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Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I | I love thee. He saith unto him,
17 He saith unto him the third 16 He saith to him again the time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest second time, Simon, son of Jonas, thou me ? Peter was grieved 3 belovest thou me? He saith unto cause he said unto him the third him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that time, Lovest thou me? And he said
3 Lain. iii.
1 Isa. 1. 11. Jer, iii. 15. Ezek. xxxiv. 2-10. Acts xx. 28. 1 Pet. y. 2, 4.
3 Heb. xiii. 20. 1 Pet. ii, 25. 33.
matter of much importance that we should tian church, to those who were young in ourselves know what is the effect of the years and in Christian experience. And dealings of divine providence on our the Lord Jesus saw, what has been conhearts, and what is our present state of firmed in the experience of the church, feeling towards the Lord Jesus Christ. that the success of the gospel among men
Thou knowest that I love thee. Peter depended on the care which the ministry now made no pretensions to love superior would extend to those in early life. It is to his brethren. His sad denial had con- in obedience to this command that Sunvinced him of the folly of that claim. day schools have been established, and no But still he could appeal to the Searcher means of fulfilling the command of the of the heart, and say that he knew that Saviour have been found so effectuat as to he loved him. Here is the expression of extend patronage to those schools. It is an humbled soul, a soul made sensible of not merely, therefore, the privilege, it is its weakness and need of strength, yet the solemn duty of ministers of the gospel with evidence of true attachment to the to countenance and patronize Sunday Saviour. It is not the most confident schools. pretensions that constitute the highest 16. Feed my sheep. The word here proof of love to Christ, and the happiest rendered feed, as has been remarked, is and best state of feeling is when we can different from the word in the previous with humility, yet with confidence, look verse. It has the sense of governing, and to the Lord Jesus and say, “Thou knowest of protecting ; the kind of faithful vigithat I love thee.” I Feed my lambs. lance which a shepherd uses to guide his The word here rendered feed means the flock, and to make provision against their care afforded by furnishing nutriment for wants and dangers. It may be implied the flock. In the next verse there is a here that the care needed for the young in change in the Greek, and the word ren- the church is to instruct them, and for dered feed. denotes rather the care, those in advanced years both to instruct guidance, and protection which a shep- and govern them. I My sheep. This herd extends to his flock. By the use of term commonly denotes the church in both these words, it is supposed that our general, without respect to age. Chap. x. Saviour intended that a shepherd was both 17. The third time. It is probable that to offer the proper food for his flock and to Jesus proposed this question three times govern it, or, as we express it, to exercise because Peter had thrice denied him. the office of a pastor. The expression is Thus he tenderly admonished him of his taken from the office of a shepherd, with fault, reminded him of his sin, and which the office of the minister is fre- solemnly charged him to be faithful, and quently compared. It means, as a good vigilant in the discharge of the duties of shepherd provides for the wants of his the pastoral office. The reason why the fock, so the pastor in the church is to fur- Saviour addressed Peter in this manner nish food for the soul, or so to exhibit was doubtless because he had just denied truth as that the faith may be strength him, and given a most melancholy inened, and the hope confirmed. My stance of the instability and weakness of lambs. The church is often compared to his faith, and of his liability to fall. As a fock. See ch. x. 1-16. Here the he had thus been prominent in forsaking expression, my lambs, undoubtedly refers him, he took this occasion to give to him to the tender and the young in the Chris- a special charge, and to secure his future unto him, Lord, thou 1 knowest all | shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth things; thou knowest that I love thy hands, and another shall 3 gird thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed thee, and carry thee whither thou my sheep.
wouldest not. :-18 Verily, verily, I say unto 19 This spake he, signifying by thee, ? When thou wast young, thou what death he should glorify God. girdedst thyself, and walkedst whi. And when he had spoken this, he ther thou wouldest : but when thou saith unto him, Follow 5 me.
1 Ch. xvi. 30.
1 Ch. xiii. 36.
3 Ch. xii. 27, 28. Acts xxi. 11. • 2 Pet i. 14. 5 Ch. xii. 26. Num. xiv. 24 1 Sam. xii. 20. Matt, xix. 28.
obedience. Hence he so administered forth thy hands. When Peter was put the charge as to remind him of his fault; to death we are told that he requested and he made him so prominent as to show that he might be crucified with his head the solicitude of the Saviour that hence- downwards, saying, that he who had forward he might not be left to dishonour denied his Lord as he had done, was not his high calling. This same charge, in worthy to die as he did. This expression substance, he had on other occasions given of Christ may intimate the readiness of to the apostles, Matt. xviii. 18, and there Peter thus to die. Though he was not at is not the slightest evidence here that liberty as when he was young, though Christ intended, as the Papists pretend, bound by others, yet he freely stretchat to give Peter any peculiar primacy, or out his hands on the cross, and was ready eminence in the church. The charge to to give up his life. | Another shall gir Peter arose manifestly from his prominent thee. Another shall bind thee. The and melancholy act in denying him—and limbs of persons crucified were often was the kind and tender means used by a bound instead of being nailed, and erea faithful Saviour to keep him from similar the body was sometimes girded to the acts in the future dangers and trials of cross. See Notes on Matt. xxvi. 35. life. It is worthy of remark that the ad- Carry thee, &c. Shall bear thee, or monition was effectual. Henceforward, shall compel thee to go to prison and to Peter was one of the most firm, and un- death. This is not said to intimate that wavering of all the apostles, and thus fully Peter would be unwilling to suffer marjustified the appellation of a rock, which tyrdom, but it stands opposed to the the Saviour by anticipation had given him. freedom of his early life. Though willing See Note, Ch. i. 42.
when compelled to do it, yet he would 18. When thou wast young.
When not seek it ; and though he would not in early life, thou didst gird thyself, &c. needlessly expose himself to it, yet be The Jews in walking, or running, girded would not shrink from it when it was the their outer garments around them, that will of God. they might not be impeded. T Thou 19. By what death, &c. In these words girdedsl. The expression here denotes two things are implied. 1. That Peter freedom. He did as he pleased ; he should die a violent death ; and 2. Tha: girded himself or not, he went or re- his death should be such as to honour mained, as he chose. Perhaps the ex. God. The ancients say that Peter was pression refers rather to that time than to crucified at Rome, about thirty-four years the previous period of Peter's life: Thou after this, with his head downrants. being now young, or in the vigour of life, Clemens says that he was led to the crud. hast just girded thyself, and come freely fixion with his wife, and sustained her in to the shore. In either case, the Saviour her sufferings by exhorting her to rememintimates that at the end of his life he ber the example of her Lord. He also would not be thus free. When thou adds, that he died, not as the philosophers shall be old. Anoient writers say that did, but with a firm hope of heaven, and Peter was put to death about thirty-four patiently endured the pangs of the cross. years after this. His precise age at that Strom. vii. This declaration of the Sutime is not known. Thou shalt stretch | viour was doubtless continually before the
20 Then Peter, turning about, what is that to thee? follow ? seeth the disciple whom Jesus thou me. loved following; which also leaned 23 Then went this saying abroad on his breast at supper, and said, among the brethren, that that dis Lord, which is he that betrayeth ciple should not die : yet Jesus thee?
said not unto
him, He shall 21 Peter seeing him saith to not die ; but, If I will that he Jesus, Lord, and what shall this tarry till I come, what is that to
thee? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I 24 This is the disciple which will that he tarry till I ' come, testifieth of these things, and wrote 1 Matt xxv. 31. Rev. i. 7. ; xxii. 20.
9 Ver. 19. mind of Peter, and to the hour of his at Ephesus, being the only one, as is supdeath, he maintained the utmost con- posed, of the apostles who did not suffer stancy and fidelity in his cause, thus jus- martyrdom. The testimony of antiquity tifying the appellation which the Lord is clear on this point ; and though there Jesus gave him—a rock.
have been many idle conjectures about 20. Who also leaned, &c. See chap. this passage, and about the fate of John, xii. 24, 25.
yet no fact of history is better attested 21. What shall this man do? This than that John died, and was buried at question probably means, What death Ephesus. | What is that to thee? From shall he die ? But it is impossible to this passage we learn, 1. That our main know why Peter asked this question. business is to follow and imitate the Lord John was a favourite disciple ; and per- Jesus Christ. 2. That there are many haps Peter suspected that he would have subjects of religion on which a vain and a happier lot, and not be put to death in impertinent curiosity is exercised. All this manner. Peter was grieved at the such curiosity Jesus here reproves. 3. That question of Jesus ; he was probably Jesus will take care of all his beloved deeply affected with the account of his disciples, and that we should not be unown approaching sufferings, and with per- duly solicitous about them. 4. That we haps a mixture of grief, and envy, he asked should go forward to whatever he calls us, what would be John's lot. But it is pos- to persecution or death, not envying the sible that it was from kindness to John; a lot of any other man, and anxious only deep solicitude about him, and a wish to do the will of God. that he might not die in the same manner 23. Then went this saying, &c. This as one who had denied his Lord. What- mistake arose very naturally, 1. From the ever the motive was, it was a curiosity words of Jesus which might be easily miswhich the Lord Jesus did not choose to understood to mean that John should not gratify.
die. And, 2. It was probably confirmed 22. That he tarry. That he live. The when it was seen that he survived all same word is used to express life in Phil. the other apostles, had escaped all the i. 24, 25. 1 Cor. xv. 6. 1 Till I come. | dangers of persecution, and was leading Some have supposed this to refer to the a peaceful life at Ephesus. This mistake destruction of Jerusalem ; others to the John deemed it proper to correct before day of judgment ; others to signify that he died, and has thus left on record what he should not die a violent death. But Jesus said, and what he meant. the plain meaning is “if I will that he 24. This is the disciple, &c.
This should not die at all, it is nothing to thee.” proves that the beloved disciple was John, In this way the apostles evidently under- q We know. That is, it is known ; it is stood it, and hence the report that John universally admitted. It was so decidedly should not die. It is remarkable that his character that he always declared the John was the last of the apostles ; that truth, that it had become known, and was he lived to nearly the close of the first unquestioned, so that he himself might century, and then died a peaceful death | appeal to the universal testimony in his
these things : and 1 we know that which, if they should be written his testimony is true.
every one, I suppose that even the 25 And 2 there are also many world itself could not contain the other things which Jesus did, the books that should be written. Amen.
* Am. vii. 10.
1 Ch. xix. 35. 3 John. 12.
7 Ch. xx. 30.
behalf. In this case, therefore, we have books would be required; or that it would the testimony of a man whose character be extremely difficult to record all that for nearly a century was that of a man of Jesus did and said, intimating that his truth; so much so, that it had become in life was active, that his discourses were a manner proverbial, and put beyond a numerous, and that he had not pretended question. It is impossible to believe that to give them all, but only such as should such a man would sit duwu deliberately to go to establish the main point for which impose on mankind, or to write a book he wrote, that Jesus was the Messiah. Ch. which was false. And if he could not, xx. 30, 31. The figure which John uses then this book is true, and that is the here is not uncommon in the scriptures. same as saying that Christianity is a reli- Gen. xi. 4; xv. 5. Num. xiii. 33. Dan. gion from heaven.
iv. 20. 25. Many other things. Many mira- This gospel contains in itself the clear. cles. Ch. xx. 30. Many discourses de est proof of inspiration. It is the work of livered, &c. 1 I suppose, &c. This is a fisherman of Galilee, without any proof evidently the figure of speech called a that he had any unusual advantages. It hyperbole. It is a mode of speech where is a connected, clear, and satisfactory the words express more or less than is argument to establish the great truth that literally true. It is common among all Jesus was the Messiah. It was written writers; and as the sacred writers in re- many years after the ascension of Jesus. cording a revelation to men used human It contains the record of the Saviour's language, it was proper that they should profoundest discourses, of his most conexpress themselves as men ordinarily do vincing arguments with the Jews, and of if they wish to be understood. This his declarations respecting himself and figure of speech is commonly the effect God. It contains the purest and most of surprise, or of having the mind full of elevated views of God to be found any some object, and not having words to where, as far exceeding all the speculaexpress the ideas. At the same time the tions of philosophers, as the sun does the words convey no falsehood. The state- blaze of a taper. It is in the highest de ment is to be taken as it would be under-gree absurd to suppose that an unlettered stood among the persons to whom it is fisherman could have originated this book. addressed; and as no one supposes that any one may be convinced of this by the author means to be understood lite- comparing it with what would be the prorally, so there is no deception in the case, duction of a man in that rank of life now and consequently no impeachment of his But if John has preserved the record of veracity or inspiration. Thus when Lon- what had occurred so many years before, ginus said of a man that “he was owner then it shows that he was under the divine of a piece of ground not larger than a guidance, and is himself a proof, a ful Lacedæmonian letter," no one understood and standing proof of the fulfilment of the him literally. He means evidently a promise which he has recorded, that the very small piece of land, and no one Holy Spirit would guide the apostles into would be deceived. So Virgil says of a all truth. Ch. xiv. 26; xvi. 13. Of this man, “ he was so tall as to reach the book we may apply, in conclusion, the stars,” and means only that he was very words spoken by John respecting his tall.' So when John says that the world vision of the future events of the church. would not contain the books that should “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that be written if all the deeds and sayings of hear the words of this” book, " and keep Jesus were recorded, he clearly intends those things which are written therein, for nothing more than that a great many the time is at hand.” Rev. i. 3.
A TABULAR HARMONY
PRINCIPAL EVENTS MENTIONED IN THE GOSPELS,
According to the Chronology in John's Gospel, which Dr. Edward Robinson, of New York, regards
as assigning four passovers, or about three years and a half, to our Lord's ministry.
TIME: About thirteeen years and a half.
ANNOUNCEMENT AND INTRODUCTION OF OUR LORD'S
TIME: About one year.
OUR LORD'S FIRST PASSOVER, AND THE SUBSEQUENT
TRANSACTIONS UNTIL THE SECOND.
TIME: One year.
2. 13-25 3. 1-21
At the passover Jesus drives the traders out of the
temple.-Jerusalem. Our Lord's discouse with Nicodemus.-Jerusalem. Jesus leaves Jerusalem, but remains in Judea and
baptizes. Further testimony of John the Baptist. -&non.