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§ 275. Christ’s Salutation of Peace; its Import. (John, xiv., 27, seq.)

When about to rise from the table, the Saviour pronounced a blessing, as was usual at salutation and leave-taking: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” A fitting conclusion to the promises of comfort was this farewell word of peace. But, after all that he had promised, he could, even in view of the approaching separation, and the conflicts and strifes to which he was about to leave the disciples, promise them the enjoyment of peace. And he told them that his salutation implied another peace than that of the world: “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” This peace the world has not, and therefore cannot give. It was peace in itself, a real peace, that he left behind unto his own; a peace which none but He possesses, and none can find but in communion with him. No room in them, therefore, for fear or disquiet: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Again he recurs to his departure, and reminds them of the promise which ought to remove all the sting of separation: “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” He went; but it was to return in greater glory. They could not love him, if they did not rejoice at the glorious change that he was to leave the limits of his earthly and visible human nature, and ascend to the Father Almighty, in order to operate, thenceforward. 399in union with Him, in the power of God, invisible and infinite.737737   As Lücke and Kling (loc. cit.) have remarked, this passage can only be applied to the relation between God, as the Almighty, and Jesus, as man, standing then before his disciples in the narrow form of humanity. He had foretold to them what would happen, that their faith might not waver in the evil hour (v. 29). He could speak but a few words more as the Prince of this World was coming (in his agents); though that Prince had no power over him, and He could, if he chose, escape the power of his foes (v. 30); but he did not choose. Voluntarily he would go to meet death, to prove, in the face of the world, his love to the Father, by completing the work committed to him by the Father (v. 31).

And then he called them to arise from table, and go with him to the final conflict.

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