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pollution of them, the power and dominion that is in them: as St. John called upon tje Jews, to behold this Lamb of God with an eye of observation; so it is our duty to behold him now with an eye of admiration; with an eye of gratulation; but especially with an eye of faith and dependence, improving the fruit of his death to our own consolation and salvation, Isa. xlv. 22. Look unto me, and be suved. 31 And I knew him not : but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore I am come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. , 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me. Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Observe here, 1. That though John the
descending, and the Father's testifying, that this was his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased. Now it was, that God gave not of the Spirit to Christ by measure, for the effectual administration of his mediatorial office; now it pleased the Father, that in Christ should all suiness dwell. He was filled extensively with all | kinds of grace, and filled intensively with all degrees of grace, in the day of his inauguration, when the Holy Spirit descended upon him. 35 Again, the next day after, John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! It is evident that John's disciples were never very willing to acknowledge Jesus for the Messias, because they thought he
Baptist was a near kinsman of Christ, according to the flesh, yet the providence of God so ordered it, that for thirty years together they did not know one another, nor converse with each other, nor probably ever saw the faces of each other; to be sure, he did not know him to be the Messiah. This, no doubt, was overruled by the wisdom of God to prevent all suspicion, as if John and Christ had compacted together to give one another credit; that the world might suspect nothing of the truth of John's testimony concerning Christ, or have the least jealousy that what he said of Christ was from any bias of mind to his person, therefore he repeats it a second time, ver, 31, 33. I knew him not. Hence we may learn, That a corporal sight of Christ, and an outward personal acquaintance with him is not simply needful, and absolutely necessary, for enabling a minister to set him forth, and represent him savingly to the world. Observe, 2. The means declared by which John came to know Christ to be the true Messiah; it was by a sign from heaven, namely, The Holy Ghost descending like a dove upon our Saviour: He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me. Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit de
did shadow and cloud their Master. See therefore the sincerity of the holy Baptist; he takes every opportunity to draw off the eyes of his disciples from himself, and fix them upon Christ; he saith to two of his disciples, Behold the Lamb of God, as if he had said, “Turn your eyes from me to Christ, take less notice of me his minister;
|but behold your and my Lord and Master,
Behold the Lamb of God.” Learn hence, That the great design of Christ's faithful ministers, is to set people upon admiring of Christ, and not magnifying themselves. Oh! 'tis their great ambition and desire, that such as love and respect them, and honour their ministry, may be led by them to Christ; to behold and admire him, to accept of him, and to submit unto him : John said to his disciples, Behold the Lamb of God. 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come and see.
scending and remaining, the same is he. Learn hence, 1. That Christ taking upon him our nature, did so cover his glory with the veil of our flesh and common infirmities, that he could not be known by
They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40 one of the two which heard John speak, and
followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Sinnon the son of Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas, which is, by interpretation, Astone. 43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. 44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
This latter part of the chapter acquaints us with the calling of five disciples; not to the apostleship, for that was afterwards; nor yet simply by conversion, for some of them were John's disciples already, and believed in the Messiah to come; but they are here called to own and acknowledge Jesus Christ to be the true and promised Messiah. The disciples here called were Andrew, Peter, and Philip, mean and obscure persons, poor fishermen, not any of the learned rabbies and doctors among the Jews. Hereby Christ showed at once the freeness of his grace, in passing by the knowing men of the age ; the greatness of his power, who by such weak instruments could effect such mighty things; and the glory of his wisdom, in choosing such instruments as should not carry away the glory of the work from him ; but cause the entire hohour and glory of all their great successes to redound to Christ. As Christ can do, so he chooses to do, great things by weak means, knowing the weakness of the instrument redounds to the greater honour of the agent; for these persons now called to be disciples, were afterwards sent forth by Christ as his apostles, to convert the world to Christianity. Observe farther, The order according to which the disciples were called: first, Andrew, then Peter; (which may make the church of Rome ashamed of the weakness of their argument for Peter's supremacy, that he was first called; whereas Andrew was before him, and Peter was brought to Jesus by him.) Andrew findeth his own brother Simon, and brought him to Jesus. Such as have gotten any knowledge of Christ themselves, anti are let into acquaintance with him, will be very diligent to invite, and industrious to bring in, others to him.
The last person mentioned in this chapter, who was called to own and embrace Christ for the Messiah, is Nathanael: who this Nathanael was, doth not certainly appear; but it is evident, he was a sincere good man, though prejudiced for th present against Christ, because of the place of his supposed birth and residence, Nazareth: Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? That is, can any worthy or excellent person, much less the promised and long-expected Messias, come out of such an obscure place as Nazareth is Whereas Almighty God, whenever he pleases, can raise worthy persons out of contemptible places. Observe farther, How mercifully and meekly Christ passes over the mistakes and failings, the prepossessions and prejudices, of Nathanael; but takes notice of and publicly proclaims his sincerity: i.h an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile ! That is, no guile imputed, no guile concealed, no prevailing guile. It being only true of Christ, in a strict and absolute sense, that there was no guile found in his lips; but, in a qualified sense, it is true of Nathanael, and every upright man: they are true Israelites, like their father Jacob, plain men ; men of great sincerity and uprightness of heart, both in the sight of God and man. And whereas our Saviour speaks of him with a sort of admiration, Behold an Israelite in whom is no guile / We learn. That a person of great sincerity and uprightness of heart towards God and man, a true Nathanael, an Israelite indeed, is a rare and worthy sight, Behold an Israelite indeed / Learn, 2. That such indeed as are Nathanaels, need not commend themselves: Christ will be sure claims it, and calls upon others to take notice of it. Behold, &c. 48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree I saw thee. 49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
Peter being brought to Christ, our Sa-i to do it for them. Nathanael conceals his viour names him Cephas, which signifies] own worth: Christ publishes and pro
Observe here, How Nathanael wondereth that Christ should know him, having (as he thought) never seen him. Christ gives him to understand, that by his allseeing eye he had seen him, when he was not seen by him : When thou wast under the fig-tree I saw thee. Christ's all-seeing eye is an infallible proof of his deity and god-head. Christ seeth us whatever we do, though we see not him. He seeth the sincerity of our hearts, and will own it, and bear witness to it, if we are upright in his sight. Observe farther, How Christ's omnipresence and omniscience convinces Nathanael that he was more than man, even the Messias, God and man in two distinct natures and one person. Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God. Philip called Christ the Son of Joseph: Nathanael calls him the Son of God. Such as believe Christ's omniscience, will never call in question his divinity. Observe lastly, How Christ encourages the faith of this new disciple Nathanael, by promising him that he shall enjoy farther helps and means for the confirmation of his faith, than ever yet he had. All that Christ said to him, was only this, that he saw him under the fig-tree, before Philip called him. How ready art thou, O Lord! to encourage the beginnings of faith in the hearts of thy people, and to furnish them with farther means of knowledge, when they wisely improve what they have received Never wilt thou be wanting, either in means or mercy to us, if we be not wanting to thee and ourselves. 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. The heavens were open to Christ, and
the angels attended upon him, first at his baptism, Matt. iii. ult, then at his ascen
sion, Acts i. 9. Whether Christ alludes to the one or the other, or to both, I shall not positively say; but gather this note, That the ministry and attendance of the holy angels upon the Lord Jesus Christ, in the time of his humiliation, was very remarkable: An angel foretells his conception to the Virgin, Luke i. 31. An angel publishes his birth to the shepherds, Luke ii. 14. In his temptations in the wilderness, the angels came and ministered unto him, Matt. iv. 11. In his agony in the garden, an angel is sent to comfort him, Luke xiii. 42. At his resurrection an angel rolls away the stone, and proclaims him risen to the women that sought for him, Matt. xxviii. 6. At his ascension, the angels altended upon him, and bare him company to heaven. And at the day of judgment, he shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. Now, thus officious are the holy angels to our blessed Saviour, and thus subservient to him upon all occasions. 1. In point of affection and singular love to Christ. 2. In point of duty and special obligation to Christ. There is no such cheerful and delightful service,as the service of love. Such is the angels' service to Christ for the services he has done them, he being an Head of confirma. tion to them : For, that they are established in that holy and glorious state in which they were at first created, is owing to the special grace of the Redeemer: Glorify him then, all ye angels, and praise him his host.
ANP the third day there was a mar: riage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called and his disciples to the marriage. The former part of this chapter atquaints us with the first miracle which our Saviour wrought, in turning water into wine; the occasion of it was, his being invited to a marriage-feast. Here note.'. That whenever our Saviour was invited to a public entertainment, he never to: fused the invitation, but constantly went; not so much for the pleasure of eating.” for the opportunity of conversing and do ing good, which was meat and drink unio him. Note, 2. What honour Christ Pul upon the ordinance of marriage; he nours it with his presence and first mis” cle. Some think it was St. John that wo now the bridegroom; others, that it wo some near relation of the virgin mother: but whoever it might be, doubtless Chri. design was rather to put honour upon
ordinance than upon the person. How bold is the church of Rome in spitting upon the face of this ordinance, by denying its lawfulness to the ministers of religion: When the apostle, Heb. xiii. 4. affirms that marriage is honourable among all. Neither the prophets of the Old Testament, nor the apostles of the New, (St. Peter himself not excepted,) did abhor the marriage-bed, or judge themselves too pure for an institution of their Maker. Note, 3. That it is an ancient and laudable
institution, that the rites of marriage
should not want a solemn celebration. Feasting with friends upon such an occasion is both lawful and commendable, provided the rules of sobriety and charity, modesty and decency, be observed, and no sinful liberty assumed. But it must be said, that feasting in general, and marriage-feasts in particular, are some of those lawful things which are difficultly managed without sin. Note, 4. That our Saviour's working a miracle when he was at the marriage-feast, should teach us, by his example, that in our cheerful and free times, when we indulge a little more than ordinary to mirth amongst our friends, we should still be mindful of God's honour and glory, and lay hold upon an occasion of doing all the good we can. Note lastly, As Christ was personally invited to, and bodily present at this marriage-feast when here on earth; so he will not refuse now in heaven to be spiritually present at his people's marriages. They want his presence with them upon that great occasion, they desire and seek it; he is acquainted with it, and invited to it, whoever is neglected; and where Christ is made acquainted with the match, he will certainly make one at the marriage. Happy is that wedding where Christ and his friends (as here) are the invited, expected, and enjoyed guests. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee! mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. This want of wine was probably so disposed by the providence of God, to give our Saviour an opportunity to manifest his divine power in working a miracle to supply it. Observe here, 1. How the Virgin enquires into the family's Xants, and then makes them known to Christ. Learn hence, That it is an argu
ment of piety, and an evidence of ChrisWol. I–54
|ian love, to enquire into the wants, and to recommend the necessities of others to Christ's care and consideration ; whose bounty and munificence can readily and abundantly supply them. Thus far the Virgin's action was good: she laid open the case to Christ: They have no wine. But Christ, who discerned the thoughts of Mary's heart, finds her guilty of presumption; she thought by her motherly authority, she might have expected, if not commanded, a miracle from him: whereas Christ was subject to her as a man during his private life: but now being entered upon his office as mediator, as God-man, he gives her to understand she had no power over him, nor any motherly authority in the business of his public office; therefore he says to her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? He that charges his angels with folly, will not be taught when and how to act by poor crawling dust and ashes. Observe therefore, 2. Christ calls the Virgin, Woman, not Mother, but this was not out of any contempt, but to prevent her being thought more than a woman, above or beyond a woman, having brought forth the Son of God. Woman, says Christ; not Goddess, as the Papists would make her, and proclaim her free from sin, even from venial sin; but Christ's reproving her shows that she was not faultless. Observe, 3. Christ would not bear with the Virgin’s commanding on earth, will he then endure her intercession in heaven 4 Must she not meddle with matters appertaining to his office here below, and will it be endured by Christ, or endeavoured by her, to interpose in the work of mediation above 3 No, no; were it possible for her so far to forget herself in heaven, she would receive the answer from Christ which she had on earth, Woman, what have I to do with thee 2 or thou with me, in my mediatorial office But instead of this, she returns answer from heaven to her idolatrous petitioners here on earth, “What have I to do with thee! Get you to my
Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled
unto them, Draw out now, and bear
were obvious to sense, not lying wonders,
nor fictitious miracles, which the jugglers in
the church of Rome cheat the people with. The greatest miracle which they boast of, transubstantiation, is so far from being obvious to sense, that it contradicts the sense and reason of mankind, and is the greatest affront to human nature that ever the world was acquainted with. Observe, 2. Though Christ wrought a real miracle, yet he would not work more of miracle than needed; he would not create wine out of nothing, but turned water into wine. Thus he multiplied the bread, changed the water, restored withered limbs, raised dead bodies, still working upon that which was, and not creating that which was not : Christ never wrought a miracle but when needful, and then wrought no more of miracles than he needed. Ob-,
them up to the brim. 8 And he saith
serve, 3. The liberality and bounty of Christ in the miracle here wrought; sir water-pots are filled with wine! enough, | says some writers, for an hundred and | fifty men; had he turned but one of those large vessels into wine, it had been a sufficient proof of his power; but to fill so many, was an instance both of his power and mercy. The Lord of the family furnishes his household not barely forme. cessity, but for delight, giving richly all things to enjoy. And as the bounty of Christ appeared in quantity, so in theer. cellency, of the wine; Thou hast kept the best wine until now, says the governor of the feast. It was fit that Christ's miraculous wine should be more perfect than the natural. But, O blessed Saviour, how delicate and delicious shall that wine be, which we shall drink ere long, with thee in thy Father's kingdom: Let thy Holy Spirit fill the vessel of my heart with water, with godly sorrow and contrition, and thou wilt turn it into wine. For blessed are they that mourn, they shall k comforted. Observe, 4. The double effects of this miracle; Christ hereby manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on
him. 1. He manifested forth his glory;
that is, the glory of his godhead, as doing this by his own power. Here shined
|forth his omnipotence, his bounty and
liberality, everything that might bespeak
|him both a great and good God. The
| second effect of this miracle was, that the
|disciples believed on him. The great end
of miracles is the confirmation of faith;
God never sets the seals of his omnipo
tence to a lie; all the miracles then that
Christ and his apostles did, were as so
many seals that the doctrine of the gospel
is true. If you believe not me, says Christ,
believe the works which I do, for they bow
witness of me, John v. 36.
12 After this he went down to Co. pernaum, he, and his mother, and his |brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. 13 And the Jews' passover was at hall, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those the sold oxen and sheep and doves, on the changers of money sitting: "o And when he had made a scourge." small cords, he drove them all out." the temple, and the sheep, and ". oxen; and poured out the chango money, and overthrew the tables 19 And said unto them that sold do"