John 17:13 MEANING

John 17:13
(13) And now I come to thee.--Comp. the first words of John 17:12, with which these are in contrast.

And these things I speak in the world.--The thought is that He is about to leave them, and that He utters this prayer in their hearing (comp. John 11:42) that they may have the support of knowing that He who had kept them while with them, had solemnly committed them to His Father's care. The prayer itself was a lesson, and this thought is to be remembered in the interpretation of it.

That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.--Comp. Notes on John 15:11; John 16:24. The joy here thought of is that which supported Him in all the sorrow and loneliness of His work on earth, and came from the never-failing source of the Father's presence with Him. (Comp. Note on John 16:32.) He would have them fulfilled with the abundance of this joy.

Verse 13. - But now come I to thee. So that the condition, the shielding protection of my love is removed, thou, O my Father, must be their Sun and Shield. And these things I am uttering in the world; uttering, i.e. in their hearing before my last step is taken, and perhaps in the very midst of the machinations which are going on against me. That they might have the joy that is mine fulfilled, fully unfolded and completed, in themselves. By overhearing the high-priestly prayer, they would be assured of the Divine guardianship, and would receive the transfer of even his joy as well as of his peace. They would find the higher joy also of the return of their Lord to the bosom of the Father. Christ has taught his disciples to desire such joy and peace as he found on the night of the Passion.

17:11-16 Christ does not pray that they might be rich and great in the world, but that they might be kept from sin, strengthened for their duty, and brought safe to heaven. The prosperity of the soul is the best prosperity. He pleaded with his holy Father, that he would keep them by his power and for his glory, that they might be united in affection and labours, even according to the union of the Father and the Son. He did not pray that his disciples should be removed out of the world, that they might escape the rage of men, for they had a great work to do for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind. But he prayed that the Father would keep them from the evil, from being corrupted by the world, the remains of sin in their hearts, and from the power and craft of Satan. So that they might pass through the world as through an enemy's country, as he had done. They are not left here to pursue the same objects as the men around them, but to glorify God, and to serve their generation. The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit of the world.And now come I to thee,.... As in John 17:11, which he repeats as a very great happiness to himself, and with much pleasure and joy, but not without concern for those he was parting from:

and these things I speak in the world; which he had expressed in this prayer concerning the nature of eternal life, and his power to give it to all the Father had given him; concerning the work of redemption finished by him, and the glory due unto him on that account; concerning his chosen ones, particularly the apostles, and the mutual interest he and his Father had in them; and what he had done for them, in revealing the Gospel to them, keeping them by the powerful influence of his grace, and the great concern he had for their future preservation: and these things he took notice of in his prayer, whilst he was in the world, before he took his leave of them;

that, says he,

they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves: either the joy which Christ had in them, which was of an early date, is still continued towards them, and will be more fully expressed, when they shall all be brought safe home to glory, and be for ever with him; or else the joy of which Christ is the author and object, which comes from him, and centres in him: saints rejoice in the person of Christ; in the greatness and dignity of his person, as God over all; hence they know that what he did and suffered answered the purpose, that he must have great interest in heaven, and they must be safe in his hands; and in the fitness of it, to be a Mediator, he being God and man in one person; and in the fulness of it, which is all theirs, it is with delight they view it, with joy they receive from it, and believe they shall not want; and in the beauty of it, he being fairer than the children of men. The offices Christ bears as prophet, priest, and King, the relations he stands in as father, husband, brother and friend; his Gospel and communion with him, the blessings of grace in him, as peace, pardon, righteousness and salvation, lay a foundation for solid joy in them that believe; as do also his death, resurrection, exaltation and intercession. This joy in him is a grace of the Spirit, and is attended with faith in Christ; it should be constant, but is frequently interrupted; though the ground and foundation of it is always the same; it is therefore at present imperfect, but may be increased; it is unknown to the world, and inexpressible by the saints; and may be said to be "fulfilled" in them, when it abounds in them more and more; when they are full of it, and that is full of glory, and which will be fulfilled in glory.

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