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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT

John 14

Verses 1-99

14:1 ff. The opening verses of c. 14 are among the most familiar and the most precious in our Authorised Version of the Bible. It is an ungrateful task to disturb their beautiful cadences, charged with many memories, by offering a different rendering of the Greek text. But it must be attempted here, as at other points in the Fourth Gospel, if we are to express as nearly as we can the meaning of the evangelist’s words. In v. 1, as will be seen, Tyndale’s translation of 1534 has been preferred to the A.V. of 1611.

The Promise of a Future Life, Where the Disciples Would Be with Jesus (14:1-4)

1. D prefixes καὶ εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταὶς αὐτοῦ, probably to soften the apparent abruptness of the words which follow. But no introduction is necessary; for there is an intimate connexion between 13:38 and 14:1. The warning to Peter that he would presently deny his Master must have shocked him, as it silenced him. He is not among the disciples who ask questions as to the meaning of Jesus’ sayings in c. 14, nor is he mentioned again until c. 18. But the other disciples, too, must have been startled and saddened by the thought that the foremost among them would fail in the hour of trial. If that were so, who among them could be confident of himself? Indeed, they had already been warned that their faith would not be strong enough to keep them at the side of Jesus when the dark hour of His arrest came (16:31, 32). But this renewed suggestion of the instability of their allegiance, superadded to the announcements that Jesus had made of His impending departure from them (16:5-7, 13:33, 36), and of the persecutions which were in store for them (15:18-21, 16:33), had filled them with deep sorrow. So He sought to reassure them with a new message of consolation, which taught them to look beyond this earthly life to the life after death.

μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία. The human experience of a “troubled” spirit had been His, more than once, during the last weeks (cf. 11:33, 12:27, 13:21), and He knew how painful it was.

πιστεύετε εἰς τὸν θεόν, καὶ εἰς ἐμὲ πιστεύετε. These are probably both imperatives: “believe in God (cf. Mark 11:22); in me also believe.” Belief in God should, of itself, turn their thoughts to the security of the future life; and then, if they believed in Jesus, they would recall promises to them which He had made about this (see v. 3, with its two clauses).


Grammatically, πιστεύετε might be pres. indicative in either place or in both, and the familiar “Ye believe in God; believe also in me,” gives a good sense. But it seems more natural to take πιστεύετε in the same way in the first clause as in the second.

The true source of consolation for a troubled spirit is faith in God (cf. Psalms 27:13, Psalms 141:8 etc.), and in Jesus whom God sent (cf. Mark 5:36). The disciples had already professed (16:30) their faith in Jesus, but He had warned them that it was not invincible (16:31).


For the constr. εἰς τινὰ πιστεύειν, never used by Jn. of faith in man, see on 1:12.

2. ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ πατρός μου κτλ., i.e. heaven; cf. Philo, who speaks of the soul returning εἰς τὸν πατρῷον οἶκον (de somn. i. 43).

μοναὶ πολλαί. The idea that there are “many mansions” in heaven, corresponding to different degrees of human merit, may not have been entirely new in Jewish religion. In the Sclavonic Book of the Secrets of Enoch (lxi. 2) we find: “In the world to come … there are many mansions prepared for men: good for the good; evil for evil” (cf. Ethiopic Enoch, xxxix. 4: “The mansions of the holy, and the resting-places of the righteous”). Charles dates the Sclavonic Enoch as between 1 and 50 a.d.; but we cannot be sure that it was known in Palestine during our Lord’s ministry. Nor can we be sure that μοναί was the Greek behind the Sclavonic word which Charles translates “mansions.” If it were, then μοναί meant “mansions” in the sense of “abodes,” not of “stages,” which are only halting-places.

μονή is found elsewhere in the Greek Bible only at v. 23 (where it must mean “permanent abode,” not a mere passing stage) and 1 Macc. 7:38 (where again the idea of permanence is involved). In Pausanias (x. 41) μονή is used in the sense of a stopping-place, a station on a journey; and this sense, if introduced into the present passage, suggests interesting speculations.

Thus Origen (de Princip. II. xi. 6) says that departed saints first live in some place “on the earth, which Scripture calls Paradise,” where they receive instruction. If worthy, they quickly ascend to a place in the air and reach the kingdom, through mansions, “which the Greeks call spheres, but Scripture heavens”; following Jesus, who “passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14). Origen then quotes John 14:2, John 14:3, showing that he understood μοναί, as stations or halting-places on the journey to God. His singular interpretation is not likely to be accepted, but his use of μονή is to be noted.

An earlier citation of John 14:2 is to be found in a passage quoted by Irenæus (adv. Hær. v. xxxvi. 12) from the “Sayings of the Elders,” which is probably an extract from Papias.1 According to the Elders, some good men will be counted worthy of a διατρίβη in heaven; others will enjoy paradise; others “the city,” the Saviour being seen of them all. This, the Elders say, is what is meant by the distinction between the thirtyfold, sixtyfold, hundredfold harvests in the Parable of the Sower. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο εἰρηκέναι τὸν κύριον, Ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός μου μονὰς εἶναι πολλάς. For all are of God, who gives to each his appropriate οἴκησις. This is the triclinium, the couch for three, on which shall recline those who are called to the Marriage Feast. This, the Elders said, is the dispositio of those who are saved, who advance by steps of this kind, through the Spirit to the Son, and through the Son to the Father.


The first part of this implies that the μοναί are the permanent abodes of the blessed, which vary in glory; but the last sentence suggests, on the contrary, that the μοναί are stages, and that a saint may pass from one to another. The general patristic interpretation of μοναί is, however, “abiding-places”; not mansiones, which are like inns on a journey, but permanent habitations.

Clement of Alexandria often has the word μονή, and always with allusion to John 14:2. In Strom. vi. 14 he refers (as Papias does) to the thirtyfold, sixtyfold, hundredfold harvests, which he says hint at (αἰνίσσομαι) the three μοναί where the saints dwell according to their respective merits. So, again, he says (Strom. iv. 6) that there are with the Lord καὶ μισθοὶ καὶ μοναὶ πλείονες κατὰ�John 10:16) are deemed worthy of another fold and another μονή in proportion to their faith.” Once more, in Strom. v. 1, he uses μονή for the dwelling-place of God, as distinct from τόπος, which is the locality where the μονή is situated.


These citations show that μοναί in v. 2 (as in v. 23 and 1 Macc. 7:38) must mean “abodes” or permanent dwelling-places, not merely temporary stations on a journey. The idea conveyed by the saying “In my Father’s house are many mansions” is that of a hospitable palace with many chambers, rather than of a journey with many stages.

οἰκία is hardly to be distinguished from οἶκος, except that οἰκία is the larger word, embracing the precincts of the house as well as the house itself. Cf. 8:35, 2 Corinthians 5:1; and see on 2:16. For the significance of the full phrase “My Father,” cf. 2:16, 5:17 and vv. 20-23.


In heaven there are “many mansions,” i.e. there is room for all the faithful, although it is not said that they shall all be housed with equal dignity.

εἰ δὲ μή occurs again in Jn. at v. 23 only; and then after an imperative. It seems here to mean “if it were not so, ” i.e. if the preceding statement were not true. Cf. Abbott, Diat. 2080.

ὅτι before πορεύομαι is omitted in the rec. text, with CcorrNΓΔΘ a e f q. Accordingly the A.V. places a full stop after “told you,” and proceeds with “I go to prepare a place for you,” as a new sentence. But ὅτι must be retained with אABC*DLW, b c ff2 syrr. and cop. vss. How to translate it is not obvious, for ὅτι may mean either because or that.

(a) The R.V. takes ὅτι as equivalent to because, with Meyer, Westcott, Godet, Swete, and others. “If it were not so, I would have told you, for (i.e. because) I go to prepare a place for you.” It is difficult to accept the sequence of thought which this rendering involves, sc.: if there was not plenty of room, He would have told them this bad news, because He is going to prepare a place. But that He was going to prepare a place for them could not be a reason for telling them that there was not plenty of room. This translation, when analysed, is hardly intelligible.

(b) A second expedient is to treat εἰ δὲ μή, εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν, as parenthetical, and to connect directly “In my Father’s house are many mansions” with “because I go to prepare a place for you.” But again the sequence fails, for we should rather expect, “I go to prepare a place for you, because in my Father’s house are many mansions.”

(c) It is more natural to take ὅτι after εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν as meaning that; sc., it is what the grammarians call ὅτι recitantis, introducing the actual words that might have been spoken. Syr. sin takes it thus: “I should have said that I go.” Then we render: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you.” But the difficulty of this is that He was going to prepare a place for them, as v. 3 implies. Origen took the verse thus, assuming that ὅτι is recitantis, although he notices the contradiction with v. 3.1

(d) The remaining alternative is to take εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν ὅτι κτλ. as interrogative: “If there were not many mansions, would I have said to you that I go to prepare a place for you?” There is only one difficulty about this rendering, sc. that hitherto there has been no record of Jesus having told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them. At 13:36 He had told Peter that he would follow Him later, and no doubt the other disciples expected that this promise was to be fulfilled in their case also. But the explicit words “I go to prepare a place for you” do not appear before this verse. Jn., however, more than once records references made by Jesus to former sayings of His which cannot be traced with certainty (see 6:36, 10:25, 11:40), so that there is no insuperable difficulty, on this head, of taking the sentence interrogatively. This rendering is adopted by Moffatt, Strachan, and W. Bauer.2

πορεύομαι. See on 16:7 for this verb.

ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον ὑμῖν. This was one of the purposes of His impending departure. He was the πρόδρομος of all the faithful (Hebrews 6:20). Jn. does not use ἑτοιμάζειν elsewhere, but the verb is used Mark 10:40, Matthew 20:23, of the highest seats in the Messianic kindgom which have been “prepared” by God for those whom He has chosen (cf. Hebrews 11:16). In the present passage, ἑτοιμάζειν does not carry the idea of predestination; it is only “to make ready,” as at Mark 14:16, Luke 9:52.

τόπος is used of a “place” in heaven, Revelation 12:8; also in Clem. Rom_5, where it is said of Peter ἐπορεύθη εἰς τόν ὀφειλόμενον τόπον τῆς δόξης. In the Revelation of Peter, τόπος is similarly used; and also in the Acts of Thomas, c. 22.


3. καὶ ἐὰν πορευθῶ, repeated in substance from 16:7.

τόπον ὑμῖν is the order of words in אBDLN; but the rec. has ὑμῖν τόπον, with WΘ.

πάλιν ἔρχομαι. The present tense expresses the certainty of the future return: “I am coming back.” This is an explicit announcement of the Parousia, or Second Advent. Not as much is said about this in Jn. as in the Synoptists; but it is nevertheless an integral element in Johannine doctrine, more emphatic in the First Epistle than in the Gospel (cf. 21:22, 23 and 1 John 2:28).1

καὶ παραλήμψομαι κτλ. Perhaps παραλαμβάνειν has here, as at 1:11, the meaning of receiving with welcome (cf. Song of Solomon 8:2); but at 19:17 it is equivalent to “seize.” For this meeting of Master and disciples, cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:17.


ἵνα ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ καὶ ὑμεῖς ἦτε. This is, in a sense, true of earthly discipleship (12:26), but it is to be fulfilled more perfectly hereafter (17:24).

4. ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω οἴδατε τὴν ὁδόν is the reading of אBC*LW. But, as Field has pointed out, this is an ungrammatical construction. τὴν ὁδὸν ὅπου ὑπάγω is not good Greek, if it means τὴν ὁδὸν ἥν ὑπάγω. Furthermore, the comment of Thomas in v. 5 distinguishes clearly between the goal and the way, so that we should expect to find the same distinction inherent in the words of Jesus which drew it forth The rec. text is ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω οἴδατε, καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν οἴδατε. This is supported by AC3DNΓΔΘ with most cursives, and by the Syriac, Coptic, and O.L. vss. generally. If this were the original reading, we can see how easily the words οἴδατε καί might have dropped out, the eye being caught by the second οἴδατε. To claim that the uncials אB must outweigh the evidence of practically all the ancient versions, especially when they present an ungrammatical reading, is to claim too much for them. Accordingly, we follow the textus receptus here.

ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω οἴδατε. Peter had already shown that he, at any rate, did not know this, for he asked ποῦ ὐπάγεις; (13:36). But the disciples ought to have known, for Jesus had told them several times. He was going, He had said, πρὸς τὸν πέμψαντά με (7:33, 16:5), or πρὸς τὸν πατέρα (16:10, 28), or to His Father’s house (v. 2). The phrase ὑπάγω πρὸς τὸν πατέρα had already been the subject of perplexed comment by the disciples (16:17). They had not understood how Jesus was to “go to the Father,” but that this was the goal of the journey, of which He had spoken to them so often on this last night, He had repeated again and again. And so He said now, “You know where I am going.”

καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν οἴδατε. This too they should have understood. They did not yet know that for Him the Way to the Father was the Way of Death (see on 16:5), for even yet they had not realised that He was soon about to die. They may not have understood that they, too, must die before they could inhabit the heavenly mansions where He was to prepare a place for them (v. 2). It is not clear that they had abandoned hopes of a Messianic kingdom shortly to be established on earth, in which high stations of honour should be theirs. τὴν ὁδὸν οἴδατε did not mean that they knew, or ought to have known, that the way to the Father was through death. But they ought to have “known” that the way to the Father’s house was in fellowship with Jesus. This, in some measure, they must have realised at the end of their training; and so He reminds them that they “know the way,” sc. they know that only in that fellowship with Him which Jn. calls “believing on Him” could the way to life be trodden.

The Question of Thomas, and the Answer to It (vv. 5-7)

5. Thomas now intervenes. Peter was the first to interrupt the great discourse by asking, “Whither goest thou?” (see 13:36). Thomas presses the question, and urges that they could not be expected to know the answer. The Eleven had been perplexed when this “going” of Jesus to the Father had been mentioned at an earlier point in the discourse (16:17), and their perplexities had not yet been removed. We have already had Thomas appearing as spokesman for the rest (11:16), Peter perhaps being absent on that occasion. But Peter is silent now, although present, probably because of the severity of the rebuke and warning which he had just received (13:38). He would hardly venture again to interrupt Jesus by questions.

For κύριε, see on 1:38. Thomas declares that they do not know where Jesus was going, and that therefore they cannot be expected to know the way. Yet one may know the way without knowing exactly the goal of one’s journey; and this is specially true of the Christian pilgrimage.

There are unimportant variants. אAC2NΓΔΘ, with most vss., have καὶ after ὑπάγεις, and this may be right; but BC*LW and Syr. sin. omit καί the omission being characteristic of Jn.’s paratactic style. Again, for πῶς οἴδαμεν τὴν ὁδόν; (BC*D a b c), the rec., with AC2LNWΓΔΘ, has πῶς δυνάμεθα τὴν ὁδὸν εἰδέναι; which looks like an explanatory correction of the shorter reading.

6. אC*L om. ὁ before Ἰησοῦς, but ins. ABC3DNWΘ. See on 1:29.

ἐγώ εἰμι. On this majestic construction, see Introd., pp. cxvii-cxxi.

ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδός. This is the central thought here, the words following, sc. καὶ ἡ�

To walk in God’s way has been the aspiration of pious men of every race; and Israel was especially warned not to turn aside from the ὁδός which God had commanded (Deuteronomy 5:32, Deuteronomy 5:33, Deuteronomy 5:31:29; cf. Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 35:8). “Teach me Thy way” is the Psalmist’s prayer (Psalms 27:11; cf. Psalms 25:4, Psalms 86:11). Philo, after his manner, describes the “royal way” (ὁδός) as philosophy, and he says that Scripture calls it the ῥῆμα and λόγος of God (de post. Caini, 30), quoting Deuteronomy 17:11. More apposite here, however, is the declaration of the Epistle to the Hebrews that the way to the holy place was not made plain before Christ (Hebrews 9:8), who dedicated “a new and living way” through the veil of His flesh (Hebrews 10:20). This is the doctrine which becomes explicit (cf. Ephesians 2:18) in the words “I am the Way.” In the Acts (9:2, 19:9) the Christian profession is called “the Way,” but this does not provide a true parallel to the present verse. Again, in the second-century Acts of John (§ 95) there is a Gnostic hymn ascribed to Christ which ends with ὁδός εἰμί σοι προοδίτη, “A Way am I to thee, a wayfarer.” This, however, does not go as far as the claim involved in ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδός. The uniqueness of Christ’s claim in Jn. is that He is the Way, i.e. the only Way, to God. This is the heart of the Johannine message, which admits of no compromise with non- Christian religions, and in fact takes no account of such. See on 10:9.

For�Colossians 2:3) of the claim ἐγώ εἰμι … ἡ�Mark 12:14, Matthew 22:16, Luke 20:21).

The idea of Christ’s teaching as true does not strictly come into the argument or exposition here; and it would seem that the juxtaposition of ἡ ὁδός and ἡ�Psalms 119:30); and see the same expression, ὁδὸς�2 Peter 2:2). More striking still is, “Teach me thy Way, O Lord; I will walk in thy Truth” (Psalms 86:11; cf. Psalms 26:3), where the “Truth” is a synonym for the “Way.” So, again, a Psalmist says that the ὁδοί of the Lord are mercy and truth (Psalms 25:10). Perhaps the close association in O.T. phraseology between ἡ ὁδός and ἡ�

καὶ ἡ ζωή. This is included in another of the great Similitudes, ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ�Colossians 3:4. The declaration “I am the Life” could not be out of place at any point of the Gospel (cf. v. 19); but nevertheless it does not help the exposition at this point, where the thought is specially of Christ as the Way.

Here again we are reminded of the O.T. phrase “the way (or ‘ways’) of life” (Proverbs 6:23, Proverbs 10:17, Proverbs 15:24): cf. ἐγνώρισάς μοι ὁδοὺς ζωῆς (Psalms 16:11). In Matthew 7:14 the way that leads to life is described as straitened; and in Hebrews 10:20 we hear of the “living way” (ὁδὸς ζῶσα) which Jesus dedicated. The thought of Jesus as the Way would naturally be associated with the thought of Him as the Life. Cf. also Hebrews 7:25.

Lightfoot (Hor. Hebr.) suggests that the idiom here is Hebrew, the Way and the Truth and the Life meaning the True and Living Way. (He compares Jeremiah 29:11, where the Hebrew “a latter end and hope” means “a hoped-for latter end.”) This at any rate brings out the point, that the emphasis is on the Way, as the concluding words, “No one comes to the Father but through me, ” show. To claim to be not only a way to God, but the only Way, is in effect to claim to be the Truth and the Life.


There is a curious Christian interpolation in the Vulgate text of Ecclus. 24:25, which is a paraphrase of this Similitude. Wisdom says of herself, “In me gratia omnis uiae et ueritatis, in me omnis spes uitae et uirtutis,” where the triple alliteration, Via, Veritas, Vita, is reinforced by a fourth word, Virtus.

7. The verb contains a rebuke. The disciples ought to have known what was meant by going to “the Father.” That they did not know the Father was due to the fact that they had not yet learnt to know the Son.

εἰ ἐγνώκειτέ με, καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου ἂν ᾔδειτε. Jesus had said the same thing to His Jewish critics (8:19), in identical language, except that in the former passage we have εἰ ἐμὲ ᾔδειτε instead of εἰ ἐγνώκειτέ με. But we cannot distinguish οἶδα from γινώσκω in passages like this (see on 1:26 for the usage of these verbs).

For ἐγνώκειτε (ABCD2LNΘ) and ᾔδειτε (BC*L), אD* have ἐγνώκατε and γνώσεσθε, which would turn the rebuke into a promise. Syr. sin. gives, “If me ye have not known, my Father also will ye know?” For ᾔδειτε the rec. substitutes ἐγνώκειτε (AC3D2NΓΔΘ), so that the same verb may appear in both clauses.

ἀπʼ ἄρτι κτλ. So BC*L, omitting the prefatory καί: this would be consonant with Jn.’s paratactic style. But ins. אAC2DNΓΔΘ, a strong combination. If καί is retained, it stands for καίτοι, in accordance with a Johannine idiom (see on 3:11). In any case, there is a contrast between the rebuke in the first part of the verse and the assurance in the second part.

ἀπʼ ἄρτι γινώσκετε αὐτόν κτλ., “from now (see on 13:19 for�1 John 2:13). But during the earthly ministry of Jesus that claim could not have been made. (“No one knoweth (γινώσκει) who the Father is, save the Son, and he to whom the Son willeth to reveal Him” (Luke 10:22; cf. Matthew 11:27, who substitutes ἐπιγινώσκει, signifying complete knowledge, for the simple γινώσκει).


καὶ ἑωράκατε αὐτόν. BC* omit αὐτόν (perhaps because of the difficulty of the phrase), but ins. אAC3DLNWΘ. The verb ὁρᾶν in the pres. and pft. tenses (see on 3:32; and cf. 1:51) is generally, but not always, used in Jn. of seeing with the eyes of the body. θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε (1:18; cf. 5:37) is a general principle of Judaism: the only One of whom it could be said ἑώρακεν τὸν πατέρα is Jesus (6:46), and in that case the reference is to spiritual vision. But at v. 9 we have ὁ ἑωρακὼς ἐμὲ ἑώρακεν τὸν πατέρα, which is parallel to ὁ θεωρῶν ἐμὲ θεωρεῖ τὸν πέμψαντά με (12:45, where see note). In neither case can the verb for “seeing” be taken as representing physical vision, for many of the opponents of Jesus who “saw” Him in the flesh did not thereby “see the Father.” Accordingly θεωρῶν at 12:45 and ἑώρακεν in v. 9 must imply spiritual insight in some degree. Those who saw in the Works and Life of Christ something of His purpose and personality, thereby saw something of the nature of God who sent Him. Those who “saw and hated” Jesus, on the other hand, could be justly said to have “seen and hated” God the Father (15:24); the false impression which they acquired of Jesus, issuing in an equally false impression of God. Thus the strange statement, as it must have seemed, “You are beginning to know Him, and (indeed) have seen Him,” must mean that while the disciples would begin henceforth consciously to appropriate the new revelation of God as He is, they had already (although unconsciously) “seen” the reflection of His mind and purpose in the life of Jesus, with whom they had long been in close intimacy.

Abbott (Diat. 2760-2764) suggests as possible another rendering (apparently favoured by Nonnus) of�

δεῖξον ἡμῖν τὸν πατέρα. Probably Philip wished for a theophany, such as that which Exodus 33:18f. tells was granted to Moses when he prayed “Show me Thy glory.” Judas the son of James had similar desires and perplexities (see v. 22).


9. τοσοῦτον χρόνον. So ABNΓΔΘ, but אDLW have the dative τοσούτῳ χρόνῳ.

There is something of pathos in the reproach, “Have I been so long with you all (μεθʼ ὑμῶν), and hast thou not learnt to know me, Philip?” the personal name (cf. 20:16, 21:15) suggesting affectionate regard. The sheep know (γινώσκουσιν) their shepherd (10:14), and Philip ought to have “known” Jesus by this time. But to fail to see God in Jesus was to fail to know Jesus.

ὁ ἑωρακὼς ἐμὲ ἑώρακεν τὸν πατέρα. See on v. 7 above; and cf. Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3.


After πατέρα, the rec. ins. καί with ADLNΓΔΘ, but om. אB.

πῶς σὺ λέγεις κτλ., “how is that you say, etc.,” σύ being emphatic, “you who have followed me from the beginning” (1:43f.).

10. οὐ πιστεύεις κτλ. This was to expect a greater faith than He asked of the blind man (9:35), or even of Martha (11:27). Jesus expected of the Eleven, who had enjoyed a longer and more intimate association with Him than others, that they should appreciate in some measure the deeper secrets of His being. The “evolution” of faith is always towards a larger faith.

ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρί κτλ. Here is the mystery of that oneness with the Father which is always prominent in Jn. Jesus had held this Divine coinherence up to the Jews as a belief which they might ultimately recognise as true (10:38), but He did not reproach them for not having reached it yet. Philip was in a different position, and ought to have learnt something of it before now. The two lines of testimony to which Jesus appeals in support of His claim to reciprocal communion with the Father, here as elsewhere, are His words and His works. See on 10:38, where the argument is almost identical with that of vv. 10, 11, and expressed in the same terms.

τὰ ῥήματα. See on 3:34 for the “words” of Jesus as divine.

τὰ ῥήματα ἃ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν. The rec., with אAΓΔΘ, has λαλῶ from the next clause, but B2LN have λέγω (which has been omitted in B* through misreading ἐγὼ λέγω). λέγω is often used in Jn. interchangeably with λαλῶ, as here. See on 3:11.

ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐ λαλῶ. This He had said several times. See the references given in the note on 7:17.

ὁ δὲ πατὴρ ὁ ἐν ἐμοὶ μένων The second ὁ is omitted in BL, but is preserved in אADNWΘ.

ποιεῖ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ; So אBD but the rec., with AΓΔΘ, has αὐτὸς ποιεῖ τὰ ἔργα, a correction due to the tendency to describe the miracles as Christ’s rather than as the Father’s. But to distinguish thus is contrary to Johannine teaching. See especially on 5:19. The ἔργα of Jesus are also the ἔργα of God the Father.

In this verse the words of Jesus are treated as among his works. Both are, as it were, the λαλία of the Father. But they may be considered separately, His words appealing more directly to the conscience and spiritual insight of His hearers, His works appealing rather to their intellect, as indicative of His superhuman personality.

11. πιστεύετέ μοι. The plural shows that Jesus now addresses Himself not to Philip individually, but to the disciples collectively, whose spokesman for the moment Philip was. “Believe me,” sc. believe my words when I tell you that I am in the Father and the Father in me (repeated in identical terms from v. 10). He does not say “Believe in me” here. He merely appeals (as at 5:47, 10:38) to the testimony of His own sayings, as worthy of credit (cf. 4:21).

εἰ δὲ μή, διὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτὰ πιστεύετέ μοι. This is the appeal to His miraculous works (cf. 3:2, 5:36, 10:37) in support of His great claim of unity with the Father. The faith which is generated by an appeal like this is not the highest type of faith, but it is not despised by Jesus. Better to believe because of miracles than not to believe at all. See on 6:36, 10:38; and cf. 2:23, 3:2, 4:48.

The concluding μοι is omitted after πιστεύετε by אDLW, but ins. ABΓΔΘ.

12.�

τὰ ἔργα ἃ ἐγὼ ποιῶ κἀκεῖνος ποιήσει. He had already given such power to the Twelve (Mark 6:7, Mark 6:13), and in [Mk.] 16:17 it is recorded that He renewed this assurance after His Resurrection.


καὶ μείζονα τούτων, “greater things,” not necessarily more extraordinary “miracles,” to the eye of the unspiritual observer. These works of wonder, healing the blind and the sick, etc., were not reckoned by Jesus among His own “greater” works (see on 5:20). The “greater things” which the apostles were to achieve, were the far-reaching spiritual effects which their preaching was to bring about. The teaching of the Incarnate Son was confined to one country, and while He was in the flesh His adherents were few. But His Church made conquest of the nations of the world.

ὅτι ἐγὼ πρὸς τὸν πατέρα πορεύομαι. His departure from their visible presence increased the apostles’ spiritual power (see on 16:7 above). As He goes on to explain (vv. 13, 14), their spiritual effectiveness in prayer will be increased beyond all limits hitherto presupposed, for their prayers will be offered “in His Name.”

For πρὸς τὸν πατέρα πορεύομαι, cf. v. 28; and see on 16:28.

13. καὶ ὅ τι ἄν αἰτήσητε κτλ. “And” (further, in addition to the promise of v. 12, and following from it) “whatsoever ye shall ask in my Name, I will do it.” See on 15:16 for this great promise, here repeated for the fifth time.

It is not said here to whom the prayer is addressed, but we should probably understand τὸν πατέρα as at 15:16, 16:23. Jesus is the Way (v. 6), and while prayers are naturally addressed to the Father, they are addressed through Jesus, “in the Name of” Jesus.

There is, however, an advance here on the teaching of 15:16, 16:23. In the former passages it is the Father who answers prayer, who gives what the faithful petitioner asks; but here and at v. 14 it is the Son who is to grant the boon, ποιήσω being twice repeated. For, in the teaching of Jesus as presented in Jn., what the Father does, the Son does (cf. 10:30). Swete’s paraphrase is thoroughly Johannine. “We pray to the Father in Christ’s Name; we receive the answer from the Father. Yet we receive it through the Son and by the action of the Son.” The difference between δώσει, “He will give,” of 16:23, and ποιήσω, “I will do,” of 14:13 is the difference between the Jewish and the Christian doctrine of prayer.

ἵνα δοξασθῇ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ υἱῷ. This is only verbally similar to 13:31, where see note. All that is done by Christ in His heavenly ministry is a “glorification” of the Father, a revelation to men of His power and compassion. This is the final cause of Christ’s work.

For the absolute use of υἱός in Jn., see on 3:35.

14. This verse is wholly omitted in two minor uncials, as well as in 1, 22, b, ful, the Sinai Syriac, and Nonnus—a strong and unusual combination. The omission may be due to homoioteleuton, v. 14 being repeated from v. 13. ABL and fam. 13, indeed, repeat τοῦτο ποιήσω from v. 13, but אDWΘ in v. 14 replace τοῦτο by ἐγώ. So ADL follow v. 13 in reading αἰτήσητε ἐν κτλ, but אBWΓΔΘ have αἰτήσητέ με ἐν κτλ.

If the verse is to be retained, it must be taken as a repetition in slightly different terms of what has been said already: a construction which is quite in the style of Joh_1 ἐγώ clearly lays special emphasis on Jesus being Himself the answerer of the prayer: “I will see that it is done.”


But the insertion of με after αἰτήσητε, which the best MSS support, involves the harsh and unexampled phrase, “If ye shall ask me in my Name.” No doubt, it may be urged that the man who is in Christ alone can offer petitions to Christ which are certain of acceptance. He whose will is in harmony with Christ’s will, and who therefore can truly pray “in His Name,” may be assured that Christ will perform what he asks. Yet the expression “ask me in my Name” is awkward, and does not occur elsewhere, the other passages in these discourses in which prayers in the Name of Christ are recommended explicitly mentioning the Father as Him to whom these prayers should be addressed (cf. 15:16, 16:23, 24). The Johannine teaching would not indeed stumble at the addressing of prayer to Christ. He who prays to the Father, prays to the Son, so intimate is their ineffable union (cf. 10:30); but, nevertheless, no explicit mention of prayer to the Son is found elsewhere in Jn., unless 16:23 (where see note) is an exception.

We conclude that με must be rejected here,2 despite its strong MS. support; and we read ἐάν τι αἰτήσητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐγὼ ποιήσω, the thought being carried on from the previous verse, a special emphasis being laid upon ἐγώ.

Love Issuing in Obedience Will Be Followed by the Gift of the Paraclete, Revealing the Union of the Father and the Son (vv. 15-20)

15. ἐὰν�1 John 2:3). For the verb�

The phrase τηρεῖν τὰς ἐντολάς is thoroughly Johannine (cf. 15:10, 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:4, 1 John 2:3:22, 1 John 2:24, 1 John 2:5:2, 1 John 2:3). It is the phrase used for “keeping” the Ten Commandments (cf. Matthew 19:17, 1 Corinthians 7:19); and that the precept “keep my commandments” should be placed in the mouth of Jesus is significant of His claim to be equal with God (cf. 13:34).

In Jn. τηρεῖν τὰς ἐντολάς μου is used interchangeably with τηρεῖν τὸν λόγον μου (8:51, 14:23, 24, 15:20, 1 John 2:5).


16. κἀγὼ ἐρωτήσω τὸν πατέρα. See on 11:22, 16:23, 26 on ἐρωτᾶν as the verb used of the prayers of Jesus Himself; cf. 17:9.

καὶ ἄλλον παράκλητον δώσει ὑμῖν. The Sinai Syriac renders “He will give you Another, the Paraclete”; but the more natural rendering is “He will give you another Paraclete,” sc. another besides myself. Jesus does not directly call Himself a “Paraclete,” nor is the term applied to Him anywhere in the Gospels (cf. 1 John 2:1); but He has just spoken of Himself (vv. 13, 14) as discharging in the future the functions of a παράκλητος, or a Helper and Friend at the court of heaven, in that it is He who will cause to be fulfilled the prayers which are addressed to the Father. For παράκλητος see on 15:26.


ἵνα ᾖ μεθʼ ὑμῶν. The rec. text (with ADΓΔΘ) has μένῃ for ᾖ (perhaps from v. 17).

εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. Jesus had been with them as Helper and Friend on earth only for a short time, but the “other Paraclete” would be in fellowship with them “for ever,” i.e. until the end of the present dispensation (cf. Matthew 28:20). See on 4:14 for εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, which is generally used as including eternity.


17. For τὸ πν. τῆς�

With the sharp contrast between the “world” and the “disciples” in regard to their faculty of spiritual perception, cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14.


ὃ ὁ κόσμος οὐ δύναται λαβεῖν. It could not have been said to the “world,” λάβετε πνεῦμα ἅγιον (20:22). That gift could be received only by spiritually minded men.

ὅτι οὐ θεωρεῖ αὐτό. θεωρεῖν (see on 2:23) is generally used in Jn. of bodily vision, but sometimes (as at 6:40, 12:45) of mental and spiritual appreciation. The analogy of v. 19 would suggest that bodily vision is intended here, as there. The only kind of vision that the “world” has is physical, and with this the Spirit cannot be perceived. Observe that it is not said that the disciples could thus (θεωροῦσι) behold the Spirit.

οὐδὲ γινώσκει. So it is said in the Prologue (1:10), ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω. The world did not recognise Jesus as the Word: nor does it recognise the Spirit.

ὑμεῖς γινώσκετε αὐτό. Disciples are not “of the world” (15:19): they can, and will, recognise the workings of the Spirit, as they have in some measure recognised Christ for what He was (cf. v. 9).

ὅτι παρʼ ὑμῖν μένει, “because He abides with you,” καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστίν, “and is in you,” the present tenses being used proleptically of the future. The rec. has ἔσται (with אAD2LΘ), which is a correction of the better reading ἐστίν (BD*W).

First it is said that the Spirit of Truth abides μετὰ ὑμῶν, then παρʼ ὑμῖν, and finally ἐν ὑμῖν, the last phrase signifying the indwelling of the Spirit in the individual disciple (Romans 8:9, 1 John 2:27, 2 John 1:2), while the other phrases (the former of which occurs also in 2 John 1:2) lay the emphasis on the fellowship of the Spirit with the disciples collectively, that is, with the Church (cf. ἡ κοινωνία τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν, 2 Corinthians 13:14).

18. οὐκ�James 1:27, and there in its primary meaning of “fatherless.” It has been thought that this is the idea here also; at 13:33 Jesus addressed his disciples as τεκνία, which suggests the relation of a father to his children. But, although ὀρφανός, both in the LXX and in classical literature, generally means “fatherless” in the most literal sense, it may be used of bereavement of any kind. ὀρφανῷ σὺ ἦσθα βοηθός (Psalms 10:14) appears in Coverdale’s Psalter as “Thou art the helper of the friendless, ” which brings out the sense well. Milligan (Vocab. s.v.) quotes a modern Greek song where friendless must be the meaning; and also Epictetus, iii. xxiv. 14 for this more general sense. The rendering “comfortless” of the A.V. cannot be defended.


“I will not leave you friendless” means, then, “I will not leave you without a Helper and Friend (a παράκλητος), such as I have been.”

ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς, “I am coming to you,” not, as in v. 3, in the Parousia, but after His Resurrection, when the Spirit will be imparted (20:22). See on 16:23 for the Day of the Spirit’s Advent.

19. ἔτι μικρὸν (see on 16:16) καὶ ὁ κόσμος με οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ, “the world perceiveth me no longer,” θεωρεῖν (see on 2:23) being used here of any kind of vision, for Jesus will have been removed from the world’s sight after His Passion.

ὑμεῖς δὲ θεωρεῖτέ με, “but you perceive me,” sc. with the spiritual perception which the disciples were to have of the Risen Lord. Jesus had indeed told them at an earlier point in this last discourse that, like the world, they would see Him no longer with the eyes of the body after His Passion: οὐκέτι θεωρεῖτέ με (16:10). The assurance of the present verse is in verbal, although not real, contradiction with the former warning. He had led them on step by step, in the endeavour to make them understand that it was better for them that He should be removed from their bodily eyes (16:7), and that He would be present with them spiritually. And, at last, He assures them—so intimate and vital will His presence be—“you shall perceive me” ὑμεῖς θεωρεῖτέ με, the present tense being used proleptically to mark the certainty of the future.

θεωρεῖν is the verb used of Mary’s “seeing” the Risen Lord (20:14), as it is used here of the disciples’ “seeing” Him after His Passion, while such “seeing” would be impossible for the unbelieving world.

A comparison of 14:19 with 16:10 goes far to show that 16:10 must be regarded as an earlier utterance than 14:19. See Introd., p. xxi.

ὅτι ἐγὼ ζῶ καὶ ὑμεῖς ζήσετε. So BL, but אADΓΔΘ have ζήσεσθε. This had been said before (6:57, where see note), and the thought is present also in Paul (Romans 5:10, 1 Corinthians 15:21, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:5; cf. Revelation 20:4). But the words “because I live, you also shall live,” have here a direct connexion with the context. Jesus has just assured the disciples that they shall “see” Him in His Risen Life. But this would only be possible—for ordinary physical vision is not in question—for those who are in spiritual sympathy with Him, who are “in Him” and in whom He abides (v. 20), who share His Life. And so He adds, “because I live, you also shall live”; not ye do live (in the present), for He was not yet risen from the dead, and His quickening power was not yet set free in those who “believed on Him.”


20. ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, i.e. in the new Dispensation of the Spirit, which will begin with the Resurrection. See on 16:23.

γνώσεσθε ὑμεῖς κτλ, “you will know” (ὑμεῖς being emphatic) “that I am in my Father, etc.” At v. 10 (where see note) Jesus had indicated that the disciples ought to have reached as far as faith in His ineffable union with the Father; but He now promises that they shall know it, and recognise it as true, when the illumination of the Spirit has been granted to their minds.

καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν. He had given this to them as a precept of life (15:4, where see note); but the assurance that they might indeed reckon themselves as “in Him” could not be complete until the realisation that they shared His Life (v. 19) was confirmed by the Spirit’s internal witness. This assurance is the highest point in Christian experience. Cf. 17:21, 23, 26; and see especially the note on 17:18.

The Loving Disciple is Loved by God, and to Him Jesus Will Manifest Himself (V. 21)

21. What has heretofore been said in terms primarily applicable to the listening disciples is now said more generally. The teaching of v. 21 is for all future believers. Not only for the apostles, but for every disciple, the sequence of spiritual experience is Obedience, Love, Life, Vision.

ἔχων τὰς ἐντολάς (the phrase does not occur again) is to have them in one’s heart, to know them and apprehend their meaning; but τηρεῖν τὰς ἐντολάς is to keep them, which is a harder thing. See on v. 15 above, where (as at v. 23) it is said that love issues in obedience; here the point is, that obedience is the proof of love.

ἐκεῖνος: he it is (and no other) who loves me.

ὁ δὲ�

κἀγὼ�Proverbs 8:17.

καὶ ἐμφανίσω αὐτῷ ἐμαυτόν. ἐμφανίζειν (in Jn. only here and at v. 22) is used as in Exodus 33:13, Exodus 33:18 of a special manifestation of the Divine; cf. also Wisd. 1:2, 17:4, Matthew 27:53. The reference is to that fuller revelation of Christ which will be made through the Spirit’s illumination: cf. 16:14.


Jude Asks Why Jesus Will Not Manifest Himself to the World; No Direct Answer is Given, the Former Teaching Being Repeated (vv. 22-24)

22. λέγει αὐτῷ Ἰούδας κτλ. This is the fourth interruption of the discourse by an apostle anxious to understand what was being said (cf. 13:37, 14:5, 8); this time the speaker is Judas the son of James (Luke 6:16, Acts 1:13, who is also called Thaddeus Mark 3:18, Matthew 10:3; see on 2:12 above). Syr. sin. reads “Thomas” here for “Judas,” and Syr. cur. has “Judas Thomas,” which apparently was the personal name (Judas the Twin) of the doubting apostle. The Syriac vss. have confused the undistinguished apostle, Judas the son of James, with the better known Judas Thomas.


οὐχ ὁ Ἰσκαριώτης. Judas Iscariot had left the company some time before (13:30), but Jn. is anxious that the name “Judas” shall not mislead. For “the Iscariot,” the man of Kerioth, see on 6:71.

καὶ τί γέγονεν κτλ., “What, then, has happened that, etc.” For the initial καί, which is retained by א, see on 9:36. It is omitted by ABDLΘ, but its omission is probably due to a mistaken correction of the text by scribes who did not understand the initial καί.

Jude catches at the word ἐμφανίζειν. This is what he has been waiting for. For this verb seemed to suggest (see Exodus 33:13, Exodus 33:18) a visible manifestation of Jesus in glory, which had been the hope of the Twelve. They clung to the thought of a Messianic theophany which should convince the world. There was a truth behind this Jewish expectation, as Jesus had said on former occasions (5:27, 28). But the promise to the faithful in these Last Discourses was not that of any speedy return of the Son of Man in the clouds, although it was misinterpreted thus by some. The ἐμφανισμός which Jesus promised was the illumination of the heart of the individual disciple: “I will manifest myself to him,” not to the world. Judas is perplexed by such a limitation, as it seems to him, of the Messianic hope. What, then, about your manifestation of your glory to the world? See on v. 8 for similar perplexity exhibited by his brother apostle Philip. Both of them desired the same kind of public vindication by Jesus of Himself as His incredulous “brethren” had demanded when they said φανέρωσον σεαυτὸν τῷ κόσμῳ (7:4).

Such vindication, however, was not given. Even after He had risen, Jesus was not seen by those who hated Him or were sceptical as to His claims. ὁ θεὸς … ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν ἐμφανῆ γενέσθαι (Acts 10:40), not to everybody, but only to the select few. And the only answer that Jesus gives to Jude is to repeat the assurance that He will, in truth, manifest Himself to every loving and obedient disciple: a promise which points forward to the illumination which the Spirit is to give.

No direct answer is given as to the manifestation in glory of Jesus to the world at large. This is in complete correspondence with the habit of Jesus when problems were put to Him by questioners as to the destiny or the duty of other people. He rebuked Peter for asking about John’s future career (21:22). “Are there few that be saved?” another asked Him (Luke 13:23). But His answer was to bid the man look to his own salvation: “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.” And so here, it is said (in effect) to Jude: “If you love and obey me, I will come and abide with you; that is enough for you to know.”


23.�

καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐλευσόμεθα. Here the singular ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς (v. 18) is replaced by the plural ἐλευσόμεθα, marking the claim of equality with the Father which is prominent throughout the Fourth Gospel. Cf. 10:30 ἕν ἐσμεν. In both passages the reference is to that Divine Advent in the disciple’s heart which is mediated by the Spirit. Cf. Revelation 3:20 εἰσελεύσομαι πρὸς αὐτόν.

καὶ μονὴν παρʼ αὐτῷ ποιησόμεθα. The Spirit παρʼ ὑμῖν μένει (v. 17), and the same must be true of the Father and the Son. “In the coming of the Spirit, the Son too was to come; in the coming of the Son, also the Father.”1 In v. 2 (where see note) the μοναί where man shall dwell with God in the future are promised; here we have the promise of a greater thing, the dwelling of God with man in the present. The main thought associated with the sanctuary in the Pentateuch was that there Yahweh dwelt with His people (Exodus 25:8, Exodus 29:45, Leviticus 26:11, Leviticus 26:12; cf. 2 Corinthians 6:16); but the indwelling promised here is associated with no special sanctuary or holy place. It is a Presence, real although invisible, in the disciple’s heart (Matthew 28:20): the peculiar benediction of the kingdom which does not come “by observation” (Luke 17:20). So Jn. writes later of the disciple who “keeps His commandments,” that Christ “abides in him,” adding “this we know by the Spirit which He gave us” (1 John 3:24; cf. 1 John 4:13).


ποιησόμεθα. So אBLW fam. 13; but AΘ have ποιήσομεν μονὴν ποιούμενος occurs in Thucydides (i. 131), the phrase being good classical Greek.

24. The implied argument of this verse is that the “world,” which does not love Jesus and does not “keep His commandments,” is spiritually incapable of apprehending such spiritual manifestations of God and Christ as those which have been promised to faithful disciples. Nothing is said of a manifestation in glory, such as that which Jude and his fellow-disciples longed to see (cf. v. 22).

ὁ μὴ�

26. This is the fifth (and last) time that the Paraclete is mentioned (see on 15:26 for the meaning of the word). Here ὁ παράκλητος is for the first time identified with τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, an august title familiar to every Jew (cf. Psalms 51:11, Isaiah 63:10). The complete title does not occur again in Jn. (but cf. 20:22). We have it, however, in Mark 3:29, Mark 13:11, Matthew 12:32; cf. Luke 12:10, Luke 12:12.


ὃ πέμψει. For ὅ, אcL have ὅν. The Old Syriac treats the Spirit as feminine, but the Peshitta does not follow this Semitic doctrine.

ὃ πέμψει ὁ πατήρ. This is the Lucan doctrine, that the Father sends the Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 2:33), and we have had it already at v. 16; but at 15:26, 16:7 the Spirit is sent by the Son (see also 20:22). This is only an additional illustration of the Johannine doctrine that what the Father does, the Son does (see note on v. 13 above).


ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου. “In my stead” does not convey the meaning adequately. At 5:43 Jesus said that He had come “in the Name” of the Father, and at 10:25 that He wrought His works in the same Name; the meaning in both cases (see notes in loc.) being not only that He came as the Father’s representative, but as One to whom “the Name,” i.e. the providential power of the Father, had been given, and who was to reveal the Father’s character and purpose. So here it is said that the Spirit will be sent “in the Name” of Christ, to explain His mission and to reveal its consequences. As the Son was sent in the Name of the Father (5:43), so the Holy Spirit will be sent in future “in the Name” of the Son. This does not imply that the Holy Spirit was not operative before the Incarnation, but rather that after the Passion and Resurrection (see on 16:23; and cf. 7:39) He will come with the more effective quickening power of the new revelation of God in Christ.

ἐκεῖνος. It is He, the Spirit, whose twofold work is now described in relation primarily to the listening apostles, but probably what is said may apply in some measure to all Christian disciples of succeeding generations.

ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα. This has already been said at 16:13 ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν�Psalms 25:5: ὁδήγησόν με ἐπὶ τὴν�Psalms 25:9:


ὁδηγήσει πρᾳεῖς ἐν κρίσει,

διδάξει πρᾳεῖς ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ.

See, for other apparent reminiscences of the Psalter, on 16:13.

πάντα in this verse corresponds to εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν�1 John 2:27 τὸ αὐτοῦ χρίσμα διδάσκει ὑμᾶς περὶ πάντων. The reference is only (see again on 16:13) to religious doctrines (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:10 πνεῦμα πάντα ἐρευνᾷ, καὶ τὰ βάθη τοῦ θεοῦ), but of these Divine truths the Spirit is to teach new things as time goes on.

καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν. BL add ἐγώ after ὑμῖν, and this would bring out the emphasis well; but it is omitted by most authorities. “And He will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you,” the aor. εἶπον indicating that the personal oral teaching of Jesus was ended. This is the second side of the work of the Spirit, who not only was to reveal what was new, but was to recall to the memory of the apostles the old truths that Jesus had taught. Cf. 2:22, 12:16, Acts 11:16, for illustrations of the fact that after His Resurrection the apostles entered more fully into the meaning of His words than they had done at the time they were spoken. Here, however, the promise is that their memory of them shall be stimulated. Bengel says pregnantly, “Exemplum praebet haec ipsa homilia.”

ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα. ὑπομιμνήσκειν does not occur again in Jn.; but cf. Luke 22:61, where Peter “remembered” the words of Jesus. There is a literary parallel (but no more) in Jubilees xxxii. 25, where God says to Jacob after his vision, “I will bring all things to thy remembrance.”

27. εἰρήνη, i.e. שלום “peace,” the ordinary salutation and the ordinary word of farewell in the East. The words παρʼ ὑμῖν μένων in v. 25 are suggestive of His departure, and He is not forgetful of the parting word of peace. Except in salutations (20:19, 21, 26, 2 John 1:3, 3 John 1:14), εἰρήνη is used by Jn. only here and at 16:33; and in both cases it refers to the spiritual peace which Christ gives. Just as in the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:26) the meaning of the familiar שלום is transfigured, “The Lord … give thee peace,” so here εἰρήνην τὴν ἐμὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν conveys more than the customary “Go in peace.” The peace which Jesus bequeaths �

It is noteworthy that in the Apocalypse εἰρήνη is used only of earthly peace (6:4; cf. 1:4), while in Jn. it is used only of spiritual peace. Paul has it in both senses, but more frequently in the latter (cf. Colossians 3:15, 2 Thessalonians 3:16).

μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία. This is repeated from v. 1 (see note on 3:17), and now is added μηδὲ δειλιάτω. This is the only occurrence of the verb δειλιᾶν in the N.T.; although we find δειλός (Mark 4:40, Matthew 8:26, Revelation 21:8) and δειλία (2 Timothy 1:7). μηδὲ δειλία is the parting counsel of Moses (Deuteronomy 31:8): so also μηδὲ δειλάσῃς is the counsel of Joshua to his warriors (Joshua 10:25), as it was the word of Yahweh to him (Joshua 1:9, Joshua 8:1). μηδὲ δειλιάτω, “let not your heart be dismayed,” is, in like manner, the parting word of Christ. There is no place for cowards in the ranks of His army; and the seer of the Apocalypse ranks them with “the unbelieving … and murderers … and liars,” who, in his vision, have their portion in hell (Revelation 21:8).


28. Jesus has told them that they must not be cowards; now He tells them that they must not be selfish. His departure means for Him the resumption of the Divine glory.

ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν (sc. at vv. 2-4) Ὑπάγω (see for this verb on 7:33) καὶ ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς (vv. 3, 18). His departure is the condition of His return through the Spirit. This has all been said before. He now makes a new appeal to them, based on their love for Him.

εἰ ἠγαπᾶτέ με (see on 3:16 for�

ὅτι ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μού ἐστιν. To this sentence theologians devoted close attention in the fourth century, but it would be out of place in a commentary on the Fourth Gospel to review the Arian controversy. It suffices to note that the filial relationship, upon which so much stress is laid in Jn., implies of itself that the Son is from the Father, not the Father from the Son. There is no question here of theological subtleties about what a later age called the “subordination” of the Son, or of any distinction between His οὐσία and that of the Father. But, for Jn., the Father sent the Son (see on 3:17), and gave Him all things (see on 3:35). Cf. Mark 13:32, Philippians 2:6, 1 Corinthians 15:27, for other phrases which suggest that ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μού ἐστιν is a necessary condition of the Incarnation. It is the same Person that says “I and my Father are one thing” (10:30), who speaks of Himself as “a man who hath told you the truth which I have heard from God” (8:40).1 See on 5:18, 32.


The rec. text has μου after πατήρ, with א*D2ΓΔΘ; but om. אcaABD*L.

29. καὶ νῦν, “And now,” sc. “to make an end” (cf. 17:5, 1 John 2:28, for καὶ νῦν used thus; and see on 11:22), “I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass ye may believe.” See note on 13:19.


πιστεύειν may be used here absolutely (see 1:7); or the meaning may be governed by 13:19, where the words are ἵνα πιστεύσητε … ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι, “that I (am) He.”

In vv. 26 ff., Jesus had told the disciples of His approaching departure, which as yet they had hardly brought themselves to believe, and of the coming of the Holy Spirit which would ensue. The experience of this heavenly illumination would convince them of His superhuman foreknowledge. Cf. 2:22.

30. οὐκέτι πολλὰ λαλήσω μεθʼ ὑμῶν. If cc. 15 and 16 follow c. 14, this is difficult to understand, for then sixty verses of exhortation must be supposed to have been added before the discourse came to an end. But, in our arrangement of the text, the discourse has come to its conclusion. See Introd., p. xx.

ἔρχεται γὰρ ὁ τοῦ κόσμου ἄρχων. The rec. inserts τούτου after κόσμου, as at 12:31, 16:11, but אABDLX omit. For the phrase “the prince of this world,” see on 12:31. It means Satan, not merely Satan in the form of Judas (cf. 13:27), but Satan himself, to meet whose last assault (cf. Luke 4:13, Luke 22:53) Jesus now prepared.

καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν “and has nothing in me,” i.e. has no point in my personality on which he can fasten. Twice in the last hours, Jesus said that He Himself was not “of this world” (cf. 17:11, 18:36); and thus “the prince of this world” had no power over Him. This was to claim in serene confidence that He was sinless (cf. Hebrews 4:15). But, although thus superior to the forces of evil, He must go to meet them in the agony of conflict, for this was the predestined purpose of God.

31.�1 John 2:19. Otherwise we are obliged to take the whole clause as subordinate to “Arise, let us go hence,” which is very harsh. Whichever constr. is adopted, the meaning is the same. Jesus assures His apostles once more that what He does at this critical hour is done voluntarily and in obedience to the Divine purpose. Having made this declaration, He offers His Prayer (c. 17) before He leaves the house to face arrest and death.

ἵνα γνῷ ὁ κόσμος … cf. 17:23 for this ideal of the future; and cf. 1 Corinthians 1:21 for the reality of the present.


ὅτι�

ἐνετείλατο. So אADΓΔΘ; but BL have ἐντολὴν δέδωκεν, from the parallel saying at 12:49, where see the exegetical note. For the obedience of Christ to the commandment of the Father, see 4:34, 8:55, and cf. Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 5:8. This obedience was perfect throughout His life on earth, but here the allusion is rather to the last act of self-surrender in going to meet the Passion. Here is the last word of Jesus to the Eleven: “As the Father commanded me, so I do.”

ἐγείρεσθε, ἄγωμεν. According to Mark 14:42, Matthew 26:46, these were the words with which Jesus summoned the sleeping disciples at Gethsemane, just before His arrest. Jn. adds ἐντεῦθεν, and puts the words in a slightly different context; i.e. they mark the conclusion of the Discourse in the Upper Room, which was followed by a short pause for prayer, the solemn prayer of c. 17 being said standing, before Jesus and His disciples left the house for Gethsemane and the arrest (18:1).


For those who accept the traditional order of chapters, the sharp finality of ἐγείρεσθε, ἄγωμεν ἐντεῦθεν is not easy of explanation. The allegory of the Vine (c. 15) comes in strangely after such words,1 which must mark a break in, or the termination of, the Last Discourse of Jesus. Several exegetes suppose that, after He had said “Arise, let us go hence,” Jesus and His eleven disciples left the house, the rest of the discourse being spoken as they were walking to Gethsemane. It is difficult to suppose that teaching so profound and so novel was given under such conditions, or that Jn. intends thus to represent the course of events. Westcott suggested that before the little party crossed the Kidron they halted for a time in the Temple precincts, where quiet opportunity could be found for the delivery of cc. 15, 16 and for the great prayer of c. 17. But there is no evidence for such an hypothesis. The simplicity of the exegesis which emerges from placing the text in the order that is here adopted is a strong argument in its favour.

ἄγωμεν, it may be noted, is used thrice in c. 11 of a going forth to meet death (see on 11:7).

D Bezæ (δ 5). Cambridge. v-vi. Græco-Latin. Cc. 18:14-20:13 are missing in the Greek text, and the gap has been filled by a ninth-century scribe (Dsupp).

1 Cf. Lightfoot, Supernatural Religion, p. 194, and Biblical Essays, p. 68.

Diat. E. A. Abbott’s Diatessarica, including his Johannine Vocabulary and Johannine Grammar, Parts I.-X. (1900-1915).

C Ephræmi (δ 3). Paris. v. Palimpsest. Contains considerable fragments of Jn.

N Purpureus Petropolitanus (ε 19). Dispersed through the libraries of Leningrad, Patmos, Rome, Vienna, and British Museum. vi. Some pages are missing. Edited by H. S. Cronin in Cambridge Texts and Studies (1899).

Γ̠(ε 70) Oxford and Leningrad. ix-x. Contains Song of Solomon 1:1-13 8:3-15:24 19:6 to end.


Δ̠Sangallensis (ε 76). St. Gall. ix-x. Græco-Latin.

Θ̠Koridethi (ε 050). Tiflis. vii-ix. Discovered at Koridethi, in Russian territory, and edited by Beermann & Gregory (Leipzig, 1913). The text is akin to that of fam. 13, fam. 1, and the cursives 28, 565, 700 See Lake and Blake in Harvard Theol. Review (July 1923) and Streeter, The Four Gospels. Cf. also J.T.S. Oct. 1915, April and July 1925.

אԠSinaiticus (δ 2). Leningrad. iv.

A Alexandrinus (δ 4). British Museum. v. Cc. 6:50-8:52 are missing.

B Vaticanus (δ 1). Rome. Cent. iv.

L Regius (ε 56). Paris. viii. Cc. 15:2-20 21:15-25 are missing.

W Freer (ε 014). Washington. iv-vi. Discovered in Egypt in 1906. The Gospels are in the order Mt., Jn., Lk., Mk. Collation in The Washington MS. of the Four Gospels, by H. A. Sanders (1912).

1 Cf. Origen`s Comm. in Joh. (ed. Brooke, ii. 308).

2 Cf. also Lowther Clarke, Theology, July 1924, p. 41; and Abbott, Diat. 2186.

1 See Introd., p. clviii f.

Moulton-Milligan Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, illustrated from the papyri, by J. H. Moulton and G.Milligan (1914-). This is being completed by Dr. Milligan; it is indispensable.

1 See on 3:16.

2 Blass omits με.

1 Gore, Bampton Lectures, p. 132.

1 For the patristic comments on this text, see Westcott in loc.; and cf. Gore, Dissertations, p. 164 f.

1 Cf. Introd., p. xxi.

Bernard, J. H. (1929). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Gospel according to St. John. Paged continuously. (A. H. McNeile, Ed.) (2:530-557). New York: C. Scribner' Sons.

14:1 ff. The opening verses of c. 14 are among the most familiar and the most precious in our Authorised Version of the Bible. It is an ungrateful task to disturb their beautiful cadences, charged with many memories, by offering a different rendering of the Greek text. But it must be attempted here, as at other points in the Fourth Gospel, if we are to express as nearly as we can the meaning of the evangelist’s words. In v. 1, as will be seen, Tyndale’s translation of 1534 has been preferred to the A.V. of 1611.

The Promise of a Future Life, Where the Disciples Would Be with Jesus (14:1-4)

1. D prefixes καὶ εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταὶς αὐτοῦ, probably to soften the apparent abruptness of the words which follow. But no introduction is necessary; for there is an intimate connexion between 13:38 and 14:1. The warning to Peter that he would presently deny his Master must have shocked him, as it silenced him. He is not among the disciples who ask questions as to the meaning of Jesus’ sayings in c. 14, nor is he mentioned again until c. 18. But the other disciples, too, must have been startled and saddened by the thought that the foremost among them would fail in the hour of trial. If that were so, who among them could be confident of himself? Indeed, they had already been warned that their faith would not be strong enough to keep them at the side of Jesus when the dark hour of His arrest came (16:31, 32). But this renewed suggestion of the instability of their allegiance, superadded to the announcements that Jesus had made of His impending departure from them (16:5-7, 13:33, 36), and of the persecutions which were in store for them (15:18-21, 16:33), had filled them with deep sorrow. So He sought to reassure them with a new message of consolation, which taught them to look beyond this earthly life to the life after death.

μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία. The human experience of a “troubled” spirit had been His, more than once, during the last weeks (cf. 11:33, 12:27, 13:21), and He knew how painful it was.

πιστεύετε εἰς τὸν θεόν, καὶ εἰς ἐμὲ πιστεύετε. These are probably both imperatives: “believe in God (cf. Mark 11:22); in me also believe.” Belief in God should, of itself, turn their thoughts to the security of the future life; and then, if they believed in Jesus, they would recall promises to them which He had made about this (see v. 3, with its two clauses).


Grammatically, πιστεύετε might be pres. indicative in either place or in both, and the familiar “Ye believe in God; believe also in me,” gives a good sense. But it seems more natural to take πιστεύετε in the same way in the first clause as in the second.

The true source of consolation for a troubled spirit is faith in God (cf. Psalms 27:13, Psalms 141:8 etc.), and in Jesus whom God sent (cf. Mark 5:36). The disciples had already professed (16:30) their faith in Jesus, but He had warned them that it was not invincible (16:31).


For the constr. εἰς τινὰ πιστεύειν, never used by Jn. of faith in man, see on 1:12.

2. ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ πατρός μου κτλ., i.e. heaven; cf. Philo, who speaks of the soul returning εἰς τὸν πατρῷον οἶκον (de somn. i. 43).

μοναὶ πολλαί. The idea that there are “many mansions” in heaven, corresponding to different degrees of human merit, may not have been entirely new in Jewish religion. In the Sclavonic Book of the Secrets of Enoch (lxi. 2) we find: “In the world to come … there are many mansions prepared for men: good for the good; evil for evil” (cf. Ethiopic Enoch, xxxix. 4: “The mansions of the holy, and the resting-places of the righteous”). Charles dates the Sclavonic Enoch as between 1 and 50 a.d.; but we cannot be sure that it was known in Palestine during our Lord’s ministry. Nor can we be sure that μοναί was the Greek behind the Sclavonic word which Charles translates “mansions.” If it were, then μοναί meant “mansions” in the sense of “abodes,” not of “stages,” which are only halting-places.

μονή is found elsewhere in the Greek Bible only at v. 23 (where it must mean “permanent abode,” not a mere passing stage) and 1 Macc. 7:38 (where again the idea of permanence is involved). In Pausanias (x. 41) μονή is used in the sense of a stopping-place, a station on a journey; and this sense, if introduced into the present passage, suggests interesting speculations.

Thus Origen (de Princip. II. xi. 6) says that departed saints first live in some place “on the earth, which Scripture calls Paradise,” where they receive instruction. If worthy, they quickly ascend to a place in the air and reach the kingdom, through mansions, “which the Greeks call spheres, but Scripture heavens”; following Jesus, who “passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14). Origen then quotes John 14:2, John 14:3, showing that he understood μοναί, as stations or halting-places on the journey to God. His singular interpretation is not likely to be accepted, but his use of μονή is to be noted.

An earlier citation of John 14:2 is to be found in a passage quoted by Irenæus (adv. Hær. v. xxxvi. 12) from the “Sayings of the Elders,” which is probably an extract from Papias.1 According to the Elders, some good men will be counted worthy of a διατρίβη in heaven; others will enjoy paradise; others “the city,” the Saviour being seen of them all. This, the Elders say, is what is meant by the distinction between the thirtyfold, sixtyfold, hundredfold harvests in the Parable of the Sower. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο εἰρηκέναι τὸν κύριον, Ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός μου μονὰς εἶναι πολλάς. For all are of God, who gives to each his appropriate οἴκησις. This is the triclinium, the couch for three, on which shall recline those who are called to the Marriage Feast. This, the Elders said, is the dispositio of those who are saved, who advance by steps of this kind, through the Spirit to the Son, and through the Son to the Father.


The first part of this implies that the μοναί are the permanent abodes of the blessed, which vary in glory; but the last sentence suggests, on the contrary, that the μοναί are stages, and that a saint may pass from one to another. The general patristic interpretation of μοναί is, however, “abiding-places”; not mansiones, which are like inns on a journey, but permanent habitations.

Clement of Alexandria often has the word μονή, and always with allusion to John 14:2. In Strom. vi. 14 he refers (as Papias does) to the thirtyfold, sixtyfold, hundredfold harvests, which he says hint at (αἰνίσσομαι) the three μοναί where the saints dwell according to their respective merits. So, again, he says (Strom. iv. 6) that there are with the Lord καὶ μισθοὶ καὶ μοναὶ πλείονες κατὰ�John 10:16) are deemed worthy of another fold and another μονή in proportion to their faith.” Once more, in Strom. v. 1, he uses μονή for the dwelling-place of God, as distinct from τόπος, which is the locality where the μονή is situated.


These citations show that μοναί in v. 2 (as in v. 23 and 1 Macc. 7:38) must mean “abodes” or permanent dwelling-places, not merely temporary stations on a journey. The idea conveyed by the saying “In my Father’s house are many mansions” is that of a hospitable palace with many chambers, rather than of a journey with many stages.

οἰκία is hardly to be distinguished from οἶκος, except that οἰκία is the larger word, embracing the precincts of the house as well as the house itself. Cf. 8:35, 2 Corinthians 5:1; and see on 2:16. For the significance of the full phrase “My Father,” cf. 2:16, 5:17 and vv. 20-23.


In heaven there are “many mansions,” i.e. there is room for all the faithful, although it is not said that they shall all be housed with equal dignity.

εἰ δὲ μή occurs again in Jn. at v. 23 only; and then after an imperative. It seems here to mean “if it were not so, ” i.e. if the preceding statement were not true. Cf. Abbott, Diat. 2080.

ὅτι before πορεύομαι is omitted in the rec. text, with CcorrNΓΔΘ a e f q. Accordingly the A.V. places a full stop after “told you,” and proceeds with “I go to prepare a place for you,” as a new sentence. But ὅτι must be retained with אABC*DLW, b c ff2 syrr. and cop. vss. How to translate it is not obvious, for ὅτι may mean either because or that.

(a) The R.V. takes ὅτι as equivalent to because, with Meyer, Westcott, Godet, Swete, and others. “If it were not so, I would have told you, for (i.e. because) I go to prepare a place for you.” It is difficult to accept the sequence of thought which this rendering involves, sc.: if there was not plenty of room, He would have told them this bad news, because He is going to prepare a place. But that He was going to prepare a place for them could not be a reason for telling them that there was not plenty of room. This translation, when analysed, is hardly intelligible.

(b) A second expedient is to treat εἰ δὲ μή, εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν, as parenthetical, and to connect directly “In my Father’s house are many mansions” with “because I go to prepare a place for you.” But again the sequence fails, for we should rather expect, “I go to prepare a place for you, because in my Father’s house are many mansions.”

(c) It is more natural to take ὅτι after εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν as meaning that; sc., it is what the grammarians call ὅτι recitantis, introducing the actual words that might have been spoken. Syr. sin takes it thus: “I should have said that I go.” Then we render: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you.” But the difficulty of this is that He was going to prepare a place for them, as v. 3 implies. Origen took the verse thus, assuming that ὅτι is recitantis, although he notices the contradiction with v. 3.1

(d) The remaining alternative is to take εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν ὅτι κτλ. as interrogative: “If there were not many mansions, would I have said to you that I go to prepare a place for you?” There is only one difficulty about this rendering, sc. that hitherto there has been no record of Jesus having told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them. At 13:36 He had told Peter that he would follow Him later, and no doubt the other disciples expected that this promise was to be fulfilled in their case also. But the explicit words “I go to prepare a place for you” do not appear before this verse. Jn., however, more than once records references made by Jesus to former sayings of His which cannot be traced with certainty (see 6:36, 10:25, 11:40), so that there is no insuperable difficulty, on this head, of taking the sentence interrogatively. This rendering is adopted by Moffatt, Strachan, and W. Bauer.2

πορεύομαι. See on 16:7 for this verb.

ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον ὑμῖν. This was one of the purposes of His impending departure. He was the πρόδρομος of all the faithful (Hebrews 6:20). Jn. does not use ἑτοιμάζειν elsewhere, but the verb is used Mark 10:40, Matthew 20:23, of the highest seats in the Messianic kindgom which have been “prepared” by God for those whom He has chosen (cf. Hebrews 11:16). In the present passage, ἑτοιμάζειν does not carry the idea of predestination; it is only “to make ready,” as at Mark 14:16, Luke 9:52.

τόπος is used of a “place” in heaven, Revelation 12:8; also in Clem. Rom_5, where it is said of Peter ἐπορεύθη εἰς τόν ὀφειλόμενον τόπον τῆς δόξης. In the Revelation of Peter, τόπος is similarly used; and also in the Acts of Thomas, c. 22.


3. καὶ ἐὰν πορευθῶ, repeated in substance from 16:7.

τόπον ὑμῖν is the order of words in אBDLN; but the rec. has ὑμῖν τόπον, with WΘ.

πάλιν ἔρχομαι. The present tense expresses the certainty of the future return: “I am coming back.” This is an explicit announcement of the Parousia, or Second Advent. Not as much is said about this in Jn. as in the Synoptists; but it is nevertheless an integral element in Johannine doctrine, more emphatic in the First Epistle than in the Gospel (cf. 21:22, 23 and 1 John 2:28).1

καὶ παραλήμψομαι κτλ. Perhaps παραλαμβάνειν has here, as at 1:11, the meaning of receiving with welcome (cf. Song of Solomon 8:2); but at 19:17 it is equivalent to “seize.” For this meeting of Master and disciples, cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:17.


ἵνα ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ καὶ ὑμεῖς ἦτε. This is, in a sense, true of earthly discipleship (12:26), but it is to be fulfilled more perfectly hereafter (17:24).

4. ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω οἴδατε τὴν ὁδόν is the reading of אBC*LW. But, as Field has pointed out, this is an ungrammatical construction. τὴν ὁδὸν ὅπου ὑπάγω is not good Greek, if it means τὴν ὁδὸν ἥν ὑπάγω. Furthermore, the comment of Thomas in v. 5 distinguishes clearly between the goal and the way, so that we should expect to find the same distinction inherent in the words of Jesus which drew it forth The rec. text is ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω οἴδατε, καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν οἴδατε. This is supported by AC3DNΓΔΘ with most cursives, and by the Syriac, Coptic, and O.L. vss. generally. If this were the original reading, we can see how easily the words οἴδατε καί might have dropped out, the eye being caught by the second οἴδατε. To claim that the uncials אB must outweigh the evidence of practically all the ancient versions, especially when they present an ungrammatical reading, is to claim too much for them. Accordingly, we follow the textus receptus here.

ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω οἴδατε. Peter had already shown that he, at any rate, did not know this, for he asked ποῦ ὐπάγεις; (13:36). But the disciples ought to have known, for Jesus had told them several times. He was going, He had said, πρὸς τὸν πέμψαντά με (7:33, 16:5), or πρὸς τὸν πατέρα (16:10, 28), or to His Father’s house (v. 2). The phrase ὑπάγω πρὸς τὸν πατέρα had already been the subject of perplexed comment by the disciples (16:17). They had not understood how Jesus was to “go to the Father,” but that this was the goal of the journey, of which He had spoken to them so often on this last night, He had repeated again and again. And so He said now, “You know where I am going.”

καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν οἴδατε. This too they should have understood. They did not yet know that for Him the Way to the Father was the Way of Death (see on 16:5), for even yet they had not realised that He was soon about to die. They may not have understood that they, too, must die before they could inhabit the heavenly mansions where He was to prepare a place for them (v. 2). It is not clear that they had abandoned hopes of a Messianic kingdom shortly to be established on earth, in which high stations of honour should be theirs. τὴν ὁδὸν οἴδατε did not mean that they knew, or ought to have known, that the way to the Father was through death. But they ought to have “known” that the way to the Father’s house was in fellowship with Jesus. This, in some measure, they must have realised at the end of their training; and so He reminds them that they “know the way,” sc. they know that only in that fellowship with Him which Jn. calls “believing on Him” could the way to life be trodden.

The Question of Thomas, and the Answer to It (vv. 5-7)

5. Thomas now intervenes. Peter was the first to interrupt the great discourse by asking, “Whither goest thou?” (see 13:36). Thomas presses the question, and urges that they could not be expected to know the answer. The Eleven had been perplexed when this “going” of Jesus to the Father had been mentioned at an earlier point in the discourse (16:17), and their perplexities had not yet been removed. We have already had Thomas appearing as spokesman for the rest (11:16), Peter perhaps being absent on that occasion. But Peter is silent now, although present, probably because of the severity of the rebuke and warning which he had just received (13:38). He would hardly venture again to interrupt Jesus by questions.

For κύριε, see on 1:38. Thomas declares that they do not know where Jesus was going, and that therefore they cannot be expected to know the way. Yet one may know the way without knowing exactly the goal of one’s journey; and this is specially true of the Christian pilgrimage.

There are unimportant variants. אAC2NΓΔΘ, with most vss., have καὶ after ὑπάγεις, and this may be right; but BC*LW and Syr. sin. omit καί the omission being characteristic of Jn.’s paratactic style. Again, for πῶς οἴδαμεν τὴν ὁδόν; (BC*D a b c), the rec., with AC2LNWΓΔΘ, has πῶς δυνάμεθα τὴν ὁδὸν εἰδέναι; which looks like an explanatory correction of the shorter reading.

6. אC*L om. ὁ before Ἰησοῦς, but ins. ABC3DNWΘ. See on 1:29.

ἐγώ εἰμι. On this majestic construction, see Introd., pp. cxvii-cxxi.

ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδός. This is the central thought here, the words following, sc. καὶ ἡ�

To walk in God’s way has been the aspiration of pious men of every race; and Israel was especially warned not to turn aside from the ὁδός which God had commanded (Deuteronomy 5:32, Deuteronomy 5:33, Deuteronomy 5:31:29; cf. Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 35:8). “Teach me Thy way” is the Psalmist’s prayer (Psalms 27:11; cf. Psalms 25:4, Psalms 86:11). Philo, after his manner, describes the “royal way” (ὁδός) as philosophy, and he says that Scripture calls it the ῥῆμα and λόγος of God (de post. Caini, 30), quoting Deuteronomy 17:11. More apposite here, however, is the declaration of the Epistle to the Hebrews that the way to the holy place was not made plain before Christ (Hebrews 9:8), who dedicated “a new and living way” through the veil of His flesh (Hebrews 10:20). This is the doctrine which becomes explicit (cf. Ephesians 2:18) in the words “I am the Way.” In the Acts (9:2, 19:9) the Christian profession is called “the Way,” but this does not provide a true parallel to the present verse. Again, in the second-century Acts of John (§ 95) there is a Gnostic hymn ascribed to Christ which ends with ὁδός εἰμί σοι προοδίτη, “A Way am I to thee, a wayfarer.” This, however, does not go as far as the claim involved in ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδός. The uniqueness of Christ’s claim in Jn. is that He is the Way, i.e. the only Way, to God. This is the heart of the Johannine message, which admits of no compromise with non- Christian religions, and in fact takes no account of such. See on 10:9.

For�Colossians 2:3) of the claim ἐγώ εἰμι … ἡ�Mark 12:14, Matthew 22:16, Luke 20:21).

The idea of Christ’s teaching as true does not strictly come into the argument or exposition here; and it would seem that the juxtaposition of ἡ ὁδός and ἡ�Psalms 119:30); and see the same expression, ὁδὸς�2 Peter 2:2). More striking still is, “Teach me thy Way, O Lord; I will walk in thy Truth” (Psalms 86:11; cf. Psalms 26:3), where the “Truth” is a synonym for the “Way.” So, again, a Psalmist says that the ὁδοί of the Lord are mercy and truth (Psalms 25:10). Perhaps the close association in O.T. phraseology between ἡ ὁδός and ἡ�

καὶ ἡ ζωή. This is included in another of the great Similitudes, ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ�Colossians 3:4. The declaration “I am the Life” could not be out of place at any point of the Gospel (cf. v. 19); but nevertheless it does not help the exposition at this point, where the thought is specially of Christ as the Way.

Here again we are reminded of the O.T. phrase “the way (or ‘ways’) of life” (Proverbs 6:23, Proverbs 10:17, Proverbs 15:24): cf. ἐγνώρισάς μοι ὁδοὺς ζωῆς (Psalms 16:11). In Matthew 7:14 the way that leads to life is described as straitened; and in Hebrews 10:20 we hear of the “living way” (ὁδὸς ζῶσα) which Jesus dedicated. The thought of Jesus as the Way would naturally be associated with the thought of Him as the Life. Cf. also Hebrews 7:25.

Lightfoot (Hor. Hebr.) suggests that the idiom here is Hebrew, the Way and the Truth and the Life meaning the True and Living Way. (He compares Jeremiah 29:11, where the Hebrew “a latter end and hope” means “a hoped-for latter end.”) This at any rate brings out the point, that the emphasis is on the Way, as the concluding words, “No one comes to the Father but through me, ” show. To claim to be not only a way to God, but the only Way, is in effect to claim to be the Truth and the Life.


There is a curious Christian interpolation in the Vulgate text of Ecclus. 24:25, which is a paraphrase of this Similitude. Wisdom says of herself, “In me gratia omnis uiae et ueritatis, in me omnis spes uitae et uirtutis,” where the triple alliteration, Via, Veritas, Vita, is reinforced by a fourth word, Virtus.

7. The verb contains a rebuke. The disciples ought to have known what was meant by going to “the Father.” That they did not know the Father was due to the fact that they had not yet learnt to know the Son.

εἰ ἐγνώκειτέ με, καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου ἂν ᾔδειτε. Jesus had said the same thing to His Jewish critics (8:19), in identical language, except that in the former passage we have εἰ ἐμὲ ᾔδειτε instead of εἰ ἐγνώκειτέ με. But we cannot distinguish οἶδα from γινώσκω in passages like this (see on 1:26 for the usage of these verbs).

For ἐγνώκειτε (ABCD2LNΘ) and ᾔδειτε (BC*L), אD* have ἐγνώκατε and γνώσεσθε, which would turn the rebuke into a promise. Syr. sin. gives, “If me ye have not known, my Father also will ye know?” For ᾔδειτε the rec. substitutes ἐγνώκειτε (AC3D2NΓΔΘ), so that the same verb may appear in both clauses.

ἀπʼ ἄρτι κτλ. So BC*L, omitting the prefatory καί: this would be consonant with Jn.’s paratactic style. But ins. אAC2DNΓΔΘ, a strong combination. If καί is retained, it stands for καίτοι, in accordance with a Johannine idiom (see on 3:11). In any case, there is a contrast between the rebuke in the first part of the verse and the assurance in the second part.

ἀπʼ ἄρτι γινώσκετε αὐτόν κτλ., “from now (see on 13:19 for�1 John 2:13). But during the earthly ministry of Jesus that claim could not have been made. (“No one knoweth (γινώσκει) who the Father is, save the Son, and he to whom the Son willeth to reveal Him” (Luke 10:22; cf. Matthew 11:27, who substitutes ἐπιγινώσκει, signifying complete knowledge, for the simple γινώσκει).


καὶ ἑωράκατε αὐτόν. BC* omit αὐτόν (perhaps because of the difficulty of the phrase), but ins. אAC3DLNWΘ. The verb ὁρᾶν in the pres. and pft. tenses (see on 3:32; and cf. 1:51) is generally, but not always, used in Jn. of seeing with the eyes of the body. θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε (1:18; cf. 5:37) is a general principle of Judaism: the only One of whom it could be said ἑώρακεν τὸν πατέρα is Jesus (6:46), and in that case the reference is to spiritual vision. But at v. 9 we have ὁ ἑωρακὼς ἐμὲ ἑώρακεν τὸν πατέρα, which is parallel to ὁ θεωρῶν ἐμὲ θεωρεῖ τὸν πέμψαντά με (12:45, where see note). In neither case can the verb for “seeing” be taken as representing physical vision, for many of the opponents of Jesus who “saw” Him in the flesh did not thereby “see the Father.” Accordingly θεωρῶν at 12:45 and ἑώρακεν in v. 9 must imply spiritual insight in some degree. Those who saw in the Works and Life of Christ something of His purpose and personality, thereby saw something of the nature of God who sent Him. Those who “saw and hated” Jesus, on the other hand, could be justly said to have “seen and hated” God the Father (15:24); the false impression which they acquired of Jesus, issuing in an equally false impression of God. Thus the strange statement, as it must have seemed, “You are beginning to know Him, and (indeed) have seen Him,” must mean that while the disciples would begin henceforth consciously to appropriate the new revelation of God as He is, they had already (although unconsciously) “seen” the reflection of His mind and purpose in the life of Jesus, with whom they had long been in close intimacy.

Abbott (Diat. 2760-2764) suggests as possible another rendering (apparently favoured by Nonnus) of�

δεῖξον ἡμῖν τὸν πατέρα. Probably Philip wished for a theophany, such as that which Exodus 33:18f. tells was granted to Moses when he prayed “Show me Thy glory.” Judas the son of James had similar desires and perplexities (see v. 22).


9. τοσοῦτον χρόνον. So ABNΓΔΘ, but אDLW have the dative τοσούτῳ χρόνῳ.

There is something of pathos in the reproach, “Have I been so long with you all (μεθʼ ὑμῶν), and hast thou not learnt to know me, Philip?” the personal name (cf. 20:16, 21:15) suggesting affectionate regard. The sheep know (γινώσκουσιν) their shepherd (10:14), and Philip ought to have “known” Jesus by this time. But to fail to see God in Jesus was to fail to know Jesus.

ὁ ἑωρακὼς ἐμὲ ἑώρακεν τὸν πατέρα. See on v. 7 above; and cf. Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3.


After πατέρα, the rec. ins. καί with ADLNΓΔΘ, but om. אB.

πῶς σὺ λέγεις κτλ., “how is that you say, etc.,” σύ being emphatic, “you who have followed me from the beginning” (1:43f.).

10. οὐ πιστεύεις κτλ. This was to expect a greater faith than He asked of the blind man (9:35), or even of Martha (11:27). Jesus expected of the Eleven, who had enjoyed a longer and more intimate association with Him than others, that they should appreciate in some measure the deeper secrets of His being. The “evolution” of faith is always towards a larger faith.

ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρί κτλ. Here is the mystery of that oneness with the Father which is always prominent in Jn. Jesus had held this Divine coinherence up to the Jews as a belief which they might ultimately recognise as true (10:38), but He did not reproach them for not having reached it yet. Philip was in a different position, and ought to have learnt something of it before now. The two lines of testimony to which Jesus appeals in support of His claim to reciprocal communion with the Father, here as elsewhere, are His words and His works. See on 10:38, where the argument is almost identical with that of vv. 10, 11, and expressed in the same terms.

τὰ ῥήματα. See on 3:34 for the “words” of Jesus as divine.

τὰ ῥήματα ἃ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν. The rec., with אAΓΔΘ, has λαλῶ from the next clause, but B2LN have λέγω (which has been omitted in B* through misreading ἐγὼ λέγω). λέγω is often used in Jn. interchangeably with λαλῶ, as here. See on 3:11.

ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐ λαλῶ. This He had said several times. See the references given in the note on 7:17.

ὁ δὲ πατὴρ ὁ ἐν ἐμοὶ μένων The second ὁ is omitted in BL, but is preserved in אADNWΘ.

ποιεῖ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ; So אBD but the rec., with AΓΔΘ, has αὐτὸς ποιεῖ τὰ ἔργα, a correction due to the tendency to describe the miracles as Christ’s rather than as the Father’s. But to distinguish thus is contrary to Johannine teaching. See especially on 5:19. The ἔργα of Jesus are also the ἔργα of God the Father.

In this verse the words of Jesus are treated as among his works. Both are, as it were, the λαλία of the Father. But they may be considered separately, His words appealing more directly to the conscience and spiritual insight of His hearers, His works appealing rather to their intellect, as indicative of His superhuman personality.

11. πιστεύετέ μοι. The plural shows that Jesus now addresses Himself not to Philip individually, but to the disciples collectively, whose spokesman for the moment Philip was. “Believe me,” sc. believe my words when I tell you that I am in the Father and the Father in me (repeated in identical terms from v. 10). He does not say “Believe in me” here. He merely appeals (as at 5:47, 10:38) to the testimony of His own sayings, as worthy of credit (cf. 4:21).

εἰ δὲ μή, διὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτὰ πιστεύετέ μοι. This is the appeal to His miraculous works (cf. 3:2, 5:36, 10:37) in support of His great claim of unity with the Father. The faith which is generated by an appeal like this is not the highest type of faith, but it is not despised by Jesus. Better to believe because of miracles than not to believe at all. See on 6:36, 10:38; and cf. 2:23, 3:2, 4:48.

The concluding μοι is omitted after πιστεύετε by אDLW, but ins. ABΓΔΘ.

12.�

τὰ ἔργα ἃ ἐγὼ ποιῶ κἀκεῖνος ποιήσει. He had already given such power to the Twelve (Mark 6:7, Mark 6:13), and in [Mk.] 16:17 it is recorded that He renewed this assurance after His Resurrection.


καὶ μείζονα τούτων, “greater things,” not necessarily more extraordinary “miracles,” to the eye of the unspiritual observer. These works of wonder, healing the blind and the sick, etc., were not reckoned by Jesus among His own “greater” works (see on 5:20). The “greater things” which the apostles were to achieve, were the far-reaching spiritual effects which their preaching was to bring about. The teaching of the Incarnate Son was confined to one country, and while He was in the flesh His adherents were few. But His Church made conquest of the nations of the world.

ὅτι ἐγὼ πρὸς τὸν πατέρα πορεύομαι. His departure from their visible presence increased the apostles’ spiritual power (see on 16:7 above). As He goes on to explain (vv. 13, 14), their spiritual effectiveness in prayer will be increased beyond all limits hitherto presupposed, for their prayers will be offered “in His Name.”

For πρὸς τὸν πατέρα πορεύομαι, cf. v. 28; and see on 16:28.

13. καὶ ὅ τι ἄν αἰτήσητε κτλ. “And” (further, in addition to the promise of v. 12, and following from it) “whatsoever ye shall ask in my Name, I will do it.” See on 15:16 for this great promise, here repeated for the fifth time.

It is not said here to whom the prayer is addressed, but we should probably understand τὸν πατέρα as at 15:16, 16:23. Jesus is the Way (v. 6), and while prayers are naturally addressed to the Father, they are addressed through Jesus, “in the Name of” Jesus.

There is, however, an advance here on the teaching of 15:16, 16:23. In the former passages it is the Father who answers prayer, who gives what the faithful petitioner asks; but here and at v. 14 it is the Son who is to grant the boon, ποιήσω being twice repeated. For, in the teaching of Jesus as presented in Jn., what the Father does, the Son does (cf. 10:30). Swete’s paraphrase is thoroughly Johannine. “We pray to the Father in Christ’s Name; we receive the answer from the Father. Yet we receive it through the Son and by the action of the Son.” The difference between δώσει, “He will give,” of 16:23, and ποιήσω, “I will do,” of 14:13 is the difference between the Jewish and the Christian doctrine of prayer.

ἵνα δοξασθῇ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ υἱῷ. This is only verbally similar to 13:31, where see note. All that is done by Christ in His heavenly ministry is a “glorification” of the Father, a revelation to men of His power and compassion. This is the final cause of Christ’s work.

For the absolute use of υἱός in Jn., see on 3:35.

14. This verse is wholly omitted in two minor uncials, as well as in 1, 22, b, ful, the Sinai Syriac, and Nonnus—a strong and unusual combination. The omission may be due to homoioteleuton, v. 14 being repeated from v. 13. ABL and fam. 13, indeed, repeat τοῦτο ποιήσω from v. 13, but אDWΘ in v. 14 replace τοῦτο by ἐγώ. So ADL follow v. 13 in reading αἰτήσητε ἐν κτλ, but אBWΓΔΘ have αἰτήσητέ με ἐν κτλ.

If the verse is to be retained, it must be taken as a repetition in slightly different terms of what has been said already: a construction which is quite in the style of Joh_1 ἐγώ clearly lays special emphasis on Jesus being Himself the answerer of the prayer: “I will see that it is done.”


But the insertion of με after αἰτήσητε, which the best MSS support, involves the harsh and unexampled phrase, “If ye shall ask me in my Name.” No doubt, it may be urged that the man who is in Christ alone can offer petitions to Christ which are certain of acceptance. He whose will is in harmony with Christ’s will, and who therefore can truly pray “in His Name,” may be assured that Christ will perform what he asks. Yet the expression “ask me in my Name” is awkward, and does not occur elsewhere, the other passages in these discourses in which prayers in the Name of Christ are recommended explicitly mentioning the Father as Him to whom these prayers should be addressed (cf. 15:16, 16:23, 24). The Johannine teaching would not indeed stumble at the addressing of prayer to Christ. He who prays to the Father, prays to the Son, so intimate is their ineffable union (cf. 10:30); but, nevertheless, no explicit mention of prayer to the Son is found elsewhere in Jn., unless 16:23 (where see note) is an exception.

We conclude that με must be rejected here,2 despite its strong MS. support; and we read ἐάν τι αἰτήσητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐγὼ ποιήσω, the thought being carried on from the previous verse, a special emphasis being laid upon ἐγώ.

Love Issuing in Obedience Will Be Followed by the Gift of the Paraclete, Revealing the Union of the Father and the Son (vv. 15-20)

15. ἐὰν�1 John 2:3). For the verb�

The phrase τηρεῖν τὰς ἐντολάς is thoroughly Johannine (cf. 15:10, 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:4, 1 John 2:3:22, 1 John 2:24, 1 John 2:5:2, 1 John 2:3). It is the phrase used for “keeping” the Ten Commandments (cf. Matthew 19:17, 1 Corinthians 7:19); and that the precept “keep my commandments” should be placed in the mouth of Jesus is significant of His claim to be equal with God (cf. 13:34).

In Jn. τηρεῖν τὰς ἐντολάς μου is used interchangeably with τηρεῖν τὸν λόγον μου (8:51, 14:23, 24, 15:20, 1 John 2:5).


16. κἀγὼ ἐρωτήσω τὸν πατέρα. See on 11:22, 16:23, 26 on ἐρωτᾶν as the verb used of the prayers of Jesus Himself; cf. 17:9.

καὶ ἄλλον παράκλητον δώσει ὑμῖν. The Sinai Syriac renders “He will give you Another, the Paraclete”; but the more natural rendering is “He will give you another Paraclete,” sc. another besides myself. Jesus does not directly call Himself a “Paraclete,” nor is the term applied to Him anywhere in the Gospels (cf. 1 John 2:1); but He has just spoken of Himself (vv. 13, 14) as discharging in the future the functions of a παράκλητος, or a Helper and Friend at the court of heaven, in that it is He who will cause to be fulfilled the prayers which are addressed to the Father. For παράκλητος see on 15:26.


ἵνα ᾖ μεθʼ ὑμῶν. The rec. text (with ADΓΔΘ) has μένῃ for ᾖ (perhaps from v. 17).

εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. Jesus had been with them as Helper and Friend on earth only for a short time, but the “other Paraclete” would be in fellowship with them “for ever,” i.e. until the end of the present dispensation (cf. Matthew 28:20). See on 4:14 for εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, which is generally used as including eternity.


17. For τὸ πν. τῆς�

With the sharp contrast between the “world” and the “disciples” in regard to their faculty of spiritual perception, cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14.


ὃ ὁ κόσμος οὐ δύναται λαβεῖν. It could not have been said to the “world,” λάβετε πνεῦμα ἅγιον (20:22). That gift could be received only by spiritually minded men.

ὅτι οὐ θεωρεῖ αὐτό. θεωρεῖν (see on 2:23) is generally used in Jn. of bodily vision, but sometimes (as at 6:40, 12:45) of mental and spiritual appreciation. The analogy of v. 19 would suggest that bodily vision is intended here, as there. The only kind of vision that the “world” has is physical, and with this the Spirit cannot be perceived. Observe that it is not said that the disciples could thus (θεωροῦσι) behold the Spirit.

οὐδὲ γινώσκει. So it is said in the Prologue (1:10), ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω. The world did not recognise Jesus as the Word: nor does it recognise the Spirit.

ὑμεῖς γινώσκετε αὐτό. Disciples are not “of the world” (15:19): they can, and will, recognise the workings of the Spirit, as they have in some measure recognised Christ for what He was (cf. v. 9).

ὅτι παρʼ ὑμῖν μένει, “because He abides with you,” καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστίν, “and is in you,” the present tenses being used proleptically of the future. The rec. has ἔσται (with אAD2LΘ), which is a correction of the better reading ἐστίν (BD*W).

First it is said that the Spirit of Truth abides μετὰ ὑμῶν, then παρʼ ὑμῖν, and finally ἐν ὑμῖν, the last phrase signifying the indwelling of the Spirit in the individual disciple (Romans 8:9, 1 John 2:27, 2 John 1:2), while the other phrases (the former of which occurs also in 2 John 1:2) lay the emphasis on the fellowship of the Spirit with the disciples collectively, that is, with the Church (cf. ἡ κοινωνία τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν, 2 Corinthians 13:14).

18. οὐκ�James 1:27, and there in its primary meaning of “fatherless.” It has been thought that this is the idea here also; at 13:33 Jesus addressed his disciples as τεκνία, which suggests the relation of a father to his children. But, although ὀρφανός, both in the LXX and in classical literature, generally means “fatherless” in the most literal sense, it may be used of bereavement of any kind. ὀρφανῷ σὺ ἦσθα βοηθός (Psalms 10:14) appears in Coverdale’s Psalter as “Thou art the helper of the friendless, ” which brings out the sense well. Milligan (Vocab. s.v.) quotes a modern Greek song where friendless must be the meaning; and also Epictetus, iii. xxiv. 14 for this more general sense. The rendering “comfortless” of the A.V. cannot be defended.


“I will not leave you friendless” means, then, “I will not leave you without a Helper and Friend (a παράκλητος), such as I have been.”

ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς, “I am coming to you,” not, as in v. 3, in the Parousia, but after His Resurrection, when the Spirit will be imparted (20:22). See on 16:23 for the Day of the Spirit’s Advent.

19. ἔτι μικρὸν (see on 16:16) καὶ ὁ κόσμος με οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ, “the world perceiveth me no longer,” θεωρεῖν (see on 2:23) being used here of any kind of vision, for Jesus will have been removed from the world’s sight after His Passion.

ὑμεῖς δὲ θεωρεῖτέ με, “but you perceive me,” sc. with the spiritual perception which the disciples were to have of the Risen Lord. Jesus had indeed told them at an earlier point in this last discourse that, like the world, they would see Him no longer with the eyes of the body after His Passion: οὐκέτι θεωρεῖτέ με (16:10). The assurance of the present verse is in verbal, although not real, contradiction with the former warning. He had led them on step by step, in the endeavour to make them understand that it was better for them that He should be removed from their bodily eyes (16:7), and that He would be present with them spiritually. And, at last, He assures them—so intimate and vital will His presence be—“you shall perceive me” ὑμεῖς θεωρεῖτέ με, the present tense being used proleptically to mark the certainty of the future.

θεωρεῖν is the verb used of Mary’s “seeing” the Risen Lord (20:14), as it is used here of the disciples’ “seeing” Him after His Passion, while such “seeing” would be impossible for the unbelieving world.

A comparison of 14:19 with 16:10 goes far to show that 16:10 must be regarded as an earlier utterance than 14:19. See Introd., p. xxi.

ὅτι ἐγὼ ζῶ καὶ ὑμεῖς ζήσετε. So BL, but אADΓΔΘ have ζήσεσθε. This had been said before (6:57, where see note), and the thought is present also in Paul (Romans 5:10, 1 Corinthians 15:21, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:5; cf. Revelation 20:4). But the words “because I live, you also shall live,” have here a direct connexion with the context. Jesus has just assured the disciples that they shall “see” Him in His Risen Life. But this would only be possible—for ordinary physical vision is not in question—for those who are in spiritual sympathy with Him, who are “in Him” and in whom He abides (v. 20), who share His Life. And so He adds, “because I live, you also shall live”; not ye do live (in the present), for He was not yet risen from the dead, and His quickening power was not yet set free in those who “believed on Him.”


20. ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, i.e. in the new Dispensation of the Spirit, which will begin with the Resurrection. See on 16:23.

γνώσεσθε ὑμεῖς κτλ, “you will know” (ὑμεῖς being emphatic) “that I am in my Father, etc.” At v. 10 (where see note) Jesus had indicated that the disciples ought to have reached as far as faith in His ineffable union with the Father; but He now promises that they shall know it, and recognise it as true, when the illumination of the Spirit has been granted to their minds.

καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν. He had given this to them as a precept of life (15:4, where see note); but the assurance that they might indeed reckon themselves as “in Him” could not be complete until the realisation that they shared His Life (v. 19) was confirmed by the Spirit’s internal witness. This assurance is the highest point in Christian experience. Cf. 17:21, 23, 26; and see especially the note on 17:18.

The Loving Disciple is Loved by God, and to Him Jesus Will Manifest Himself (V. 21)

21. What has heretofore been said in terms primarily applicable to the listening disciples is now said more generally. The teaching of v. 21 is for all future believers. Not only for the apostles, but for every disciple, the sequence of spiritual experience is Obedience, Love, Life, Vision.

ἔχων τὰς ἐντολάς (the phrase does not occur again) is to have them in one’s heart, to know them and apprehend their meaning; but τηρεῖν τὰς ἐντολάς is to keep them, which is a harder thing. See on v. 15 above, where (as at v. 23) it is said that love issues in obedience; here the point is, that obedience is the proof of love.

ἐκεῖνος: he it is (and no other) who loves me.

ὁ δὲ�

κἀγὼ�Proverbs 8:17.

καὶ ἐμφανίσω αὐτῷ ἐμαυτόν. ἐμφανίζειν (in Jn. only here and at v. 22) is used as in Exodus 33:13, Exodus 33:18 of a special manifestation of the Divine; cf. also Wisd. 1:2, 17:4, Matthew 27:53. The reference is to that fuller revelation of Christ which will be made through the Spirit’s illumination: cf. 16:14.


Jude Asks Why Jesus Will Not Manifest Himself to the World; No Direct Answer is Given, the Former Teaching Being Repeated (vv. 22-24)

22. λέγει αὐτῷ Ἰούδας κτλ. This is the fourth interruption of the discourse by an apostle anxious to understand what was being said (cf. 13:37, 14:5, 8); this time the speaker is Judas the son of James (Luke 6:16, Acts 1:13, who is also called Thaddeus Mark 3:18, Matthew 10:3; see on 2:12 above). Syr. sin. reads “Thomas” here for “Judas,” and Syr. cur. has “Judas Thomas,” which apparently was the personal name (Judas the Twin) of the doubting apostle. The Syriac vss. have confused the undistinguished apostle, Judas the son of James, with the better known Judas Thomas.


οὐχ ὁ Ἰσκαριώτης. Judas Iscariot had left the company some time before (13:30), but Jn. is anxious that the name “Judas” shall not mislead. For “the Iscariot,” the man of Kerioth, see on 6:71.

καὶ τί γέγονεν κτλ., “What, then, has happened that, etc.” For the initial καί, which is retained by א, see on 9:36. It is omitted by ABDLΘ, but its omission is probably due to a mistaken correction of the text by scribes who did not understand the initial καί.

Jude catches at the word ἐμφανίζειν. This is what he has been waiting for. For this verb seemed to suggest (see Exodus 33:13, Exodus 33:18) a visible manifestation of Jesus in glory, which had been the hope of the Twelve. They clung to the thought of a Messianic theophany which should convince the world. There was a truth behind this Jewish expectation, as Jesus had said on former occasions (5:27, 28). But the promise to the faithful in these Last Discourses was not that of any speedy return of the Son of Man in the clouds, although it was misinterpreted thus by some. The ἐμφανισμός which Jesus promised was the illumination of the heart of the individual disciple: “I will manifest myself to him,” not to the world. Judas is perplexed by such a limitation, as it seems to him, of the Messianic hope. What, then, about your manifestation of your glory to the world? See on v. 8 for similar perplexity exhibited by his brother apostle Philip. Both of them desired the same kind of public vindication by Jesus of Himself as His incredulous “brethren” had demanded when they said φανέρωσον σεαυτὸν τῷ κόσμῳ (7:4).

Such vindication, however, was not given. Even after He had risen, Jesus was not seen by those who hated Him or were sceptical as to His claims. ὁ θεὸς … ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν ἐμφανῆ γενέσθαι (Acts 10:40), not to everybody, but only to the select few. And the only answer that Jesus gives to Jude is to repeat the assurance that He will, in truth, manifest Himself to every loving and obedient disciple: a promise which points forward to the illumination which the Spirit is to give.

No direct answer is given as to the manifestation in glory of Jesus to the world at large. This is in complete correspondence with the habit of Jesus when problems were put to Him by questioners as to the destiny or the duty of other people. He rebuked Peter for asking about John’s future career (21:22). “Are there few that be saved?” another asked Him (Luke 13:23). But His answer was to bid the man look to his own salvation: “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.” And so here, it is said (in effect) to Jude: “If you love and obey me, I will come and abide with you; that is enough for you to know.”


23.�

καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐλευσόμεθα. Here the singular ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς (v. 18) is replaced by the plural ἐλευσόμεθα, marking the claim of equality with the Father which is prominent throughout the Fourth Gospel. Cf. 10:30 ἕν ἐσμεν. In both passages the reference is to that Divine Advent in the disciple’s heart which is mediated by the Spirit. Cf. Revelation 3:20 εἰσελεύσομαι πρὸς αὐτόν.

καὶ μονὴν παρʼ αὐτῷ ποιησόμεθα. The Spirit παρʼ ὑμῖν μένει (v. 17), and the same must be true of the Father and the Son. “In the coming of the Spirit, the Son too was to come; in the coming of the Son, also the Father.”1 In v. 2 (where see note) the μοναί where man shall dwell with God in the future are promised; here we have the promise of a greater thing, the dwelling of God with man in the present. The main thought associated with the sanctuary in the Pentateuch was that there Yahweh dwelt with His people (Exodus 25:8, Exodus 29:45, Leviticus 26:11, Leviticus 26:12; cf. 2 Corinthians 6:16); but the indwelling promised here is associated with no special sanctuary or holy place. It is a Presence, real although invisible, in the disciple’s heart (Matthew 28:20): the peculiar benediction of the kingdom which does not come “by observation” (Luke 17:20). So Jn. writes later of the disciple who “keeps His commandments,” that Christ “abides in him,” adding “this we know by the Spirit which He gave us” (1 John 3:24; cf. 1 John 4:13).


ποιησόμεθα. So אBLW fam. 13; but AΘ have ποιήσομεν μονὴν ποιούμενος occurs in Thucydides (i. 131), the phrase being good classical Greek.

24. The implied argument of this verse is that the “world,” which does not love Jesus and does not “keep His commandments,” is spiritually incapable of apprehending such spiritual manifestations of God and Christ as those which have been promised to faithful disciples. Nothing is said of a manifestation in glory, such as that which Jude and his fellow-disciples longed to see (cf. v. 22).

ὁ μὴ�

26. This is the fifth (and last) time that the Paraclete is mentioned (see on 15:26 for the meaning of the word). Here ὁ παράκλητος is for the first time identified with τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, an august title familiar to every Jew (cf. Psalms 51:11, Isaiah 63:10). The complete title does not occur again in Jn. (but cf. 20:22). We have it, however, in Mark 3:29, Mark 13:11, Matthew 12:32; cf. Luke 12:10, Luke 12:12.


ὃ πέμψει. For ὅ, אcL have ὅν. The Old Syriac treats the Spirit as feminine, but the Peshitta does not follow this Semitic doctrine.

ὃ πέμψει ὁ πατήρ. This is the Lucan doctrine, that the Father sends the Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 2:33), and we have had it already at v. 16; but at 15:26, 16:7 the Spirit is sent by the Son (see also 20:22). This is only an additional illustration of the Johannine doctrine that what the Father does, the Son does (see note on v. 13 above).


ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου. “In my stead” does not convey the meaning adequately. At 5:43 Jesus said that He had come “in the Name” of the Father, and at 10:25 that He wrought His works in the same Name; the meaning in both cases (see notes in loc.) being not only that He came as the Father’s representative, but as One to whom “the Name,” i.e. the providential power of the Father, had been given, and who was to reveal the Father’s character and purpose. So here it is said that the Spirit will be sent “in the Name” of Christ, to explain His mission and to reveal its consequences. As the Son was sent in the Name of the Father (5:43), so the Holy Spirit will be sent in future “in the Name” of the Son. This does not imply that the Holy Spirit was not operative before the Incarnation, but rather that after the Passion and Resurrection (see on 16:23; and cf. 7:39) He will come with the more effective quickening power of the new revelation of God in Christ.

ἐκεῖνος. It is He, the Spirit, whose twofold work is now described in relation primarily to the listening apostles, but probably what is said may apply in some measure to all Christian disciples of succeeding generations.

ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα. This has already been said at 16:13 ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν�Psalms 25:5: ὁδήγησόν με ἐπὶ τὴν�Psalms 25:9:


ὁδηγήσει πρᾳεῖς ἐν κρίσει,

διδάξει πρᾳεῖς ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ.

See, for other apparent reminiscences of the Psalter, on 16:13.

πάντα in this verse corresponds to εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν�1 John 2:27 τὸ αὐτοῦ χρίσμα διδάσκει ὑμᾶς περὶ πάντων. The reference is only (see again on 16:13) to religious doctrines (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:10 πνεῦμα πάντα ἐρευνᾷ, καὶ τὰ βάθη τοῦ θεοῦ), but of these Divine truths the Spirit is to teach new things as time goes on.

καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν. BL add ἐγώ after ὑμῖν, and this would bring out the emphasis well; but it is omitted by most authorities. “And He will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you,” the aor. εἶπον indicating that the personal oral teaching of Jesus was ended. This is the second side of the work of the Spirit, who not only was to reveal what was new, but was to recall to the memory of the apostles the old truths that Jesus had taught. Cf. 2:22, 12:16, Acts 11:16, for illustrations of the fact that after His Resurrection the apostles entered more fully into the meaning of His words than they had done at the time they were spoken. Here, however, the promise is that their memory of them shall be stimulated. Bengel says pregnantly, “Exemplum praebet haec ipsa homilia.”

ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα. ὑπομιμνήσκειν does not occur again in Jn.; but cf. Luke 22:61, where Peter “remembered” the words of Jesus. There is a literary parallel (but no more) in Jubilees xxxii. 25, where God says to Jacob after his vision, “I will bring all things to thy remembrance.”

27. εἰρήνη, i.e. שלום “peace,” the ordinary salutation and the ordinary word of farewell in the East. The words παρʼ ὑμῖν μένων in v. 25 are suggestive of His departure, and He is not forgetful of the parting word of peace. Except in salutations (20:19, 21, 26, 2 John 1:3, 3 John 1:14), εἰρήνη is used by Jn. only here and at 16:33; and in both cases it refers to the spiritual peace which Christ gives. Just as in the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:26) the meaning of the familiar שלום is transfigured, “The Lord … give thee peace,” so here εἰρήνην τὴν ἐμὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν conveys more than the customary “Go in peace.” The peace which Jesus bequeaths �

It is noteworthy that in the Apocalypse εἰρήνη is used only of earthly peace (6:4; cf. 1:4), while in Jn. it is used only of spiritual peace. Paul has it in both senses, but more frequently in the latter (cf. Colossians 3:15, 2 Thessalonians 3:16).

μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία. This is repeated from v. 1 (see note on 3:17), and now is added μηδὲ δειλιάτω. This is the only occurrence of the verb δειλιᾶν in the N.T.; although we find δειλός (Mark 4:40, Matthew 8:26, Revelation 21:8) and δειλία (2 Timothy 1:7). μηδὲ δειλία is the parting counsel of Moses (Deuteronomy 31:8): so also μηδὲ δειλάσῃς is the counsel of Joshua to his warriors (Joshua 10:25), as it was the word of Yahweh to him (Joshua 1:9, Joshua 8:1). μηδὲ δειλιάτω, “let not your heart be dismayed,” is, in like manner, the parting word of Christ. There is no place for cowards in the ranks of His army; and the seer of the Apocalypse ranks them with “the unbelieving … and murderers … and liars,” who, in his vision, have their portion in hell (Revelation 21:8).


28. Jesus has told them that they must not be cowards; now He tells them that they must not be selfish. His departure means for Him the resumption of the Divine glory.

ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν (sc. at vv. 2-4) Ὑπάγω (see for this verb on 7:33) καὶ ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς (vv. 3, 18). His departure is the condition of His return through the Spirit. This has all been said before. He now makes a new appeal to them, based on their love for Him.

εἰ ἠγαπᾶτέ με (see on 3:16 for�

ὅτι ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μού ἐστιν. To this sentence theologians devoted close attention in the fourth century, but it would be out of place in a commentary on the Fourth Gospel to review the Arian controversy. It suffices to note that the filial relationship, upon which so much stress is laid in Jn., implies of itself that the Son is from the Father, not the Father from the Son. There is no question here of theological subtleties about what a later age called the “subordination” of the Son, or of any distinction between His οὐσία and that of the Father. But, for Jn., the Father sent the Son (see on 3:17), and gave Him all things (see on 3:35). Cf. Mark 13:32, Philippians 2:6, 1 Corinthians 15:27, for other phrases which suggest that ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μού ἐστιν is a necessary condition of the Incarnation. It is the same Person that says “I and my Father are one thing” (10:30), who speaks of Himself as “a man who hath told you the truth which I have heard from God” (8:40).1 See on 5:18, 32.


The rec. text has μου after πατήρ, with א*D2ΓΔΘ; but om. אcaABD*L.

29. καὶ νῦν, “And now,” sc. “to make an end” (cf. 17:5, 1 John 2:28, for καὶ νῦν used thus; and see on 11:22), “I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass ye may believe.” See note on 13:19.


πιστεύειν may be used here absolutely (see 1:7); or the meaning may be governed by 13:19, where the words are ἵνα πιστεύσητε … ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι, “that I (am) He.”

In vv. 26 ff., Jesus had told the disciples of His approaching departure, which as yet they had hardly brought themselves to believe, and of the coming of the Holy Spirit which would ensue. The experience of this heavenly illumination would convince them of His superhuman foreknowledge. Cf. 2:22.

30. οὐκέτι πολλὰ λαλήσω μεθʼ ὑμῶν. If cc. 15 and 16 follow c. 14, this is difficult to understand, for then sixty verses of exhortation must be supposed to have been added before the discourse came to an end. But, in our arrangement of the text, the discourse has come to its conclusion. See Introd., p. xx.

ἔρχεται γὰρ ὁ τοῦ κόσμου ἄρχων. The rec. inserts τούτου after κόσμου, as at 12:31, 16:11, but אABDLX omit. For the phrase “the prince of this world,” see on 12:31. It means Satan, not merely Satan in the form of Judas (cf. 13:27), but Satan himself, to meet whose last assault (cf. Luke 4:13, Luke 22:53) Jesus now prepared.

καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν “and has nothing in me,” i.e. has no point in my personality on which he can fasten. Twice in the last hours, Jesus said that He Himself was not “of this world” (cf. 17:11, 18:36); and thus “the prince of this world” had no power over Him. This was to claim in serene confidence that He was sinless (cf. Hebrews 4:15). But, although thus superior to the forces of evil, He must go to meet them in the agony of conflict, for this was the predestined purpose of God.

31.�1 John 2:19. Otherwise we are obliged to take the whole clause as subordinate to “Arise, let us go hence,” which is very harsh. Whichever constr. is adopted, the meaning is the same. Jesus assures His apostles once more that what He does at this critical hour is done voluntarily and in obedience to the Divine purpose. Having made this declaration, He offers His Prayer (c. 17) before He leaves the house to face arrest and death.

ἵνα γνῷ ὁ κόσμος … cf. 17:23 for this ideal of the future; and cf. 1 Corinthians 1:21 for the reality of the present.


ὅτι�

ἐνετείλατο. So אADΓΔΘ; but BL have ἐντολὴν δέδωκεν, from the parallel saying at 12:49, where see the exegetical note. For the obedience of Christ to the commandment of the Father, see 4:34, 8:55, and cf. Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 5:8. This obedience was perfect throughout His life on earth, but here the allusion is rather to the last act of self-surrender in going to meet the Passion. Here is the last word of Jesus to the Eleven: “As the Father commanded me, so I do.”

ἐγείρεσθε, ἄγωμεν. According to Mark 14:42, Matthew 26:46, these were the words with which Jesus summoned the sleeping disciples at Gethsemane, just before His arrest. Jn. adds ἐντεῦθεν, and puts the words in a slightly different context; i.e. they mark the conclusion of the Discourse in the Upper Room, which was followed by a short pause for prayer, the solemn prayer of c. 17 being said standing, before Jesus and His disciples left the house for Gethsemane and the arrest (18:1).


For those who accept the traditional order of chapters, the sharp finality of ἐγείρεσθε, ἄγωμεν ἐντεῦθεν is not easy of explanation. The allegory of the Vine (c. 15) comes in strangely after such words,1 which must mark a break in, or the termination of, the Last Discourse of Jesus. Several exegetes suppose that, after He had said “Arise, let us go hence,” Jesus and His eleven disciples left the house, the rest of the discourse being spoken as they were walking to Gethsemane. It is difficult to suppose that teaching so profound and so novel was given under such conditions, or that Jn. intends thus to represent the course of events. Westcott suggested that before the little party crossed the Kidron they halted for a time in the Temple precincts, where quiet opportunity could be found for the delivery of cc. 15, 16 and for the great prayer of c. 17. But there is no evidence for such an hypothesis. The simplicity of the exegesis which emerges from placing the text in the order that is here adopted is a strong argument in its favour.

ἄγωμεν, it may be noted, is used thrice in c. 11 of a going forth to meet death (see on 11:7).









D Bezæ (δ 5). Cambridge. v-vi. Græco-Latin. Cc. 18:14-20:13 are missing in the Greek text, and the gap has been filled by a ninth-century scribe (Dsupp).

1 Cf. Lightfoot, Supernatural Religion, p. 194, and Biblical Essays, p. 68.

Diat. E. A. Abbott’s Diatessarica, including his Johannine Vocabulary and Johannine Grammar, Parts I.-X. (1900-1915).

C Ephræmi (δ 3). Paris. v. Palimpsest. Contains considerable fragments of Jn.

N Purpureus Petropolitanus (ε 19). Dispersed through the libraries of Leningrad, Patmos, Rome, Vienna, and British Museum. vi. Some pages are missing. Edited by H. S. Cronin in Cambridge Texts and Studies (1899).

Γ̠(ε 70) Oxford and Leningrad. ix-x. Contains Song of Solomon 1:1-13 8:3-15:24 19:6 to end.


Δ̠Sangallensis (ε 76). St. Gall. ix-x. Græco-Latin.

Θ̠Koridethi (ε 050). Tiflis. vii-ix. Discovered at Koridethi, in Russian territory, and edited by Beermann & Gregory (Leipzig, 1913). The text is akin to that of fam. 13, fam. 1, and the cursives 28, 565, 700 See Lake and Blake in Harvard Theol. Review (July 1923) and Streeter, The Four Gospels. Cf. also J.T.S. Oct. 1915, April and July 1925.

אԠSinaiticus (δ 2). Leningrad. iv.

A Alexandrinus (δ 4). British Museum. v. Cc. 6:50-8:52 are missing.

B Vaticanus (δ 1). Rome. Cent. iv.

L Regius (ε 56). Paris. viii. Cc. 15:2-20 21:15-25 are missing.

W Freer (ε 014). Washington. iv-vi. Discovered in Egypt in 1906. The Gospels are in the order Mt., Jn., Lk., Mk. Collation in The Washington MS. of the Four Gospels, by H. A. Sanders (1912).

1 Cf. Origen`s Comm. in Joh. (ed. Brooke, ii. 308).

2 Cf. also Lowther Clarke, Theology, July 1924, p. 41; and Abbott, Diat. 2186.

1 See Introd., p. clviii f.

Moulton-Milligan Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, illustrated from the papyri, by J. H. Moulton and G.Milligan (1914-). This is being completed by Dr. Milligan; it is indispensable.

1 See on 3:16.

2 Blass omits με.

1 Gore, Bampton Lectures, p. 132.

1 For the patristic comments on this text, see Westcott in loc.; and cf. Gore, Dissertations, p. 164 f.

1 Cf. Introd., p. xxi.

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Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on John 14". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/john-14.html. 1896-1924.