The Fulness of Christ.

John 1:35-39; John 14:1-3; John 17:24; John 20:17.

Notes of an address by John B. Duff.

In the first passage we have John the Baptist's testimony to Jesus as the Lamb of God, which when two of his disciples heard, they left John and followed Jesus. What a blessed day for them! Now they were to exchange mourning for rejoicing, fasting for feasting, and the wilderness for the comfort of home! The other Gospels present Jesus as having nowhere to lay His head, but here He is the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father, declaring God that we might even now find our home in the Father's affections. Truly this is heaven upon earth! (The Baptist's ministry was negative, but Christ's positive; the one emptying, the other filling! "Of His fulness have we all received and grace upon grace").

The second Scripture gives the Lord's words to His own on the eve of His departure from this world, and He seeks to comfort their troubled hearts by telling them of the Father's House, and that He was going to prepare a place for them there. He said, "If it were not so I would have told you"; indicating that He would never have called them to share His temptations and forsake them at the last: nor yet would He have given them a taste of heaven here, if they were not to share more deeply its joys hereafter. Our present knowledge of the blessedness of the Father's House is surely measured by our knowledge of the Father and the Son; and this knowledge is ours by the Holy Spirit given to us. By the Spirit we are brought into the present good of that which has been brought to us in divine revelation by the Son. This is why the Spirit is spoken of so much in this Gospel.

The Lord's prayer to the Father in chapter 17 shows the wonderful place His own had in His affections. In verse 24 He expresses the longing desire of His heart, "Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which Thou hast given me." Shall this desire be denied to Him? Far be the thought! And this glory tells of the eternal love of the Father for the Son, "For Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." Here we may take up the language of the Song of Songs and say, "I am my Beloved's, and His desire is towards me" (Cant. 7:10). We are also reminded of Psalm 21:2, "Thou hast given Him His heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request His lips."

In the last Scripture we have the words of Jesus after He was risen from the dead. Mary had sought to touch Him but He gives her to know that she cannot touch Him in the old relationships, for death had ended these, and now in resurrection new relationships which were heavenly and eternal had been established. He presents Himself as the ascending One, soon to take His place in the Father presence, the Head of a new race, the Firstborn among many brethren. What a portion is ours! — the Father love; and what a prospect! — the Father's House. (What a fulness there is in the person of the Son of God. The world could not contain the books that should be written!)