Now before the feast of the passover
This feast was instituted as a memorial of the deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and was an eminent type of Christ; and this passover was what Christ had greatly desired, it being his last, and when he was to express his great love to his people, mentioned here, by dying for them. It was two days before this feast, so the Persic version reads this text, at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, that the things recorded in this chapter were transacted; see ( Matthew 26:2 Matthew 26:6 ) ;
when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should
depart out of
this world to the Father.
The death of Christ is here signified by a departing out of this world, a way of speaking frequently used by the Jews as expressive of death; (See Gill on Philippians 1:23). Much such a phrase is made use of concerning Moses, of whom it is said F16, that the fourth song that was sung in the world, was sung by him
``when "his time was come", (amle Nm rjpml) , "to depart out of the world";''an easy and familiar form of speech to express death by, as if it was only a removing front one place to another. The place from whence Christ was about to remove is called "this world": this present world, into which he was come to save sinners, and in which he then was, and where he had already met with very ill usage, and barbarous treatment, and was to meet with more: where he was going is said to be "to the Father", in whose bosom he lay, by whom he was sent, from whom he came; to his God and Father, and the God and Father of all his people, to take his place in their nature at his right hand. A time or hour was fixed for this; for as there was a set time, called "the fulness of time", agreed upon for his coming into the world, so there was for his going out of it: and now this "his hour was come"; the time was now up, or at least very near at hand; and he "knew" it, being God omniscient, which gave him no uneasiness: nor did it in the least alienate his affections from his people: for
having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them
The objects of his love are described by his property in them, "his own"; by whom are meant, not all mankind, who are his by creation; nor the Jews, who were his nation and countrymen according to the flesh; nor the twelve apostles only, whom he had chosen; but all the elect of God, who are his own, by his choice of them, by the Father's gift of them to him, by the purchase he made of them with his blood, and by his effectual call of them by his grace: these are also described by their condition and situation, "which were in the world"; which is not said to distinguish them from the saints that were in heaven, or to express their former state of unregeneracy, but their present situation in this vain and evil world, which is no objection to Christ's love to them; for though whilst in this world they carry about with them a body of sin and death, are liable to many snares and temptations, and are involved in the troubles, and exposed to the hatred of the world, yet are, and always will be, the objects of the love and care of Christ. The acts of his love to them are expressed both in time past, and to come: "having loved" them; so he did from everlasting, with a love of complacency and delight, which he showed as early by espousing their persons to himself, by undertaking their cause, by taking the charge of their persons, and the care of both their grace and glory, and in time by assuming their nature; and having done all this, "he loved them to the end": and which he showed by dying for them; and continues to show by interceding for them in heaven, by supplying them with all grace, and by preserving them from a final and total falling away; and he will at last introduce them into his kingdom and glory, when they shall be for ever with him; and so that love to them continues not only to the end of his own life, nor barely to the end of theirs, but to the end of the world, and for ever; and so (eiv telov) , signifies, and is rendered "continually", ( Luke 18:5 ) , and in the Septuagint on ( Psalms 9:6 Psalms 9:18 ) ( 44:23 ) answers to (xunl) , which signifies "for ever"; and is so translated here by the Ethiopic version.