JESUS OVERCOMES THE WORLD!
The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
I. He is the TRUTH, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Savior; believing which, sinners come by him the WAY.
A. He is the LIFE, by those life-giving Spirit the dead in sin are quickened.
1. Nor can any man draw high God as a Father, who is not quickened by Him as the LIFE, and taught by Him as the TRUTH, to come by Him as the WAY.
2. By Christ as the WAY, our prayers go to God, and the blessings come to us; this is the WAY that leads to rest, the good old WAY.
B. He is the resurrection and the LIFE.
1. All that saw Christ by faith, saw the Father in Him.
2. In the light of Christ’s doctrine, they saw God as the Father of lights; and in Christ’s miracles, they saw God as the God of power.
C. The holiness of God shone in the spotless purity of Christ’s life.
1. We are to believe the revelation of God to man in Christ: for the works of the Redeemer show forth his own glory, and God in him.
First, the end of questionings.
23. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
28. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
29. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32. Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
‘In that day ye shall ask Me nothing,’
I don’t think when the disciples heard that, they were tempted to say.
‘What in the world are we to do?’
To them the thought that He wouldn’t be at their sides any longer, to go with their difficulties, must have seemed despair rather than advance.
In Christ’s eyes it was progress.
He tells them and us by LOSING Him. And we are better off than they were, precisely because He does not any longer stand at our sides for us to question.
It is better for a boy to puzzle out the meaning of a Latin book by his own brains and the help of a dictionary than it is lazily to use an interlinear translation. And, though we do not always feel it, and are often tempted to think how blessed it would be if we had an infallible Teacher visible here at our sides, it is a great deal better for us that we have not, and it is a step in advance that He has gone away.
Many eager and honest Christian souls, hungering after certainty and rest, have cast themselves in these latter days into the arms of an infallible Church.
I doubt whether any such questioning mind has found what it sought: and I am sure that it has taken a step downwards, in passing from the spiritual guidance realized by our own honest industry and earnest use of the materials supplied to us in Christ’s word, to any external authority which comes to us to save us the trouble of thinking, and to confirm to us truth which we have not made our own by search and effort.
We gain by LOSING the VISIBLE Christ; and He was proclaiming PROGRESS and not retrogression, when He said: ‘In that day ye shall ask Me no more questions.’
Secondly, satisfied desires.
This second great promise of THE text, introduced again by the solemn affirmation, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you,’ substantially appeared in a very significant difference.
‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name that I will do.’
‘If ye shall ask anything in My name I will do it.’
There Christ presented Himself as the ANSWERER of the petitions, because His more immediate purpose was to set forth His going to the Father as His elevation to a yet loftier position. Here, on the other hand, He sets forth the Father as the ANSWERER of the petitions, because His purpose is to point away from undue dependence on His own corporeal presence.
But the fact that He thus, as occasion requires, substitutes the one form of speech for the other, and indifferently represents the same actions as being done by Himself and by the Father in heaven, carries with it large teachings which I do not dwell upon now.
Only I ask you to consider how much is involved in that fact, that, as a matter of course, and without explanation of the difference, our Lord alternates the two forms, and sometimes says,
‘I will do it,’ and sometimes says, ‘The Father will do it.’
Does it not point to that great and blessed truth,
‘Whatsoever thing the Father doeth, that also doeth the Son likewise?’
Jesus and the Father are One (God).
Lastly, the Perfect Joy Which Follows Upon These Two.
‘That your joy may be fulfilled.’
Again we have a recurrence of a promise that has appeared in another connection in an earlier part of this discourse.
The Connection Here is Worthy of Notice!
The promise is joy that comes from the satisfaction of meek desires in unison with Christ’s will.
Is it possible then, that, amidst all the ups and downs, the changes and the sorrows of this fluctuating, tempest-tossed life of ours we may have a deep and stable joy?
‘That your joy be full,’ our text says, or fulfilled,’ like some Jewell, golden cup charged to the very brim with rich and quickening wine, so that there is no room for a drop more.
Can it ever be, that in this world, men shall be happy up to the very limits of their capacity?
Was anybody ever so blessed that he could not be more so?
Was your cup ever so full that there was no room for another drop in it?
Jesus Christ says that it may be so, and He tells us how it may be so.
Bring your desires into harmony with God’s, and you will have none unsatisfied amongst them; and so you will be blessed to the full; and though sorrow comes, as of course it will come, still you may be blessed.
There is a contradiction between the presence of this deep, central joy and a surface and circumference of sorrow.
Rather we need the surrounding sorrow, to concentrate, and so to intensify, the central joy in God.
There are some flowers which only blow in the night, and white blossoms are visible with starting plainness in the twilight, when all the flaunting purples and reds are hid.
We do not know the depth, the preciousness, the power of the ‘joy of the Lord,’ until we have felt it shining in our hearts in the midst of the thick darkness of earthly sorrow, and bringing life into the very death of our human delights.
It may be ours on the condition that my text describes.
In His Name,
Rev. Zack martin Sr.