Suggested further reading: John 10:25-30
Let us observe how death is spoken of here. It is taking a
journey a going from one place to another. In the case of our Lord, it
was a return to his Father's house and a going home after finishing
the work he came to do. So a believer's death, in a lower sense,
is going home. Calvin observes, `This definition of death belongs
to the whole body of the church. It is to the saints a passage to
the Father, an inlet to eternal life.'
It is written that `Having loved his own which were in the
world, he loved them unto the end.' The meaning of this seems to
be: `Having always loved his own disciples and having given
many proofs of his singular affection, he now, before leaving them
alone like orphans in the world, gave one more striking proof of his
love by washing their feet and thus on the last evening before his
death showed that he loved them to the very end of his ministry and
was not weary of them.'
He knew perfectly that they were going to forsake him and
act like cowards, but that did not prevent him loving them, with
all their weakness, to the very end. He knew perfectly that he
was about to suffer within twenty-four hours, but the knowledge
and foresight of it did not absorb his thoughts so as to make him
forget his little flock of followers.
The expression `his own', applied to believers, is very
noteworthy. They are Christ's peculiar property, given to him by
the Father and his own special care as members of his body.
The expression `which were in the world' is another great
depth. Believers are not in heaven yet and find it out to their cost.
They are in a cold, unkind, persecuting world. Let them take comfort
in the thought that Jesus knows and remembers it. `I know thy
works and where thou dwellest' (Rev. 2:13).
For meditation: Christ remains faithful even when we are
faltering and failing.