the First Week of Advent
Click here to learn more!
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Thou hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me.”
At this time we shall read the remainder of our Lord’s departing prayer. May the Holy Spirit lead each one of us into its meaning.
Our Lord had already said to his Father, “I come to thee,” but such was the yearning of his soul after the Father, that once again he said
And now come I to thee and then he added words full of anticipated triumph, from which it is clear that the joy which was set before him was not hidden from his eyes, for he desired his beloved ones to be sharers in it
The teaching of Jesus is the word of the Father, and that teaching is the great means of making believers to be “Holiness unto the Lord.”
He has commissioned us to glorify the Father by the salvation of men. The pierced hands of Jesus have ordained each one of us to minister for the good of those around us.
Our Lord consecrated himself, and set himself apart for the sake of his own elect, that they also might be consecrated to the glory of God.
John 17:20 , John 17:21
Where there is real grace in the heart, true unity is manifested. All the truly spiritual are one, and no party names can divide them; one touch of grace has made all the saints more than kin, for they are one body in Christ.
John 17:22 , John 17:23
What a wonderful sentence is this last one. The Father loves his chosen even as he loves Jesus. Wonder of wonders! Unspeakable grace!
Jesus here pleads with authority, “Father, I will,” and we may be sure that his petition will succeed. All who are resting in him shall ere long be with him in glory.
Dwelling thus upon his union with his church, our dear Redeemer entered upon that awful agony which preceded his passion. Was ever such a prayer heard before or since, either in heaven or in earth?
So near, so very near to God,
I cannot nearer be;
For in the person of his Son
I am as near as he.
So dear, so very dear to God,
More dear I cannot be;
The love wherewith he loves his Son,
Such is his love to me.
Softly to the garden lead us,
To behold thy bloody sweat
Though thou from the curse hast freed us,
Let us not the curse forget.
Be thy groans and cries rehearsèd
By thy Spirit in our ears,
Till we, viewing whom we piercèd,
Melt in sympathetic tears.
“His sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood.”
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane or the olive-press
Company yields solace to a heavy heart; the disciples could not bear any part of our Lord’s griefs, but they might have watched with him.
Mark 14:33 , Mark 14:34
He wished to have them near, but not too near: his woes were not to be seen of mortal man. The Man of Sorrows now began to enter the great deeps of woe.
Blessed prayer! Its sweet resignation to the Father’s will should be an example to every tried child of God.
It is said by Luke that they were sleeping for sorrow. Their kind Master, knowing this, was ready with an excuse for them, and did not chide them for what looked unkind.
Luke tells us, “Being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops (or clots) of blood falling down to the ground.” Oh, the amazing griefs which were laid upon Jesus when our sins became his burden. We bless him with all our hearts for agonizing thus for us.
His agony in the garden was over, and he went calmly on to meet death and finish the great work of our redemption.
And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come?
Still did the traitor mix a hypocritical respect with his baseness, as betrayers of Jesus are ever apt to do. How would such a kiss have provoked us! and yet our gentle Lord spake not one harsh word, his meekness endured to the end.
Where now were brave Peter and loving John? Alas for poor human nature! Far be it from us to imagine that we should have done better. These flying disciples warn us to pray that we may be kept faithful in the hour of trial.