Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father…
"Who went about doing good." This is the shortest and noblest eulogium ever pronounced. I will not "give flattering titles unto man." Yet the practice is too common. But now, as to the Lord Jesus, whatever we say of Him that is noble and glorious, we say well, for so He is. Some of this good was mediatorial; some of it miraculous; some of it corporeal; some of it spiritual; and some of it exemplary — as here.
I. THE TITLE. As the Master and the Lord of His people. They learn in His school and serve in His house. In both these titles the main idea is authority. He is Lord —
1. By the claims of creation. As He is our Maker, He has an infinitely greater property in us than a creature can have. In Him we live, and move, and have our being. If, therefore, He were to call into His presence a monarch or a philosopher, and say, "Take that thine own is," what could either of them take? Not even his existence.
2. By the claims of redemption. "Ye are not your own." This gives Him a greater claim than even creation, for redemption delivers us from greater evils, advances us to greater blessings, and is accomplished by a much more expensive process than creation.
3. By their own choice and submission. Once He bare not rule over them; they were not called by His name. But He made them willing in the day of His power. And the glory of His dominion is here — that He does not govern only by external rule, but by internal influence. He illuminates our understanding, and displays to their view His loveliness. And thus we run after Him; for He draws with the cords of a man and with the bands of love.
II. THE OBLIGATION. "If I am your Master and Lord" —
1. You ought to renounce connection with every other; for "no man can serve two masters." But His dominion does not interfere with the relations subsisting between man and man. Your rendering unto God the things that are God's does not prevent your rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. But even this service is regulated by His authority too. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right in the Lord." He said, "Call no man master." Thus He releases His subjects from all authority as to conscience but His own. But said He also, "Be not ye called masters." There are those, who refuse dominion, who are ready enough to require it.
2. You ought to obey My commandments. There cannot be a better evidence of sincerity than this. "If ye love Me," etc. For a knowledge of His orders, you must repair to the Scriptures, and to these only. You must shun all that He forbids, and pursue all that He enjoins.
3. You ought to submit to My appointments. As He gives us our work, so He must determine when, and where, and how we shall labour and serve Him. "Here I am; let Him do what seemeth Him good." You must not, therefore, complain if He restrains you, tries you, bereaves you. He has a right to determine your connections, the bounds of your habitations, the way in which you are to glorify Him; and He never exercises this right but for your own welfare. Some at His bidding cross over land and sea; they also serve Him that wait, and they also serve that suffer.
4. You ought to imitate Me. "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me." You see this specified here.
5. You should esteem all you have as Mine, and use it accordingly. "Occupy till I come." If you have no title to yourselves, how is it possible that you can have a title to anything that you now call your own?
(1) Do you think that your time is your own, that you may lie as long in bed as you please, or that you may lounge as much in the day as you choose? You will soon appear before Him who has said, "Redeem the time."(2) Can you suppose that your tongues are your own? You will soon be in His presence who said, "For every idle word that men shall speak," etc.
(3) Do you think that your substance is your own, that you may either hoard it or spend it as you like? You will soon be in His presence who has told you, "To do good and to communicate, forget not," etc.
6. You should be willing to partake with Me in all My estates. If you are to reign with Him hereafter you must suffer with Him now.
7. You may depend upon Me for all the advantages of the relation. "Ye shall receive the reward of your inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ." It is impossible for you to serve Him for nought.Conclusion:
1. Entertain proper apprehensions of Christ. He is not only a Saviour, but He is a Lord and Master: Is Christ divided?
2. Beware of hypocrisy and inconsistency. Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?
3. Some have other lords; some love idols, and after them they will go.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
WEB: Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.