Present Ignorance and Future Illumination
John 13:1-19
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…

We view the text as containing —


1. To illustrate the fact of this present ignorance. God has been pleased to assist the human mind, by the gift of His own inspired word, and has imparted the influences of His Holy Spirit, by whose agency its meaning — which, to the carnal mind, is frequently obscure — is more fully unfolded. Yet, at the same time, there is a vast sphere over which, as yet, ignorance casts her shadow. "We know but in part," etc. For example:(1) The construction of your bodies; the constitution of your minds; the mode of their primeval union; of their present cooperation, and of their final separation — how much of mystery is here!

(2) Angels. Their residence, occupations, enjoyments.

(3) God, the trinity of persons in unity of essence, the perfections of His nature and the process by which He operates in the creation.

(4) Providential dispensations.

(5) The scheme of redemption.

(6) Eternity.

2. To assign its reasons.

(1) The limitation of our intellectual faculties, arising partly from their inherent constitution, and partly from their being now identified with material bodies.

(2) The pollution of our moral nature.

(3) The positive design of God, in order to continue our fitness for the ordinary associations and duties of life; to mature and to perfect the graces of the Christian character; to create and continue within us a vivid anticipation of the eventual possession of another and a better world.

II. A PROMISE OF FUTURE ILLUMINATION. Observe that the future state —

1. Is one of vast and expanded knowledge.

(1) All obstructions will be removed.

(2) Men are there to be brought into direct and immediate contact with objects, the very existence of which they now know only upon testimony and through faith.

2. The vast and expanded knowledge of the future state is identified with the highest interests of our being.

(1) There is much of difficulty in studying, and oftentimes much of pain in acquisition, and its results. There is also much which directly tends to pollute. Ask the philosopher over his midnight lamp; the statesman amid the intricacies of his cabinet; the man of observation amid the buffeting and temptations of the world — one result will invariably be pronounced, "All is vanity and vexation of spirit."(2) Now against all this the knowledge of the celestial state is associated —

(a) With our holiness. Not that the knowledge of heaven is an efficient cause of purity; but it will be an instrument for preserving it. Possessing such a knowledge, with such objects from such a source, and from such causes, it is impossible for the inhabitants of heaven to fall.

(b) With our happiness; for holiness is inseparable from happiness. And what must be the result of those contemplations which the heavenly world fully and absolutely reveals to our view of providence and of redemption?Conclusion: Cherish —

1. Faith.

2. Desire.

3. Evangelical preparation.

(J. Parsons.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

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