John 18:9 MEANING

John 18:9
(9) That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake.--Comp. John 17:12. The quotation is in many ways suggestive. (1) It is not verbally accurate, i.e., St. John, quoting the words of Christ, which he has himself recorded a few verses before, is at no pains to reproduce it word for word, but is satisfied in giving the substance of it. This throws light on the general literary habits and feelings of this age and race, and it is in full harmony with the usual practice of quotation in the New Testament. (2) St. John quotes with an application to temporal persecution that which had been spoken of spiritual persecution. This illustrates the kind of way in which words are said to be "fulfilled" in more than one sense. Striking words fix themselves in the mind, and an event occurs which illustrates their meaning, and it is said therefore to fulfil them, though of each fulfilment it can be only part. (Comp. especially Notes on John 2:17; John 12:38 et seq.) (3) The quotation shows that in the thought of St. John himself, the prayer recorded in John 17 is no resume of the words of our Lord, but an actual record of His prayer: he quotes the "saying" as fulfilled, just as he would have quoted a passage from the Old Testament Scriptures.

Verse 9. - But John found

(4) a deeper reason still. He said this in order that the word which he spake an hour or two before might be fulfilled, not finally exhausted in its unfathomable depth, but gloriously illustrated, Concerning those whom thou hast given me, not one of them I lost. This is a proof, as recognized by De Wette and others, that the evangelist was quoting exact words of the Master, not words which he had theologically attributed to him. The temporal safety of the disciples was a means on that dread night of saving their souls from death, as well as their bodies from torture or destruction. "Christ," says Calvin, "continually bears with our weakness when he puts himself forward to repel so many attacks of Satan and wicked men, because he sees that we are not yet able or prepared for them. In short, he never brings his people into the field of battle till they have been fully trained, so that in perishing they do not perish, because there is gain provided for them both in death and in life." The reference of the apostle to John 17:12 is, moreover, also one of the numerous proofs which the Gospel itself supplies, that great, Heaven-taught as the apostle was, he stands, with all his inspiration, far below, at least on a different plane, from that occupied by the Lord. His occasional interjections and explanations of his Master's words calmer be put on the same level with the words themselves. Even Reuss finds here a reason for holding the authenticity of many at least of the sayings themselves, while refusing to accept the genuineness of the Gospel as a whole ('Theologic Johannique,' in loco).

18:1-12 Sin began in the garden of Eden, there the curse was pronounced, there the Redeemer was promised; and in a garden that promised Seed entered into conflict with the old serpent. Christ was buried also in a garden. Let us, when we walk in our gardens, take occasion from thence to mediate on Christ's sufferings in a garden. Our Lord Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and asked, Whom seek ye? When the people would have forced him to a crown, he withdrew, ch.That the saying might be fulfilled which he spake,.... John 17:12;

of them which thou gavest me have I lost none; which though it has a peculiar respect to the apostles, is true of all the elect of God; who are given to Christ, and shall none of them be lost, neither their souls nor bodies; for Christ's charge of them reaches to both: both were given to him, both are redeemed by him, and both shall be saved in him with an everlasting salvation: he saves their souls from an eternal death, and will raise their bodies from a corporeal one; wherefore that his care of his disciples, with respect to their bodies as well as souls, with respect to their temporal lives as well as eternal happiness, might be seen; he made this agreement with the Jews that came to take him, or rather laid this injunction on them, to dismiss them; and which it is very remarkable they did; they laid hands on none of them, even though Peter drew his sword and struck off the ear of one of them: and which is a very considerable instance of the power which Christ had over the spirits of these men, to restrain them; and so a proof of his proper deity, as well as of the care of Christ for the preservation of his apostles, whilst he was here on earth; for to that time only the words cited have a respect; in which Christ speaks of his keeping them whilst he was with them, and uses this as an argument with his Father to keep them, now he was removing from them: wherefore their losing their lives afterwards for his sake, as they all did excepting the Apostle John, is no contradiction to this expression of his; and besides, they were preserved by the power of God so long, until they had done the work which was appointed them to do, and for which they were given him, and chosen by him to be his apostles, and for which they were better furnished after his resurrection and ascension; for had they been, apprehended by the Jews at this time, in all probability, according to an human view of things, such was their weakness, they would have fallen most foully and shamefully, as the instance of Peter, the strongest of them, shows; and therefore to prevent such a temptation and to preserve them, our Lord took this method to deliver them out of the hands of the Jews; the saving clause, "but the son of perdition", is here left out, because Judas, who is designed by that character, was now openly declared to be what he was; he was no longer among the disciples; he was separated from them, and had betrayed his master, and was not of the number of those Christ insisted upon might be let go.

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