John 14:18

Notice some of the comforts left by Jesus to his disciples. "I will not leave you desolate [or, 'orphans,' or, 'comfortless']," implying that he would leave them some suitable and substantial comforts.


1. This was really the case, in spite of some appearances to the contrary. They thought that he would leave entirely and for ever by death. This was a mistake, and Christ is very careful to correct it. "I come unto you." Many of our troubles and sorrows arise from our mistaken notions of things. Things are not always what they seem. The disciples thought that Christ was going away from them by death, while in fact he was coming unto them, spiritually nearer to them in sympathy and fellowship. On the cross and in the grave he was coming unto them; and he was coming nearer and nearer unto them in all the trials and dangers of after-life. And thus he comes unto all believers, even when they think that he leaves them.

2. This was literally the case at his resurrection. He came unto them, and they embraced their risen Lord.

3. This was specially the case on the Day of Pentecost. When his promise of the Spirit was fulfilled, and in the fulfillment of this promise, they realized the presence of Christ more than ever; and, instead of the outward Christ, they henceforth enjoyed him in them as a Divine power, light, and inspiration. "Christ in you, the Hope of glory."

4. This will be fully the case at the last day. He ever comes in his Word, in his Spirit, in the dispensations of providence, in the shadows and sunshine of life, and especially in the gloom of death, and each coming is a source of comfort and joy; but his great coming at the last day will crown all, and swallow every other coming in itself, and will perfect the mutual fellowship for ever.


1. This is denied to the world. "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more." The world had seen him outwardly. But even this vision would be soon withdrawn. There is an undertone of sadness in his announcement of this. The best opportunity the world ever had would soon be lost forever. The world cannot see the spiritual and eternal; only the material and outward. Only this it saw of Jesus; but even this was about to be withdrawn.

2. This vision is granted to the disciples. "But ye see me." He assures them not merely that he would continue to come unto them, but that they would continue to see him - see him even after his departure; and if not, it would be their own fault. They had professed to have the power of spiritual vision, faith, which they doubtless had, and they had been well strengthened by his teaching and miracles. Now it was about to be tried, and he had no doubt of the ultimate success. Material and circumstantial changes cannot entirely intercept the vision of faith. There may be an eclipse, but not total; and if total, it will not continue long enough to be specially noticed. It was so now in the case of the disciples with regard to their impending trial. After the terrible but brief gloom, "the Sun of Righteousness" appeared to faith brighter than ever. So clear and full was the vision to the disciples that they could see nothing else. It filled their horizon with his presence and glory. They saw him in every object around and above them in the gloom of earth and in the glory of heaven; saw him in all the circumstances and trials of life and in the sufferings of death, in nature, providence and redemption. Christ, in fact, was their "all in all."


1. The life of Jesus. "I live." Christ's life was continuous. It is true that he really died, but it was the act of his own will. He was the Prisoner of death, but only for a short time, and that by his own permission. By reason of the fullness of life in him, he could well afford to ignore death. He lived in death, and through death he attained his mediatorial life in its glory. Death was made by him to serve life. The disciples were afraid that would be his final end; but this fear is dispelled by the announcement, "I live." Of the truth of this they had ample proofs in due time. What a comfort it is to believers to know that their pious dead are still living, and especially to know that their Redeemer liveth! They are not orphans.

2. Their life. "And ye shall live also." Next to their concern for his life was that for their own. They were afraid that his death would involve their death, and they would naturally and sadly ask - What will become of us, of our fond hopes, dreams, and aspirations? They are set at rest by the statement, "And ye shall live a]so."

3. Their life as united with his. "Because I live," etc. We have here:

(1) The nature of their life. A life like that of Jesus; a Divine and spiritual life, different from and superior to the physical and its circumstances. They are directed to the spiritual nature of their life as a source of consolation.

(2) The infinite cause of their life. It is a great source of comfort to have an adequate reason for an important statement such as the one made here by our Lord, "Ye shall live also." One would naturally ask - Why and how is this? It appears strange, if not impossible. There is sufficient answer in the statement of Jesus, "Because I live," etc. Physical life is dependent upon the life and will of God; and spiritual life by faith is entirely dependent on the life of Christ as its Divine Source, its efficient and meritorious Cause, its infinite Support and Guarantee.

(3) The perfect certainty and safety of their life. In the degree they would believe in the life of Jesus they would realize their own, and have confidence in its safety. The life of faith is as certain and safe as that Divine life from which it emanates, and by which it is protected and supported. Safe in all the trials and dangers of life, and even in death itself. It is "hid with Christ in God."

(4) The endless continuance of their life. "Ye shall live also." The cravings and aspirations of immortality are fully satisfied in the life of Jesus. There is no room for any fear with regard to the great changes of the future. The life of faith is commensurate in duration with the life of Christ, with which it is inseparably connected. They had the comfort of a continuous vision of an ever-living Savior, and of their life eternally safe in connection with his.


1. The fellowship of Christ with the Father. "Ye shall know that I am in my Father." This as yet was but imperfectly known - a source of perplexity to them.

2. Their fellowship with Christ, and Christ with them. "Ye in me," etc.

3. Their fellowship with the Father. This is an inevitable consequence of their fellowship with Christ. To realize all this would be to them a source of great comfort and spiritual peace and joy. Then they would not consider themselves orphans, but happy and rich children in the warm embrace of an almighty and infinitely kind Father.

(1) It is possible to have an interest in Christ without fully knowing it at the time. The disciples had much now of which they were not aware. Their spiritual possessions were greater than knowledge.

(2) Faith naturally presses forward to a fuller knowledge of Divine things. It craves for it, and is never disappointed. If we want an increase of knowledge, let us strive for an increase of faith. Believe, and you shall know.

(3) There are periods when Divine knowledge is specially attained and realized. "In that day ye shall," etc. The morning of Christ's resurrection was such a day, and Pentecost was another; and in individual and social experience of believers there are many such days, when faith is rewarded with knowledge, and culminates in spiritual realization. Then the language of the soul is not "I believe," but "I know" - "I know that my Redeemer," etc.; "I know whom," etc. Then there is in the soul a spring-tide of spiritual comfort and peace, and an ecstasy of inspired confidence.


1. This is a self-manifestation of Christ. He is the Revealer and the Revealed. Different mediums and agents are employed; still he is the Source and Subject of the revelation. During his personal ministry on earth he chiefly manifested the Father and the Spirit; but after the Ascension he manifests himself through the Spirit and the ministry of his Word. He manifests himself in his humanity and Divinity - in his human and Divine relationships; in short, in all his past, present, and future agency with regard to the great scheme of human redemption. His manifestation in the flesh was comparatively small, and only introductory to the great spiritual manifestation of himself in the soul and in the spirit of humanity.

2. This self-manifestation of Christ is inseparably connected with loving obedience to him. "He that hath my commandments," etc. Love to Christ manifests itself through obedience to his commands, and through this loving obedience Christ manifests himself to the soul. With every loving act comes a fresh vision of the Savior.

3. This self-manifestation of Christ is inseparably connected with a corresponding experience of Divine love. "He that loveth me shall be loved," etc. Love begets love. Human love to Christ is repaid with Divine interest. It returns in living streams of love to the experience from the Father and the Son. And this Divine love is the sweetest and most powerful medium through which Christ manifests himself. It is a manifestation of him in itself.

4. This self-manifestation of Christ is gradual and progressive. It was so in the experience of the disciples. There was a vast difference between the Christ of Pentecost and Jesus of Nazareth. And it is so in the experience of believers ever since. Jesus once really seen by faith will never be permanently lost sight of, but the constancy and clearness of the vision depend upon the degree of faith and love in the soul. He will manifest as we believe and love.

5. This self-manifestation of Christ will be ultimately complete. "I will," etc. It will not reach completion till the last day. To fully see him, he must fully appear; to fully know him, we must be like him; and to be like him, we must see him as he is. But even then we shall not see all his beauty nor comprehend all his Being. Were this the case, our happiness would cease. Eternity will not exhaust his glory, although fully employed in its exhibition. But at his final coming there will be such a full manifestation of him as will exclude every element of unhappiness, and fill the soul with satisfaction forever. We shall be satisfied with each draught of revelation, and look forward with serene confidence and ecstatic joy to the next and the next.


1. The sympathy of Christ with his people is most tenderly considerate. It was so here. His disciples did not tell him that they were afraid of orphanage and desolation, but he knew it; and in answer to their inward thoughts and feelings, he tenderly said, "I will not leave you," etc.

2. His sympathy with his people is ever practical. It is not mere sentiment. It is not only negative, but ever assumes an affirmative form. He did not stop with saying, "I will not leave," etc., but proceeded to say, "I come," etc. And all this was fulfilled in their experience; and it is ever so.

3. As Christ is manifested in the soul, we at once realize all we need. When the sun appears in the sky, all the landscape around is in full view. So, when the Sun of Righteousness arises in the soul, the spiritual universe is all ablaze. We see an ever-living Savior and an ever-loving Father in closest fellowship, and our life by faith in closest fellowship with both. When Christ manifested himself to his disciples, they never thought of orphanage and desolation afterwards.

4. Let us take care of the condition of our spiritual comfort and realization. "He that hath my commandments," etc. - B.T.

I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.
The word "comfortless" means "bereft." We have adopted the Greek word, and have gradually limited it to the severest kind of bereavement — orphanhood. But the promise, starting from one kind of bereavement, enlarges itself, and takes in all who from any cause want comfort. God does not say that you shall never be comfortless, but on the contrary, He implies that you shall be so. Nobody, however saintly, could say he was never comfortless, but he can say, "I was not left comfortless." And the length of the comfortless period depends upon the faith we have in Christ's coming to us.

I. Let us confine our view to one kind of sorrow — BEREAVEMENT, This has in it —

1. Change. One you loved, and with whom you were almost hourly in converse, has passed away. Everything is changed; nothing looks to us as it used to look in the sunshine, which seems as if it never would come back again. It is wonderful how one face gone, one voice silent, alters the whole world.

2. Separation. Then a gulf opens, which, however persons may talk about it, is then very wide. The grave is a wall of adamant to you — they may be conscious of no distance, but to you, oh, how very far off!

3. Loneliness. No wonder that the silence is oppressive. No matter how many you may have around you, or how kind, you are thrown hack into your own thoughts which circle about one, and that one is gone, and it is a perfect solitude.

4. Fear: a painful apprehension of what the future is going to be. "How shall I live on? What shall I do without that love, that counsel?"

II. FOR THESE FOUR WRETCHEDNESSES, CHRIST IS THE ONLY ANTIDOTE — "I will come to you." And mark, it is His presence, not His work, His Cross, His final Advent, but His living presence now.

1. With Him there is no shadow of a turning. It is the same voice which faith hears, and the same face which faith sees now, which you heard and saw in years long gone by. "I will never leave you." And the awful change which has passed over everything else only makes it stand out more comfortingly — His impossibility of change.

2. And with that felt, present, unchangeable Christ, both worlds are one. The Church in heaven and the Church on earth are the members, and all meet in that one Head, and in Him they are here. Where then is loneliness? He is a Brother by me, to whom I can tell everything, and He will answer me. I seem speaking to them because they are holding the very same converse within the veil.

3. The solitude of the soul, where He is, becomes peopled with the whole host of heaven. There is no sense of being alone when we realize that we are alone with Jesus.

4. And so the fear flies away. For what Christ is now, He will be always. And that presence is the pledge of a reunion. A little while, and it will be He, and they, and I, and we shall be together forever.Conclusion:

1. Read a particular emphasis on the "I," that great word which God is so fond of. Whatever it be to you now, this gay world will leave you utterly "comfortless." Those whom today you are most fondly cherishing, and the thought of whose death you dare not admit to your own heart — if you have none but them, and no Christ in them, you will wake up some morning to such a cold vacancy, for that one will have gone, and will have left you "comfortless." Friends will come with their emptinesses, and they will go, and you will be as comfortless as when they came. Only He who could say, "I will come to you" as none other comes, as He came to Martha and Mary at Bethany; only He can say, "I will not leave you comfortless."

2. Read another emphasis on that "you." "I," Jesus seems to say, "I was left comfortless, but I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

3. Of all the bereaved in the whole world, there is none so bereft as that man of whatever happy circle he may be, who cannot look up to heaven, and say, "My Father." That man is an orphan indeed.

4. There is another. He has known what it is to feel God His Father, but it is gone Do you say, "It is I?" Then I am sure that at this moment Jesus is saying it to you — "I will not leave you an orphan," etc. For if there be a thing on the whole earth which Jesus will not have it is an orphaned heart.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

I. MAN NEEDS A COMFORTER. I do not now speak of men in the bulk, but in units. Wars, pestilences, strikes, and social evils trouble men, but besides these, each man in himself has trouble which none but God can soothe. Perhaps friendless poverty is the sorest trouble of existence. Returning along the road from Warrington, I heard a groan which made my heart shudder. Stooping to the hedge, I saw a woman and a little child in great distress. She was from Liverpool; her husband had come to Manchester seeking for work and had written saying he had been taken ill, and that as he could send no money, she must trust in God. Without a penny in her pocket, love for her husband gave her strength to walk to Manchester with her child in her arms. She inquired at his lodgings, but found he had been taken to the hospital. She then by asking at every corner arrived at the Manchester workhouse, and found that her husband was dead, and his remains had been placed in the grave the day before. Footsore, hungry, and friendless, she was sent away, and pawned her shawl to keep from dying in the street. Then she dragged herself to the road near Irlam and lay down under a hedge to groan and to die. But in the cottage of a poor farm labourer she found help and sympathy which caused her to live. Did God not hear, and hearing, did He not provide comfort?

II. MEN VERY OFTEN SEEK ARTIFICIAL COMFORTERS. After the great deluge, men built the tower of Babel, hoping by that means to receive comfort in any similar calamity. And in these days men are building towers which they hope will save them from the deluge of trouble. Many people think that if they build up a tower of riches they will be happy. But the rich man is no happier than the poor one. I was once asked to visit a man who was said to be dying. Standing at his bedside and holding his hand in mine, I said, "Have you the joy of knowing that your sins are forgiven?" The man looked and replied, "Joy! joy! joy!" Taking his hand from mine he pushed it under the pillow and bringing out a bottle of brandy he held it with his trembling hand, saying, "This is my joy." Poor, miserable, drunkard! Most people before they become drunkards have had some sickness of mind or body preying upon them; but do not fly from your great trouble to drink.

III. OUR FATHER HAS PROVIDED A COMFORTER FOR EVERY MAN. If you seek in the history of the past, what man would you select to be your comforter? I ask the philosophers if they would ask for Socrates above all others? I ask the deists if they would ask for Thomas Paine or Voltaire? Or would you ask for John Bunyan, or for Wesley or Whitefield? If you knew none better you might. Take the worst man in the world, or an unbeliever, and ask him, "If you were to select out of all men one who should be your bosom friend until you die, upon whom would you fix?" If he told his heart's truth, he would reply, "Jesus."

1. Jesus our Comforter is with us. My mother died in giving me life, and, of course, I have not the slightest remembrance of her. The only relic I had was a little piece of her silk dress, and this I preserved as my dearest treasure. Tossed about, and yearning for a love which was not to be had, I used to sit alone for hours, and long for, and pray to my mother. You may call it an insane fancy, but to me it was real and powerful and comforting. And I owe the success of my boyhood to the consciousness of her beloved presence. In the same way, Jesus communes with us. Jesus in Spirit is with you.

2. He comforts —(1) By showing that our Father loves us. Deep down in every human heart there is the instinct that God loves men. In great calamity men always cry to God.(2) By pointing us to the Cross. Look to the Cross of Jesus, and see the remedy which shall in time save all the world.(3) By inspiring us with hope. When a man is cast out of society, and swears in is despair, "I will now do all the evil I can and spite them," if a friend tap him on the shoulder, saying, "Brother, why despair of yourself? Come with me, and I will hold on to you until you are a better man," why, such language would be an inspiration! Jesus is the friend who does this to the despairing souls of men.(4) When we are heavily burdened. Paul was burdened. He had a "thorn in the flesh." But did God take it away? No; but He gave him grace to bear it. So Jesus comforts us when we are burdened by giving us strength to bear it.(5) He comforts us too by showing us God's purpose. He teaches us that all things work together for good.

(W. Birch.)


1. Not local, for God is everywhere, and no spirit can flee from His presence.

2. Not physical; for in God we live and move, etc.

3. But, morally, the unregenerate are ever distant from Him — alienated in sympathy, purpose and pursuit: "without God." The ungodly world is a world of orphans, without a father's fellowship and guidance.


1. Orphanism, so far as human parentage is concerned, is a calamity, but this is a crime. The soul has broken away from its Father, not its Father from it.

2. Orphanism in the one case may have its loss supplied, but not in the other. Thank God, society in this age has loving hearts, and good homes for orphans. But nothing on earth can take the place of God in relation to a soul: such a soul is benighted, perishing, lost.

III. IS REMOVED BY THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST. He brings the soul into a loving, blessed fellowship with God. The deep cry of humanity is the cry of an orphan for the Father. The response is the advent of Christ.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

I. THE ABSENT CHRIST IS THE PRESENT CHRIST. "Orphans" is rather an unusual form in which to represent the relation between our Lord and His disciples. And so, possibly, our versions are accurate in giving the general idea of desolation. But, still, it is to be remembered that this whole conservation begins with "Little children"; and they would be like fatherless and motherless children in a cold world. And what is to hinder that? One thing only. "I come to you." Now, what is this "coming"? Our Lord says, not "I will," as a future, but "I come," or, "I am coming," as an immediately impending, or present, thing. There can be no reference to the final coming, because it would follow, that, until that period, all that love Him here are to wander about as orphans; and that can never be.

1. We have here a coming which is but the reverse side of His bodily absence. This is the heart of the consolation that, howsoever the "foolish senses" may have to speak of an absent Christ, we may rejoice in the certainty that He is with all those that love Him, and all the more because of the withdrawal of the earthly manifestation Which has served its purpose. Note the manifest implication of absolute Divinity. "I come." "I am present with every single heart." That is equivalent to Omnipresence. I cannot but think that the average Christian life of this day woefully fails in the realization of this great truth, that we are never alone, but have Jesus Christ with each of us more closely, and with more Omnipotence of influence than they had who were nearest Him upon earth. If we really believed this, how all burdens and cares would be lightened, how all perplexities would begin to smooth themselves out, and how sorrows and joys and everything would be changed in their aspect. A present Christ is the Strength, the Righteousness, the Peace, the Joy, the Life of every Christian soul.

2. This coming of our Lord is identified with that of His Divine Spirit. He has been speaking of sending that "other Comforter," who is no gift wafted to us as from the other side of a gulf; but by reason of the unity of the Godhead, Christ and the Spirit whom He sends are, though separate, so indissolubly united that where the Spirit is, there is Christ, and where Christ is, there is the Spirit. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."

3. This present Christ is the only Remedy for the orphanhood of the world. We can understand how forlorn and terrified the disciples were, when they looked forward to the things that must come to them, without His presence. Therefore He cheers them with this assurance.(1) And the promise was fulfilled. How did that dispirited group ever pluck up courage to hold together after the Crucifixion at all? Why was it that they did not follow the example of John's disciples, and dissolve and disappear, and say, "The game is up." If it had not been that He came to them, Christianity would have been one more of the abortive sects forgotten in Judaism. But, as it is, the whole of the New Testament after Pentecost is aflame with the consciousness of a present Christ working amongst His people.(2) The same conviction you and I must have, if the world is not to be a desert and a dreary place for us. If you take away Christ the elder Brother, who alone reveals the Father, we are all orphans, who look up into an empty heaven and see nothing there. And is not life a desolation without Him? Hollow joys, roses whose thorns last long after the petals have dropped, real sorrow, shows and shams, bitternesses and disappointments — are not these our life, in so far as Christ has been driven out of it?


1. That "yet a little while" covers the whole space up to His ascension: and if there be any reference to the forty clays, during which, literally, the world "saw Him no more," but "the apostles saw Him," that reference is only secondary. These transitory appearances are not sufficient to bear the weight of so great a promise as this. The vision, which is the consequence of the coming, is as continuous and permanent as the coming. It is clear, too, that the word "see" is employed in two different senses. In the former it refers only to bodily, in the latter to spiritual perception. For a few short hours still, the ungodly mass of men were to have that outward vision which they had used so badly, that "they seeing saw not." It was to cease, and they who loved Him would not miss it when it did. They, too, had but dimly seen Him while He stood by them; they would gaze on Him with truer insight when He was present though absent. So this is what every Christian life may and should be — the continual sight of a continually present Christ.

2. Faith is the sight of the soul, and it is far better than the sight of the senses.(1) It is more direct. My eye does not touch what I look at. Gulfs of millions of miles lie between me and it. But my faith is not only eye, but hand, and not only beholds but grasps.(2) It is far more clear. Senses may deceive; my faith, built upon His Word, cannot deceive. Its information is far more certain, more valid. So that there is no need for men to say, "Oh! if we had only seen Him with our eyes!" You would very likely not have known Him if you had. There is no reason for thinking that the Church has retrograded in its privileges because it has to love instead of beholding, and to believe instead of touching. Sense disturbs, faith alone beholds.(3) "The world seeth Me no more." Why? Because it is a world. "Ye see Me." Why Because, and in the measure, in which you have "turned away your eyes from seeing vanity." If you want the eye of the soul to be opened, you must shut the eye of sense. And the more we turn away from looking at the dazzling lies which befool and bewilder us, the more shall we see Him whom to see is to live forever.

III. THE PRESENT AND SEEN CHRIST IS LIFE AND LIFE GIVING. Because He comes, His life passes into the hearts of the men to whom He comes, and who gaze upon Him.

1. Mark the majestic "I live" — the timeless present tense, which expresses unbroken, undying and Divine life. It is all but a quotation of the name "Jehovah." The depth and sweep of its meaning are given to us by this Apostle, "the living One," who lived whilst He died, and having died "is alive for evermore."

2. And this Christ is Lifegiver to all that love Him and trust Him.(1) We live because He lives. In all senses the life of man is derived from the Christ who is the Agent of creation, and is also the one means by whom any of us can ever hope to live the better life that consists in union to God.(2) We shall live as long as He lives, and His being is the guarantee of the immortal being of all who love Him. Anything is possible, rather than that a soul which has drawn a spiritual life from Christ should ever be rent apart from Him by such a miserable and external trifle as the mere dissolution of the bodily frame. As long as Christ lives your life is secure. If the Head has life the members cannot see corruption. The Church chose for one of its ancient emblems of the Saviour the pelican, which fed its young, according to the fable, with the blood from its own breast. So Christ vitalizes us. He in us is our life.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Christian World.
A tragic story comes from Senegal. Four natives who had been sent to guard the French flag on a newly acquired barren island in that region were left without provisions, and died of starvation. They had a supply of food to last three months, but the governor had entirely forgotten to send relief to the guardians of the standard on the lonely rock.

(Christian World.)

Suppose a king's son should get out of a besieged prison and leave his wife and children behind, whom he loves as his own soul; would the prince, when arrived at his father's palace, please and delight himself with the splendour of the court, and forget his family in distress; No; but having their cries and groans always in his ears, he should come post to his father, and entreat him, as ever he loved him, that he would send all the forces of his kingdom and raise the siege, and save his dear relations from perishing; nor will Christ, though gone up from the world and ascended into His glory, forget His children for a moment that are left behind Him.

(J. Gurnall.)

On every Mohammedan tombstone the inscription begins with the words, He remains. This applies to God, and gives sweet comfort to the bereaved. Friends may die, fortune fly away, but God endures. He remains.

Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more, but ye see Me.
Weekly Pulpit.
Came in the flesh — that is the outward, material fact. He is here in the Spirit — that is the inward, spiritual reality.


1. His visible appearance on earth was only for a "little while." Yet how much has been crowded into it. Example; teaching; miracle; suffering. All this helps us to understand His mission, and especially to realize to ourselves His abiding spiritual presence. He is still with us, the very Christ that He was.

2. When Jesus spoke these words there was but a very "little while" left. Only the death scene, and the forty days in the Resurrection body. But these also help us to realize the spiritual presence of Christ, as we can know it; especially do we get suggestions from the Resurrection time.

II. THE WORLD'S BLINDNESS. What report can the "world" give of Christ? "He was a good Man, an original Teacher, But He offended the religion and society leaders of His day, and they secured His crucifixion." The world testifies that He was dead and buried; but the world resists the bare ideas of His Resurrection or spiritual life. How little the world knows, or can conceive, of the "coming, the indwelling of the Holy Ghost." So Christ is lost as an actual power in life.

III. THE DISCIPLES' VISION. "Ye see Me." That is, "Ye do constantly see Me." If they had seen Christ truly while He was here on earth, then they would find they never lost the sight of Him. Because, during His earthly life, His real presence with the disciples had been presence to heart, not to eye.

1. Christ never goes out of disciples' thought or heart.

2. Christ never ceases to be the disciple's Ruler and Referee.

3. The honour of Christ never ceases to be the disciple's sole aim.

4. The strength of Christ never ceases to be the soul's victory. The joy of Christian life depends on the clearness of our vision of this ever-present Christ.

(Weekly Pulpit.)

Because I live, ye shall live also.
This saying is only to be fully understood in the light of the Resurrection and Ascension. Christ has taken the measure of death; death was to be no real interruption of His ever-continuing life. Already He sees the Resurrection beyond. He treats Death as an already vanquished enemy. Observe:

I. WHAT OUR LORD'S WORDS DO NOT MEAN. They do not mean that the immortality of the soul of man is dependent upon the work or life of Christ. Man is an immortal being, just as he is a thinking and feeling being by the original terms of his nature. Any of us may see who will consider how generally unlike the spirit or soul of man is to any merely material creature.

1. The soul of man knows itself to be capable of continuous development. However vigorous a tree or an animal may be, it soon reaches a point at which it can grow no longer. Its vital force is exhausted; it can do no more. With the soul, whether as a thinking or feeling power, we can never say that it has exhausted itself. When a man of science has made a great discovery, or a man of letters has written a great book, or a statesman has carried a series of great measures we cannot say — "He has done his all." Undoubtedly, as the body moves towards decay it inflicts something of its weakness upon its spiritual companion. But the soul constantly resists, asserting its own separate and vigorous existence. The mind knows that each new effort, instead of exhausting its powers, enlarges them, and that if only the physical conditions necessary to continued exertion are not withdrawn, it will go on continuously making larger and nobler acquirements. So too with the heart, the conscience, the sense of duty. One noble act suggests another: one great sacrifice for truth or duty prompts another. "Be not weary in well-doing" is the language of the Eternal Wisdom to the human will.

2. The spirit is conscious of and values its own existence. This is not the case with any material living forms, however lofty or beautiful. The most magnificent tree only gives enjoyment to other beings; it never understands that itself exists; it is not conscious of losing anything when it is cut down. An animal feels pleasure and pain, but it feels each sensation as it comes; it never puts them together, or takes the measure of its own life, and looks on it as a whole. The animal lives wholly in the present, practically it has no past, nor does it look forward. How different with the conscious, self-measuring spirit of man! Man's spirit lives more in the past and in the future than in the present, exactly in the degree in which it makes the most of itself. And the more the spirit makes of its powers and resources, the more earnestly does it desire prolonged existence. Thus, the best of the heathens longed to exist after death, that they might continue to make progress in all such good as they had begun in this life, in high thoughts and in excellent resolves. And with these longings they believed that they would then exist after all when this life was over. The longing was itself a sort of proof that its object was real; for how was its existence to be explained if all enterprise was to be abruptly broken off by the shock of death?

3. Unless a spiritual being is immortal, such a being counts for less in the universe than mere inert matter. For matter has a kind of immortality. Within the range of our experience, no matter ceases to exist; it only takes new shapes, first in one being, and then in another. It is possible that the destruction of the world at the Last Day will be only a re-arrangement of the sum total of matter which now makes up the visible universe. If man's spirit naturally perishes, the higher part of his nature therefore is much worse off than the chemical ingredients of his body. For man's spirit cannot be resolved like his body, into form and material; the former perishing while the latter survives. Man's spirit either exists in its completeness, or it ceases to exist. Each man is himself: he can become no other. His memory, his affections, his way of thinking and feeling, are all his own: they are not transferable. If they perish, they perish altogether. And therefore it is a reasonable and very strong presumption that spirit is not, in fact, placed at such disadvantage, and that, if matter survives the dissolution of organic forms, much more must spirit survive the dissolution of the material forms with which it has been associated. These are the kind of considerations by which thoughtful men, living without the light of revelation, might be led to see the reasonableness, the very high probability of a future life. This teaching of nature is presupposed by Christianity, and it is no true service to our Master to make light of it. At the same time, it is true that, outside the Jewish revelation, immortality was not treated by any large number of men as anything like a certainty. Jesus Christ assumed it as certain in all that He said with reference to the future life. And it is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ — which has in this, as in so many other ways, opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. What has been may be. And thus the Christian faith has brought "immortality to light." And what a solemn fact is this immortality of ours! A hundred years hence no one of us will be still in the body: we shall have passed to another sphere of being. But if the imagination can take in these vast tracts of time, ten millions years hence we shall still exist, each one with his memory, will, and conscious contact, separate from all other beings in our eternal resting place.

II. WHAT CHRIST'S WORDS DO MEAN. Clearly something is meant by "Life" which is higher than mere existence; not merely beyond animal existence, but beyond the mere existence of a spiritual being. We English use "life" in the sense of an existence which has a purpose and makes the most of itself. And the Greeks had an especial word to describe the true life of man, his highest spiritual energy. This is the word employed by our Lord and by St. Paul. This enrichment and elevation of being is derived from our Lord. He is the Author of our new life, just as our first parent is the source of our first and natural existence. On this account St. Paul calls Him the Second Adam. And, in point of fact, He is the parent of a race of spiritual men who push human life to its highest capacities of excellence. When our Lord was upon earth He communicated His Life to men, by coming in contact with them. Men felt the contagion of a presence, the influence of which they could not measure, a presence from which there radiated a subtle, mysterious energy, which was gradually taking possession of them they knew not exactly how, and making them begin to live a new and higher life. What that result was upon four men of very different types of character we may gather from the reports of the Life of Christ which are given us by the evangelists. But at last He died, and arose and disappeared from sight. And it is of this after time that He says, "Because I live, ye shall live also." How does He communicate His life when the creative stimulus of His visible Presence has been withdrawn?

1. By His Spirit. That Divine and Personal force, whereby the mind and nature of the unseen Saviour is poured into the hearts and minds and characters of men, was to be the Lord and Giver of this life to the end of time. (John 16:14; Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

2. By the Christian sacraments, the guaranteed points of contact with our unseen Saviour; for in them we may certainly meet Him and be invigorated by Him as we toil along the road of our pilgrimage.Conclusion:

1. It is this new life which makes it a blessing to have the prospect before us that we shall individually exist forever.

2. Our immortality is certain. But what sort of immortality is it to be?

(Canon Liddon.)

I. LIFE. We must not confound this with existence. Before the disciples believed in Jesus they existed, and altogether apart from Him as their spiritual life their existence would have been continued. Life, what is it? We cannot tell in words. We know it, however, to be a mystery of different degrees. There is the life of the vegetable. There is a considerable advance when we come to animal life. Sensation, appetite, instinct, are things to which plants are dead. Then there is mental life, which introduces us into quite another realm. To judge, to foresee, to imagine, to invent, to perform moral acts, are not these functions which the ox hath not? Now, far above this there is another form of life of which the mere carnal man can form no more idea than the plant can of the animal, or the animal of the poet. Education cannot raise man into it, neither can refinement reach it; for at its best, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh," and to all must the humbling truth be spoken, "Ye must be born again." It is to be remarked concerning our life in Christ, that it is —

1. The removal of the penalty which fell upon our race for Adam's sin.

2. Spiritual life. Christ works in us through His Holy Spirit, who dwelleth in us evermore.

3. A life in union with God (Romans 8:6-8). Death as to the body consists in its separation from the soul; the death of the soul lies mainly in the soul's being separated from its God.

4. This life bears fruit on earth in righteousness and true holiness, and it is made perfect in the presence of God in heaven.

II. LIFE PRESERVED. "Ye shall live also." Concerning this sentence, note —

1. Its fulness. Whatever is meant by living shall be ours. All the degree of life which is secured in the covenant of grace, believers shall have. All your new nature shall thoroughly, eternally live. Not even, in part, shall the new man die. "I am come," saith Christ, "that ye might have life, and have it more abundantly."

2. Its continuance. During our abode in this body we shall live. And when the natural death comes, which indeed to us is no longer death, our inner life shall suffer no hurt whatever; it will not even be suspended for a moment. And in the awful future, when the judgment comes, the begotten of God shall live. Onward through eternity, whatever may be the changes which yet are to be disclosed, nothing shall affect our God-given life.

3. Its universality. Every child of God shall live. The Lord bestows security upon the least of His people as well as upon the greatest. If it had been said, "Because your faith is strong, ye shall live," then weak faith would have perished; but when it is written, "Because I live," the argument is as powerful in the one case as in the other.

4. Its breadth. See how it overturns all the hopes of the adversary. You shall not be decoyed by fair temptation, nor be cowed by fierce persecution: mightier is he that is in you than he which is in the world. Satan will attack you, and his weapons are deadly, but you shall foil him at all points. If God should allow you to be sorely tried your spirit shall still maintain its holy life, and you shall prove it so by blessing and magnifying God, notwithstanding all. We little dream what may be reserved for us; we may have to climb steeps of prosperity, slippery and dangerous, but we shall live; we may be called to sink in the dark waters of adversity, but we shall live. If old age shall be our portion, and our crown shall be delayed till we have fought a long and weary battle, yet nevertheless we shall live; or if sudden death should cut short the time of our trail here, yet we shall have lived in the fulness of that word.


1. This is the sole reason. When I first come to Christ, I know I must find all in Him, for I feel I have nothing of my own; but all my life long I am to acknowledge the same absolute dependence. Does not the Christian's life depend upon his prayerfulness? The Christian's spiritual health depends upon his prayerfulness, but that prayerfulness depends on something else. The reason why the hands of the clock move may be found first in a certain wheel which operates upon them, but if you go to the primary cause of all, you reach the mainspring, or the weight, which is the source of all the motion. "But are not good works essential to the maintenance of the spiritual life?" Certainly, if there be no good works, we have no evidence of spiritual life. To the tree the fruit is not the cause of life, but the result of it, and to the life of the Christian, good works bear the same relationship, they are its outgrowth, not its root.

2. It is a sufficient reason, for —(1) Christ's life is a proof that His work has accomplished the redemption of His people.(2) He is the representative of those for whom He is the Federal Head. Shall the representative live, and yet those represented die?(3) He is the surety for His people, under bonds and pledges to bring His redeemed safely home.(4) We who have spiritual life are one with Christ Jesus. Jesus is the head of the mystical body, they are the members. What were the head without the body?

3. An abiding reason — which has as much force at one time as another. From causes variable the effects are variable; but remaining causes produce permanent effects. Now Jesus always lives.

4. A most instructive reason. It instructs us to admire —(1) The condescension of Christ.(2) To be abundantly grateful.(3) To keep up close communion with Christ.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

These words strikingly resemble the declaration of our Lord to John in Patmos (Revelation 1:17, 18).


1. Our Lord, as a Divine Person, is possessed of independent, infinite. immutable, eternal life; that is, capacity of action and enjoyment. In Him — was, is, and ever will be, "the fountain of life" (John 1:4; 1 John 1:2; Psalm 36:9).

2. It is not, however, to this life that reference is made. That is a life in which none can participate beyond the sacred circle of Deity. The life is the life which belongs to the Son, as God-man, Mediator; and it refers to this life in its state of full development, after His resurrection.

3. He had lived the life of a man in union with God while He was on the earth — of the God-man, commissioned to give life — and many and striking were the demonstrations that He gave of His possession of this life. But, till sin was expiated, this life could not be fully developed nor displayed. That death in the flesh, which was the bearing away of the sins of men, was the procuring cause of that "quickening in the Spirit" which followed.

4. It is, however, to the new development of life which accompanied and followed the resurrection that our Lord refers. "I am alive again," "I have the keys of hell and of death." His life is royal life — the life of "the King of kings and Lord of lords" (Psalm 21:1-7; Isaiah 53:10).

II. THE LIFE OF CHRIST'S PEOPLE. "Ye shall live also."

1. Christ rose as "the first fruits of them that sleep in Him," the first born of the chosen family, their representative and forerunner.

2. Christians are, by faith, so identified with Jesus Christ as to be partakers with Him of that life on which He entered, when, being raised from the dead, He sat down forever on the right hand of the Majesty on high. They "reign in life with Him" — in Him (Romans 5:17; Romans 6:8-11; Ephesians 2:5, 6; Colossians 3:1-4; Galatians 2:19, 20). This life is —

(1)One of holy activity and enjoyment.


(3)Incomplete now, but destined to be complete at the Resurrection. "We shall be like Him."


1. His life proves that He has done all that is necessary in order to secure life for them. Had He not succeeded in doing this He Himself would not thus have lived. His resurrection and celestial life are undoubted proofs that the sentence adjudging us to death was repealed, and the influence that was necessary to make us live was sent forth. So were we not to live, the great end for which He died and rose would be frustrated.

2. His life shows that He possesses all that is necessary to bestow life on His people. "The Father hath given to Him to have life in Himself; so that He quickeneth whom He will." "It has pleased the Father, that in Him all fulness should dwell," that out of His fulness His people may receive, and grace for grace.Conclusion:

1. This truth is calculated to sustain and comfort Christians amid all the sufferings, and anxieties, and sorrows of life and death. He can "give power to the faint, and to them that have no power He increaseth strength." He can "strengthen the things that remain, and are ready to die."

2. When our nearest and dearest are taken from us, how consoling to think the great God our Saviour lives! He is still their life, still our life. "Because He died, we live; because He lives, we live; because He lives" — because He is the living One — "we shall live also!" Happy, surely, are the living disciples of the living Saviour! Happy in prosperity — happy in adversity — happy in life — happy in death — happy forever!

3. But the Saviour's unending life is full of terror to His enemies because He ever lives. "Because I live, you must perish forever." They would not come to Him that they might have life.

4. He is still proclaiming, "As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." "I will that they would turn — I will that they would live."

(J. Brown, D. D.)

Christ is the basis of —

I. PHYSICAL LIFE. He is the Creator, and the life of Adam and Eve after the fall depended entirely on the promise of the Redeemer. His advent postulated the continuance of the race. The birth of the first child was a prelude to the gospel. It may be that Eve saw in the birth of Cain the fulfilment of the promise, for she said, "I have borne the seed, a man, the Lord."

II. THE RENEWED LIFE. The plan of redemption depends upon His incarnation and atonement. There is no spiritual life on earth apart from Him. The fact that there are millions of Christians who live by faith in Him under the dispensation of the Spirit, proves the reality of His life, of its continuance and power. Because He lives, we live, and our life is hid with Christ in God.

III. THE RISEN LIFE in glory, to all eternity. Because He continues to live, His disciples shall continue to live also. "When Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." Reflections:(1) Apart from Christ, the Christian can do nothing.(2) The fact that Jesus continues to live, is the assurance that all who believe in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.(3) How great will appear at last the guilt of those who reject Christ, when they shall learn that even their bodily life has depended upon Him, and that, being destitute of His Spirit, they are none of His.

(L. O. Thompson.)

"Because I live, ye shall live also." What life is it that Christ speaks of when He here says, "I live?" It is the life which He now has in heaven, and which began at the Resurrection. It is different from all other life, higher and better than any life with which we are acquainted. It is everlasting life; He has done with death. It is a life of liberty; He has done with servile work, and now reigns on high. It is a life of glory; He has done with shame, and has a name that is above every name. It is a life of favour; He is now very near and very dear to God forever. He never slumbers nor sleeps; He has all power in heaven and on earth; He is Head over all things to the Church. But what is the believer's life of which Christ speaks, when He says, "Ye shall live also." It is the same as Christ's own life, of which we have been speaking. It springs out of His life, and is fed and maintained by it. True, the believer's natural life is like that of all other men: one of sin, misery, without God, without hope under wrath, on the way to everlasting woe. It is not worthy of the name of life; it is properly death. But this natural life loses its power and dominion when we believe on Christ. It received its death-blow on the cross. Hence the apostle says, "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God;" and the believer answers, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live." At present this higher life is only in its infancy. It is hindered by its connection with the old life, by the circumstances in which it is placed by its absence from Christ its Fountain. The life of the believer is the same in nature as Christ's; the same in duration. It is the same in the reason for which it is bestowed. Christ got it, because He wrought out the perfect, everlasting righteousness; we get it, because by faith we have received that righteousness. It is the same in its origin. It began in Christ, when God wrought in Him by His mighty power, to raise Him from the dead. It begins in us by the working of the same mighty power. But what assurance have we that this life of Christ will always continue to be imparted to His people? This springs from the relation which He holds to them. He is their Surety, Representative, Covenant Head.

(John Milne.)

Christ lives —

I. IN ALL THE STRENGTH AND TENDERNESS OF HIS AFFECTIONS. A heart which bore the agony, shame, desertion of His disciples must be always warm towards those whose salvation He seeks.

II. IS HIS ABILITY TO HELP TO THE UTMOST. "All power is given unto Me" (Ephesians 1:20-22). "He ever liveth to make intercession."

III. IN A SPECIAL MANNER WITH THE BELIEVER. "I am the Bread of Life;" "I am the Vine, ye are the branches." The Church is His bride. How can we famish or die?


(Ray Palmer, D. D.)

1. The life of the Church of Christ is its most distinctive and glorious characteristic. It has changed its forms, varied its circumstances, altered its doctrines, but has maintained in every period of its history its inward life. If justification is the article of a standing or a falling Church, regeneration, or life by the Holy Spirit, is the article of a living or a dead Church.

2. This life is communicated, not by anything that is outward, but entirely by the Holy Spirit of God. The patronage of princes may make a rich or a renowned Church. Eloquence and orthodoxy may make a convinced or an enlightened, but they cannot make a living Church.

I. THE EVIDENCES OF THIS LIFE. It is easy to ascertain if a man be dead or living physically; and it is not difficult to ascertain if a man be living or dead spiritually.

1. Life is an internal principle originating outward and visible characteristics. We know not what life is. All that we know is, that there is some principle within that looks through the. eye, that hears through the ear, that feels through the touch, that enables me to walk, to speak, and to hold converse with society around me. Now it is so with spiritual life.

2. Life has the power of assimilation. H a man eats a piece of bread, that bread is so assimilated that it is turned into the energy of his physical system. And this spiritual life lays hold upon all the elements of nutriment, as these are laid up in Christ, found in the oracles of truth, and at the communion table.

3. Life is sensible of pain. A dead man does not feel. What pain is to the body, sin is to the spiritual life; and just as our nervous system shrinks from the very touch or contact of pain, so the soul that is in unison with God shrinks from sin as its greatest evil, and the immediate source of all misery.

4. Wherever there is life, we find it has within itself the power of adaptation to varied temperature. Man lives at the Pole, as he lives below the Line. And if there be life in man's soul, that life will adjust itself; will not be conquered by, but will conquer its circumstances. Place the Christian in the palace with Pharaoh, or in the dungeon with Joseph, and he can breathe the atmosphere of the one just as he can the other.

5. Life is progressive, and Spiritual life grows in likeness to Christ. Its progress is illimitable, because the principle itself is infinite.

6. Life is communicative. The proof that a man is no Christian is, that he is no missionary. Monopoly is a word banished from the religion of heaven. The Christian cannot see pain he does not wish to alleviate; ignorance he does not wish to enlighten; death in trespasses and sins to which he would not communicate a portion of his own spiritual life.


1. To the presence of God. "Thou God seest me" is the constant feeling of the Christian.

2. To the favour of God. "Who will show us any good?" is the question with the worldling; but the Christian says, "Lift Thou upon us the light of Thy countenance."

3. To the glory of God. We are prone to think that Christianity is a thing for the Bible, for the Sunday, for the Church merely. But it is meant to be like the great principle of gravitation which controls the planet and the pebble. When you transact business you are bound to do it to the glory of God. In your homes, whether your tables be covered with all the luxuries, or merely with the necessaries of life, "ye are to do all to the glory of God."


1. A holy life. If there be God's life in man's heart, there must be God's holiness in man's conduct.

2. A happy life. Joy is one of the fruits it bears.

3. A royal life. "He has made us kings and priests unto God." We are "a royal priesthood."

4. An immortal life. All systems, hierarchies, and empires shall be dissolved; but the man that has the life of God in his heart has the immortality of God as his prerogative. Conclusion: The history of the Church that has possessed this vital principle has been throughout a very painful but a very triumphant one. That vitality must be a reality since nothing has been ever able to extinguish or destroy it. Systems that chime in with the fallen propensities of man have sunk before rival systems; but Christianity, which rebukes man's pride, which bridles man's lusts, which rebukes man's sins, has outlived all persecution, survived all curse, and seems to commence in the nineteenth century, a career that shall be bounded only by the limits of the population of the globe itself. Is not this evidence of a Divine presence — of a Divine power? Let me make one or two inferences.This life is —

1. The true secret and source of ministerial success.

2. The source of all missionary effort.

3. The true distinction between the Church and the world.

4. The true safety of the Church.

5. The great want of the Church today.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

1. Science may throw no barrier in the way of belief in immortality; nature and the heart of man may suggest clear intimations of a future life; human society may demand another life to complete the suggestions and fill up the lacks of this; but, for some reason, all such proof fails to satisfy us. It holds the mind, but does not minister to the heart.

2. It is noticeable also that the faith of natural evidence awakens no joyful enthusiasm in masses of mankind. Plato and Cicero discourse of immortality with a certain degree of warmth, but their countrymen get little comfort from it. The reason is evident. The mere fact that I shall live tomorrow does not sensibly move me. Something must be joined with existence before it gets power.

3. We will now consider the way in which Christ treated the subject.

I. HE ASSUMED THE RECEIVED DOCTRINE AND BUILT UPON IT. When He entered on His ministry He found certain imperfect or germinal truths existing in Jewish theology. He found a doctrine of God, partial in conception; He perfected it by revealing the Divine Fatherhood. He found a doctrine of sin and righteousness turning upon external conduct; He transferred it to the heart and spirit. He found a doctrine of immortality, held as mere future existence. His treatment of this doctrine was not so much corrective as accretive. Hence He never uses any word corresponding to immortality (which is a mere negation — unmortal), but always speaks of life. He never makes a straight assertion of it except once, when the Sadducees pressed Him with a quibbling argument against the resurrection. Elsewhere He simply assumes it. But an assumption is often the strongest kind of argument. It implies such conviction in the mind of the speaker that there is no need of proof.

II. IN HIS MIND THE INTENSE AND ABSOLUTE CONSCIOUSNESS OF GOD CARRIES WITH IT IMMORTALITY, AS IT DOES THE WHOLE BODY OF HIS TRUTH. Within this universe, at its centre, is world around which all others revolve, the sun of suns, the centre of all systems, whose potency reaches to the uttermost verge, holding them steady to their courses. It is not otherwise in morals. Given the fact of God, and all other truth takes its place without question. Hence, when there is an overpowering, all-possessing sense of God as there was in Christ, truth takes on absolute forms; hence it was that He spoke with authority. It was Christ's realization of the living God that rendered His conviction of eternal life so absolute. We can but notice how grandly Christ reposed upon this fact of immortal life. He feels no need of examining the evidences or balancing proofs. He stands steadily upon life, life endless by its own Divine nature. Death was no leap in the dark to Him; it was simply a door leading into another mansion of God's great house. It is proper to ask here, "Is it probable that Christ was mistaken? That His faith in immortality was but an in. tense form of a prevailing superstition?" If we could find any weakness elsewhere in His teachings, there would be ground for such questions. But as a moral teacher He stands at the head, unimpeachable in the minutest particular. Is it probable that, true in all else, He was in fault in this one respect? That a body of truth all interwoven and suffused with life is based upon an illusion of life? If one tells me ninety-nine truths, I will trust him in the hundredth, especially if it is involved in those before. Build me a column perfect in base and body, and I will know if the capital is true. When the clearest eyes that ever looked on this world and into the heavens, and the keenest judgment that ever weighed human life, and the purest heart that ever throbbed with human sympathy, tells me that man is immortal, I repose on His teaching in perfect trust. It is reason to see with the wise, and to feel with the good. Still another distinction must be made; we do not accept immortality because Jesus, the wise young Jew, wove it into His precepts, but because the Christ, the Son of God and of man — Humanity revealing Deity — makes it a part of that order of human history best named as the reconciliation of the world to God.

III. HE DOES NOT THINK OF IT AS A FUTURE, BUT AS A PRESENT FACT. As time in the Divine mind is an eternal now, so it seems to have been with Christ. If the cup of life is full, there is little sense of past or future; the present is enough. When Christ speaks of eternal life, He does not mean future endless existence; but fullness or perfection of life. That it will go on forever is a matter of course, but it is not the important feature of the truth.

IV. And thus we are brought to the fundamental fact that HE CONNECTED LIFE OR IMMORTALITY WITH CHARACTER. Life, as mere continuance of being, is not worth thinking about. Of what value is the mere adding of days to days if they are full of sin? Practically such life is death, and so He names it. There can be no real and abiding faith in immortality until it becomes wedded to the spiritual nature. When life begins to be true, it announces itself as an eternal thing to the mind; as a caged bird when let loose into the sky might say, "Now I know that my wings are made to beat the air in flight;" and no logic could ever persuade the bird that it was not designed to fly; but when caged, it might have doubted at times, as it beat the bars of its prison with unavailing stroke, if its wings were made for flight. So it is not until a man begins to use his soul aright that he knows for what it is made. When he puts his life into harmony with God's laws; when he begins to pray; when he clothes himself with the graces of Christian faith and conduct, when he begins to live unto his spiritual nature, he begins to realize what life is — a reality that death and time cannot touch. But when his life is made up of the world, it is not strange that it should seem to himself as liable to perish with the world. Those who believe have everlasting life. Others may exist, but existence is not life. Others may continue to exist, but continuance is not immortality. To lift men out of existence into life was Christ's mission.

V. He not only gave us the true law, BUT WAS HIMSELF A PERFECT ILLUSTRATION OF IMMORTALITY, and even named Himself by it — the Life. It is a great thing for us that this truth has been put into actual fact. Human nature is crowded with hints and omens of it, but prophecy does not convince till it is fulfilled. And from the Divine side also we get assurances of endless life; but in so hard a matter we are like Thomas, who needed the sight and touch to assure him. And in Christ we have both — the human omen and the Divine promise turned into fact. In some of the cathedrals of Europe, on Christmas eve, two small lights, typifying the Divine and human nature, are gradually made to approach one another until they meet and blend, forming a bright flame. Thus, in Christ, we have the light of two worlds thrown upon human destiny. The whole bearing of Christ towards death, and His treatment of it, was as one superior to it, and as having no lot nor part in it. He will indeed bow his head in obedience to the physical laws of the humanity He shares, but already He enters the gates of Paradise, not alone but leading a penitent child of humanity by the hand. And in order that we may know He simply changed worlds, He comes back and shows Himself alive; for He is not here in the world simply to assert truth, but to enact it. And still further to show us how phantasmal death is, He finally departs in all the fullness of life, simply drawing about Himself the thin drapery of a cloud. Conclusion: A true and satisfying sense of immortality cannot be taken second hand. We cannot read it in the pages of a book, whether of nature or inspiration. We cannot even look upon the man Jesus issuing from the tomb, and draw from thence a faith that yields peace. There must be fellowship with the Christ of the Resurrection before we can feel its power; in other words, we must get over upon the Divine side of life before we can be assured of eternal life. "Join thyself," says , "to the eternal God, and thou wilt be eternal."

(T. T. Munger.)

When Luther was in his worst troubles a friend came in to see him, and he noticed that he had written upon the wall in big letters the word "Vivit!" He inquired of Luther what he meant by "vivit?" Luther answered, "Jesus lives; and if He did not live I would not care to live an hour." Yes, our life is bound up with that of Jesus. We are called upon to live of ourselves, that would be death; but we have life and all things in union with Him.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Jesus, Judas, Philip, Thomas
Bereaved, Comfortless, Desolate, Friend, Leave, Orphans
1. Jesus comforts his disciples with the hope of heaven;
5. professes himself the way, the truth, and the life, and one with the Father;
13. assures their prayers to be effectual;
15. requires obedience;
16. promises the Comforter;
27. and leaves his peace with them.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
John 14:18

     1110   God, present everywhere
     5436   pain
     5730   orphans
     5901   loneliness
     8106   assurance, nature of

John 14:10-24

     5627   word

John 14:15-19

     3215   Holy Spirit, and peace

John 14:15-21

     5805   comfort

John 14:16-18

     3130   Holy Spirit, Counsellor
     4966   present, the
     6704   peace, divine NT

John 14:16-19

     2505   Christ, ascension

John 14:17-18

     2227   Immanuel

Paul a Pattern of Prayer
TEXT: "If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it."--John 14:14. Jesus testified in no uncertain way concerning prayer, for not alone in this chapter does he speak but in all his messages to his disciples he is seeking to lead them into the place where they may know how to pray. In this fourteenth chapter of John, where he is coming into the shadow of the cross and is speaking to his disciples concerning those things which ought to have the greatest weight with them, the heart of his message
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot

May 22 Evening
The Spirit helpeth our infirmities.--ROM. 8:26. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost.--What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?--It is God which worketh in you. We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

August 7 Morning
The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name.--JOHN 14:26. If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.--If ye . . . being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?--Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

May 22 Morning
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.--JOHN 14:27. The world passeth away, and the lust thereof.--Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches. and knoweth not who shall gather them.--What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. Martha, Martha, thou are careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

January 14 Morning
My Father is greater than I.--JOHN 14:28. When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven.--My Father, and your Father; . . . my God and your God. As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.--The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.--Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. Lord, shew us
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

August 13 Morning
He hath prepared for them a city.--HEB. 11:16. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.--An inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.--Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.--Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

December 26 Evening
He is able . . . to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.--HEB. 7:25. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.--Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.--He which hath begun a good work
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

June 23 Morning
I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth.--JOHN 14:16,17. It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if l depart, I will send him unto you. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.--Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.--The Spirit . . . helpeth our infirmities;
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

September 21 Evening
The communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.--II COR. 13:14. I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.--He shall not speak of himself. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

June 29. "He Dwelleth with You and Shall be in You" (John xiv. 17).
"He dwelleth with you and shall be in you" (John xiv. 17). Do not fail to mark these two stages in Christian life. The one is the Spirit's work in us, the other is the Spirit's personal coming to abide within us. All true Christians know the first, but few, it is to be feared, understand and receive the second. There is a great difference between my building a house and my going to reside in that house and make it my home. And there is a great difference between the Holy Spirit's work in regenerating
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

November 9. "Because I Live Ye Shall Live Also" (John xiv. 19).
"Because I live ye shall live also" (John xiv. 19). After having become adjusted to our Living Head and the source of our life, now our business is to abide, absorb and grow, leaning on His strength, drinking in His life, feeding on Him as the Living Bread, and drawing all of our resources from Him in continual dependence and communion. The Holy Spirit will be the great Teacher and Minister in this blessed process. He will take of the things of Christ and show them unto us, and He will impart them
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

May 21. "We Will Come unto Him and Make Our Abode with Him" (John xiv. 23).
"We will come unto Him and make our abode with Him" (John xiv. 23). The Bible has always held out two great promises respecting Christ. First, I will come to you; and, second, I will come into you. For four thousand years the world looked forward to the fulfilment of the first. The other is the secret which Paul says has been hid from ages and generations, but is now made manifest to His saints, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. This is just as great a revelation of God as the incarnation
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

November 1. "We Will Come unto Him and Make Our Abode with Him" (John xiv. 23).
"We will come unto him and make our abode with him" (John xiv. 23). This idea of trying to get a holiness of your own, and then have Christ reward you for it, is not His teaching. Oh, no; Christ is the holiness; He will bring the holiness, and come and dwell in the heart forever. When one of our millionaires purchases a lot, with an old shanty on it, he does not fix up the old shanty, but he gets a second-hand man, if he will have it, to tear it down, and he puts a mansion in its place. It is not
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

May 3. "My Peace I Give unto You" (John xiv. 27).
"My peace I give unto you" (John xiv. 27). Here lies the secret of abiding peace--God's peace. We give ourselves to God and the Holy Spirit takes possession of our breast. It is indeed "Peace, Peace." But it is just then that the devil begins to turn us away, and he does it through our thoughts, diverting or distracting them as occasion requires. This is the time to prove the sincerity of our consecration and the singleness of our heart. If we truly desire His Presence more than all else, we will
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Faith in God and Christ
'Let not your heart be troubled ... believe in God, believe also in Me.'--JOHN xiv. 1. The twelve were sitting in the upper chamber, stupefied with the dreary, half-understood prospect of Christ's departure. He, forgetting His own burden, turns to comfort and encourage them. These sweet and great words most singularly blend gentleness and dignity. Who can reproduce the cadence of soothing tenderness, soft as a mother's hand, in that 'Let not your heart be troubled'? And who can fail to feel the tone
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

'Many Mansions'
'In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.'--JOHN xiv. 2. Sorrow needs simple words for its consolation; and simple words are the best clothing for the largest truths. These eleven poor men were crushed and desolate at the thought of Christ's going; they fancied that if He left them they lost Him. And so, in simple, childlike words, which the weakest could grasp, and in which the most troubled could find peace, He said to them, after having encouraged their
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christ's Peace
'Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.'--JOHN xiv. 27. 'Peace be unto you!' was, and is, the common Eastern salutation, both in meeting and in parting. It carries us back to a state of society in which every stranger might be an enemy. It is a confession of the deep unrest of the human heart. Christ was about closing His discourse, and the common word of leave-taking came naturally to His
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Love and Obedience
'If ye love Me, keep My commandments.'--JOHN xiv, 15. As we have seen in former sermons, the keyword of the preceding context is 'Believe!' and that word passes now into 'Love.' The order here is the order of experience. There is first the believing gaze upon the Christ as He is revealed--the image of the invisible God. That kindles love, and prompts to obedience. There is another very beautiful and subtle link of connection between these words and the preceding. Our Lord has just been saying, 'Whatsoever
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christ's Works and Ours
'Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. 13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.'--JOHN xiv. 12-14. I have already pointed out in a previous sermon that the key-word of this context is 'Believe!' In three successive verses we find it, each time widening
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Comforter Given
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.'--JOHN xiv. 16,17. The 'and' at the beginning of these words shows us that they are continuous with and the consequence of what precedes. 'If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments, and I will pray ... and He will
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Absent Present Christ
'I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also.'--JOHN xiv. 18,19. The sweet and gracious comfortings with which Christ had been soothing the disciples' fears went very deep, but hitherto they had not gone deep enough. It was much that they should know the purpose of His going, whither He went, and that they had an interest in His departure. It was much that they should have before them the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Forerunner
'... I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.'--JOHN xiv. 2, 3. What divine simplicity and depth are in these words! They carry us up into the unseen world, and beyond time; and yet a little child can lay hold on them, and mourning hearts and dying men find peace and sweetness in them. A very familiar image underlies them. It was customary for travellers in those old days to send
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Gifts of the Present Christ
'At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.'--JOHN xiv. 20, 21. We have heard our Lord in the previous verse unveiling His deepest and strongest encouragements to His downcast followers. These were: His presence with them, their true sight of Him, and their participation in His life. The
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Who Bring Christ
'Judas saith unto Him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's which sent Me.'--JOHN xiv. 22-24. This Judas held but a low place amongst the Apostles. In all the lists he is one of the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

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