And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.…
I. ITS TRUE NATURE AND CHARACTER.
1. The text suggests a contrast with something besides which, while purporting to be the love of Christ, is not the very reality. There is a love of Christ which is —
(1) Affected — that of Judas. but it was an illusion. How much of Christianity consists in acknowledgment of Gospel verity, respect for Christian institutions, etc.
(3) Morbid, that perhaps of Thomas, which has its eyes turned in upon himself — a type of Christianity induced by persecution, the prevalence of wickedness, a high state of civilization, want of moral earnestness.
(4) Partial and unworthy, that of Peter, who made the commonest of mistakes, overestimating His love. It was a genuine feeling; but not equal to all emergencies, and so vanished as soon as it confronted danger.
2. The love of Christ — what is it?
(1) Acquaintance with Christ. How can we love what we do not know? How can we love Christ if we are ignorant of His Person, work, character, claims, promises, etc.? Of this knowledge our Lord makes the highest account, and provides for it by the gift of His Spirit. This knowledge is not the measure of love, but is its companion, and one of the spheres of its activity.
(2) Affection for Christ. Knowledge may be divorced from any alliance of the heart or will. But the soul who possesses the love of Christ will be filled with a sacred passion for Him shed abroad by the Holy Ghost.
(3) Obedience to Christ, which is Christ's own definition here. This is to live in —
(a) Piety towards God. Christ will recognize no love for Him which does not show forth the praises of His Father.
(b) Self-control and purity.
(c) Truth, love, justice to all men.
II. ITS BLESSEDNESS AND DIVINE EXCELLENCE. To love Christ is —
1. To be loved of the Father and the Son (ver. 21). The Divine Son is so dear to the Father, that love for Him in a human soul makes it dear to God.
2. To receive the manifestation of the love of God is the coming to the soul of the Father and the Son (ver. 23). Human love often remains unmanifested through lack of opportunity, etc. So there was a lack of the manifestation of Divine love before the Incarnation; but Christ promises to the disciples that He and the Father will "come." Believers shall know the love which God has for them, the Spirit Him. self bearing witness of the fact.
3. To enjoy this manifestation as a permanent condition of soul: "make our abode."Conclusion:
1. What bewildering and entrancing views of heaven does this scripture open before us? If God so loved us here, how will He love us in the mansions above!
2. To how great a height does the Christianity of the New Testament tower above that of most of its professors.
3. Let those who name the name of Christ be careful to keep His commandments.
(J. D. Geden, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.