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the Father had given Him to do, had justly received intimate communications from Him, in order that all might be done in a perfect and unfailing unity with the Father. It was, for the Saviour, the blessed part of His life. Now, having placed the disciples (He speaks here of the twelve) in the same relationship with the Father in nature and right, their place would not be sterile and barren, but full of all the communications which belonged to it, and which Jesus enjoyed. And this is the grace given them. Before going further, it may be well to make a few remarks here.
This part of the Saviour's words (verses 6-10, and even up to verse 19, although this last portion considers the disciples from another point of view) applies to the eleven, as companions of Christ upon earth. He had revealed the Father's name to them; He placed them in the relationship in which He was Himself with the Father, as Son, but dwelling upon earth.
The communications which He Himself received were made to Him as being in this relationship, and He communicated them to the disciples. I have no doubt whatever that Jesus spoke of what He knew, and bore witness to that which He had seen, nor do I doubt that the fact that He could say of Himself, “ the Son of man that is in heaven” (John iii. 13), had an essential influence upon His ministry. But He was the manifestation of grace and truth down here, and up to the time that He was speaking, it had not been a question of giving to the disciples the consciousness that they were with Him in heaven; that was going to be. In verse 24, this thought, not of union, but at least of association with Him in heaven, begins to show itself. His purpose assuredly was not to maintain Judaism, but to present that wbich manifested the Father, grace and truth come in Him, God's character in a Man down here fully manifested. It was not, either, the development of God's counsels and the mysteries of grace, as Paul teaches them to us; it was one of the fruits of the glorifying of Jesus. The sun bad shone behind the clouds in the previous dispensations; even now it is faith that lays hold of it; at the end, its manifestation will have an earthly character; but here the clouds clear away, and the sun itself appears. The Father in the fulness of grace, sends the Son; the Son manifests the Father perfectly, and glorifies Him, and the disciples understand that all that the Father had given to Jesus was the Father's gift to the down here Son (not, as I have said, Jehovah's gift to the Messiah) whom the Father had sent in sovereign grace, and who had come from the Father.
This is the basis of Jesus' prayer. He prayed for His disciples, not for the world. The world was judged, but the Father had given Him His disciples ; most precious truth, source both of our blessings and of what characterises them. The Lord, in leaving His disciples, prays for them, and with the most touching motives, which open up to our view also the sphere into which we are brought. All belongs to this revelation of the Father in the Son, the Father's Object, and at the same time the Revealer of His most tender love, and to the introduction of the disciples into the same relationship.
The first motive is to be found in these words : “I
pray for them, because they are thine." For the beloved Son, the Father was everything; He lived to glorify the Father, and He prays that the Father may be for those who are His, a Father such as He Himself knew Him.
The second motive is the Son. Tho Father cared for the Son's glory; because of this, He should take care of His disciples, for now that Jesus was going back to the Father, it is in them that He should be glorified. The Father would keep them because these were His, and the Son should be glorified in them. They must be kept if the Father cared for the Son's glory. Now there was no separating the Father's interests and glory from those of the Son. All that the Father had the Son had, and all that the Son had the Father had. What a bond between the Father, the Son, and the disciples! They belonged to the Father, the Father had given them the Son, and it was in them that the Son was to be glorified. Their actual place, which was the occasion of the question, was that Jesus was going away from the world to the Father, and leaving His disciples down here.
Then Jesus gives the name in which the Father should keep them : “Holy Father;" He should keop them according to a Father's love, and the holiness of His nature. Christ had kept them Himself in this name during His stay down here, and now He gives them over to the immediate care of the Father, according to the love towards them that was common to the Father and to the Son, and always in the name of “Holy Father." "Holy Father, keep them in thy name that thou hast given me."* Christ was down here the Son of the Father, and as such, He
This is the best reading ; the text (received) has, " those whom thou hast given me,"