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John 14

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

UBS4 NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
Jesus, the Way to the Father The Way, the Truth, and the Life The Believers' Relation to the Glorified Christ Jesus, the Way to the Father Farewell Discourses
(13:31-14:31)
14:1-14 14:1-6 14:1-7 14:1-4 14:1-4
      14:5 14:5-7
  The Father Revealed   14:6-7  
  14:7-11      
    14:8-14 14:8 14:8-21
  The Answered Prayer   14:9-14  
  14:12-14      
The Promise of the Spirit Jesus Promises Another Helper   The Promise of the Holy Spirit  
14:15-24 14:15-18 14:15-17 14:15-17  
  Indwelling of the Father and the Son 14:18-24 14:18-20  
  14:19-24      
      14:21  
      14:22 14:22-31
  The Gift of His Peace   14:23-24  
14:25-31 14:25-31 14:25-31 14:25-26  
      14:27-31a  
      14:31b  

READING CYCLE THREE

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five modern translations. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

BACKGROUND TO JOHN 14:1-31

A. There should be no chapter division from John 13 through 17 because this is one literary unit, the dialogue of the Upper Room the night of the Lord's Supper. It is obvious that Jesus' statements about going away caused the disciples to have many questions. This context is built on a series of these questions based on the Apostles' misunderstanding of Jesus' words

1. Peter (John 13:36)

2. Thomas (John 14:5)

3. Philip (John 14:8)

4. Judas (not Iscariot) (John 14:22)

5. some of His disciples (John 16:17-19)

Remember, John uses dialogue to communicate truth!

 

B. These questions still help believers

1. They show that even the Apostles who were physically with Jesus did not always understand Him.

2. Some of Jesus' most precious and profound words are said in response to these honest questions of misunderstanding.

 

C. Chapter 14 begins Jesus' discussion of the coming "helper."

1. Jesus' references to the Holy Spirit in this Upper Room discourse are directly related (and limited) to the disciples' fear and anxiety related to Jesus' leaving (cf. John 13:33,36).

Michael Magill, New Testament TransLine (p. 355) has an insightful outline of Jesus' contextual answers to these fears.

a. "you will be with Me some day where I am going," John 14:1-11

b. "It will be good for you that I go," John 14:12-17

c. "I will come to you where you are and reveal Myself to you," John 14:18-26

d. "I leave you my peace now," John 14:27-31

2. This discussion of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is limited in scope. There are so many crucial aspects of His ministry not discussed at all in this context.

3. The Spirit's task as

a. revealer of truth and

b. personal comforter are emphasized

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 14:1-7
 1"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way where I am going." 5Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 7If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."

14:1 "Do not let" This is a present passive imperative with negative particle which usually means to stop an act already in process. "Stop letting your hearts be troubled." Jesus' comments about leaving had caused great anxiety.

▣ "your heart" Notice the plural. Jesus was speaking to all eleven. The Hebraic usage of "heart" implies the entire person: mind, will, and emotions (cf. Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37). See Special Topic at John 12:40.

▣ "believe in God; believe also in Me" These are either two present active imperatives (NASB, REB) or two present active indicatives or a combination of both (NKJV, NJB and NET Bible say the first is indicative and the second imperative). Belief is ongoing and habitual. The grammatically balanced structure of this verse shows that Jesus is claiming equality with God. Also remember that these were Jews who were committed to monotheism (cf. Deut. 6:4-6) and yet recognized the implications of Jesus' statement (see Special Topic: Trinity at John 14:26). It is one thing to believe in a Supreme Being and it is quite another to be a Christian. This phrase focuses not on a doctrinal creed, but on the person of Jesus Christ.

14:2 "In my Father's house" "House" is used in the OT of the Tabernacle or the Temple (cf. 2 Samuel 7), however, in this context it obviously implies the family quarters of God in heaven or dwelling with Him in His temple (cf. Ps. 23:6; 27:4-6).

NASB, NRSV"dwelling places"
NKJV"mansions"
TEV"rooms"
NJB"many places"

The KJV translation, "mansions," is deceiving. The Greek term meant "permanent dwelling places" (cf. John 14:23) without the idea of lavishness. The imagery is that believers shall all have their own rooms in the Father's home (cf. TEV, NJB), much like a boarding house where all eat together daily.

 It is also interesting that this is from the same Greek root as "abide," which is such a key concept (cf. chap. 15) in John. Our abode with the Father consummates with our abiding in the Son.

▣ "if" This is a partial second class conditional sentence which is called "contrary to fact." There are many rooms available. This phrase is difficult to translate.

NASB, REB,
NIV"if it were not so, I would have told you"
NKJV"if it were not so, I would have told you"
TEV"I would not tell you this if it were not so"
NJB, NET"otherwise I would have told you"
Young's literal
translation"and if not, I would have told you"
New Berkley
Version"If this were not so, I would have told you"
Williams
Translation"if there were not, I would have told you"

"I go to prepare a place for you" This does not mean to imply that heaven, in a physical sense, was not prepared before this, but that Jesus' life, teachings, and death allows sinful mankind to approach and dwell with a holy God. Jesus goes before believers as their guide and forerunner (cf. Heb. 6:20).

14:3 "If" This is a third class conditional sentence which means potential action. Jesus has told them He is returning to the Father soon (i.e., John 7:33; 16:5,10,17,28) and He will prepare a place for them.

The Help for Translators from United Bible Societies on John by Newman and Wider says that this clause should be understood in a temporal sense of "after I go" or "when I go" or "since I go" (p. 456).

▣ "I will come again and receive you to Myself" This refers to the Second Coming or death (cf. 2 Cor. 5:8; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). This face-to-face fellowship with Jesus reflects Jesus' and the Father's fellowship (cf. John 1:1,2). Christians will participate in the intimacy between Jesus and the Father (John 14:23; 17:1ff).

The verb used here, receive (paralambanō), implies "welcome a person." Heaven is personal fellowship with God. This is different from John 1:12 (lambanō). It is difficult to ascertain the exact semantic overlapping of these two terms; often they are synonymous.

▣ "where I am, there you may be also" Heaven is where Jesus is (cf. John 17:24)! Heaven is really face-to-face fellowship with the Triune God! The NT is unclear exactly when the full fellowship occurs.

1. at death, 2 Cor. 5:8

2. at the Second Coming, 1 Thess. 4:13-18

The Bible is surprisingly silent about afterlife. A good brief book is William Hendriksen's, The Bible On the Life Hereafter.

SPECIAL TOPIC: THE DEAD, WHERE ARE THEY? (SHEOL/HADES, GEHENNA, TARTARUS)

14:4 "you know the way" Jesus' statement causes Thomas to express his doubt about knowing the way. Jesus' answer is expressed in three terms often used in the OT.

14:6 "I am the way" In the OT, biblical faith was spoken of as a lifestyle path (cf. Deut. 5:32-33; 31:29; Ps. 27:11; Isa. 35:8). The title of the early church was "the Way" (cf. Acts 9:2; 19:9,23; 24:14,22). Jesus was emphasizing that He was and is the only way to God. This is the theological essence of John's Gospel! Lifestyle good works are an evidence of personal faith (cf. Eph. 2:8-9,10), not a means of righteousness. See note at John 8:12.

▣ "the truth" The term "truth" in Greek philosophy had the connotation of "truth" versus "falsehood" or "reality" versus "illusion." However, these are Aramaic-speaking disciples who would have understood Jesus to be speaking in the OT sense of truth which was "faithfulness" or "loyalty" (cf. Ps. 26:3; 86:11; 119:30). Both "truth" and "life" characterize "the way." The term "truth" is often used in John to describe divine activity (cf. John 1:14; 4:23-24; 8:32; 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 17:17,19). See Special Topics on Truth at John 6:55 and 17:3.

▣ "the life" The "life" is zoā, used by John to describe the life of the new age. In the OT, a believer's lifestyle faith is spoken of as a path unto the life (cf. Ps. 16:11; Pro. 6:23; 10:17). All three of these terms are related to lifestyle faith which is found only in personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

▣ "no one comes to the Father but through Me" What a shocking claim! It is very restrictive but also very obvious that Jesus believed that only through a personal relationship with Himself can one know God (cf. 1 John 5:10-12). This has often been called the exclusivistic scandal of Christianity. There is no middle ground here. This statement is true or Christianity is false! In several ways this is similar to John 10.

14:7 "If" There is a manuscript variant connected to the type of conditional sentence. The United Bible Societies Greek text supports the first class conditional sentence, as do the ancient Greek manuscripts P66, א, and D. This would then be translated "if you had known Me and you do, then you would have known My Father, which you do."

It may be a second class conditional sentence which is often called "contrary to fact." The translation would then be "if you had known Me, which you have not, then you would have known My Father, which you do not." This is supported by manuscripts, A, B, C, Db, K, L, and X. This is a difficult statement because we assume that the Apostles had already believed unto salvation in Jesus as the Messiah sent by YHWH. This new and ultimately exclusive truth must have been very difficult for them to grasp. John's Gospel seems to speak of levels of belief. The context seems to support the second class conditional. Also notice the same condition in John 14:2 and 28.

▣ "you had known Me" Jesus is addressing the entire Apostolic group again (cf. John 14:9). The term "know" is used in the OT sense, which speaks of intimate personal relationship, not just cognitive knowledge (cf. Gen. 4:1; Jer. 1:5).

▣ "you would have known my Father also" To see Jesus is to see God (cf. John 1:14-18; 5:24; 12:44-45; 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3)! Jesus is the perfect revelation of the invisible God. No one who rejects Jesus can claim to know God (cf. 1 John 5:9-12).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 14:8-14
  8Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

14:8 "Philip said to Him" Apparently Philip (1) wanted a vision of God (Theophany) somewhat like Moses, Isaiah, or Ezekiel or (2) he totally misunderstood Jesus' words. Jesus answers by affirming that when Philip had seen and known Him, he had seen and known God (cf. Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3)!

NASB"it is enough for us"
NKJV"it is sufficient for us"
NRSV"we will be satisfied"
TEV"that is all we need"
NJB"then we shall be satisfied"

These disciples wanted some type of confirmation just like the Pharisees. However, believers must walk by faith and not depend on sight (cf. 2 Cor. 4:18; 5:7) in spiritual matters. Trust is the issue!

14:9 "Have I been so long with you" Notice this is plural. Philip asked the question that all of them were thinking.

▣ "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" This is a perfect active participle and a perfect active verb which means "has seen and continues to see." Jesus fully reveals Deity (cf. Col.1:15; Heb. 1:3).

14:10 Jesus' question in Greek expects a "yes" answer. See SPECIAL TOPIC: "ABIDING" IN JOHN'S WRITINGS at 1 John 2:10.

"you. . .you" The first "you" is singular, referring to Philip. The second "you" is plural, referring to the Apostolic group (cf. John 14:7, 10).

▣ "The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative" Jesus was acting on the Father's behalf in all things (cf. John 14:24; 5:19,30; 7:16-18; 8:28; 10:38; 12:49). Jesus' teachings are the very words of the Father (cf. John 14:24)

▣ "but the Father abiding in Me does His works" This fellowship between the Father and the Son (i.e., John 7:14; 8:28; 10:38), which is emphasized in Jesus' High Priestly prayer of chapter 17, becomes the basis for the "abiding" of believers in Christ in chapter 15. John's Gospel reveals salvation as (1) doctrine; (2) fellowship; (3) obedience; and (4) perseverance.

14:11 "Believe Me" This is a present active imperative or a present active indicative (cf. John 14:1).

There is a manuscript variant of some significance in the opening phrase of this verse. Some early Greek texts (P66, P75, א, D, L, and W) have just the verb "believe" followed by (hoti) "that," which implies that they were to accept the truth about Jesus and the Father's unity. Other ancient texts (MSS A and B) add the dative "in Me," showing the personal object of the belief. The United Bible Societies' Greek scholars believe that the first option was original (cf. Bruce M. Metzger's A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, which gives this option a "B" rating [almost certain], p. 244). Most modern translations keep the "in me" but add "that" (which shows the content to be believed).

▣ "otherwise believe because of the works themselves" Jesus tells them to believe in His works (cf. John 5:36; 10:25,38). His works fulfilled OT prophecy. His works reveal who He is! The Apostles, like all of us, had to grow in faith.

14:12 "Truly, truly" See note at John 1:51.

▣ "believes. . .he will do" Believing is not a mental activity alone but an action-oriented word. The phrase "he can do even greater things" is a future active indicative which should be translated "he will do greater things." This possibly refers to

1. the geographical scope (cf. Matt. 28:18-20)

2. the Gentile mission

3. the Spirit being with every believer

4. Jesus' intercessory prayer (cf. Heb. 7:25; 9:24)

 

See SPECIAL TOPIC: PRAYER, UNLIMITED YET LIMITED at 1 John 3:22, B. 2.

The last phrase "he will do" is crucial to biblical Christianity. As the Father sent the Son, the Son sends his disciples! Being "in Christ," having "eternal life," means an active "Great Commission" heart and mind. Christianity is not a creed or something we receive for a rainy day. It is a new orientation of life, a new worldview! It changes everything! It must become an intentional, daily, kingdom-oriented, sacrificial lifestyle.

The church must recapture

1. the ministry of every believer

2. the priority of the Great Commission

3. daily intentional selfless service

4. Christlikeness now!

 

14:13-14 "Whatever you ask in My name that will I do" Notice that Jesus claims that He will answer our prayers based on His character. In Acts 7:59 Stephen prays to Jesus. In 2 Cor. 12:8 Paul prays to Jesus. In John 15:16 and 16:23 believers are to address the Father. To pray in Jesus' name does not involve a magic formula, said at the end of our prayers, but praying in the will and character of Jesus.

This is a good example of the need to consult parallel passages before making dogmatic statements on biblical subjects. One must balance "whatever we ask" with

1. "in My name" (John 14:13-14; 15:7,16; 16:23)

2. "keep on asking" (Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8)

3. "two agreeing" ( Matt. 18:19)

4. "believing" (Matt. 21:22)

5. "without doubt" (Mark 11:22-24; James 1:6-7)

6. "not selfishly" (James 4:2-3)

7. "keep His commands" (1 John 3:22)

8. "according to God's will" (Matt. 6:10; 1 John 5:14-15)

The name of Jesus represents His character. It is another way of referring to the mind and heart of Jesus. This phrase appears often in John (cf. John 14:13-14,26; 15:16; 16:23-26). The more like Christ one is, the more likely the prayers are to be answered in the affirmative. The worst thing God could do spiritually to most believers is answer their selfish, materialistic prayers. See note at 1 John 3:22.

SPECIAL TOPIC: EFFECTIVE PRAYER

SPECIAL TOPIC: THE NAME OF THE LORD

"if" This is a third class conditional sentence which means potential action.

▣ "ask Me anything" Usually believers are encouraged to pray in the Spirit, through the Son, to the Father. This verse is the only verse in John's Gospel where Jesus directs prayer to Himself.

This may be the reason why some ancient Greek manuscripts omit "Me" (i.e. MSS, A, D, L, and some Old Latin, Vulgate, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Slavic versions). The UBS4 rates its inclusion as "B" (almost certain). It is included in MSS P66, P75, א, B, W, and some Old Latin, Vulgate, and Syrian versions.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 14:15-17
   15"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."

14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" This is a third class conditional sentence which speaks of potential action. Love for God in Christ is expressed by obedience. "Keep" is a future active indicative used as a present imperative (Friberg, Analytical Greek New Testament, p. 337). Obedience is extremely important (cf. John 8:51; 14:21,23-24; 15:10; 1 John 2:3-5; 3:22,24; 5:3; 2 John 6; Luke 6:46). Verses 21, 23, and 24 also emphasize this same truth. Obedience is evidence of true conversion (cf. James and 1 John).

The NKJV has the imperative "keep My commandments," which is supported by MSS A, D, W, the Vulgate, and many Church Fathers. The UBS4 gives the future active indicative a "C" rating (difficulty in deciding), which is supported by MSS B, L, and the Copitc Version, as well as several Church Fathers.

14:16 "He will give you" See note at John 14:26.

NASB, NKJV,
TEV"another Helper"
NRSV"another Advocate"
NJB"another Paraclete"

The term "another" translates a Greek term (allos) that means "another of the same kind." The Holy Spirit has been called "the other Jesus" (G. Campbell Morgan, see Special Topic below).

The second term is the Greek term "paraklētos" which is used of Jesus in 1 John 2:1 (as intercessor) and of the Holy Spirit in John 14:26 and 16:7-14. Its etymology is "one called alongside to help," in a legal sense. Therefore, the term "Advocate" accurately translates this word. A form of this same Greek root, "comfort" (parakalēo), is used of the Father in 2 Cor. 1:3-11.

The translation of the noun "advocate" (paraklētos) comes from the Roman legal system. The translation "Comforter" was first used by Wycliffe and reflects the use of the verb form (parakaleō) in the Septuagint (i.e., 2 Sam. 10:4; 1 Chr. 19:3; Job 16:2; Ps. 69:20;Eccl. 4:1; Isa. 35:4). It may be the antonym of Satan (the accuser).

Both Philo and Josephus used the word in the sense of "intercessor" or "advisor."

SPECIAL TOPIC: JESUS AND THE SPIRIT

▣ "that He may be with you forever" Three different prepositions are used in reference to the Holy Spirit.

1. "meta" (John 14:16), "with"

2. "para" (John 14:17), "by the side"

3. "en" (John 14:17), "in"

Notice the Holy Spirit is with us, by us, and within us. It is His job to manifest the life of Jesus in believers. He will stay with them until the end of the age (cf. John 14:18; Matt. 28:20).

Notice the Spirit is called "He." This implies the Spirit is personal. Often in KJV the Spirit is addressed by "it," but this is because the term "spirit" in Greek is neuter (cf. John 14:17,26; 15:26). He is the third person of the Trinity (see Special Topic at John 14:26). The term Trinity is not a biblical term, but if Jesus is divine and the Spirit is a person, then some kind of tri-unity is involved. God is one divine essence but three permanent, personal manifestations (see Special Topic at John 14:26, cf. Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; Acts 2:33-34; Rom. 8:9-10; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 13:14; Eph. 1:3-14; 2:18; 4:4-6; Titus 3:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:2).

For "forever" see Special Topic at John 6:58.

14:17 "the Spirit of truth" "Truth" here has the same connotation as John 14:6 (cf. John 15:26; 16:13; 1 John 4:6). See Special Topic on Truth at John 6:55 and 17:3. He is the opposite of Satan, the father of lies (cf. John 8:44).

▣ "whom" "This" is neuter to agree with the term "spirit" (pneuma). However, elsewhere in Greek a masculine pronoun is used (cf. John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7,8,13,14). The Holy Spirit is really not male or female; He is spirit. It is important to remember that He is also a distinct personality (see Special Topic at John 14:26).

▣ "the world cannot receive" The Holy Spirit can only be appropriated by those who have faith in Christ (cf. John 1:10-12). He provides everything the believer needs (cf. Rom. 8:1-11). The unbelieving world (kosmos see Special Topic below) cannot understand or appreciate spiritual things (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:4).

SPECIAL TOPIC: PAUL'S USE OF KOSMOS (WORLD)

"know. . .know" This is probably another double entendre of John. The Hebrew connotation would be intimate, personal relationship (cf. Gen. 4:1; Jer. 1:5). The Greek connotation would be knowledge. The gospel is both personal and cognitive.

"He abides with you" Abiding is a key concept in John's writings (i.e., chapter 15, see Special Topic at 1 John 2:10). The Father abides in the Son, the Spirit abides in believers, and believers abide in the Son. This abiding is present tense, not an isolated decision or emotional response.

▣ "and will be in you" This can be understood as "among you" (plural, cf. NRSV footnote) or "in you" (plural, cf. NASB, NKJV, NRSV, TEV & NJB). The indwelling of the believer by God is a wonderful promise. The NT asserts that all three Persons of the Trinity indwell believers.

1. Jesus (Matt. 28:20; John 14:20,23; 15:4-5; Rom. 8:10; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:17; Col. 1:27)

2. Spirit (John 14:16-17; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Tim.1:14)

3. Father (John 14:23; 2 Cor. 6:16)

 

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 14:18-24
   18"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?" 23Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me."

14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" Jesus fulfilled every promise He had made to the disciples on the Sunday evening after the Passover in His first post-resurrection appearance to them in the upper room (cf. John 20:19-31). Some commentators, however, see the context as referring to the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2) or the Second Coming (cf. John 14:3).

14:19 "After a little while the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me" Verse 20 shows that this refers to the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. This is the statement which Judas picks up on in John 14:22 to ask Jesus another question. The disciples were still expecting Him to set up an earthly Messianic Kingdom (i.e., Matt. 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-45) and were greatly confused when He said, "the world will not see Me." Jesus' answer to Judas' (not Iscariot) question in John 14:23 and 24 was that He will manifest Himself in the life of individual Christians and thereby the world will see Him through them!

"because I live, you will live also" The resurrection of Jesus was God's demonstration of His power and willingness to give life (cf. Rom. 8:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:20-23,50-58).

14:20 "In that day" This phrase is usually used in an eschatological sense (see Special Topic below), but here it may refer to the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus or to the coming of the fullness of the Spirit on Pentecost.

SPECIAL TOPIC: THAT DAY

"you will know" Often "know" has the Hebrew connotation of personal fellowship, intimate relationship, but here it is followed by "that" (hoti), which clarifies the cognitive content. This word, like "believe," has a double meaning. John chooses these kinds of words to express the gospel. Believers know Him (believe in Him), but also know truths about Him (believe that). See Special Topic at John 2:23.

▣ "I am in my Father and you are in Me, and I in you" John often emphasizes the unity of Jesus and the Father (cf. John 10:38; 14:10-11; 17:21-23). He adds the truth that as the Father and Jesus are intimately linked, so too, Jesus and His followers (cf. John 17)!

14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them" These are two present participles. Obedience is crucial (see note at John 14:15). It is the evidence of true conversion (cf. John 14:23).

The Apostles were Jewish and often used Semitic idioms in their writings. The Jewish prayer that begins every worship time was Deut. 6:4-5, called the shema, which meant to "hear so as to do"! This is the point of John's comment (cf. James 2:14-26).

▣ "and will disclose Myself to him" This refers to either (1) the post-resurrection appearances (cf. Acts 10:40-41) or (2) the sending of the Holy Spirit to reveal and form Christ in believers (cf. John 14:26; Rom. 8:29; Gal. 4:19).

Jesus believed and asserted that He (1) represented; (2) spoke for; and (3) revealed the Father. For believers this authoritative word spoken by Jesus recorded by Apostolic writers is the only source of clear information about God and His purposes. Believers affirm that the authority of Jesus and Scripture (properly interpreted) are the ultimate authority; reason, experience, and tradition are helpful, but not ultimate.

There is fluidity between the work of the Spirit and the Son. G. Campbell Morgan said the best name for the Spirit is "the other Jesus." See Special Topic at John 14:16. 

14:22 See note on verse 19.

▣ "Judas (not Iscariot)" This was another name for Thaddaeus (cf. Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18). See Special Topic at John 1:45.

14:23 "If" This is a third class conditional sentence which speaks of potential action. The disciples' love for Jesus will be seen in their love for one another (cf. John 14:15,21).

14:24 "you" The exegetical question is "To whom does this 'you' refer?" Grammatically the pronoun is in the verb, "hear" (present active indicative, second person plural). It could refer to

1. the people of the world who reject Jesus' message

2. the disciples as they accept Jesus' words as the very words of the Father (cf. John 14:10-11)

 

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 14:25-31
   25"These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here."

14:25 "These things" This must refer to the upper room teachings (chaps. 13-17, but is phrased specifically in John 14:15:11; 16:1,4,6,25,33).

14:26 "the Holy Spirit" This title for the third person of the Trinity occurs only in John 1:33; 20:22, and here in John (see Special Topic: The Holy One at 1 John 2:20). However, He is called by several other names in John's Gospel (Paraclete, Spirit of Truth, the Spirit).

There are several passages in the NT that refer to the Spirit in personal terms (cf. Mark 3:29; Luke 12:12; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15, see Special Topic below). There are other texts where the neuter pronoun is used of the Spirit because the Greek word for spirit (pneuma) is neuter (cf. John 14:17; Rom. 8:26).

Also, at this point just a word about the concept of a Trinity. The term "trinity" is not a biblical word, but in several texts the three personal manifestations of the one true God are seen together (see Special Topic below). If Jesus is divine and the Spirit is personal, then theologically as monotheists (cf. Deut. 6:4-6), we are forced into a tri-unity-not progressive manifestations, but eternal persons!

SPECIAL TOPIC: THE TRINITY

▣ "whom the Father will send" There was a tremendous fight in the early church (fourth century) about whether the Spirit came from the Father (cf. John 3:34; 14:16; 16:26) or from the Son (cf. John 15:26; 16:7; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:33). The theological issue in the Arius - Athanasius debate was the full and eternal deity and equality between God the Father and Jesus the Son.

▣ "will teach you all things" This must be qualified. The Spirit does not teach believers in all areas of knowledge, but about spiritual truth, especially in relation to Jesus' person and work, the gospel (cf. John 16:13-14; I Jn. 2:20,27).

SPECIAL TOPIC: THE PERSONHOOD OF THE SPIRIT

▣ "and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" The purposes of the Spirit are

1. to convict humans of sin

2. to bring them to Christ

3. to baptize them into Christ

4. to form Christ in them (cf. John 16:7-15)

5. to help the Apostles remember all the things Jesus had said to them and clarify their meaning so that they can record them in the Scriptures (cf. John 2:22; 15:26; 16:13)

Jesus Himself also instructed the Apostles after His resurrection, particularly about how the OT points to Him and is fulfilled in Him (cf. Luke 24:13ff).

14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you" Believers' peace is not related to circumstances, but to a tranquility based on Jesus' promises and presence (cf. John 16:33; Phil. 4:7; Col. 3:15).

"Peace" is used in both an objective sense, restoration with God, and a subjective sense, a feeling of security or stability amidst difficult circumstances. It reflects a Jewish greeting, Shalom, which meant both the absence of problems and the presence of contentment (cf. John 20:19,21,26; 3 John 14; Eph. 2:14; Num. 6:26; Ps. 29:11; Isa. 9:6). It characterizes the new age!

SPECIAL TOPIC: THE CHRISTIAN AND PEACE

▣ "leave" Grant Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral (p. 21) makes an excellent comment about the priority of context in determining word meaning.

"The Logical Context

In a very real sense, the logical context is the most basic factor in interpretation. I tell my classes that if anyone is half asleep and does not hear a question that I ask, there is a fifty percent chance of being correct if he or she answers 'context.' The term itself covers a vast array of influences upon a text. These can best be diagrammed as a series of concentric circles moving outward from the passage itself.

As we move nearer the center, the influence upon the meaning of the passage increases. Genre, for instance, identifies the type of literature and helps the interpreter to identify parallels, but these are not as influential as the rest of Scripture is on the passage. We can, for example, identify the book of Revelation as apocalyptic; yet although intertestamental and Hellenistic apocalyptic provide important parallels, most of the symbols are taken from the Old Testament. At the other end of the scale, the immediate context is the final arbiter for all decisions regarding the meaning of a term or concept. There is no guarantee that Paul uses a term the same way in Philippians 1 as he does in Philippians 2. Language simply does not work that way, for every word has many meanings and a writer's use depends upon the present context rather than his use of it in previous contexts. A good example would be the use of aphiemi in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you," and in John 16:28, "I am leaving the world again." We would hardly interpret the one by the other, for their use is exactly opposite. In the first Jesus gives something to the disciples, in the second he takes something (himself!) away from them. Even less would we read into the term its common use (as in I Jn 1:9) for "forgiveness." The other passages help us to determine the semantic range (the different things the word might mean), but only the immediate context can narrow the possibilities to the actual meaning" (p. 21).

▣ "do not let your heart be troubled" This is a present passive imperative with negative particle which usually means "stop an action already in process," a repeat of John 14:1.

14:28 "if you loved Me" This is a second class conditional sentence ,like John 14:7, which is called a "contrary to fact." It will be better that Jesus goes to the Father and sends the Spirit, but of course, they do not realize this at this time.

▣ "for the Father is greater than I" This is not a statement that focuses on the inequality of the Son, but a statement that deals with the functions within the Trinity related to mankind's salvation (cf. John 10:29-30). This subordination of the Son was only for a period of time, during His stay on the earth to fulfill the Triune God's plan of revelation and redemption (cf. John 17:4-5; Phil. 2:6-11). However, there is a sense in which the Father, being the sender, is primary (cf. John 13:16; 1 Cor. 15:27-28; Eph. 1:3-14).

14:29 "Now I have told you this before it happens" This was so that their faith might be strengthened (cf. John 13:19; 16:4).

14:30

NASB"the ruler of the world"
NKJV, NRSV,
TEV"the ruler of this world"
NJB"the prince of this world"

This refers to Satan, whose realm of activity is now the earth (cf. John 12:31; 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4, "the god of this world"; Eph. 2:2, "the prince of the power of the air"). Possibly, Jesus saw the leaving of Judas as the coming of Satan (cf. John 13:27). See Special Topic at John 12:31.

NASB, NKJV"he has nothing in Me"
NRSV, TEV,
NJB"he has no power over me"

The meaning is that Satan has no basis for accusation, no power over, or nothing in common with Jesus at all (cf. Heb. 4:15).

1.James Moffatt translated it as "he has no hold on me"

2. William F. Beck as "he has no claim on Me"

3. New English Bible as "no rights over me"

4. the Twentieth Century New Testament as "nothing in common with me"

 

14:31 "but so that the world may know" Satan is in the will of God and is being manipulated for God's ultimate purpose in the redemption of mankind. See A. B. Davidson, The Theology of the Old Testament, pp. 300-306.

▣ "I do exactly as the Father commanded Me" It was the Father's will that Jesus die (cf. Isa. 53:10a,b; Mark 10:45; 2 Cor. 5:21). See SPECIAL TOPIC: USE OF "COMMANDMENT" IN JOHN'S WRITINGS at John 12:50.

▣ "Get up, let us go from here" This is a present middle imperative. This is a very difficult phrase because it appears in Matthew and Mark in the Garden of Gethsemane as Judas and the band of policemen approach Jesus. Exactly why it is used in this upper room context (chapters 13-17) is uncertain. Possibly, Jesus had left the Upper Room and was teaching along the way to Gethsemane (cf. John 18:1).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

1. Explain the difference between Theism, Deism and Christianity based on verse 1.

2. Explain the OT background to the three nouns found in verse 6.

3. Can one build a theology of prayer on verse 13 alone?

4. What is the major purpose of the Holy Spirit? (both to the lost and to the saved)

5. Is Satan in the will of God?