- FAREWELL DISCOURSE TO DISCIPLES. (Jerusalem. Evening before the crucifixion.) John 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 beoffended, and that the Lord should depart, raised anxieties which Jesushere seeks to quiet. That they should go out as homeless wandererswithout the presence of their Lord and be subjected to persecution, wasalso in their thoughts. But Jesus sustains their spirits by appealingto them to trust in the unseen Father, and his yet present self. As tothe two verbs "believe", both may be indicatives or imperatives.
14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions1; if it were not so, I would have told you2; for I go to prepare a place for you3.
- 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 nohope that you could follow me, I should have dealt plainly with you,and should have disabused your mind of all vain hopes. But there isroom ( Luke 14:22 ), and you may follow ( John 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 byproviding a fountain for the cleansing of our sin, and by rending theveil of the temple, "thus signifying that the way into heaven is nowopen". But the thought here is different. Jesus departed to prepareplaces for his own in the Father's house.
14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again1, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.
- And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again. The cause for the departure becomes the assurance of the return.
14:4 And whither I go, ye know the way1.
- 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.
14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; how know we the way1?
- Lord, we know not whither thou goest; how know we the way? Thomas looked for a way wherein one might walk with his feet.
14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me1.
- 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 spiritualsimplicity, and this is revealed to us fully in the person of Christ,and an energizing power is imparted by Christ to enable us to attainunto it.
14:7 If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also1: from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him2.
- 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 toknow the Father also.
- From henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. This saying is the outgrowth of what is said in John 14:6 . Since we can only come tothe Father's likeness by the imitation of Jesus, then the truth hereuttered follows; viz.: that to see Jesus is to see the Father.
14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us1.
- Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. As Thomas asked for a physical instead of a spiritual approach to God ( John 14:5 ), soPhilip asked for a physical instead of a spiritual revelation of him.
14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me1, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father2; how sayest thou, Show us the Father?
- Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me,
- Philip? The answer of Jesus tenderly rebukes Philip. The excellency of God is not physical, but spiritual. Righteousness, truth, love,holiness, etc. are all spiritual.
- He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. A physical revelation of God, if such a thing had been practicable or even possible, wouldhave been of little or no benefit to the apostles. All the physicaldemonstrations at Mt. Sinai did not prevent the manufacture and worshipof the golden calf.
14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me1? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works.
- 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 slowto learn and to believe what the Lord had taught; viz.: his unity withthe Father ( John 10:30 ), and that he did and taught by the will ofhis Father and not himself ( John 8:26 ).
14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me1: or else believe me for the very works' sake2.
- Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me. To ask Jesus to reveal the indwelling Father was much the same as to ask a manto reveal his own soul. Therefore Jesus asks Philip to take his wordfor the great fact, or, if that were not deemed sufficient,
- Or else believe me for the very works' sake. To believe it because of the works which Jesus wrought. Divine works testify to the presenceof a divine spirit and power.
14:12 Verily, verily1, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also2; and greater [works] than these shall he do3; because I go unto the Father.
- Verily, verily. See John 1:51.
- He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also. Jesus while in the world manifested sufficient supernatural power togive credibility to the statement that the Father worked him throughhim. But he here declares that his return to the Father will befollowed by yet fuller tokens and evidences of his union with theFather.
- And greater [works] than these shall he do. The first of these evidences enumerated is the larger sphere of power granted to thebeliever. By this the Lord does not mean the disciples shall performgreater miracles, but that they shall produce moral and spiritualrevolutions which are instinsically more divinely wonderful thanmiracles. For instance, at his death Jesus had converted about fivehundred disciples ( 1 Corinthians 15:6 ), but at Pentecost the apostlesconverted three thousand in one day ( Acts 2:41 ). The converts of Paulalso greatly outnumbered those of Christ's own ministry.
14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do1, that the Father may be glorified in the Son2.
- John 14:13 John 14:14
- And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. The second token of Christ's union with the Father would be manifested in theefficacy of prayer made in his name. Hitherto prayer had not been thusmade ( John 16:24 ).
- That the Father may be glorified in the Son. God would glorify himself through Christ by answering prayer thus made.
14:15 If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments1.
- John 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( Acts 2:33 ). Since, however, the worldly-minded could neither receivenow behold the Spirit, the promise to send him to the disciples isprefaced by an appeal to them to keep his commandments, and thus avoida worldly spirit such as would be compatible with the reception of theHoly Spirit.
14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter1, that he may be with you for ever2,
- And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter. 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 observethat by the use of the word "another" Jesus shows that he himself hadbeen and would be a "Paraklete".
- That he may be with you for ever. 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.
14:17 [even] the Spirit of truth1: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him2; for he abideth with you3, and shall be in you4.
- [Even] the Spirit of truth. He is called the Spirit of truth because of his many relationships to the truth ( John 17:19 ; Acts 2:4 ; Acts 5:32 1 Corinthians 2:4 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:5 ; Hebrews 2:4 .
- Whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him. That the gift of the Holy Spirit isconditioned upon belief and obedience is also taught elsewhere( John 7:38 ; Acts 2:38 ; Acts 5:32 ).
- For he abideth with you. The Spirit, being present in the person of Christ, had been abiding with the apostles who followed him.
- And shall be in you. Hereafter the intimacy of the relation would be increased, and the Spirit should abide within them.
14:18 I will not leave you desolate1: I come unto you.
- I will not leave you desolate. Literally, orphans. The expression breathes the spirit of a father, as at John 13:33 .
14:19 Yet a little while, and the world beholdeth me no more1; but ye behold me2: because I live, ye shall live also.
- 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 thenhas seen him no more.
- But ye behold me. The present tense here indicates a continued vision; it cannot therefore refer to the appearances of Christ afterthe resurrection, for the terminated at the end of forty days.
14:20 In that day1 ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
- In that day. We may take this either as the day of Pentecost, or the period which began on that day.
14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him1.
- And will manifest myself unto him. The fourth and all-convincing token of Jesus' union with the Father would be his return in the spiritwhich is here described. It was not his temporary return after theresurrection, as is shown at John 14:19 , neither was it his finalreturn to judgment, because it was one in which the world would notbehold him, and at his final return "every eye shall see him"( Revelation 1:7 ). Jesus, therefore, speaks of his return in the spirit, andhis inward manifestation of himself to his disciples wherein heenergizes them with his own life. A coming, however, which, like thatof the Holy Spirit, is conditioned upon the loving obedience of thedisciples. The writings of Paul abound with expressions illustratingthe nature of this coming of Christ. It is not to be confused with thecoming of the Holy Spirit, though doubtless wholly concurrent with it.
14:22 Judas1 (not Iscariot)2 saith unto him, Lord, what is come to pass that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world3?
- Judas. For this Judas, or Thaddeus, see Matthew 10:2 for a table of apostles and alsosee Mark 3:18.
- (Not Iscariot). Who had gone out.
- 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 questionbetrays the apostle's bewilderment. Expecting that Jesus would soon bean earthly king, he could not imagine how Jesus could so have changedhis plans as to thus withdraw himself utterly from the world. Theanswer of Jesus gave Judas but little present light.
14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word1: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
- John 14:23 John 14:24
- 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 bywhich the blessed indwelling is obtained. It was better that Judasshould busy his heart and will about the "means" of blessing ratherthan his head about the mysterious and incomprehensible "manner" of it.
14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, while [yet] abiding with you.
- John 14:25 John 14:26
- These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] abiding with you. The word "spoken" stands in contrast with the word "teach" inplan of salvation through the death, burial, resurrection, andascension of our Lord was yet incomplete, all the words which he hadspoken were but dimly understood, since they were related to andfounded upon this incomplete plan.
14:26 But the Comforter, [even] the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.
- But the Comforter . . . shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. When the plan wascompleted the Holy Spirit would reveal or teach the meaning of thewords by bringing them to remembrance after full comprehension of theplan to which they related.
14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you1: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.
- 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 fearwhich accompanied the crucifixion; in fact, it seems to overstep thatperiod, and to begin after it, and continue throughout all the troubleministry 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--peacewith all things save the devil and his powers. (2) The nature of it; itwas not peace from without, but from within. It was not such aspromised to pacify and quell the persecutors, but a promise of innercalm amidst the storm. (3) The manner of it; it was no stinted,measured store such as the world bestows, but a full, free gift fromthe overflowing bounty of God.
14:28 Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father1: for the Father is greater than I2.
- If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father. The departure of Jesus was not wholly a humiliation, as itmight appear to them, but a real exaltation at which they might wellrejoice, and that the more readily and freely since it would not meanto them the total separation which they anticipated, because he wouldreturn in the spirit.
- For the Father is greater than I. The word "greater" as here used does not refer to any difference in the nature or essence of the Son asrelated to the Father. It may well be true that there has been acertain subordination of the will of the Son to the will of the Fatherfrom all eternity, but even that, if it exists, is not referred tohere. Jesus has in mind the utter humiliation to which his mediatorialoffice had brought him, and to even lower depths to which it was aboutto bring him. From all this his departure to the Father would in alarge measure free him, restoring him in some degree to that state ofequilibrium in glory, power, and authority from which he had descended( Philippians 2:6 ).
14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe1.
- 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 returnto the Father, that when they received the subsequent manifestation ofit they might firmly believe it.
14:30 I will no more speak much with you1, for the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me2;
- I will no more speak much with you. In a few hours the earthly teaching of Jesus would be interrupted by the coming of Satan and wouldnever be resumed save in occasional fragments.
- For the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me. Satan would come in the persons of his servants and emissaries, but hewould find nothing in Christ which would give him either right orreason to exercise power over him.
14:31 but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do1. Arise, let us go hence2.
- 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 sufferingsof Christ would be entered upon of his own free will because byenduring them for our sakes he would please the Father and carry outhis commandments, and thus manifest to the world the love which he borethe Father.
- Arise, let us go hence. Some think that Jesus then left the room, and that the next three chapters were spoken in the upper room afterthey had risen from the table and prepared to depart, and thatof the Kidron.