Nevertheless I tell you the truth. Now they learn the price which must be paid for His advent. There was not room enough for such a heart while in the body. But should the Spirit be robbed of his honours? xi., p. 140; Homiletic Magazine, vol. Somewhere in space, he knows—somewhere there is at this moment, intimately and for ever associated with the glories of the self-existing Dignity—a human body and a human soul. I. the Church that Christ's visible presence should be taken away from it. “Therefore, if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,” &c. This uninterrupted action of our glorified Redeemer should surely be more in our minds. Yes; for those who had left all to follow Him; for those who had none to go to but Himself (John 6:68); for those whose hopes were all centred in Him, it wasâhard and incomprehensible as the saying must have seemedâan advantage that He should go away. Some people are all the time trying to set aside the Divine providence by doing for a man what it was designed that he should do for himself. Words they had mused upon in doubt were interpreted; sayings they had thought already clear were seen to have profounder meanings; a fountain of light sprung up within them, an illumination cast from an unseen teacher unfolded to their consciousness the deep things of God and of His Christ. III. Even when they return with hopes unfulfilled and with banners torn by angry winds, proving the abortiveness of their chivalry, or the mistake of their method, they should be hailed with a still tenderer love. 3. “This is enough, Jesus is there; and Jesus knows.”, III. Sorrow filled the hearts of the disciples at the thought of the departure of their Lord. IT SECURED AN ADEQUATE SENSE OF THE TRUE PLACE AND DIGNITY OF MAN AMONG THE CREATURES OF GOD. And each teacher that has unfolded and enforced the meaning of that life, has, in adding to the illuminated thought of Christendom, attested the truth of our Master’s words--“It is expedient,” &c. II. While He was on earth He was its treasure and its joy. As it was not the work of the Spirit to make an atonement, so it was not the work of the Saviour to apply it. HIS WORK GOES ON AFTER HIS DEATH, WHILE THAT OF OTHERS CEASES. There are men who say: “If we only had some one in Jerusalem who should be supreme over the Church throughout the world saying: ‘This is the exact way--walk ye in it,’ how much better it would be!” Would it be any better? Yet whilst He Himself is the eternal secret, His work is open and glorious. xxiii., p. 273; J. Graham, Ibid., p. 280; H. W. Beecher, Ibid., vol. THERE WAS A KIND OF NATURAL EXPEDIENCY IN THE ASCENSION, grounded on that law of the human mind which makes the appreciation of present blessings so very difficult. BibliographyAlford, Henry. Incarnation was limitation. Their charity was discoloured by the presence of a subtle element of sense, which dimmed its spiritual lustre. II. Did not the mind act the same then as it does now? Here, expressing simple departure from a point. III. One day we “shall be ever with the Lord.” We may reverently fit the influence of Christ’s departed saints into Christ’s own words (as in text). We should feel, and that too increasingly, the difficulty of the Jews. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-16.html. Godhead. How natural, after the manifestation of the Spirit at Christ’s baptism, was it for Christ to begin His ministry by selecting this text--“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” &c. The very name, Messiah--Christ--is derived from the sacred unction which Christ here claims to Himself. “HE WILL SHOW YOU THINGS TO COME.” Such a promise would seem to imply that secret communications about the future will be made to the Church; yet this construction must be admitted with extreme caution, for men would in some cases mistake prejudices and frenzies for inspiration, and in others they would inflict needless trouble upon themselves and upon society at large. BibliographyJamieson, Robert, D.D. It is better for the Church--it is better for each one of us its members--to walk by faith than to walk by sight. 1765. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-16.html. II. But now He is making us ready to receive Him, that it may be "expedient" for us that He should come back again. When He ascended to the Father, that withdrawal from the touch of sense gave Him to the touch of faith, and these desolate disciples were nearer Him when the cloud received Him out of their sight. What the materials of a building are to the building and the architect; what the light is to the vision which we have by means of the light; what the wisdom in a book is to the same wisdom when apprehended by the mind; what the external revelation of nature is to the intelligent appreciation of it; what the Mosaic economy, with its code of precepts and system of sacrifice, was to the spiritual interpretations and applications thereof, which were given by the prophets; that was the work of Christ to the work of the Holy Spirit. But when Christ departed to heaven, then the Spirit descended on the whole Church. He would give His Spirit to be always with them. As nothing is done for us, so nothing is done by us if He come not. As He was before the visible Christ, so He was to be after Him, and thus the whole mystery never passed from His own control. II. 2. "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". While Christ was on the earth the Spirit was better known, but known as resting on the Head rather than descending on the body of the Church.
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