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…
I. INTELLIGENCE — "Know ye." Sometimes. the actions of men have no meaning: they are impulsive and purposeless. Sometimes they have a bad meaning: they have selfish and sensual aims. Sometimes they have a good meaning: they are benevolent and pure in their motives. Christ's actions always had a meaning, holy and beneficent, and it is the duty of His disciples to find it out. Two classes of professed Christians act wrongly in this respect.
1. Those who attach no meaning to Christ's works.
2. Those who attach a wrong meaning to them. What absurd and even blasphemous ideas are current about many of them! Let the real Christian, then, "prove all things."
II. Consistency (ver. 14). There should be perfect harmony between what they profess to be and what they are. Creed and conduct should agree. The discrepancy between the two is the greatest crime and curse of Christendom. Christ denounces war, worldliness, selfishness, and subjection to the flesh, yet His followers practise them.
III. CHRISTLINESS (ver. 15). To do in spirit as Christ did is to follow His example, and not the mere copying of the form. Were we to do all that Christ did we might still be out of harmony — aye, and in antagonism with His spirit. The way for a student artist to become like a great painter, is not to copy most accurately all the strokes and shadings of his model, but to catch the genius that inspired the master. Christ's Spirit is the genius of all works of moral beauty and excellence, and if we catch that, we shall be "fruitful unto all good works."
IV. HAPPINESS (vers. 16, 17).
1. Christ desires the happiness of His disciples. Those who profess His name and are gloomy and discontented are not His.
2. The doing in love the things of His loving heart ensures true happiness. The labour of love is the music of life.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
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.