John 14

#Joh 14:1| CXXI. FAREWELL DISCOURSE TO DISCIPLES. (Jerusalem. Evening before the crucifixion.) #Joh 14:1-16:33| Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. That one should betray him and one should deny him, that all should be offended, and that the Lord should depart, raised anxieties which Jesus here seeks to quiet. That they should go out as homeless wanderers without the presence of their Lord and be subjected to persecution, was also in their thoughts. But Jesus sustains their spirits by appealing to them to trust in the unseen Father, and his yet present self. As to the two verbs "believe," both may be either indicatives or imperatives. (TFG 660) #Joh 14:2| In my Father's house are many mansions. Many abiding places or homes. They were not to be homeless always. If it were not so, I would have told you. That is to say, if heaven had been of such limited capacity that there was little or no hope that you could follow me, I should have dealt plainly with you, and should have disabused your mind of all vain hopes. But there is room (#Lu 14:22|), and you may follow (#Joh 13:36|). For I go to prepare a place for you. We are familiar with the thought that the going, or death, of Jesus prepared a way for us by providing a fountain for the cleansing of our sin, and by rending the veil of the temple, "thus signifying that the way into heaven is now open." But the thought here is different. Jesus departed to prepare places for his own in the Father's house. (TFG 660-661) #Joh 14:3| And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again. The cause for the departure becomes the assurance of the return. (TFG 661) #Joh 14:4| And whither I go, ye know the way. My manner of life leads to the Father's house, and as ye know that manner of life, ye know the way. (TFG 661) #Joh 14:5| Lord, we know not whither thou goest; how know we the way? Thomas looked for a way wherein one might walk with his feet. (TFG 661) #Joh 14:6| No one cometh unto the Father, but by me. God is not approached by physical motion. Being spirit, we must draw near to him by spiritual simplicity, and this is revealed to us fully in the person of Christ, and an energizing power is imparted by Christ to enable us to attain unto it. (TFG 661) #Joh 14:7| If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also. The unity of nature and of character is so perfect that to know the Son is to know the Father also. From henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. This saying is the outgrowth of what is said in #Joh 14:6|. Since we can only come to the Father's likeness by the imitation of Jesus, then the truth here uttered follows; namely: that to see Jesus is to see the Father. (TFG 661) #Joh 14:8| Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. As Thomas asked for a physical instead of a spiritual approach to God (#Joh 14:5|), so Philip asked for a physical instead of a spiritual revelation of him. (TFG 661) #Joh 14:9| Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father. The answer of Jesus tenderly rebukes Philip. The excellency of God is not physical, but spiritual. Righteousness, truth, love, holiness, etc. are all spiritual. A physical revelation of God, if such a thing had been practicable or even possible, would have been of little or no benefit to the apostles. All the physical demonstrations at Mt. Sinai did not prevent the manufacture and worship of the golden calf. (TFG 661) #Joh 14:10| Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The question of Jesus is a mild rebuke because Philip had been so slow to learn and to believe what the Lord had taught; namely: his unity with the Father (see TFG "Joh 10:30"), and that he did and taught by the will of his Father and not of himself (see TFG "Joh 8:26"). (TFG 661-662) #Joh 14:11| Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. To ask Jesus to reveal the indwelling Father was much the same as to ask a man to reveal his own soul. Therefore Jesus asks Philip to take his word for the great fact, or, if that were not deemed sufficient, to believe it because of the works which Jesus wrought. Divine works testify to the presence of a divine spirit and power. (TFG 662) #Joh 14:12| Verily, verily. See TFG "#Joh 1:51|". He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do. Jesus while in the world manifested sufficient supernatural power to give credibility to the statement that the Father worked through him. But he here declares that his return to the Father will be followed by yet fuller tokens and evidences of his union with the Father. The first of these evidences enumerated is the larger sphere of power granted to the believer. By this the Lord does not mean the disciples shall perform greater miracles, but that they shall produce moral and spiritual revolutions which are instinsically more divinely wonderful than miracles. For instance, at his death Jesus had converted about five hundred disciples (#1Co 15:6|), but at Pentecost the apostles converted three thousand in one day (#Ac 2:41|). The converts of Paul also greatly outnumbered those of Christ's own ministry. (TFG 662) #Joh 14:13,14| And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. The second token of Christ's union with the Father would be manifested in the efficacy of prayer made in his name. Hitherto prayer had not been thus made (#Joh 16:24|). God would glorify himself through Christ by answering prayer thus made. (TFG 662-663) #Joh 14:15-17| If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. The third token of Christ's union with the Father would be the sending of the Holy Spirit (#Ac 2:33|). Since, however, the worldly-minded could neither receive nor behold the Spirit, the promise to send him to the disciples is prefaced by an appeal to them to keep his commandments, and thus avoid a worldly spirit such as would be compatible with the reception of the Holy Spirit. (TFG 663) #Joh 14:16| And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever. The word "Comforter" does not fully translate the Greek word Paraklete; no English word does. The word "Advocate" may be used, and "Helper" is as good if not better than "Comforter." We should observe that by the use of the word "another" Jesus shows that he himself had been and would be a Paraklete. But earthly fellowship with him was about to be cut short, and therefore the Holy Spirit would come, with whom fellowship would never be interrupted. (TFG 663) #Joh 14:17| Even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him. He is called the Spirit of truth because of his many relationships to the truth (#Joh 17:19 1Co 2:4 1Th 1:5 Ac 2:4 5:32 Heb 2:4|). That the gift of the Holy Spirit is conditioned upon belief and obedience is also taught elsewhere (#Joh 7:38 Ac 2:38 5:32|). For he abideth with you, and shall be in you. We should note, too, the distinction between the present "abideth with you," and the future "shall be in you." The Spirit, being present in the person of Christ, had been abiding with the apostles who followed him. Hereafter the intimacy of the relation would be increased, and the Spirit should abide within them. (TFG 663) #Joh 14:18| I will not leave you desolate. Literally, "orphans." The expression breathes the spirit of a father, as at #Joh 13:33|. (TFG 663) #Joh 14:19| Yet a little while, and the world beholdeth me no more. The next day the world crucified him and sealed him in the tomb, and since then has seen him no more. But ye behold me. The present tense here indicates a continued vision; it can not therefore refer to the appearances of Christ after the resurrection, for the terminated at the end of forty days. (TFG 664) #Joh 14:20| In that day. We may take this either as the day of Pentecost, or the period which began on that day. (TFG 664) #Joh 14:21| And will manifest myself unto him. The fourth and all-convincing token of Jesus' union with the Father would be his return in the spirit which is here described. It was not his temporary return after the resurrection, as is shown at #Joh 14:19|, neither was it his final return to judgment, because it was one in which the world would not behold him, and at his final return "every eye shall see him" (#Re 1:7|). Jesus, therefore, speaks of his return in the spirit, and his inward manifestation of himself to his disciples wherein he energizes them with his own life. A coming, however, which, like that of the Holy Spirit, is conditioned upon the loving obedience of the disciples. The writings of Paul abound with expressions illustrating the nature of this coming of Christ. It is not to be confused with the coming of the Holy Spirit, though doubtless wholly concurrent with it. (TFG 664) #Joh 14:22| Judas (not Iscariot). Who had gone out. See table of apostles, see TFG "Mt 10:2", for this Judas, or Thaddeus. Also see TFG "Mr 3:18". Saith unto him, Lord, what is come to pass that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? The form of his question betrays the apostle's bewilderment. Expecting that Jesus would soon be an earthly king, he could not imagine how Jesus could so have changed his plans as to thus withdraw himself utterly from the world. The answer of Jesus gave Judas but little present light. (TFG 664) #Joh 14:23,24| If a man love me, he will keep my word. Jesus contents himself by pointing out to Judas the fact that loving obedience is the means by which the blessed indwelling is obtained. It was better that Judas should busy his heart and will about the means of blessing rather than his head about the mysterious and incomprehensible manner of it. (TFG 665) #Joh 14:25,26| These things have I spoken unto you, being yet abiding with you. The word "spoken" in #Joh 14:25| stands in contrast with the word "teach" in #Joh 14:26|. Jesus had uttered the truth, but because of the divine plan of salvation through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord was yet incomplete, all the words which he had spoken were but dimly understood, since they were related to and founded upon this incompleted plan. (TFG 665) #Joh 14:26| But the Comforter . . . shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. When the plan was completed the Holy Spirit would reveal or teach the meaning of the words by bringing them to remembrance after full comprehension of the plan to which they related. (TFG 665) #Joh 14:27| Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you. This legacy of peace is by no means to be confined to the period of doubt and fear which accompanied the crucifixion; in fact, it seems to overstep that period, and to begin after it, and continue throughout all the trouble ministry of the apostles. The breadth of the legacy also to be noted: 1. The quality of it; it was not the absolute unshaken peace of God, but the peace which Jesus himself possessed while upon the earth--peace with all things save the devil and his powers. 2. The nature of it; it was not peace from without, but from within. It was not such as promised to pacify and quell the persecutors, but a promise of inner calm amidst the storm. 3. The manner of it; it was no stinted, measured store such as the world bestows, but a full, free gift from the overflowing bounty of God. (TFG 665-666) #Joh 14:28| If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I. The departure of Jesus was not wholly a humiliation, as it might appear to them; but a real exaltation at which they might well rejoice, and that the more readily and freely since it would not mean to them the total separation which they anticipated, because he would return in the spirit. The word "greater" as here used does not refer to any difference in the nature or essence of the Son as related to the Father. It may well be true that there has been a certain subordination of the will of the Son to the will of the Father from all eternity, but even that, if it exists, is not referred to here. Jesus has in mind the utter humiliation to which his mediatorial office had brought him, and to even lower depths to which it was about to bring him. From all this his departure to the Father would in a large measure free him, restoring him in some degree to that state of equilibrium in glory, power and authority from which he had descended (#Php 2:6|). (TFG 666) #Joh 14:29| And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe. Jesus had told them fully of his return to the Father, that when they received the subsequent manifestation of it they might firmly believe it. (TFG 666) #Joh 14:30| I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me. In a few hours the earthly teaching of Jesus would be interrupted by the coming of Satan and would never be resumed save in occasional fragments. Satan would come in the persons of his servants and emissaries, but he would find nothing in Christ which would give him either right or reason to exercise power over him. (TFG 666) #Joh 14:31| But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. The sorrows and sufferings of Christ would be entered upon of his own free will because by enduring them for our sakes he would please the Father and carry out his commandments, and thus manifest to the world the love which he bore the Father. Arise, let us go hence. Some think that Jesus then left the room, and that the next three chapters of John's Gospel contain matters spoken on the way to Gethsemane. But it is likely that the words of these chapters were spoken in the upper room after they had risen from the table and prepared to depart, and that #Joh 18:1| marks the leaving of the upper room as well as the crossing of the Kidron. (TFG 666-667)
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