The Fourfold Gospel
14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me1.
FAREWELL DISCOURSE TO DISCIPLES.
(Jerusalem. Evening before the crucifixion.)
- 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 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 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 (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 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.
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 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
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 to
know 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 to
the Father's likeness by the imitation of Jesus, then the truth here
uttered 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), so
Philip 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, 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.
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 slow
to learn and to believe what the Lord had taught; viz.: his unity with
the Father (John 10:30), and that he did and taught by the will of
his 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 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,
- Or else believe me for the very works' sake. To believe it because of the works which Jesus wrought. Divine works testify to the presence
of 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 to
give credibility to the statement that the Father worked him 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
- And greater [works] than these shall he do. 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 (1 Corinthians 15:6), but at Pentecost the apostles
converted three thousand in one day (Acts 2:41). The converts of Paul
also 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.
- 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 the
efficacy of prayer made in his name. Hitherto prayer had not been thus
made (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.
- 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 receive
now 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
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 observe
that by the use of the word "another" Jesus shows that he himself had
been 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 is
conditioned 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 then
has 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 after
the 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 spirit
which is here described. It was not his temporary return after the
resurrection, as is shown at John 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"
(Revelation 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.
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 also
see 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 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.
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.
- 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.
14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, while [yet] abiding with you.
- These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] abiding with you. The word "spoken" stands in contrast with the word "teach" in
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
- 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 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
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 return
to the Father, that when they received the subsequent manifestation of
it 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 would
never 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 he
would find nothing in Christ which would give him either right or
reason 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 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
- 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 after
they had risen from the table and prepared to depart, and that
of the Kidron.