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human strength and weakness, at one time strikes at random with the sword, at another denies the Lord; an old age of greater natural human weakness, which is strength in the Lord, martyr sufferings of every kind, and a mysterious end before the second coming of Christ.
The Petrine type of the Church, however, points to the Johannean, as the latter is depicted in the future of John.
The Lord thus turned Himself away from the company of the disciples, and Peter followed Him. We now learn, however, from what follows, that John also followed Him. In this he must have obeyed a silent sign from the Lord, or His silent attraction. Then Peter—so narrates the Evangelist furtherturning round, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the Supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth Thee ? Peter seeing him, saith unto Jesus, 'Lord, and what shall this man do?' We perceive why he puts this question. He had understood the summons of Jesus, Follow Me! literally. He was ready for the supposed spirit-appalling journey. He would gladly, however, have spared John this journey ; the more so that he did not seem called to it. The Evangelist rightly reminds us in this passage, that it was he who had leaned on the breast of Jesus, who had stood in a nearer relation to the secret thoughts of the Lord than Peter, and who therefore also, at the solicitation of Peter, had asked the Lord, Which is he that betrayeth Thee ? This time, likewise, he had better understood Him. He knows that the matter concerns the future of Peter, and that the latter has not now been called immediately to follow the Lord in an exclusive sense. The misapprehension of Peter need surprise us the less, that the question in hand involved his own future martyrdom. A man understands more easily intimations or indications regarding the death of others than those which concern
Jesus confirmed by His answer the interpretation of John. He did not send him back, but allowed him to follow along with Peter; and yet He spoke of a remaining by John, which should form a contrast to the following of Peter. His answer, namely, was as follows: 'If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?'
This was the picture presented of the future of John. But
as the picture of the future of Peter had not been rightly understood by that disciple, so now this utterance of Jesus regarding John was likewise not fully apprehended by the other disciples —who heard it again from the two, and by this time already knew that there had been no question of an immediate following of Christ. Therefore, adds the Evangelist, this report went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. Yet Jesus said not unto him (our eitev), He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? He intimates, that the words of Jesus do not exclude his natural death, but only give him to understand that it lies in the free choice of the Lord to provide another termination to his life than to that of Peter. He does not express Himself distinctly regarding this termination. This is a striking proof that the words of the Lord in reference to him had not yet been entirely fulfilled. Had they been already accomplished, as those regarding Peter, the parallelism of the two cases would have demanded a distinct declaration on the part of the narrator.'
The words regarding John had not yet passed into fulfilment; he therefore simply guarantees the mysterious terms employed, in which it was indicated that he should not leave this world by a martyr's death, but only when the Lord should come to call him away. As, however, the idea of the coming of Christ as a rule possessed a more general meaning, the Evangelist
a pointed at the same time to the symbolical character assigned to his earthly career.
The earthly course of John was consecrated by the Lord as a symbol of the Johannean type of the Church in its several features, showing how it forms a distinct harmonious contrast to the Petrine; how it supposes the latter, and is based on it; how it must come into manifestation as the other disappears in the background; and how, when the Petrine type in its universal historical form shall have passed away, it shall then appear in
1 The opposite argumentation, according to which this explanation was invented after the death of John, in order to calm the mind of the Church regarding the apparent contradiction between his death and the words of Christ, boldly takes for granted that the most natural interpretation is to understand the words of Christ in the sense of that misapprehension, and that the embarrassment of the Christians caused by the death of John first led them to ascribe to the words another meaning.
its entire glory, as a manifestation of the spiritual glory of the life of Christ, and of the spiritual glory of the Christian life.
The future of the disciples of Christ is a picture of the future of His Church. This, however, is a manifestation of the posthistorical administration of Christ to the time of His own coming -of the glorifying of His name in the world, which shall also be a glorifying of the world in His name.
The Evangelist closed the epilogue, and his Gospel generally, in reference to the announcement regarding his future, with these words: This is the disciple who testifieth of these things, and hath written these things.
One of the first possessors of his Gospel, in the name of the presbyters and church of Ephesus, added the words : And we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should have been written one by one, I suppose the world itself would not contain
I the books that should be written. (Comp. vol. i. p. 183.)
The Johannean spirit continues ever still to make its appearance in the Church, as a living and present witness to the truth of his Gospel.
The heirs of the Johannean spirit are, however, deeply penetrated with a sense of the ideal infiniteness of the history of the life of Jesus, the full delineation of which would require an infinitely rich christological literature, and a sufficient delineation of which, even by approximation, produces, in fact, a world of books, which, partly as planets, partly as comets, circle round the sun of that glorious life which forms the centre of the world's history.
But the world could not contain the fulness of the books.
And the books do not contain the fulness of the glory of His life.
INDEX E S.
I.--HEBREW AND GREEK WORDS MORE OR LESS
iv. 40 βρώσις,
iv. 429 διά τούτο,
iii. 332 είπείν,
iv. 124, 135
iv. 318, vi. 64
ii. 385 εντός υμών έστι,
iv. 252 Πέτρος and πέτρα, iii. 232
iv. 373 πλήρωμα and πλήρωσις, v. 198
V. 52 πληροφορείσθαι, i. 260
iv. 230, 231 στρατηγός του ιερού, iv. 290
iv. 164, 263
II.-PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE FORMALLY OR INCIDENTALLY
EXPLAINED OR ILLUSTRATED.
ii. 46 Psalms Χxii. 1,