John 12* Christ anointed by Mary. (1-11) He enters Jerusalem. (12-19)Greeks apply to see Jesus. (20-26) A voice from heaven bearstestimony to Christ. (27-33) His discourse with the people.(34-36) Unbelief of the Jews. (37-43) Christ's address to them.(44-50)1-11 Christ had formerly blamed Martha for being troubled withmuch serving. But she did not leave off serving, as some, whowhen found fault with for going too far in one way, peevishlyrun too far another way; she still served, but within hearing ofChrist's gracious words. Mary gave a token of love to Christ,who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family.God's Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him theoil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him theointment of our best affections. In Judas a foul sin is gildedover with a plausible pretence. We must not think that those dono acceptable service, who do it not in our way. The reigninglove of money is heart-theft. The grace of Christ puts kindcomments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what isamiss, and the most of what is good. Opportunities are to beimproved; and those first and most vigorously, which are likelyto be the shortest. To consult to hinder the further effect ofthe miracle, by putting Lazarus to death, is such wickedness,malice, and folly, as cannot be explained, except by thedesperate enmity of the human heart against God. They resolvedthat the man should die whom the Lord had raised to life. Thesuccess of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that theyspeak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over theAlmighty himself. 12-19 Christ's riding in triumph to Jerusalem is recorded byall the evangelists. Many excellent things, both in the word andprovidence of God, disciples do not understand at their firstacquaintance with the things of God. The right understanding ofspiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, prevents our misapplyingthe Scriptures which speak of it. 20-26 In attendance upon holy ordinances, particularly thegospel passover, the great desire of our souls should be to seeJesus; to see him as ours, to keep up communion with him, andderive grace from him. The calling of the Gentiles magnified theRedeemer. A corn of wheat yields no increase unless it is castinto the ground. Thus Christ might have possessed his heavenlyglory alone, without becoming man. Or, after he had taken man'snature, he might have entered heaven alone, by his own perfectrighteousness, without suffering or death; but then no sinner ofthe human race could have been saved. The salvation of soulshitherto, and henceforward to the end of time, is owing to thedying of this Corn of wheat. Let us search whether Christ be inus the hope of glory; let us beg him to make us indifferent tothe trifling concerns of this life, that we may serve the LordJesus with a willing mind, and follow his holy example. 27-33 The sin of our souls was the troubled of Christ's soul,when he undertook to redeem and save us, and to make his soul anoffering for our sin. Christ was willing to suffer, yet prayedto be saved from suffering. Prayer against trouble may wellagree with patience under it, and submission to the will of Godin it. Our Lord Jesus undertook to satisfy God's injured honour,and he did it by humbling himself. The voice of the Father fromheaven, which had declared him to be his beloved Son, at hisbaptism, and when he was transfigured, was heard proclaimingthat He had both glorified his name, and would glorify it.Christ, reconciling the world to God by the merit of his death,broke the power of death, and cast out Satan as a destroyer.Christ, bringing the world to God by the doctrine of his cross,broke the power of sin, and cast out Satan as a deceiver. Thesoul that was at a distance from Christ, is brought to love himand trust him. Jesus was now going to heaven, and he would drawmen's hearts to him thither. There is power in the death ofChrist to draw souls to him. We have heard from the gospel thatwhich exalts free grace, and we have heard also that whichenjoins duty; we must from the heart embrace both, and notseparate them. 34-36 The people drew false notions from the Scriptures,because they overlooked the prophecies that spoke of Christ'ssufferings and death. Our Lord warned them that the light wouldnot long continue with them, and exhorted them to walk in it,before the darkness overtook them. Those who would walk in thelight must believe in it, and follow Christ's directions. Butthose who have not faith, cannot behold what is set forth inJesus, lifted up on the cross, and must be strangers to itsinfluence as made known by the Holy Spirit; they find a thousandobjections to excuse their unbelief. 37-43 Observe the method of conversion implied here. Sinnersare brought to see the reality of Divine things, and to havesome knowledge of them. To be converted, and truly turned fromsin to Christ, as their Happiness and Portion. God will healthem, will justify and sanctify them; will pardon their sins,which are as bleeding wounds, and mortify their corruptions,which are as lurking diseases. See the power of the world insmothering convictions, from regard to the applause or censureof men. Love of the praise of men, as a by-end in that which isgood, will make a man a hypocrite when religion is in fashion,and credit is to be got by it; and love of the praise of men, asa base principle in that which is evil, will make a man anapostate, when religion is in disgrace, and credit is to be lostfor it. 44-50 Our Lord publicly proclaimed, that every one who believedon him, as his true disciple, did not believe on him only, buton the Father who sent him. Beholding in Jesus the glory of theFather, we learn to obey, love, and trust in him. By dailylooking to Him, who came a Light into the world, we are more andmore freed from the darkness of ignorance, error, sin, andmisery; we learn that the command of God our Saviour iseverlasting life. But the same word will seal the condemnationof all who despise it, or neglect it.
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