness of the Father's delight and fulness, of which Christ is the centre, and the filling object; even as, in the lower order of the glory of the heavenly city, "the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb was the light thereof."
More completely John 14. Christ is the object of faith; not with them. But He goes to prepare a place for them, and comes again to receive them to Himself, that where He is they may be. He has revealed the Father in Himself, and so they know where He is going, and the way. Then by the Comforter they know they are in Him, and He in them.
In obedience He manifests Himself to them when and as not to the world. His Father and He dwell with those that keep His word. Besides, for this He leaves peace with them; gives them His peace. They are not to be troubled and afraid. Then more particulars of detail are in it for them especially. Asking anything in His name they had it. The Comforter brought all things to their remembrance. Loving Him they would be glad He went to His Father. The Lord had now closed His present relationship with the disciples as a Remnant connected with the Jews, and gets up, and leaves that association: "Arise, let us go hence." Fatal word for Israel! He had shown it, anticipatively, in getting up from supper, in view of His priestly action in chapter 13; but He had not done it historically. Then He sat down again.
324 Hence in the following chapter (15) He declares that Israel is not the true vine at all. He is the True Vine, and the professing disciples (then the eleven) are the branches. But note here He states the general truth: "I am the true vine … Every branch in me." Then He affirms a particular truth: "Already ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Thereafter He distinguishes them and the general truth, verses 3-5; clean disciples, verse 6, "If a man"; verse 7, "If ye"; and then, "My words abide in you," etc. Thus we get Christ, as the True Vine, supplanting Israel, as in Isaiah 49, and then the Holy Ghost come when He was away. They had a testimony, and were to abide and continue. The Holy Ghost would bring down His own testimony from heaven, while (according to chapter 14) helping them also in theirs. This completes this part.
Chapter 17. He unfolds, as we have often seen, their whole place with the Father and with the world, and at last (v. 24) shows their true place in heaven, and the Father's love while we are here; but, note the word, sanctifies them through, not the, but Thy truth. It is the Father's truth they were to be sanctified by, that revelation of the heavenly state and what Christ is as Head of the new creation before the Father, what is conformed to the counsels of God as before the world, and the new glory in which Christ was with Him, His Father; theirs according to His own nature, and which is brought out in what is heavenly, as a system displayed before Him, according to those counsels.
Christ was this as a Man on earth, but it could not be received there. We enter into it as setting, through the revelation of the Holy Ghost, our affections on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. This was before the world existed. So the promise of eternal life was given us in Christ Jesus before the world. It was manifested in Christ's Person in the world, if men could see it (so far as they did they saw and hated it). It is established in Christ now as Man at His Father's right hand; and will be in full display and result when the heavenly company are complete before God in heaven. Hence the world is always in opposition to the Father. We are not of the world, as Christ was not, but sanctified by this truth, the Father's truth.
325 All through this part of John the way in which this rejection of Christ has thrown the world in evident opposition to all that we are brought into, to the Father, is very remarkable. It is a rejected,outcast system; condemned; judged; never to see Christ as there in it, if connection had been possible. Again, the Holy Ghost is the testimony, because it is down here witness that Christ is rejected, and received by the Father. Such a view of Christianity makes a total opposition as to place and walk with all that connects it with this world. The striving of the Spirit in us is against the flesh, for it is simply evil (born of flesh; born of Spirit, spirit), but it is co-ordinate with the world; and so is law, which the Spirit sanctions, but supplants as the power of the new creation. But this by the by.
The point here is the world (grown up according to flesh) away from God, and the new creation, and to us, but really, in Christ, glory (who is also eternal life according to this) before ever the world was, and now rejected by the world, so as that the breach and contrast is irremediable, re-connection impossible; realised in Christ's Person, as Man entered into glory; brought to us in faith by the Holy Ghost sanctifying us thus (compare 2 Corinthians 3), by the Father's truth fulfilled in the new creation, when we shall be taken into the glory, and like Him. This was before the world existed, and is the mind of God as to man, and what is to be in result in man, and all subordinated creation before Him. John 17 gives it fully.
- Chapters 15 and 16 are dispensational dealings in time, conformable to it in respect of Israel, as of the old thing (also disowned), and Christians.
- Chapter 14 shows us Christ's revelation of it when on earth, and the Spirit's showing us we are in Him where He is entered personally into it, and how far it is realised in obedient ones now.
- Chapter 13. He maintains us in daily fitness and competency for it.
326 When Christ's death came in it was the judgment of this world. He was witnessed Son of God through Lazarus' resurrection into this world, and the Father glorified; Son of David in riding in; but when He is to take the place of Son of Man (which He was in Person) He sees He must take it (if man was to be thus brought in) by death, and so have Psalm 8. If Psalm 2 was in a certain sense possible when in flesh (not really so) this could not be. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground, and die. This He sees in all its gravity, but submits, and seeks the Father's glory, and then sees the judgment of this world, and its prince cast out; and He were thus the attractive centre for man.
But this was at the basis of the matter. It is personally and dispensationally considered in chapters 14-16, and fully brought out, yet as to the disciples then, and us as in this world in chapter 17, or displayed in glory in it; only verse 24 makes us enter into the cloud to enjoy what was before the world in the glory of the Son loved then. This is brought into our hearts now. The heavenly character of what the Lord was leading them into has come far more forcibly before me as referring to, and connected with, what was before the world, and in opposition to what was in the world, and Judaism, too, than ever; not as a new principle, but as distinct in perception.
I return to put a little more complete the end of John in order. Chapter 11, Son of God in resurrection for this world. Chapter 12, the little Remnant who entered into the consciousness of the rising hatred of the world. His place as Son of David. Then, as Son of Man, as taking the heathen, He must die, and His disciples follow Him in the same spirit down here. But the world is judged, the prince of this world cast out. He, as crucified, rejected from, lifted up from, the earth, is to be the attractive centre for all. (Giving up what we have for God is getting more according to His own power.) In chapter 13 as He now must depart from them, He having fitted them by regeneration essentially for being with Him, maintains it as to communion, He having all from the Father, and going to God according to His nature, as He had come from Him. But this is morally made good in the cross, in which all that God is is glorified, and so [is] the Son of Man in doing it. The disciples in flesh could not follow Him there, more than the Jews; but they were to love one another. The pretension of flesh to do it only led to denial of Him, when it was tested; a solemn lesson.
327 Then He shows (chap. 14) that where He was going to had been manifested on earth (an important point as to much of His mission and what is said of it), for He was going to the Father. Hence "the way"; as coming to Him they found the Father. But when He was gone they would know more that they were in Him in that place, and He in them, and know that He was in the Father. He does not say the Father in Him; that was more manifestation on earth. Thus, besides their practical state, the full association with the heavenly thing was now taught. Hence He calls them to arise, gets up from His place of being with them here below, and leaves that. By the Spirit in obedient ones He shows Himself, and the Father and He make their abode with a man.
Now He shows that Israel had not been even the true vine of promise. Thus not only sinful man, and any connection of God with him, was set aside, but all fleshly religion and connection with God. He was the True Vine. They were to abide in Him. If His words abode in them too they could use His power; and they were to abide in His love. This even disappeared literally, but not in its analogy, nor in its power. As to the Jews, they had no more any cloak; and, in fact, they had both seen and hated both Him and His Father, They would be witnesses as having been with Him.
The other point here, and for the heavenly part and glory of Christ, was that the Comforter would come. He would show the world's state, righteous against and out of it, and its judgment; Satan being its prince, and judged. He would reveal to them the heavenly Christ. They would be in direct relationship with His Father in this state of things. They had believed He came out from God. He had come from the Father, and returned to Him, leaving the world. This closed the communications.
In chapter 17 He puts them in their whole place relative to the Father and to the world. And now they were set apart to the heavenly thing; and, being not of the world, were sent into it. Finally, that they were actually with Him when He was going into what He had as loved before the world. Meanwhile this love, as applied to Christ, would be in them; He being in them to draw it there, so to speak
328 This leads me to dwell on another point: how the Church, and our election in Christ also, is so very distinctly put forward as not of but before the world. Christ was life. Christ, as Son, was with the Father in His own glory before the world was; and in Him, as to the counsels of God, the Church was set up, and we had the promise of eternal life in Him before the world existed, and we were chosen in Him then. There was no world, or system of the world, in being then. He who was this life, and manifested the Father, came into the world.
Nor was this all. The world had departed from God. The elect, in themselves, all who now or yet may form the Church, were like all men in the world, of it, as regards life and nature, children of like nature with the first Adam. In this position, and according to this relationship, we were responsible. Then we were mere lawless sinners; or, the law having been given as the perfect measure of this state as it is, breakers of it. But all that belongs to the world state and creature condition. The rule was elevated morally, and was the perfection of a creature with God in its own responsibility, what was its perfection. But the world had departed wholly from relationship with God in it, and if they had the law had broken it. Nor was this all. The Father was manifested in it in goodness in Christ; perfect goodness, and towards and in man, "good pleasure in men." The Father was declared, revealed; revealed, adapted to, presented to, man. Man entirely rejected it as man, elect and all, without difference; and Christ dies, and leaves it, and takes as Man His heavenly place and glory He had before the world was, what was before the world in His Person, and in the counsel and mind of God as to the Church in Him; now, however, heavenly, in the sense of man being there, and actual setting up. The Man of eternal counsel is the heavenly Man; the world, the intermediate thing, being judged, condemned, and done with. Christ had come (from and manifesting the Father) into it; was rejected, and it was condemned; and the Church, which was known and in purpose before the world existed, was brought actually out in connection with the heavenly Man, the true Man and Eternal Life, Christ, the centre of all God's purposes.
He had glorified God as to the intermediate and responsible thing; not only personally in His life, in which He was alone, but in respect of sin and sinners on the cross; so that the glory of God was also fully brought out, as indeed it could not have been otherwise. And He takes His place as Man in virtue of both the title of His Person and God's righteousness as to His work. So John 17. But there the counsel of God, His object and delight before there was a world at all, comes out too. The Church is united to Him, as in heaven, by the Holy Ghost, and the universe itself is to be put under the risen and now heavenly ascended Man, with the Church associated with Him as His body and bride. Hence all that takes Christians back to the world, to the law, to all that flesh has its part in, takes them back to the system they were redeemed out of. That they do not, and as in Christ, never belonged to at all; the law being the measure of responsibility in it, the intermediate system antecedent to which the Church had its place with God, before the very sphere in which mortal man has had being existed; the Church which God has now set up actually in the heavenly place into which Christ has entered, when the man or Adam sphere, the world, has rejected Him, not knowing the Father.
329 Under this Man and the Church the world will be. But we are not of it, as Christ was not of it, but of the Father, and now gone to Him, Man with Him, and we in Him. Of this the Holy Ghost is the revealer and the power, uniting us with the Head. But the law as a true measure, fleshly religion and its ordinances, the attempt to regulate the world, all belong to the Adam system, though the first be God's rule for it, not the Christian; it is going back to it, the beggarly elements. This it is that Paul insists on, the Church's place connected with redemption, the divine place of the Son before the world, with which (as now made good and returned into) the Church is connected with the Holy Ghost. It is true of life, life and incorruptibility being brought to light by the gospel; only this life existed, before the world was, in Christ; hence has in itself been true all through; whereas the heavenly Man, Man in heaven, and the Church raised up, and in Him there, did not and could not exist in fact; for He was not there as Man.
But in what a place this puts the sticklers for law, and those who insist on influence in the world for the Christian! No doubt the law is perfect; but they are putting man back, out of Christ on high, into the system of the world and Adam responsibility. John is just as clear as Paul as to eternal life and Christ's place, but he does not treat the question of the Church. Paul was made the minister of that. Hence Paul would not know Christ after the flesh; that is, Christ as connected with the world, come to it in connection with men's Adam existence, in which Judaism was the testing form, and hence in His Jewish connection, to which He had offered Himself, and had been rejected. Hence, while fully owning Him as the fulfilment of promise (even as to this only in resurrection) he would only know Him as He had been revealed to him, the glorious Christ who had taken His place, really His own, but as Man, according to the eternal thoughts of God before the world in which man, as responsible creation, was tested. Hence our conversation is to be in heaven, and our life the display of that of Christ. This is the mystery (Ephesians 1 as a whole) of Christ; as to its form down here, Ephesians 3. So Christ hope of glory in Gentiles (Col. 1).
330 I fear I have given this confusedly and feebly; but the subject is of first-rate practical importance; it alters the whole nature and character of Christianity, and enters into every detail of life. Am I a living man, a child of Adam? or have I died and risen, so as to belong to a heavenly Christ, drawing life from Him, and having to display that, not take the law for my guide, as still alive in the flesh? This put down flesh; dropped Judaism, which was in it; revealed the Father; shows we are in Christ (who is in heaven), and He in us. This shows the Church now wholly heavenly, as suited to the heavenly Man, the fulfiller in fact and object of pre-worldly desires, thoughts, with which the world can have nothing to do. It did not exist when they were in God's mind, and so the Church cannot belong to it; yea, exists as composed of those redeemed out of it, and connected wholly with the rejected and ascended heavenly Christ. The world is "this present evil world." The two great points are eternal life and the Church; connected with Christ as Son and as Man set far above all principalities, etc., in heavenly places. The Church exists only in connection with Him. With the former part the opposition of the Father and the world, of which John speaks; for in the world of this creation the Son revealed the Father, and the world did not know Him, would not have Him. But what and who He thus was He has been transferred, and as Man, where that glory is at home, heaven, the Father's house, and there the Church is united with Him through the Holy Ghost; as, as individuals, we have our heart and home there, expecting Him to come and take us there. Where has the Church got? What is the putting it under law?
331 Note here how the manifestation of the Father in Christ stands in connection with the heavenly thing, though the disciples could not know it by the Spirit of adoption as themselves in connection with it. But what was manifested in Him was the Father Himself; hence the apostle: "Whom none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
Note, in practice as to this, what is said: "We are clear from the law." We have not ceased to exist, but we have been nullified (vernichtet, annulled) as regards, cease to have any existence, as to law; my existence is annulled (Rom. 7:6, flowing from verse 4). Then on the other hand Galatians 5:4: "Ye are deprived of all profit from the Christ whosoever of you are justified by law." So death: "Who has annulled death," 2 Tim. 1:10.
The first two are very remarkable in their contrast. The law is not annulled, but we from it as dead in Christ; we are no longer thus alive as in the nature in which we were of this world, children of Adam. On the other hand, if we turn back to this, we turn back to life in the world and flesh. Thus the two things being contradictory we nullify ourselves as regards Christ, do not exist as and in connection with the risen and ascended Christ, who is out of the world. Hence, too, what is heavenly, what is Christ, is necessarily the cross down here.
Chapter 17. It is not only blessedly true that we are a common object to the Father and the Son, but that Christ's, the Son's, interest is entirely in what belongs to the Father. This was His perfect place: "I pray for them; for they are thine." But this is part of the great truth that, while everywhere one with the Father, He in John takes the place of subjection and receiving (though He were Son). This is a very striking feature of this gospel, and of the Person of the Lord as with us; and even as to the truth (God is not the truth; He is the subject of it), though the truth be a thing in itself which the word tells, yet when applied to us. Christ sanctifies Himself, that we may be sanctified by the truth. Grace and truth came by Him; and now He sanctifies Himself, that it may be realised in us: "Which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth." God is true, but not the truth.
332 But other things are opening in the chapter, besides those heretofore found. What characterises John's gospel in the most peculiar manner is the Son's being equal with the Father, one with Him, and yet at the same time subject to Him as Son upon earth; all His language that of equal with Him, yet doing nothing without Him; all in obedience, receiving all now. Evidences of this run through from the first chapter all on. Now, this is the case here. He is (though just going; the hour come) speaking in the world; and His disciples (save verse 24) looked at as in it. All the unities then are in the world, though the last be in glory. But the first is as the state from which the activity parts, not the activity itself; that begins verse 14. The Lord there looks that they may be one, "as we." Now, He is on earth, but one with the Father. Hence, through unity of nature and divine union in the Godhead, He has the purposes, objects, thoughts, way of feeling, seeing (to speak with human language), the same mind with the Father. He takes the place of service, but is one with the Father: "All mine are thine, and thine are mine." He looks for this for the apostles according to their places; not only one morally, as partakers of the divine nature, but through the Holy Ghost one and the same in all; and as filled with Him they should have complete unity, the Spirit being the source of a divine oneness in all their thoughts, mind, purposes, and way of thinking and feeling, as flowing from, and the mind given by, the Holy Ghost; several persons, but one in the Holy Ghost. Paul could say, "We have the mind of Christ" (the "nous").
If all had this they were one; yet as receiving, of course, in their case, and in the place of service; but it was the mind for service that, as I said, comes in verse 14. In verse 21, as heretofore observed, those who believed through them are brought in, and it is in communion, not in the power that goes forth: "one in us." The same divine power of the Holy Ghost, but leading to this union in fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (compare 1 John 1:3); one in worshipping, and conscious dwelling in God; for fellowship is also common thoughts, joys, feelings, mind, as to all we are occupied with. Only, as is manifest, all the fulness of this is in the Father and in the Son. We are in it to delight and worship and adore.
333 It is another thing to have the secret of the Lord, and go forth with it in power; yet here with no pretension, for in this unity it is common to all; yet hence evidently divine, for for fellowship one with another we must be in the light, as God is. The last is evident in the display in glory: "I in them, and thou in me" is the form it takes. The glory is the same. Still in it the Son displayed the Father, and He will be displayed in us; but then for that it must be the same glory, His glory, or He is not displayed; and then perfectly in result. They are kept in the name in which Christ knew the Father. They are kept in immediate relationship as children with the Father, and in the holiness of the divine nature; and so in the power of the Holy Ghost are one, nothing diverse entering in.
John 17 is a very remarkable chapter, not only for the rich food saints have long found in it, but for the place it puts the disciples in in connection with that Christ Himself was in (partly noticed in a previous paper in this volume). If we take the true reading to be "whom thou hast given me" (v. 9), as it seems all do (changed, doubtless, because they could not understand it) this becomes still more evident.
We have seen the special place of Christ in this gospel, one with the Father; God; the Word; but more, when the actual, present, concrete fact is brought forward, the Word is made flesh, and dwelt among us, was the Shechinah amongst us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of an only begotten para patros ("with a father"); von Sieten des Vaters (from the side of a father). He represented the Father. He who had seen Him had seen the Father. The Father dwelt in Him, as He was always divinely in the Father. So John 1:18; chap. 3:13; chap. 14:20. But this is the other side of the truth, the divine side, so to speak. He stood there, however, recipient as Man, now and in glory (though He had had it before the world was). The Son represented Him personally, as He was in Him, and declared Him, as in His bosom, yet Son down here in Manhood. Words, glory, life, all is named; and so the Son is seen in John, though with reference to His eternal Sonship, in which He was one with the Father. "He hath given the Son to have life in himself"; "the words which thou gavest me," and so on.
334 Now, the first unity in John 17 is connected with this: "Keep them in thy name" (that is, "Holy Father") "which thou hast given to me." Now, it is not that Christ was called Father, but that this blessed Man, the Lord from heaven, the Son, bore and presented that name (not Himself; the Father would glorify Him, He the Father), glorified it; He that had seen Him had seen the Father; had manifested this name to the men given to Him out of the world; would have them go directly to the Father, as themselves sons (of course in His name; that was the very power of it); so, "Because ye are sons, God hath put the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
This name, then, the Father had given to Him. All He did was in it, as He came in His Father's name. (The band came from the chief priests, and acted, not for themselves in anything, but wholly in the name of, and their actings were the actings of, the chief priests.) "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." This was direct; the disciples clearly through Him, but as kept directly by the Father, whom they now knew: "Keep in thine own name which thou hast given me," and in which they were thus directly kept in immediate relationship and as conscious sons in communion, as filled with the Holy Ghost. Only the Son now, who once had kept them in the Father's name, now went up as Man ("I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee") into the glory He had with the Father before the world was, so as to be objectively with the Father, with whom He was always one. "I come to thee"; and they stood in His place, kept by the "Holy Father," in the name given to Christ to make good, and which He had made good at all cost and perfectly in His Person in the world; and by this they were to be one.
"Thine are mine, and mine are thine," and He now, Christ the Son in Manhood, was now to be glorified in them in the power of the Holy Ghost, who was the Spirit of sonship, hence of association with Christ, [the] Son; but directly with the Father, because they were sons, and represented Him whom the Father would glorify. And as they knew the Father, so the Holy Ghost took the things of Christ, and showed them to them. And all that the Father had was His, not as Christ, but as Son; more, "All that thou hast given me is of thee"; that is, the Father, not Jehovah, and He accounted as such. Thus they, representing Christ, would be one (in the power of the Holy Ghost), kept in the name given to Christ in this world; that is, to hear, reveal, and glorify by acting for it and its glory in everything. They were to glorify Christ, but then Christ bearing this name, as come in His Father's name; yet all that was the Father's His, and His the Father's; those He had specifically given Him by the Father; for all here is received, and the Father glorified by Him, and He to present them along with Himself (for we have not union here), "the Firstborn among many brethren."
335 Now, the first disciples were to carry this work on in this world; and as Christ, always in communion with His Father in His work, revealed Him, and carried His name before the world, so they would His Father's, and the Son's, the knowledge of which is life eternal. Being wholly this and in this, by and according to the power of the Holy Ghost, they were one (only in grace by the Holy Ghost); as we are in their place of service, and as led by the Holy Ghost. That was their place, though receiving all.
Now, the Lord directly connects it all with what He had, before the world was, with the Father, both at the beginning and end of the chapter. This gives a wonderful place to the disciples in the Lord's mind. It was noticed before, in the former part of the paper: their starting-point, Stellung (position), not the service itself, and a prayer that it might be their Zustand (condition); their place down here, and what was needed to connect it with Christ's place in heaven, with what went before; He being glorified is in what follows (vv. 14-19).
In the first unity (vv. 9-11), I find much more distinct Persons in Christ and the Father (though ever divinely one); but here, as Mediator, "I pray for those whom thou hast given me." Hence "Mine" and "Thine"; though all Mine Thine and Thine Mine. "They are thine, and I" (not those that had been in Christ) "am glorified in them." "I am no more in the world." "I come to thee." Thus, though one, the distinction of the Persons (Jesus being as One that had been on earth, and had His place there as Man) is distinctly brought out; I do not mean merely in Godhead, but in the accomplished order of events. But then with this there was no difference or duality of counsels, work, whose were the Father's, whose (Christ's) all were; one and the same in thought, purpose, mind, and carrying out of work; though each had His place in carrying it out; and so by one Spirit, by the Holy Ghost come down, was it to be with the apostles. The unity of the person is merged in the community of work and mind.
336 In the second unity it is more absolute, what doctors call intercession. "As thou, Father, art in me." There was display and manifestation on earth in Christ. "I in thee." That was simply divine (compare chap. 14:10, both; verse 20, only the divine part). Here it is more absolutely divine in both parts, yet preserving Christ's personal place. Christians are to be one in them, Christ being gone on high so as to make it to be by faith and communion, not manifestation here. In this sense it is the highest, less earthly (and in one sense Jewish, and miraculous display on earth) than the first. "Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
The third comes to be manifestation again, only in glory; and only thus the Father in the Son: "I in them, and thou in me." This is not so simply divine, "Us," but it is divine in glory; for the Father is again seen in the Son, His glory in the face of Jesus Christ, and His in us. The world will then know that the Father sent the Son, even the Lord Jesus. In verse 24 we get it, not in unity of the Father and Son, but in heaven, and His personal glory, though now still given to Him; but as loved before the world (that rejected Him) was.
Note the very striking connection between the position of the Lord in glory claimed in John 17 (in Him connected with His Person, necessarily) and the place given us in Him in the counsels of God. This is wonderful. In John 17 we have, "Glorify thou me with thine own self" (para seauto), "with the glory which I had with thee before the world was"; received from the Father now, as He had become Man, and speaks in that condition, the Son of God become Man, that men might become sons of God; the finishing of the work, of course, the actual foundation, as it must be, if we were to have a part in it, and a part of His own too; the purpose: "That they may be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory … for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."
337 Now see our place in counsel in and through Him, 2 Tim. 1:9: "Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and incorruptibility to light by the gospel: whereunto I am appointed," etc. And again Titus 1:2: "In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began; but hath in due times manifested his word by preaching." Besides the general doctrine in Ephesians 1:1-6, and elsewhere.
The life was then manifested in Him, and as Son here in Manhood, and then "true in him and in you." So that, as Christ had the glory, one with the Father before the world was, and has now re-entered into it as Man (not what is essential, for that He never left, was the Son of Man who is in heaven, the Son of God in the bosom of the Father; His divine nature in itself, of course, is incommunicable, as Godhead in itself). So the promise of eternal life was given us in Him before the world was, His purpose and grace in Him, and now is revealed that He has taken it as the Father's gift as Man, holy and without blame before Him in love, and the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, before God, and to the Father: My Father, and your Father; My God, and your God.
The Father's name, the one true God, is the basis of John 17; Christ as Son, but as Man, and putting us in His place with the Father (while here), and before the world. Then in verse 22 we get the given, displayed glory (as in Luke 9), before the world. In verse 24 the glory within (as in Luke they entered into the cloud); still as given, but as entered into, within the glory He had before the world was; for in verse 5 He is going in, as He is within in verse 24. It was the Father to the Son (v. 7); but given, for He was a Man (emptied Himself) (Phil. 2:7). But 1 John 3:2 is yet to be considered; compare especially John 17:5 and 24, with 2 Timothy 1:9, and Titus 1:2; add 2 Thessalonians 2:14.
The general order (not entering into detail) is exceedingly interesting in John 17. The Lord gives the words given Him (v. 8); (thus, that joy may be fulfilled in them); verse 14, the Father's word, and they are hated of the world; verse 22, the glory. All this in this world, or before it, for joy and witness by word and in power and glory. Then what we have with Him in the glory, and meanwhile to be with Him where He is, and behold His glory; and meanwhile the Father's name declared, that the love He was loved with may be in us, and He in us. The foundation for all this is laid in the first verses of the chapter. Of this there are three parts: The Son is glorified (to glorify the Father); Christ is glorified because of His work; thirdly, He manifests the Father's name to the men given to Him. The first gives the place and character He takes on high; the second, the ground on which He can introduce also in righteousness; the third introduces us into the relationship in which He is as Son. When I say "order" I do not mean the regular and orderly division of the chapter, but merely the points noted; for the manifestation of His name to the men given to Him properly precedes and introduces the giving them the words. Remark, too, that the giving the word is giving the expression of the divine nature and mind, as Christ the Word was; and this looked at as separating from evil, and associating with the good in which He was and is set apart for our sakes as Man. The whole is to give us the same place with Him.
338 I further remark on John 17 besides laying the ground for it in His own exaltation, and manifestation of His Father's name to His disciples, the Lord puts His disciples in four distinct ways in His own place: in His position with His Father; as to the world while in it; in glory; and then in the Father's love enjoyed in themselves. Further, note, in directions for the world we have two means of keeping them from the evil: "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth"; "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth."
This world is all one great falsehood. The word gives us that which tells the truth as to everything, is the clue of the divine path thus, so as to avoid it all; we kept from the evil. We are not of the world, as Christ was not. Hence Christ also when tempted uses the word, and is perfectly kept from the evil; but this through truth, and supposing the new nature, the divine (in the old we are of the world), the word being the path of that nature through the world (giving no place to the old man but nullity and death) is in a certain sense only a keeping from.
339 Then the Lord adds, "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth." He was this in the world, because He came down from heaven, and was heavenly, and while here as positively declaring God, did so because while here He was (not had been) in the bosom of the Father, and drew from and lived "on account of the Father," had no cause, motive, principle of life but Him. Now, while personally thus on earth separate from sinners, kept from the evil, He was in this state alone; but when, in the full accomplishment of this separation, He was made higher than the heavens, then He could take us, redemption being accomplished, into it with Him, and minister it to us. Thus He sanctified Himself, that we might be sanctified through the truth.
He has taken the full, new, heavenly place of man, what we may call the new man, the second Adam, according to God's counsels, and hence the affections are filled positively with that which tells the truth, and there is a real deliverance, because it is not keeping from, but being filled with Christ, having the affections filled with the new blessings according to the new life and nature, and there is the communication and ministration of grace and strength in Christ. So in chapter 8: "The truth shall make you free"; "The Son shall make you free"; the attraction of the tempting things go when the mind is filled with Christ; another nature is at work, and the thoughts are filled with its objects. In this state the evil is repulsive.
I remark, in John 17:17-19, two distinct characters and means or sources of sanctification, whose difference is full of interest and instruction. Christ is the Word and the Truth (that is, He expresses God, and tells the truth of every thing), as coming from God, and revealing Him. The disciples were not of the world, as He was not. As disciples they had the communication of what Christ revealed of God, all the Father said to Him, and their moral nature too. He prays, as to the form of this, that they may be sanctified through the truth. The Father's word was truth. This makes the sanctifying power the revelation from the Father in the Person of Christ. But in verse 19 it is not what Christ is as revelation of the Father, but what He is as model, set before the Father in glory in heaven, and that as Man. Then the truth revealed this too, and thus sanctified them; so that the first part was the revelation of God through Christ, the Word and Truth; the second the true communication of what He is as Man before God, according to His thoughts and counsels in glory. This gives a very remarkable fulness and reality of character to our sanctification. Through grace, we are really set apart to God, in conformity to, formed after, in our nature and walk, these two revelations or aspects of Christ. This is very full and blessed.
340 In John 17:23 the world beholds the saints' glory as given to Christ, He having given it to them, that it may be known they were loved as He, as a Man, as sent. In verse 24 they behold His as loved before the foundation of the world (this the world does not); therefore they are where He is, "that they may" (which note, for this is a special portion in the glory besides, though connected with communion).
How very strongly the sense that He was going away, that momentous moment, when the world would see Him no more, is impressed on John 13, 14 and 15! How they bear the impress of it! Chapter 16 is rather what takes His place, and their immediate relationship with the Father; chapter 17 blessedly puts them in His place with the Father and with the world, founding it on His Person, work, and revelation of the Father, and His words to Christ Himself.
To the end of chapter 9 Christ's manifestation as to His Person having been made to, and rejected by, the Jews; chapter 10, we have the sheep; then, chapters 11, 12, the vindication of His character as Son of God, King of the Jews, and Head of the Gentiles (in glory), bringing in death; and then His Priesthood (chap. 13), as in glory, in service; chapter 14, we have what He was to His disciples as the object of their knowledge in union with the Father, so making them know where He was going; and then, as Mediator, obtaining the Comforter, making them know, not only that He was in the Father, but their union with Him; they in Him, and He in them. Then chapter 15 gives the Son's place as to the body, or at least the branches; at the end of chapters 15 and 16 the Holy Ghost, the Comforter's place; and then chapter 17 gives the place the Father takes as to those thus given to Christ, and how Christ commits them into His hand as the subject of His love and glory, and His Father's care, as His own.
341 In John 17:17-19 there is connection with what precedes, and some thoughts are needed to complete what has been said. Christ had given them the Father's word, and the world hated them. They were not of it, as He was not. He was of God, of the Father, thus negatively not of it. It was really because they partook of a nature and character, of what Christ had been, as Word of the Father come from heaven. He asks, therefore, for the accomplishment of the position: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." They were not of the world, as partaking of the nature of this. The Lord desires they may have the realisation and development of the other, the heavenly. Next, they are sent into the world, as He had been sent into the world. It is not now merely for themselves, but as sent to bear witness of what Christ was. The Father had sent Christ, to manifest Him; Christ the disciples, to show what He was. But then He sets Himself apart in glory for that, that they may bring the true witness of the heavenly Man, as He of the Father. This also was part of the truth.
In John 17 I have noticed of old the way in which Christ puts His disciples in the same place with Himself. But, besides, there is the mutuality of the interest of the Father and the Son in them, we knowing the Father's relationship and love to the Son, and the Son communicating this, the love which He enjoyed as devoted in love to us, so as to communicate all His joy to us, and yet also because we are the object of the Father's delight. He manifests His Father's name to us, yet He does it as He knows it Himself, so as to bring us into the same relationship with, and knowledge of, the Father's love which He has, proving the devotedness of His own to us. We are the common object of this intercommunion and relationship of the Father and Son, and at the same time of the peculiar and personal love of each. The order is thus: the Son is to be glorified, that He may glorify the Father. But this has a two-fold reference to men in connection with whom He has taken up His place, power over all flesh; that is, His public title and prerogative, as glorified, to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given Him.
342 Here, when it is in connection with us in blessing, the Father's love is at once brought in. He has given us to the Son; the Father's thought of love the source, but all the accomplishment of it committed to the Son: He gives to them eternal life. Then this eternal life must necessarily answer to its source. It is to know the Father only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.
The knowledge of the Almighty is acquaintance with protecting power; of Jehovah, faithfulness to promise; of the Father, in the exercise of love, is eternal life. It is to know Himself in His own blessedness in relationship with the Son. Hence is added, "And Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." The Father and His love in sending (still the knowledge of Himself), and He also expression and accomplishment of this love in whom is that life. To be in relationship with these is the very essence and reality of eternal life, separated (in the power of the full knowledge of God in grace in this blessed relationship of Father and Son, and of love to us in sending Him) from all else. So thus one is with the true God, all idols away.
Next Christ has finished the work, and glorified His Father on the earth, and is to be glorified, as we have seen, in virtue of having glorified the Father by His work. He has this other title to the glory now, though He had that glory with the Father ere the world was.
Next, He manifests the name of the Father to those whom the Father had given Him; so as, in point of fact, to put them in this place of relationship. But He does so as to those who were the Father's, and by Him given to Him; and they had now kept the Father's word. But this was not all. They had understood that all that the Father had given to the Son was of the Father. They knew its source, and the relationship of the Father and the Son. It was not separate power in Christ; not Jehovah becoming Messiah; it was the Father who had given to the Son.
343 The reason introduces us into all the unspeakable grace in which the devotedness of the Son in love to us puts, that all the communications which the Father's love had made to the Son, which were the fruit and expression of that necessary love the Son had made known to the disciples, so that they knew what the Father's love and relationship to the Son was, and that the Son (as to His love) would bring them into it. Thus also they knew that He came out from the Father, and that the Father sent Him. This is the status and condition of the disciples, of believers. The Lord then begins as to His praying for them, not for the world. His prayer was founded on their relationship with the Father and Him. He prayed for those whom the Father had given Him; and here the mutuality of interest in this common object comes out in the fullest and most blessed way; Christ prays for them because they are the Father's. This was the motive to His prayer. He presents them to the Father as His, but His love to the Father makes it a motive with Him to pray for them, because they were His. Blessed assurance, too, for us! but letting us into the mutual feelings of the Son and Father's heart, and about us as object. And this community of interest between the Father and the Son had no limit. All that was the Father's is the Son's; and all that is the Son's is the Father's; and to the knowledge of this and this relationship we are admitted.
The second reason to which the Father's interest in the Son's glory gives its power, the Son is glorified in them. Then He states their relative place thenceforth: Christ no more in the world; the disciples in the world; and He gone to the Father. For their full blessing He prays that His holy Father would keep them in His own name. He addresses Him as His Father, but as it is in His own name as His holy Father He keeps us. It is in this blessed relationship, according to His own holiness, He keeps us. Thus the disciples are one as united in Christ, in the same relationship to the Father.
It is as partaking of one Spirit; for God the Holy Ghost being the power of this union, it is a divine union in which we are, by a divine nature and the same Holy Ghost in all; so that that which is the spring of thought in me is the spring of thought in another saint. We have common glory, the same spring of living power, one single Godhead nature in, and active in, all of us, even the Holy Ghost; and therefore, as animated by that, the same in thought, counsel, and object, as the Son and the Father have one divine nature; the same spring of thought and purpose. They are one in everything, save the distinction of Persons; and hence it is their oneness is precious, for the distinction of Persons puts heart, liberty, will in it, and divine purpose of love. Christ had not kept them in His own name. He gave the glory to the Father; and now the Father would keep them, as entrusted to Him by the Son, who had redeemed them. He had kept them; and now He was coming to the Father, and said these things that they might have His own joy fulfilled in themselves. Well He might say "joy." But such is perfect love; it can keep nothing back from the loved object. If it does, it prefers in that something to the loved object; it is not perfect love. Jesus, who did and does love perfectly, would have His own joy (and He knew what joy with the Father was) fulfilled in themselves. He then goes on to their consequent relationship towards the world.
344 I have not sufficiently remarked the contrast and transition from the then present association of the disciples with Christ and that into which He was bringing them in John 17. Other points have been frequently opened out. I now only occupy myself with this. The first verse states the change. The Lord looks up to heaven from earth, and says, "The hour is come"; and He is to glorify the Father; the glorified sent One will as the Son. Then verses 2 and 3, I apprehend, are absolute; that is, apply to the universal effect of the Lord's work, be it in earth or heaven; verses 4 and 5, He directly contrasts the two cases; verse 4, what He had done on earth; verse 5, what was now about to take place as to Himself; verse 6, the condition of the disciples as in association with man down here; verses 7 and 8 complete this point; verse 9, His prayer commences, and with the blessed truth of the common and thus redoubled interest of the Father and the Son; verse 11, they are left in the world while He is leaving it. They are to be immediately kept by the Father in thus direct knowledge of Him, as heretofore mediately they were sons with a Holy Father. So had Christ been, and they would thus have His joy fulfilled in themselves. Now, verse 14, He sets them in their place in the presence of the world. It is Christ's, as often remarked. He had the Father's word. See chapter 8:26-28. He has now given it to them. They are not of the world, as He was not. They are set apart by the Father's truth; that is, by His word, the full revelation given by Him. What He had revealed (that was the truth) was their moral being in the world. As Christ had been sent, so they by Him now. This however shows their place as taking His, without defining in what association they did it. This comes in verse 19. He sets Himself apart (from all the world) as the glorified Man of the Father's counsels in love, that they might have the truth in this shape and way. This gives the definite character and power to the truth itself.
345 This closes the direct prayer. Verses 20, 21 bring in those that believe through their word. Verses 22, 23 is the new thing in its full outward result, but now connected with the glory into which He was entering. There was a partial display of this, no doubt, in Christ in life (see John 2:11), and in the disciples consequent on His exaltation (see chap. 14:12). But this was only partial. It is not here with or before, but descending manifestation or display in, a proof where there was already faith of the extent of the blessing, or in spite of unbelief, irrespective of real faith. This is also consequent on the taking of the new place, a yet more blessed one, and where we see, even in this intimate chapter, how the display of the kingdom is distinguished from the heavenly joys of the saints themselves ever with the Lord, loved before there was a world to be displayed in. Jesus would have His disciples there where He was according to this love, connecting His glorifying as Man with the eternal love of the Father to Him. This is thus distinctly applied now in connection with His breach with the world; for when it had not known the Father Christ had, and the disciples that He was sent.
That was the then present closing scene and associations in which He had declared the Father's name to them; but He would now in such sort declare it that the love wherewith He had been loved should be in them, and He in them. They had owned Him as sent, and He had revealed the Father's name, now declaring it. The love He had been loved with on earth was to be in them, and Himself in them. It is heavenly in what is revealed to them as truth, heavenly in glory, heavenly in abode with Him, according to His present place, and the Father's eternal love to Him; and the present declaring of the Father's name brings us into the Father's love as He was on earth.