Now is my soul troubled - Our blessed Lord took upon him our weaknesses, that he might sanctify them to us. As a man he was troubled at the prospect of a violent death. Nature abhors death: God has implanted that abhorrence in nature, that it might become a principle of self preservation; and it is to this that we owe all that prudence and caution by which we avoid danger. When we see Jesus working miracles which demonstrate his omnipotence, we should be led to conclude that he was not man were it not for such passages as these. The reader must ever remember that it was essentially necessary that he should be man; for, without being such, he could hot have died for the sin of the world.
And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour - Και τι ειπω; πατερ, σωσον με εκ της ὡρας ταυτης· which may be paraphrased thus: And why should I say, Father, save me from this hour? when for this cause I am come to this hour. The common version makes our blessed Lord contradict himself here, by not attending to the proper punctuation of the passage, and by translating the particle τι what, instead of why or how. The sense of our Lord's words is this: "When a man feels a fear of a sudden or violent death, it is natural to him to cry out, Father, save me from this death! for he hopes that the glory of God and his welfare may be accomplished some other way, less dreadful to his nature: but why should I say so, seeing for this very purpose, that I might die this violent death for the sins of mankind, I am come into the world, and have almost arrived at the hour of my crucifixion."
Now is my soul troubled - The mention of his death brought before him its approaching horrors, its pains, its darkness, its unparalleled woes. Jesus was full of acute sensibility, and his human nature shrunk from the scenes through which he was to pass. See Luke 23:41-44.
What shall I say? - This is an expression denoting intense anxiety and perplexity. As if it were a subject of debate whether he could bear those sufferings; or whether the work of man‘s redemption should be abandoned, and he should call upon God to save him. Blessed be his name that he was willing to endure these sorrows, and did not forsake man when he was so near being redeemed! On the decision of that moment - the fixed and unwavering purpose of the Son of God depended man‘s salvation. If Jesus had forsaken his purpose then, all would have been lost.
Father, save me - This ought undoubtedly to have been read as a question - “Shall I say, Father, save me?” Shall I apply to God to rescue me? or shall I go forward to bear these trials? As it is in our translation, it represents him as actually offering the prayer, and then checking himself. The Greek will bear either interpretation. The whole verse is full of deep feeling and anxiety. Compare Matthew 26:38; Luke 12:50.
This hour - These calamities. The word “hour,” here, doubtless has reference to his approaching sufferings the appointed hour for him to suffer. Shall I ask my Father to save me from this hour - that is, from these approaching sufferings? That it might have been done, see Matthew 26:53.
But for this cause - That is, to suffer and die. As this was the design of his coming as he did it deliberately - -as the salvation of the world depended on it, he felt that it would not be proper to pray to be delivered from it. He came to suffer, and he submitted to it. See Luke 23:42.
As Satan had led man to sin, he had hoped that God's abhorrence of sin would forever separate Him from man, and break the connecting link between heaven and earth. The opening heavens, in connection with the voice of God addressing His Son, was like a death knell to Satan. He feared that God was now to unite man more fully to Himself, and give power to overcome his devices. And for this purpose Christ had come from the royal courts to the earth. Satan was well acquainted with the position of honor Christ had held in heaven as the Son of God, the beloved of the Father. And that He should leave heaven, and come to this world as a man, filled him with apprehension for his safety. He could not comprehend the mystery of this great sacrifice for the benefit of fallen man. He knew that the value of heaven far exceeded the anticipation and appreciation of fallen man. The most costly treasures of the world, he knew, would not compare with its worth. As he had lost through his rebellion all the riches and pure glories of heaven, he was determined to be revenged by causing as many as he could to undervalue heaven and to place their affections upon earthly treasures. Con 29.2Read in context »
This chapter is based on John 12:20-42.
“And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.” DA 621.1Read in context »