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HEAVEN (THE HEAVENLY HOME) THROWN OPEN AND REVEALED BY THE REVELATION OF THE HEAVENLY CHRIST IN THIS PRESENT WORLD. GLORIFICATION OF THE WORLD BEYOND, RESULTANT UPON HIS GOING AWAY AND HIS UNION WITH THE DISCIPLES IN THE SPIRIT. UNDERNEATH THE STARRY HEAVENS. CHRIST THE WAY TO THE FATHER’S HOUSE. (THE MANIFESTATION OF THE FATHER (AND OF HEAVEN) IN THE VISIBLE WORLD. THE COMMUNION OF THE SPIRIT AS THE ENTRANCE TO THE FATHER’S HOUSE, OR AS THE TABERNACLE AND FORETOKEN OF THE HEAVENLY HOME. THOMAS, PHILIP, JUDAS LEBBÆUS, OR: 1. THE PERSONAL CHRIST, AS OPPOSED TO THE MENACING ACTUALITY OF THINGS, AND TO DOUBT; 2. THE SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATION OF GOD, IN OPPOSITION TO A VISIBLE APPEARANCE AND TO SENSUOUS PREJUDICE; 3. THE CHURCH OF THE LORD IN OPPOSITION TO THE WORLD AND TO WORLDLY MESSIANIC IDEALS)
(John 14:1-14, Gospel for St. Philip and St. James’ Day; John 14:23-31 for Whit-Sunday.)
1Let not your heart be troubled: ye [omit ye] believe in God, believe also in me 2[Have faith in God, and have faith in me].1 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. [For, ὅτι] I go to prepare a place for you. [Lange: If it were not so, would I then have said to you, I go to prepare 3a place for you?]2 And if [Lange: Even though] I go and prepare3 a place for you, I will [omit will] come [ἔρχομαι] again, and [will] receive [παραλήμψομαι] you unto myself; that where I am, there [omit there] ye may be also. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know [And ye know the way whither I go, χαὶ ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω οἵδατε τὴν ὁδόν].4
5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how Song of Song of Solomon 6:0[should] we know the way?5 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, [and] the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by [through] me. 7If ye had known me, ye should [would] have known6 my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father [visibly], and it sufficeth us [we shall be satisfied] 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me [dost thou not know me], Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then [omit then], Shew us the Father? 10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father [is] in me? the words that I speak7 unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works [the Father, abiding in me, doeth his works].8 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else [but if not] believe me9 for the very works’ sake. 12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and [even] greater works [omit works] than these shall he do; because [for] I go unto my [the]10 Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask11 in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Song of Solomon 1:0; Song of Solomon 1:04If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.12 15, If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will [shall] pray the Father, and he shall [will] give you another Comforter [Paraclete13], that he may abide 17[be]14 with you for ever; Even [omit Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because [for] it seeth [beholdeth] him not, neither knoweth him: but15 ye know him; for [because] he dwelleth [abideth] with you, and shall be 18[will be]16 in you. I will [shall] not leave you comfortless [orphans]: I will 19[shall] come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth [beholdeth] me no more; but ye see [behold] me: because [for] I live, [and] ye shall live also.—20At that day ye shall [will] know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath [possesseth] my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and [but] he that loveth me shall [will] be loved of my Father, and I will [shall] love him, and will [shall] manifest myself to him.
22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how17 is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man [any one] love me, he will keep my words [word]: and my Father will love him, and we will [shall] come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings [words]: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which [who] sent me.
25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present [while yet abiding, or, tarrying] with you. 26But the Comforter, which is [But the Paraclete, even] the Holy Ghost, whom the [my]18 Father will send in my name, he shall [will] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever [which] I have said unto you. 27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28Ye have heard how [that] I said unto you, I go away, and come again [omit again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice [ye would have rejoiced, ἐχάρητε] because [that] I said [omit I said19], I go unto the Father: for my [the]20 Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might [may] believe. 30Hereafter I will [shall] not talk much [add more] with you; for the prince of this [the]21 world cometh, and hath nothing in me [and of me there belongeth to him nothing at all]. 31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment [commanded me], even so [thus] I do. Arise, let us go hence.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
[These discourses were spoken after the Lord’s Supper, which took place, according to Lange and Tholuck, at John 13:34. A pause intervened between the close of the last and the beginning of this chapter. When Peter was “humbled and silent” (Lücke), and the other disciples sadly moved by what they had just heard of the treason of Judas, the denial of Peter and the departure of their beloved Lord and Master, He addressed to them these opening words of cheer which, coming from His lips with all the thrilling solemnities of the night preceding the crucifixion, have an immeasurable power of comfort and consolation in seasons of deepest distress and on the very borders of despair. The parting discourses have already been characterized at the beginning of John 13:0 and on John 13:31; but the beautiful remarks of Olshausen may here be added: “We come, finally,” he says, “to that portion of the evangelical history, which we may with propriety call its Holy of Holies. Our Evangelist, like a consecrated priest, alone opens to us the view into this sanctuary. This is composed of the last moments spent by the Lord in the midst of His disciples before His passion, when words full of heavenly thought flowed from His sacred lips. All that His heart which glowed with love had yet to say to His friends, was compressed into this short season. At first the interview with the disciples took the form of conversation; sitting at table they talked together familiarly. But when (John 14:31) the repast was finished, the language of Christ assumed a loftier strain; the disciples assembled around their Master, listened to the words of life and seldom spoke a word (only John 16:17; John 16:29). At length in the Redeemer’s sublime intercessory prayer, His full soul was poured forth in express petitions to His heavenly Father on behalf of those who were his own. Meanwhile, His discourse retained the form of free communication, in which no marks of designed arrangement are to be discovered, as would be the case with a formal oration.—It is a peculiarity of these last chapters, that they treat almost exclusively of the most profound relations—as that of the Son to the Father, and of both to the Spirit, that of the Christ to the Church, of the Church to the world, and so forth. Moreover, a considerable portion of these sublime communications surpassed the point of view to which the disciples had at that time attained; hence the Redeemer frequently repeats the same sentiments in order to impress them more deeply upon their minds, and, on account of what they still did not understand, He points them to the Holy Spirit, who would remind them of all His sayings, and lead them into the whole truth (John 14:26).”—P. S.]
John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled [affrighted, μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία].—The spirit, the soul, may be troubled (see chap.John 11:33; John 13:21); not so the heart, as the organ and symbol of trust. This encouragement has reference not simply to what He has told them about the approaching denial of Him (Chrysost., etc.), but, in the first place, to the announcement of His departure and to the decree uttered by Him (De Wette and others), to the effect that they could not follow Him. Taking this decree in its concrete sense, however, there comes into consideration as well the saying concerning the denial of Peter,—a saying which revealed a perspective full of danger to all the disciples. The prospect of the denial of faith’s goal in the high and invisible world which lay beyond them, was a prospect calculated to startle them, even when apprehended in the most general sense.
Trust in God, and (then) ye (will) trust in me [or rather: Have faith in God, and have faith in Me, πιστεύε̅ε (Imperative) εἰς τὸν θεὸν, καὶ εἰς ἐμὲ πιστεύετε (Imperative). See the Textual Notes.—P. S.]—Πιστεύειν does not here mean belief in the general sense of that term (in which sense they had belief), but in its special sense—trust: trust directed to God, and trust directed to Christ. Hence we translate: trust in; namely, in God who is on high; in Me when I ascend on high. This sets aside:
1. The interpretation: ‘ye believe in God, believe also in Me.’ With the first verb in the Indicative, the second in the Imperative (Vulg., Erasm. and others [E. V.]).
2. ‘If ye believe in God (as if it were εἰ πιστ.), ye believe also in Me’ (Luther).22 With the verb each time in the Indicative.
3. According to Cyril, Lücke, De Wette and others [Meyer, Alford, Godet], both expressions are in the Imperative: ‘Rely on God and rely also on Me.’ We do not think, however, that Christ can thus make two separate trusts. We might, perhaps, more reasonably expect: ‘Rely on Me; in so doing ye rely also on God,’—in analogy with the saying John 14:6. But here Christ’s ascension to heaven must be presupposed, as resulting from the fact that the Father in heaven is the goal towards whom that ascension tends. Therefore: Trust in God; in so doing ye do also trust in Me (εἰς, expressive of the direction of this trust to heaven and to the One who is about ascending into heaven).
Tholuok: “Even Erasmus observes that John 14:1 may be apprehended in four ways, according as πιστεύετε is assumed to be both times in the Indicative, the sense of an hypothesis being attached to the word at its first occurrence (Aug., Luth.), or taking the latter as Indicative and as a consequence of the former (Grot., Olsh. and others), or the former as Indicative and the second as Imperative (Vulg.), or, after the example of most of the church fathers, both as in the Imperative.” For the reasons cited above, we agree with Grotius in holding the first πιστεύετε to be in the Imperative mood,—attaching to it the sense of trust, however—and the second to be consecutive to the first.
[I prefer to read πιστεύετε both times imperatively, as in John 14:11, because this agrees best with the preceding imperative, μὴ ταρασσέθω, and with the fresh, direct, hortatory character of the address. The other interpretations introduce a reflective tone. Our Lord exhorts and encourages the disciples to dismiss all trouble from their hearts and to exercise full trust and confidence (πιστεύετ.e, emphatically first and last) in God, who has in reserve for them many mansions in heaven, and consequently also to trust in Christ, who is one with the Father and is going to prepare a place for them; faith in God and faith in Christ are inseparable (hence εἰς ἐμέ is placed before the second πιστεύετε), and the glorification of the Son is a glorification of the Father in the Son; comp. John 13:31-32, with which this passage is closely connected. In claiming the same trust and reliance on Himself as on the Father, Christ makes Himself equal with God, as in John 5:17; John 5:23. Hence there is here no addition of faith in Christ to faith in God (as Olshausen objects), nor a transfer of our trust from its proper object to another, but simply the concentration of our trust in the unseen God—who out of Christ is a mere abstraction—upon the incarnate Son, in whom this trust becomes real and effective.—P. S.]
John 14:2. In my Father’s house [ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ πατρός μου μοναὶ πολλαί εἰσιν. Mark the simple, childlike, cheering character of this address to dear children (τεκνία, John 13:33): the touching ideas of Father, house, home, peaceful and durable rest, room enough for all in heaven.—P. S.] The house of the Father is the real temple of God, as opposed to the typical temple or house of the Father (John 2:16), which they are now cast out of, having taken their leave of it as Jews. According to Meyer [p. 505], this house is “not heaven in general, but the particular dwelling-place of the divine δόξα in heaven, the place of His glorious throne (Psalms 2:4; Psalms 33:13 ff.; Isaiah 63:15, etc.), considered as the heavenly sanctuary (Isaiah 57:15), according to the analogy of the temple at Jerusalem as the οῖ̓κος τοῦ πατρός on earth (John 2:16).” But not in vain is it written: Our Father in the heavens (Matthew 6:9); Christ came down from heaven (John 3:13); ascended into heaven (Acts 1:11); is set on the throne of the Majesty in the heavens (Hebrews 8:1); the inheritance of Christians is reserved for them in the heavens (1 Peter 1:4). Therefore even if the throne of God be denominated the central point in the heavens or the highest point above the heavens, still the heavens themselves are not excluded from being His house, for there is a distinction between the seat or throne in a house and the house itself; and this irrespective of the fact that heaven is also simply called His throne, Isaiah 66:1. We assume, moreover, that we are not required to make a spiritualistic separation between God’s heaven and the starry universe, and that the aspect of the starry heavens is a figure to us of the heavenly mansions, even though it be true that all stars are not to be regarded as heavenly places. (See my book: The Land of Glory.23 Kurtz, Bible and Astronomy; also my Leben Jesu, II. p. 1349.) And so it is most probable that Jesus spoke these words to the disciples as they were leaving the Passover room, pointing, as He uttered them, up to the starry sky. [According to John 14:31, they seem to have been still in the room, but see Lange’s notes on the passage.—P. S.] Henceforth they, like Him, were strangers on earth, having no abiding place: at this moment He disclosed heaven to their view and gave them a promise of the many dwelling-places in the Father’s house. Hence the significant choice of the expression: μοναί, a place of rest, a lodging.
[The term μοναί, which in the N. T. occurs only here and John 14:23, is derived from μένω, to abide, and hence implies the idea of abode, rest, stability, home (comp. μένουσαν πόλιν, Hebrews 13:14; the σκηναὶ αἰώνιοι, Luke 16:9, and the οἰκοδομὴν ἐκ θεοῦ, the οἰκία , 2 Corinthians 5:1). The E. V. mansion, from mansio, manere, μένειν (introduced by Tyndale), here and in old English means dwelling-house, not, as in modern usage, manor-house, palace. Christ probably alludes to the temple, His Father’s house on earth (John 2:16; Revelation 3:12; comp. Luke 2:49) with its numerous chambers (1 Kings 6:5-6; 1 Kings 6:10), perhaps also to the vast oriental palaces with apartments for all the princes and courtiers. Heaven is not only a state, which commences already here on earth with the presence of Christ in the soul and the possession of everlasting life by faith in Him, but also a place, from which Christ descended and to which He ascended, and where He, with the Father and the Spirit, dwells among saints and angels, patriarchs and prophets (Luke 13:28), in the fulness of His majesty and glory. Philosophy and astronomy are unable to define the locality of this spiritual heaven, it is a matter of pure faith, yet most real, even more so than this changing earth; for earth is but the footstool of God and derives its value from the life and light of the supernatural world above, around and within us. The Jewish Rabbis distinguished two heavens (comp. Deuteronomy 10:14, the “heaven and the heaven of heavens”), or seven heavens (severally called velum, expansum, nubes, habitaculum, habitatio, sedes fixa, araboth; see Wetstein on 2 Corinthians 12:2). St. Paul speaks of the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2), which by some commentators is placed beyond the atmospheric and the starry heavens; but heaven may be much nearer than is generally supposed. According to the Apocalypse, the many heavenly mansions here spoken of are after all not the final but the intermediate resting-places of the saints till the general resurrection when the heavenly Jerusalem will descend upon the new, glorified earth, and God will dwell with His people for ever, Revelation 21:1 ff.; 2 Peter 3:13. Then heaven and earth will be one; earth being changed to heaven and heaven to earth, “one kingdom, joy and union without end.”—P. S.]
Many mansions. Tholuck: “In the multiplicity of the μοναί the fathers discovered a diversity of grades; thus Clemens Alex., etc., also Stier, Lange, etc. The context, however, does not indicate any difference of degrees, but simply the multiplicity of the dwellings.” But if this multiplicity were merely quantitative and not qualitative as well, the expression: there is room enough, would suffice. Of course the words convey this meaning too, in accordance with Luther’s saying: “If the devil with his tyrants hunt you out of the world, ye shall still have room enough.” [Wordsworth agrees with Lange as to different degrees of felicity in the same blessed eternity. But Meyer, Godet and Alford confine πολλαί to the number: mansions enough for each and all, ἰκαναὶ δέξασθαι καὶ ὑμᾶς (Euthym. Zig.) The idea of degrees of dignity and blessedness in heaven corresponding to the degrees of perfection, though perhaps not implied in the word many here, is certainly scriptural, comp. 1 Corinthians 15:41, and has always been admitted in the Church. No envy or jealousy will arise from disparity of glory, for, as Augustine says, the unity of love will reign in all.—P. S.]24
If it were not so, would I have told you: I go to prepare a place for you? [This is Lange’s construction, which differs from the English V. Comp. Textual Notes and see below.—P. S.] Various constructions:
1. The fathers, Erasm., Luther and others [Maldonatus, Bengel, Ebrard], Hofmann: “If it were not so, I would say to you: I go to prepare a place for you.” [These interpreters refer εῖ̓πον ἂν ὑμῖν to the following ὅτι πορεύομαι. Lange does the same, but makes the sentence a question.—P. S.] Meyer thinks that John 14:3 is decisive against this supposition; according to that verse Jesus actually goes and prepares a place. But it would not be the only passage in which John presents a relative antithesis in the form of an absolute one. (See John 1:11-12.) A more powerful consideration against the view is, that the work of Christ joins on to the work of the Father, re-organizing the creation but not extending it (Leben Jesu, II. p. 1350).
2. Laurent. Valla, Beza, Calvin, Lücke, Tholuck and many others have placed a period after εὶπον ἂν ὑμῖν. “If it were not so, I would have told you.”25 The expression of Christ’s veracity might recommend this reading, if the idea of the heavenly dwellings had been already diffused among the disciples. But this was not the case: hitherto they had had but the idea of Sheol, with its two grand divisions: Paradise and the place of punishment [Gehenna]. Hence it would have been superfluous for Christ to deny the truth of an idea which as yet they had not entertained.
3. We, therefore, adopt the interrogative apprehension of the words: “would I then, etc.?” (Mosheim, Ernesti, Beck); yet not in the sense of the Present: would I tell you? against which Meyer cites the aorist εῖ̓πον, but: would I have told you? (Ewald). He has really told them this, though not literally, any more than He said to the Jews—John 10:14—: Ye are not My sheep (comp. John 14:26); for instance John 8:22; comp. John 13:33; John 10:4; John 10:11; John 14:28-29; John 12:26. So, then, He has told them before this, that He is going to another world where He has destined abiding-places for them near Himself. It is His intention now to develop this germ of revelation in the most glorious disclosures concerning heaven. The μονή is there already; by Christ, and above all by His making Himself the centre of it, it shall be converted into a fitting τόπος for them and all believers. For ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον does not mean: to create the place as a place, but: to arrange it as a habitable place. [Comp. 2 Peter 1:11 : “An entrance shall be richly ministered unto you into the eternal kingdom of our Lord;” 2 Corinthians 5:1, “a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Alford quotes here from the Te Deum: “When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.” Christ prepared a heavenly home for His disciples by His atoning death, resurrection and ascension; but considering that the heavenly mansions are merely intermistic abodes, the term may perhaps also refer to the building up of the heavenly Jerusalem, which is ultimately to descend upon the new earth. On πορεν́ομαι Augustine and Wordsworth remark: “Christ sets out on a journey, to prepare a place for us. Let Him depart; let Him ascend, and not be visible to the bodily eye; let Him be hidden from it, that thus He may be seen by the eye of faith; and being so seen, may be desired; and being desired, may be possessed for ever; the desire of our love is the preparation of our house in heaven.”—P. S.]
John 14:3. And though I go.—Here stress is laid upon the going away. To prepare for them the place in the inheritance of glory, He must, indeed, first leave them. But the going away is to be counterbalanced by His coming again to take them to Himself. [Meyer: καὶ ἐάν, not κ. ὅταν. Jesus does not intend to indicate the time of His return, but the consequence of His departure. The πορεύεσθαι k. ἑτοιμάσαι are the antecedent facts which, once accomplished, result in the πάλινʼ ἐρχομαι. The nearness or distance of this return is left undecided by ἐάν.—P. S.]
I come again [πάλιν ἔρχομαι].—Three different interpretations:
1. As referring to the παρουσία, of Christ on the last day (Origen, Calvin, Lampe, Meyer, Hofmann [also Luthardt, Brückner, Ewald]). On which Meyer: It is the idea of the imminent Parousia, an idea appearing also in John, though with less prominence. [Meyer refers to John 5:28 ff; John 21:22; 1 John 2:28.—P. S.] This view is contradicted (a) by the erroneousness of the supposition that the disciples (or Christ Himself) conceived of the Parousia as so imminent, in a chronological sense. (b) By the fact that in the true Parousia there is to take place, not a re-union between Christ and His people in heaven (where Christ is), but a re-union on earth (where the Church is; see Rev. chap. 14 and 20); while here the disclosures made concern the heaven beyond this life, not the earth with its future destiny of glorification, (c) By the circumstance that the Present ἔρχομαι denotes a right speedy return of Christ, thus being adapted to console these disciples at their separation from Christ and in the sufferings inflicted upon them through persecution.
2. Christ’s coming again to His people, through His Spirit, and their reception into the full and holy spiritual fellowship of the glorified Christ, in accordance with John 14:18 (Lücke, Neander [Godet], etc.). But that this spiritual re-union is not the precise thing intended by the passage, though con-supposed or pre-supposed, results from the fact that Christ is here speaking of coming to fetch them to a goal whose locality is determined.
3. The words are indicative of a coming of Jesus for the purpose of receiving the disciples into heaven by means of a blissful death (Grotius, Knapp, Baumg.-Crusius, Nitzsch [Reuss, Tholuck, Hengstenberg] and others). Against this view Meyer remarks: “It is in opposition to these words (comp. John 14:21-22) and to the manner in which other portions of the New Testament speak of the coming of Christ; death truly transports the apostles and martyrs to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Acts 7:59), but nowhere is it said of Christ that He comes and takes them to Himself. Except in the Paraclete of whom John treats, Christ comes only in His glory at the Parousia.” Against this we would remind our readers that the parable of Lazarus mentions a calling for and carrying away of pious souls (Luke 16:22). There, indeed, the coming of angels is still the temporary substitute for Christ’s coming Himself. But when dying Stephen prays: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:58), he takes it for granted that the Lord is coming to meet his parting spirit; for this cause he saw Jesus beforehand, already standing, i.e. having arisen from His throne, on the point of receiving or fetching him (Acts 7:55). Further, unless we are willing to affirm that the saying of Christ, John 21:22, has not been fulfilled, there is no way in which we can understand it except as referring to His coming to John in death, to take him away with Him. Dying believers also (not “Apostles and Martyrs” only) are in Jesus’ hand (John 10:28). But, without doubt, this coming of Jesus to believers in death is connected with His spiritual and yet personal coming to them in life, in Word and Sacrament, and in the Holy Ghost (John 17:23; Revelation 1:8; John 3:20) and, similarly, it points to the last coming of Christ (Stier, and my Leben Jesu, ΙΙ. p. 1351). Tholuck: “It only remains to explain ἐρχομαι agreeably to Biblical usage, according to which the word to come, to visit, פקד, is employed to express every revelation of the Lord, every manifestation of His power, whether for good or evil, comp. John 14:18; John 14:23; John 14:30; Matthew 10:23; Matthew 26:64, and in Revelation whose whole theme is the ἔρχεσθαι of the Lord.”
[Alford in loc., with Stier and Lange, takes a comprehensive ‘perspective’ view of the coming again of our Lord from the resurrection of Christ to the final judgment. “This ἔρχομαι is begun (John 14:18) in His resurrection—carried on (John 14:23) in the spiritual life (John 16:22 ff.), the making them ready for the place prepared;—further advanced when each by death is fetched away to be with Him (Philippians 1:23); fully completed at His coming in glory, when they shall for ever be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17) in the perfected resurrection state.”—P. S.]
John 14:4. And whither I go.—See the Text. note. According to the Recepta Christ says to them: “Ye know the goal whither I go, and so ye also know the way.” This reading seems to be confirmed by John 14:5, since Thomas too distinguishes between the goal and the way. But the connection rests upon the contrast of Christ’s spiritual view to the sensual view which Thomas takes of the matter. Christ means to say: because ye know the way to the place to which I am going, ye also know the goal. Thomas, on the other hand, says: because we know not the goal, neither do we know the way. For here the subject of discourse is not simply the Father’s house, or the Father generally, as the goal of Christ (John 14:2, to which Tholuck refers), but that place in the hereafter, the place of Christ’s glory. The way should be their guide to an inference concerning the goal. Interpretation of the way: 1. The Passion and death of Christ (Luther, Grotius and others, Luthardt. Tholuck “the way of denial,” John 13:36; John 12:24; John 12:26). 2. Christ Himself, in accordance with John 14:6 (De Wette, Meyer). Christ most undoubtedly; Christ, however, in His motion; consequently the view presented in No. 1 is equally to be held here, in accordance with John 14:3 (Tittmann, Knapp). The expression is not anacoluthical; it is a specimen of breviloquence. And whither I (ἐγώ, emphatic) go, thither ye know the way. Christ is the living way for Himself and His people to δόξα with the Father.
John 14:5. Thomas saith unto Him: Lord, we know not.—This was perfectly correct, supposing the goal to be inwardly and outwardly determined. Here the way or direction is known only by the goal. Grotius: Quodsi ignoretur, quæ sit meta, non potest via sub ratione viæ concipi. But this reflection is an accessory consideration merely; the main point is the oppressive sense of obscurity, of uncertainty with regard to the goal—uncertainty arising from their imperfect apprehension of their Lord and Master.
John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him: I am the way.—The answer of Jesus is not intended to divert the over-forward curiosity of Thomas, as Calvin supposes. (“In re magis necessaria insistit.”26) Thomas has declared that he does not know the way to that goal of Christ, because he is ignorant of the goal itself. Jesus answers, very pertinently: I am the way; only for Him the way means something different from the idea which it conveys to the mind of Thomas. The contrast is, however, not that which exists between an exterior way and a spiritual one; it is a contrast between a local, dead, external way and a dynamical, living way, with which latter, incontrovertibly, the attribute of spirituality is bound up. Since the way is the main idea, it follows: 1. that the words: the truth and the life [καὶ ἡ ], are explicative (the truth as well as the life), primarily of this way, i.e. for this reason: because He is absolutely truth and life; 2. that, on the other hand, the words: No one cometh unto the Father but by Me, are an applicative circumscription. The significative summing up of Augustine: vera via vitæ [the true way of life], is inadmissible, for it fuses into one the three definitions. Neither may they be apprehended as three co-ordinate definitions as (1) in respect of time; Luther: the beginning, the middle and the end on the ladder to heaven; (2) in respect of effects, Grotius: exemplum, doctor, dator vitæ æternæ. On the contrary, the way is the whole idea, metaphorically presented (De Wette, my Leben Jesu, p. 1353, Tholuck). We must further guard against conceiving of the way as the bare, objective means of salvation (Meyer, Tholuck); it is the objective and effectual means of coming to δόξα with the Father through salvation (redemption and glorification comprehended together in the predominant idea of glorification). But He is the way in an absolute sense because, in His own coming from the Father and going to the Father, He is absolute motion (the pioneer) and in His going first and bringing to the Father, He is the absolute motor. (A warranted double reference in Augustine, Lampe and others, misconstrued by Tholuck as an irrelevancy; Hebrews 9:12.)
But now, to enter into particulars, Christ is the truth of this way, the clear manifestation of it, because He is, in general, the truth or manifestation of God; and He is the life of this way, the animating motive power by which we come to the Father, because He is, in general, life. This life is, indeed, ζωὴ αἰώνιος; it is, however, in part conceived of more generally, in part differently applied. The difficult conception of life presents for observation these items: the powers of development, appearance and action. If we turn truth into the metaphorical expression: light, then light and life appear side by side as exponents of the way,—that being identical with love, and, similarly, our transport past hate and its exponents, darkness and death.
No man cometh unto the Father.—“ ‘And so, when a man is saved, the Lord Christ must have a hand in the work,’ says Luther, rightly citing these words against Zwingli, who makes a Theseus, a Socrates, to be saved even without Christ.” Thus Tholuck; inexactly, however; proof should have been adduced that Zwingli expressly taught the possibility of being saved in the other world without Christ, and that Luther, on the other hand, advanced the doctrine of salvation in the other world through Christ. De Wette observes: “the exclusive principle, to the effect, namely, that no man cometh unto the Father but by Christ, is mitigated in reference to those who are ignorant of Him as the historical Messiah, by the fact that He is also the eternal, ideal Logos.” More definitely stated: that He is also the eternal Christ and High-priest. (See 1 Peter 3:19; 1 Peter 4:6.)
John 14:7. If ye had known Me.—In accordance with the antithesis: known the Father, the emphasis falls thus: known Me, not upon ἐγνώκ. It is not His intention utterly to deny their knowledge of His personality; what grieves Him, is that they have as yet not recognized in Him the absolute way to the absolute goal, i.e. the living, heavenly image of the heavenly Father,—an image coming from heaven and going to heaven. In a knowledge of the eternal, divine-human personality of Christ they would also have obtained a view of the personal Father and His love-kingdom in heaven—a kingdom elevated above all transitory things.—And from henceforth.—The sharp contrast: ye have not known the Father, and from henceforth ye know Him, is somewhat striking; hence it has been the subject of various interpretations: 1. The terminus a quo is imminent in the future; it is the time of the communication of the Spirit (Chrysost., Lücke and others; the explanation of Kuinoel and others, who apprehend the verbs as though they were in the Future tense, is but another phase of the above). 2. The statement is hypothetical: from henceforth, I hope (De Wette). 3. The from henceforth is indicative of the beginning of appropriation, comp. John 15:3 (Tholuck). 4. From henceforth, “after My having told you, John 14:6, what I am” (Meyer).—The from henceforth denotes that method just now to be disclosed by Him, and which He desired sharply to define, by which they were to arrive at a knowledge of the Father and the Father’s House—the method of faith, namely. Doubtless, however, the ἄρτι at the same time embraces the confirmation of this method by the whole grand period of Christ’s death and resurrection, whereby, according to Romans 1:4, He was demonstrated to be the Son of God and thus at once made the Surety and the Heir of the Father in heaven. The καί is expressive of both contrast and connection.—Ye have seen Him.—Said of the intuitive glance of faith.
John 14:8. Philip saith unto Him: Lord, show us, etc.—As the seeming contradictions of reality darken the glimpse which Thomas’ faith might have of things spiritual, so Philip, in like manner, looks for the confirmation of faith by sight; comp. John 1:46; John 6:5. According to De Wette, Tholuck, Meyer: he demands that Jesus effect a theophany, in accordance with Malachi 3:1; as Exodus 33:18. The main point is this: accepting Christ’s words: ye have seen Him, in their literal sense, he requires that Jesus should occasion an appearing of the Father outside of Christ; a sign in the heaven, perhaps, rather than a theophany. Luther: “he flutters up into the clouds.” He declares his faith by assuming Jesus to be capable of producing such a vision; his failing to perceive the manifestation of the Father in Christ, however, proves that faith to be but small.—And it sufficeth us.—I. e. in accordance with the context: it suffices to render us certain of the goal above us or beyond us, and to make us journey towards it with a brave heart; or, to cause us to abandon the expectations we have hitherto entertained and to embrace the new hope.
John 14:9. And thou hast not known Me.—For so long time I have appeared among you and hast thou not known the nature of My appearing? Not alone from the “words and works,” but from the whole personality of Christ he should have recognized His heavenly origin, which did, indeed, display itself in word and work.
John 14:10. I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.—See John 10:38. There the order is inverted, and with reason. The Father is in Christ in virtue of His Father-revelation in the works of Christ. Christ is in the Father in virtue of His Son-revelation in His words. The Jews were to ascend from a belief in His works and mission to a belief in His words and individual personality. But the disciples began with a belief in His word and they have not to ascend to a belief in His works, but to advance to a discrimination between the manifestation of the Father in Him through His works and His being in the Father with His word. Though Christ even speaks His word according to the Father’s commission (John 12:50), there is still this distinction: that the words are His most individual, personal life-revelation, while in the works the most special concurrence of the Father’s government is, consciously to Christ, manifested in the creation and the human world. We may not wipe out this contrast with De Wette: “The words that I speak to you, I speak not of Myself, and the works that I do, I do not of Myself, but the Father who is in Me teacheth Me the words and doeth the works.” Neither does there occur a climactic progression (as Theoph. and Lücke pretend): not only are the words God’s words, but the works also are God’s works. As little are the works here intended as a proof that Christ does not speak the words of Himself (Grot., Fritzsche, Meyer). Least of all are the works to be apprehended as effects of the word as “the office of teaching” (Aug., Nösselt); nor are we to assume with Tholuck the existence of an “incongruence of contrasts peculiar to the Johannean style.” Even the words Christ speaks not of Himself; as the Son He utters them from the depths of the Father; as it respects them, however, the initiative lies within Himself, while for the works the initiative is in the Father who permanently dwells in Him (μένων). Words and works are the property of both Father and Son; the words, however, are preëminently and primarily the Son’s, the works preëminently and primarily the Father’s.
John 14:11. Believe me for the very works’ sake [διὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτὰ πιστεύετέ μοι].—Jesus here turns to the disciples as a body. For as Thomas’ doubt was, more or less, the doubt of all, so the like was the case with the scruple of Philip. The explanation of the verse results from the foregoing. As disciples of Jesus, they ought first to believe that He was in the Father and then to know that the Father was in Him. If ye are not able to do this,—it is His intention to say to them in a few sharp words,—why then go to work the other way: begin with the works (in the way pointed out to the Jews, John 10:38) and, through a belief in the divinity of My works, arrive at a belief in the divinity of My person.
John 14:12. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do he shall do also, etc.—Now follows, undoubtedly, a new series of consolations. Not only shall they be united to Him, but also He to them (Tholuck). The further progress of the discourse, however, must correspond with the principal thought, according to which His earthly appearance shall cease to veil from them the heavenly house of the Father. The disclosure of which we speak, consists in the revelation of that personal, heavenly life which issues from His person as its centre. Verily, verily, therefore it is written, he that believeth on Me, i.e. on the divine personality of Christ Himself, the works that I do, shall he do also, and greater works than these. I. e.: Through this faith there shall be developed in that man likewise such a mighty, personal spirit-life that works shall be the necessary outflowings of the life-spring of personality, which, originating in Christ, wells up within his breast;. the heavenly state shall be unfolded to him on earth and become his surety for the heavenly home, which last should be regarded as the perfect revelation and realization of the personal kingdom of love founded by Christ in this world.—He that believeth on Me.—Not simply applicable “to the disciples of Jesus” in the strictest sense (Meyer). Still the “believeth on Me,” is emphatic. Bengel: qui Christo de se loquenti credit, i.e. he that believes on Himself, His personality (see John 14:11).—The works that I do he shall also do himself.—Expressive of the essential relationship or homogeneousness existing between the works of believers and the works of Christ; of the eternal progress of Christ’s wonder-works through the world by means of Christianity.
And (even) greater than these shall he do [και μείζονα τούτων ποιήσει].—The καί is climactic: And even. Tholuck: “Ancient writers believe this greaterness [μειζονότης] of the ἔργα to consist: 1. In their numerical superiority; 2. in their local extension beyond Judea; 3. in the more striking signs, such as the healing by the shadow of Peter, Acts 5:0 (Theod., Herakl.).27 Origen: In the victories which believers obtain, through faith, over the world, the flesh and the devil. Augustine: In the results of the preached word in the heathen world. John 4:38 He had, with prophetic glance, declared that others would reap what He had sowed; John 15:26-27, and, indirectly, John 8:28; John 12:32 are likewise indicative of the greater efficacy of the Messiah through the medium of the apostolic testimony.” Be it observed in this connection that even here, John 14:14, it is Christ that will do these greater works; the disciples, through their prayers in His name, in fellowship with Him, are to be but the instruments through which He acts, John 15:16; John 16:28; comp. Acts 3:6; Acts 16:18. Luther: “For He took but a little corner for Himself, to preach and to work miracles in, and but a little time; whereas the apostles and their followers have spread themselves through the whole world.” Manifestly, Christ has in view the greatness of the development of His wondrous works throughout the Christian ages until the glorification of the world. [Alford: “This word μείζονα τούτων is not to be evaded (so as to=πλείονα, Lampe), but taken in its full strict sense. And the key to its meaning will be found John 1:51; John 5:20. The works which Jesus did, His Apostles also did,—scil., raising the dead, etc.;—greater works than those they did,—not in degree, but in kind: spiritual works, under the dispensation of the Spirit, which had not yet come in. But they did them, not as separate from Him: but in Him, and by Him; and so (John 5:21) He is said so to do them. The work which He did by Peter’s sermon, Acts 2:0, was one of these μείζονα τούτων,—the first-fruits of the unspeakable gift. This union of them with and in Him is expressed here by τὰ ἔργα ἃ ἐγὼ ποιῶ, κἀκεῖνος ποιήσει.” “He has sown, we reap; and the harvest is greater than the seed-time.” Stier. Godet (ii. 472) refers the μείζονα to the communication of spiritual life which is superior to the healing of the body. “Le terme plus grand ne désigne pas des miracles plus prodigieux, mais des miracles d’une nature plus excellente.”—P. S.]
For I am going to the Father, and whatever ye shall ask, etc. [ὄτιἐγὼπρὸςτὸνπατέρα (μου) πορεύομα ι, καὶ ὅ, τι ἄν αἰτήσητε].—Rationale of the preceding and, in the abstract, astonishing clause. Various interpretations: 1. The πορεύομαι forms the foundation for the idea that they are to do the miracles in His stead, because of His retirement from the scene (Chrysostom, Theophylact and many others [A. V.]); 2. because He goes to the Father, i.e. to glory with the Father and will thence work in them in His might (Luther, Baumg.-Crusius, Luthardt and others). In the first case a period follows πορεύομαι; in the second a comma. 3. The two considerations are not to be sundered. His going to the Father (ἐγώ is emphasized), as well as His being with the Father, is the reason for their doing greater miracles (Grotius, Lücke and others). When this view of the matter is taken, πορεύομαι is connected with the following sentence by a colon (Knapp, Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf). Both items are more directly emphasized in John 16:7, in accordance with which our passage is to be explained.
John 14:13. Shall ask in My name.—Exposition of the import of His going to the Father, in reference to their destiny to work miracles. Invocation of God in the name of Jesus, in order to any τὶ in the way of works of redemption or glorification; that is, in order to the working of miracles. Their power of prayer is to have no other limit than His name. A name is objectively the revelation of any subject,—subjectively, experience of it; the signature of its consciousness stamped upon the consciousness of others. The name of the heavenward ascending Jesus is the Elijah-mantle left by Him to His people on the earth: the sign of the living revelation and knowledge of His essence, in which His essence, fully concentrated, works. His name, viewed by faith, is the continual working of His essence, or, rather, of His personality: the element of His personal self-revelation in the experience of His people; hence a. His word or cognizance, b. His Spirit or mind, c. His works, His institutions and instigations, d. His aim. In a word: the communion of His Spirit. There are various interpretations which form different parts of the one just given: I. Bearing upon the principle. Chrysostom: Amidst the invocation of the name of Christ (formal); Augustine; In the name of Him who is called Salvator (non contra salutem nostram);28 2. Bearing upon the medium. Melanchthon: Me agnito; Luther: With faith in Me; Calov: Per meritum meum. 3. Bearing upon the end. Erasmus: In gloriam Christi. Or upon the furtherance of the end; De Wette: In accordance with My mind, and in My cause.29 If we desire to sum up all in one, No. 2, setting forth the medium, seems best fitted for our purpose: in faith, knowing and confessing Christ; hence, briefly, ἐν χριστῷ, ἐν κυρίῳ (Lücke), only with a more objective and teleological modification. Manifestly, the prevailing thought is the end purposed; hence the predominance of the idea: as ambassadors of Christ, the Son of God, by virtue of His δόξα. See John 15:16; John 16:23. Tholuck: “When even finite good things are prayed for in accordance with the mind of Christ, they are desired only as means to the final end, Matthew 6:33. As, however, this may be attained by other means, the cardo desiderii is fulfilled even when specific requests are denied” (Augustine). Nevertheless, the ideal side of prayer, its perfect, prophetic nature, is here assumed, and, such being the case, the ὃ, τι is fulfilled in the τοῦτο.
That will I do [τοῦτο ποιήσω].—Stress falls upon τοῦτο; the ἐγώ, expressed in conjunction with πορεύομαι, is absent here. He will do precisely that for which they pray, and in such a manner, besides, that their doing in the matter shall be vindicated,—their believing, individual personality.
That the Father may be glorified.—The end is the δόξα; modified, the δόξα of the Father; still more explicitly defined, the δόξα of the Father in the Son. Hence results, also, the modification of prayer in the name of Jesus as prayer in the δόξα of the name of the Son of God, in the name of the glorified Christ.
John 14:14. If ye shall ask anything [τι] in My name, I will do it [ἐγώ—emphatic—ποιήσω].
John 14:14 appears, at first sight, to be a recapitulative repetition of the foregoing (Euthymius); Bengel, however, very justly gives prominence to the ἐγώ. Here the definite ὃ, τι , or the thing (this simply τι) is no longer emphasized; but stress is laid upon the asking in the name of Jesus,—the mind, the communion of spirit with Him, and, to correspond with this, upon His doing, as His doing. According to the preceding verse, He does it upon the request of the disciples; here He does it through their request, Himself, again. At the same time John 14:14 forms an introduction to John 14:15-16. See John 16:23. In the latter passage the doing is ascribed to the Father. But the Father operates through the Son. Here we see the instrumentality, there the final causality.
John 14:15. If ye love me, keep my commandments [ἐὰνἀγαπᾶτέμ ε, τὰςἐντολὰδτὰςἐμὰςτηρήσατε].—Jesus proceeds to explain more fully how the disciples are to attain to the doing of the greater works in His name. The first condition is, however, an assumption as well; to the effect, namely, that they love Him. Thence it will follow that they will keep His commandments, embraced, as these are, in the one commandment of fellowship. If they thus stand in the fellowship of prayer (see Acts 2:1, ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό), the Holy Ghost shall, at Christ’s intercession, be given them. Tholuck: “With John, love is no mere blissfulness of feeling; it is oneness of will with the beloved, John 14:21; Joh 15:14; 1 John 3:18. It is love which makes men susceptible of the communication of the Paraclete; the κόσμος cannot receive Him.” A loving contemplation of Christ’s personality is the bond of fellowship of disciples,—that which makes them a collective personality—and in this fellowship they may become the organ of the personal manifestation of the Holy Ghost.
John 14:16. And I will entreat the Father [καὶ ἐγω ἐρωτήσω τὸν πατέρα].—Christ here makes choice of the term ἐρωτᾶν, not αἰτεῖν, as before, in reference to the disciples. Expressive of a more intimate, free and homogeneous relation. In John 16:26, on the contrary, He says: οὐ λέγω, ὄτι ἐρωτήσω. Tholuck, setting aside Calov’s explanation: non solus, sed vobiscum rogabo, remarks: “He is there speaking of the time when they, in possession of the Spirit whose mediation is here promised, shall be able themselves to pray acceptably in that Spirit.”
And he shall give you another representative, or, helper [καὶ ἄλλον παρά κλητον δώσει ὑμῖν].—Here the great promise of the παράκλητος, to speak more accurately, the ἄλλος παράκλητος, makes its appearance; the promise of the Holy Ghost, spoken of under this name by John only, John 14:26; John 15:26; Joh 16:7.30 The word itself is never met with in the New Testament except in the writings of John, yet the designation: ἄλλος παράκλητος, announces that it may be applied to Christ also.
[The designation of the Holy Ghost, as another Paraclete, who would supply Christ’s own place in His absence, implies that the Lord Himself is the first Paraclete; and this is confirmed by 1 John 2:1, where “Jesus Christ the righteous ”is called παράκλητος πρὸς τὸν πατέρα. This allusion is lost to the readers of our English version. I quote here beforehand the excellent interpretation of Calvin in loc.: “The name Paraclete is here applied to Christ as well as to the Spirit, and properly: for it is the common office of each to console and encourage us and to preserve us by their defence. Christ was their patron as long as He lived in the world; He then committed them to the guidance and protection of the Spirit. If any one asks whether we are not to-day under the guardianship of Christ, the answer is easy: Christ is a perpetual Guardian, but not visibly. As long as He walked on earth, He appeared openly as their Guardian (patronus); now He preserves us by His Spirit. He calls the Spirit another (sc. paracletum) in view of the distinction which we observe in the blessings proceeding from each. It was the appropriate work of Christ, by expiating the sins of the world to appease the anger of God, to redeem men from death, to obtain righteousness and life. It is the office of the Spirit, to make us partakers of Christ Himself, as well as of all His blessings.” The designation Paraclete, advocate (as already Irenæus, Adv. hær. III. 17, and also Grotius observed), implies an antithesis to the accuser, the κατήγορος τῶν , as the Spirit of evil is called, Revelation 12:10. Comp. on this whole passage the excellent remarks of the late Archdeacon Hare on The Mission of the Comforter (a series of Sermons on John 16:7-11, preached before the University of Cambridge, 1840, with long notes which are by far the most important part of the book), 2d ed. 1850, Boston reprint 1854, pp. 348 ff.—P. S.]
1. As to the Philological meaning, Meyer says: “The παράκλητος is, according to classical. Greek usage, one who is summoned to help; in particular, an advocate (advocatus), one who manages another’s cause, or an intercessor. With this the talmudic פְּרַקְלִיט agrees. See Buxtorf, Lexicon. Talm., p. 1843, and in general Wetstein on our passage and Düsterdieck on 1 John 2:1.” [It should be added, however, that in our passage, as also in Philo De opific. mundi, p. 4, and in the Ep. of the church of Vienne, c. 5, ap. Euseb. v. 2 (both quoted by Knapp and Meyer, p. 515), παράκλητος must not be taken in the narrow sense of a legal advocate or pleader (for which the Greeks generally use the terms σύνσδκος and συνήγορος), but in the more general sense of counsellor, helper, patron. On the philological meaning Knapp has a valuable dissertation De Spiritu S. et Christo paracletis, in his Scripta varii arg. I. pp. 115 sqq. He shows that the Greek παράκλητος and the Latin advocatus, answer more nearly to our general term counsel whose office is to advise, direct and support rather than to plead. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, not only to plead for the disciples, but also to plead in them, to direct them in all their ways, to give them mouth and wisdom, to fulfil the part of a higher conscience, to sustain, comfort and cheer them in all their trials and to lead them to heaven. Hence the English word Advocate, which relates more exclusively to the pleading of a cause, is no full equivalent to παράκλητος, and does not cover the whole extent of the office of the Spirit. The idea of Comforter must be added to it. A Comforter is a spiritual Helper. Unfortunately we have no single word coëxtensive in signification. See below sub. 2.—P. S.]
1. Conformably to the idea of the advocatus in its wider sense: assistant, helper, etc., Tertullian, Augustine,31 Calvin,32 Lampe, most of the moderns. [I add under this head the names of Melancthon, Beza, Grotius, Wetstein, Bengel, Knapp, Lücke, Tholuck, De Wette (Beistand), Hengstenberg (Fürsprecher), Godet (défenseur), Hammond, Pierson, Webster and Wilkinson.—P. S.]
2. Comforter, consolator [in accordance with the Hellenistic use of παρακαλεῖν and παράκλησις], Origen, Chrysostom, Theophylact [Cyril, Euthymius Zigab.], Jerome33 [Erasmus], Luther34 [Maldonatus, Jansen] and others [A. E. V.]. Against this Meyer says (according to the note in Lücke, p. 608): “It rests upon an unphilological confusion of the word with παρακλήτωρ (Sept., Job 16:2) in Aquila and Theodotus.”35 Nevertheless, we may safely give he Greek exegetes, who are by preference on this side, credit for having said something philologically justifiable. That, however, in point of fact, the word 1 John 2:1 cannot mean comforter, but only mediator, representative, helper, and that here also there is no immediate question of comforting, is manifest.
[The term Comforter, as used in this and the 16th ch. of John by our E. V., in harmony with the Hellenistic use of παρακαλεῖν and παράκλησις, with all the Greek commentators and Luther (Tröster), carries with it so many sacred associations and expresses such an important part of the office of the Holy Spirit (comp. the παράκλησις τοῦ , Acts 9:31), that it seems almost sacrilege to exchange it for another; and hence Archdeacon Hare and Dean Alford, while admitting that Advocate (in the wider sense above explained) is the strict etymological meaning of παράκλητος, which satisfies 1 John 2:1, yet retain the E. V. and combine the idea of help and strength with that of consolation in the term.36 Olshausen does the same among German commentators.37 We should remember that the English word Comforter originally means not only Consoler, as now, but primarily also Strengthener and Supporter, agreeably to its derivation from the Latin confortari, to strengthen, which, though scarcely found in classical Latin, is common in the Vulgate, and was frequently used in its Latin sense by Wiclif, e.g. Luke 22:43; Act 9:19; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Philippians 4:13. In this sense it falls in with the connection and object of our Lord, which was, not merely to comfort the disciples for the loss of His visible presence, but mainly to strengthen their hearts. Dr. Lange, as will be seen below, likewise takes a broader but somewhat different view and combines in παράκλητος the idea of Helper (Beistand) with that of Mediator (Vermittler), and hence translates it Representative (Vertreter).—P. S.]
3. Teacher, Theod. of Mopsueste [Ernesti, Opusc. p. 215], Hofmann (Schriflbeweis, II. 2, p. 17), Luthardt [also Campbell who inappropriately translates Monitor.—P. S.]. This view has less to support it than either of the others.
In reference to No. 1, explanations are again divided:
a. Ancient exegetes explain advocatus as equivalent to causæ patronus, orator, against which view Lücke observes: “this would suit 1 John 2:1, but not the passages of the Gospel.”
b. It was Knapp who, supported by the usage of the term, in pure Greek writers as well as in Jewish ones availing themselves of the language, also in the writings of the Rabbins who have adopted the Greek word (פְרַקְלִיט), etc., demonstrated that the word originally possessed the general signification of a helper [Beistand]. “The office of helper as performed by the Holy Ghost consists of directing and leading to the truth, testifying and reminding, teaching and glorifying.” Against this view, it must be observed: (a) Christ arrives at the idea of the ἄλλος παράκλ. through the promise: “What ye shall ask in My name, I will do.” He will mediate with God for His accomplishment of their work. Thus He is the Mediator, 1 John 2:1. (b) The ἄλλος παράκλ. is described as “the Spirit of truth; ”as such He is the Mediator through whose instrumentality believers are made one with the Father in Christ; He transports them into Christ, thus making them certain and glad of the operations of God. Without doubt, then, He is a helper, but it is because He is a mediator (see Romans 8:26-27); i.e. since He conducts their cause before God, He conducts it before the world; (not vice versâ).
III. Dogmatical question. Tholuck: “The representative of the departing One is called, in these discourses, παράκλ. (rather ἄλλος παράκλ)., again, πνεῦμα τῆς here and in John 15:26; John 16:13,—not immediately ὄτι (Chrysostom), but on account of His being the Mediator of the theocratic and practical truth which, according to John 14:9, is Christ Himself; again, according to John 14:26, He is called πνεῦμα ἄγιον and, according to an expression peculiar to Luke, δύναμις τοῦ ὑψίστου, Luke 24:49; Luke 1:35; Acts 1:8. He is called ἄλλος, for it is not Christ according to His historical appearing. Yet again it is also Christ Himself John 14:18; that which, according to John 16:25; John 17:26 (γνωρίσω), is declared to them by Christ, is, according to John 16:14, to be declared to them by the Spirit, for He shall take of His (Christ’s). These declarations lead us to the belief that, in John, by this πνεῦμα we must understand Christ, glorified into a spirit. The view setting forth this πνεῦμα as a ‘self, distinct from Christ’ has lately been revived by Olshausen, Meyer, Schmid, Theologie des Neuen Testaments, I. p. 108; Brückner, p. 230; Hofmann, I. p. 165. No arguments but those of Quenstädt have been brought forward in favor of it.” It is strange that Tholuck will admit neither the expression ἄλλος παράκλ., nor the μεθ’ ὑμῶν, nor the masculine ἐκεῖνος, nor the διδάξει, λαλήσει, etc., as a proof that the Spirit is designated as another self, although he fully grants the hypostatizing of the Holy Ghost in the dogmatical conception of the Divinity. But if in this point dogmatics are to find their support in Paul, not in John, the latter is thrust into a false position, unsustained by the fact that he has given the deepest conception of the doctrinal system of the New Testament. That Christ alternately speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit and of His own return, does not justify the expression by which the πνεῦμα is in this instance declared to be “Christ glorified into a spirit;” it is an expression inadmissible in any case,—Christ being, indeed, glorified in the Spirit and through the Spirit, but not into a spirit.38 We might almost as well say that the Father is, according to John 14:9, glorified into Christ. We have seen that the two expressions; I in the Father, the Father in Me (John 10:38; John 14:10), do not mean the same thing. The former is indicative of the personality of Christ, the other of the personality of the Father as manifested in Christ. Precisely in the same way do the expressions: ye in Me, and I in you, John 14:20, differ. By the translation of Christ’s personality into the disciples, they are translated into Him as personalities; but that whereby they, being translated into Christ, are made one personality with Christ, is that very ἄλλος and ἐκεῖνος, the personality of the Holy Ghost. For the Holy Ghost Himself shall not only be in them, but also with them, John 14:17. Inasmuch as He is in them, Christ Himself is with them; inasmuch as He is with them, He is the ἄλλος παράκλ. and Christ is in them. That is, the fellowship rests, in individuals, upon the manifestation of the glorified Christ; individuals rest, as Christ’s fellowship, upon the revelation of the Holy Ghost. Hence we may likewise expect the two ideas: in what degree Christ, in the Holy Ghost, is with them, and in what degree the Holy Ghost, in Christ, is with them, to branch out and divide when we ponder over them. First, then, the discourse turns upon this point: Christ comes to them again, the Holy Ghost being in them, John 14:18-31. The second point discussed is this: they shall be in Christ, the Holy Ghost being with them, John 15:1 to John 16:15. The conclusion embraces both items in the promise of the resurrection, John 16:16-33.
That he may be with you for ever [ἴνα μεθ’ ὑμῶν ᾐ̈ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα].—See the Textual Notes. Observe, moreover, the μεθ’ ὑμῶν, in accordance with the preceding elucidation. The εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα is explained by Meyer as having reference to the αἰὼν μέλλων. But doubtless such a fact would be more definitely expressed.
John 14:17. The Spirit of truth [τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ].—The Holy Ghost is the living, personal, divine unity of complete revelation and, as such, the Spirit of truth (see John 15:26; John 16:13) He is the Spirit of truth, inasmuch as He makes objective truth subjective in believers, in order to the knowledge of truth. Objectively He is the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14), and God Himself (Acts 5:0); the Spirit of the Father (Matthew 10:20); the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9); the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:17), the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:0). Subjectively He is the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17), the Spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), the Spirit of adoption, of prayer (Romans 8:15), the Spirit of sanctification (Romans 1:4), of life (Romans 8:10), of meekness (1 Corinthians 4:21), of comfort (Acts 9:31), of glory (1 Peter 4:14), of sealing, of the earnest of eternal life (Ephesians 1:13-14), of all Christian charismata (1 Corinthians 12:4). As the Spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost applies to believers the full truth of the perfect revelation of God in Christ.
Whom the world cannot receive [ὁ κόσμος οὐ δύναται λαβεῖν].—The world as world. Why not? 1. It does not see him [ὄτιοὐ θεωρεῖ αὐτό] in His manifestations, because it lacks the eye of faith. It does not even see the One God above the world, much less the oneness of His manifestations in the world. And hence 2. it does not know him [οὐδὲ γινώσκει αὐτό]. It lacks experience of the Holy Ghost, 1 Corinthians 2:14.—But ye know him [ὑμεῖς δὲ γινώσκετε αὐτὄ]. The imminent future is already truly present, inasmuch as they have commenced to recognize the Holy Ghost in the manifestations of Christ, Matthew 16:17. They are already beginning to have an experimental knowledge of Him. Nevertheless, the full expression is indicative of a future, near at hand. Proof: He remaineth with you, and will be in you [ὄτι παῤ ὑμῖν μένει39 καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἒσται]. He will not relinquish (Present) His activity among them (see Luke 22:32), until He comes with all His influences to dwell in them. Meyer correctly: Since “His abode is in the midst of them, in the Christian communion.” It is necessary to add, however: since He will maintain His uninterrupted activity amongst you until He comes to be fully revealed in you. Not until then, indeed, will He in full measure be with them and abide with them as the Holy Ghost. The one Future ἔσται, will be, is contradictory of Meyer’s assumption: namely, that the Present γινώσκετε should be taken as absolute, without respect to any set time.
John 14:18. I leave you not as orphans behind Me. I come to you [οὐ , ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. The rendering of Tyndale and the A. V., comfortless, may have been chosen with reference to the Comforter, but is no translation of ὀρφανούς and impairs the force and beauty of the original. Wiclif has fadirless. The marginal reading orphans ought to have been inserted in the text.—P. S.] See Mark 12:19. The τεκνία, John 13:33, an expression of πατρικὴ εὐσπλαγχνία (Euthymius Zigabenus): I come unto you, the Present. [Not will come, as in the A. V. which follows the Vulgate: veniam.—P. S.] A connecting γάρ would do away with the pure antithesis.40 I go not away from you in the sense of leaving you orphans; on the contrary, it is now that I do truly come unto you. In what respect is this true?
1. It is not to be understood as signifying Christ’s Parousia in the abstract (Augustine, Beda, etc., Luthardt, Hofmann; against which John 14:19-20 ff.), although this glorious coming of Christ continues until the Parousia.
2. Nor the manifestations subsequent to the resurrection (the Greek exegetes: Origen, Chrysostom, etc., Rupert, Grotius [Ewald, who however spiritualizes and idealizes the resurrection]). Against this view too John 14:20-21; John 14:23; John 16:16; John 16:22-23 are cited. Hence
3. Christ’s spiritual coming through the Paraclete is intended (Calvin, Lücke and most of the moderns [Olshausen, Tholuck, Meyer, Bäumlein, Godet]).
4. We, however, uphold the explanation, according to which Christ had in view both His corporeal and His spiritual return (Luther, Beza, Lampe and De Wette [also Ebrard and Hengstenberg]); for His spiritual return was conditioned upon His first returning in the body—upon His resurrection as the consummation of His revelation (without Easter no Pentecost). There is no double meaning in this interpretation, forasmuch as the manifestations of the Risen One were assisted by the operation of the Spirit and the pouring out of the Holy Ghost was the means of perfectly revealing the Risen and Glorified One. Tholuck remarks on the opposite side, that the seeing again, spoken of John 16:16, is conditioned upon His going to the Father. True, but it was on His way to the Father that He saw them again, John 20:0. Tholuck’s assertion of the identity of the returning Christ and the before-mentioned ἄλλος παράκλ. is of a piece with the disregard of the contrast: being with you and being in you, or the contrast between the παράκλ. and the ἄλλος παράκλ.
John 14:19. Yet a little while, etc. [Ἔτι μικρόν, sc. ἐστι].—Μικρὸν, καὶ, מְעַט וְ. See John 13:33 [John 16:16; Hebrews 10:37; Hosea 1:4]. From now until the moment when He was removed from the world by death, less than twenty-four hours elapsed.—But ye see Me. Tholuck: Not “ye shall see Me again,” but: “your eyes shall be opened to perceive Me.” Against this be it observed that the same verb (θεωρεῖν) is used to express the not seeing of the world. Beyond a doubt, the imminent seeing of the Risen One with the bodily eye is meant; a sight destined for the disciples but denied to the world. The second little μικρόν, from the death to the resurrection of Christ, is swallowed up in the first μικρόν. The fact that this θεωρεῖν of the disciples passes into the spiritual, eternal contemplation of Christ, does not militate against the bodily seeing of Him to begin with. The subsequent sentence is expressly indicative of this bodily seeing again: “for I live,” etc. This seeing of Christ is to be brought about by the life of Christ.—For I live, and ye also shall live [ὄτι ἐγὼ ζῶ, καὶ ὐμεῖς ζήσεσθε. The reason of the preceding θεωρεῖτε με. Not: “Because I live, ye shall live also,” Beza, A. V., Godet.—P. S.] The antithesis of Present and Future supports the exegesis. The Present: I live, is expressive of His divine vital power, outlasting death (see John 5:0) John 12:0; Rev 1:18.41 Luther: “He is the Person whom death could not devour, though, as it regards His bodily life, it did indeed kill Him.” But His thus living, as the God-Man, mighty in life, is at the same time indicative of His living again in the resurrection,—a fact proved by the promise: ye shall live. For Christ’s life has, by His death and resurrection, become the principle of the new life of His people, Romans 6:8; Ephesians 1:19-20. The one sided interpretations of these words as having reference to the resurrection,—interpretations quoted by Meyer—(Grotius: Ye shall see Me really alive [non spectrum], and ye yourselves shall survive in the midst of the dangers imminent upon you; or Theophylact: Ye shall be as men who have received new life; or Augustine: Ye shall rise at the last day) do no detriment to the general application of the saying to the resurrection.
John 14:20. At that day ye shall know [Ἐν ἐκείνη τῆ ἡμέρᾳ γνώσεσθε ὐμεῖς, ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρί μου καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν].—Various interpretations: 1. Reference to the resurrection (see the next note); 2. Meyer: “its historical fulfilment was the day of Pentecost;” 3. Luthardt: the day of the Parousia; 4. De Wette: in that time. Be it observed that the day of the resurrection became for them not only the continually returning day of the Lord, or Sunday, but also the day κατ̓ ἐξοχήν, the new Day of their life. Ye will know that I am in the Father.—I.e. ye will recognize My divine personality. It means more than the words: the Father in Me.—And ye in Me. i.e. personalities who have attained unto new life, who are in Christ through the Holy Ghost because Christ is in them (I in you) by means of His glorified personality, the spirit of His glorified life. See note to John 14:16.
John 14:21. He that hath my commandments. [Ὁ ἔχων τὰς ἐντολάς μου καὶ τηρῶν αὐτάς, ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν ὁ ].—The ὁ ἔχων is emphatic, significant of that inward appropriation whereby the words of Christ are become the νόμος τοῦ πνεύματος. The proof of this living possession will be the keeping of His commandments. And that shall be the mark of love to Jesus. Now love to Jesus is that whereupon an experience of the Father’s love is conditioned [ἀγαπηθήσεται ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός μον]; and that, again, is proved by the sending of the Holy Ghost. But the sending of the Holy Ghost is, at the same time, an act of Christ’s love towards the believer; an act in which He manifests Himself to the believer as the heavenly Christ [καὶ ἐγὼ ]. Hence the discourse neither bears solely upon the appearings of the Risen One (Grotius), nor has it a general reference to the Parousia considered in the abstract (Luthardt). It is this manifestation of Christ through the Holy Ghost which, to Philip and the disciples generally, is to supply and overbalance the wonted, actual, visible presence of Christ.
John 14:22. Judas, not Iscariot. οὐχ ὁ Ἰσκαριώτης. To be distinguished from that traitor. The reader was indeed aware of the departure of the traitor, according to John 13:30, as also that he could not (according to Bengel) again be present. It was not John’s desire on this occasion to give utterance to his “profound abhorrence” of the traitor [Meyer, Alford]; willingly, however, did he bring into view the contrast between that malicious Judas who despaired of Christ’s cause, and this other Judas, replete with enthusiasm and energy, even now conceiving of his Lord as one certain of victory, for whom the conquest of the world—and that too in a material sense—was reserved.—Thaddeus or Lebbeus according to Matthew 10:3; Luke 6:16 (see Comm. on Matt. p. 182, Am. Ed.). It is, then, one of the brothers of the Lord (Comm. on Matt. p. 256 ff. Am. Ed.; my Apost. Zeitalter, p. 189) and, as the brother of James the son of Alpheus, the author of the epistle of Jude. His name (the courageous or stout hearted) as well as his participation in the scene, Mark 3:21, in the challenge, John 7:3 and the character of his epistle, give him the appearance of a peculiarly energetic and courageous nature. These characteristics perfectly correspond with the question in our chapter; the query is expressive of his expectation that Jesus would manifest Himself to the world. In this saying there echoes once more with sufficient distinctness the demand (John 7:3) that Jesus should labor openly in Jerusalem (Leben Jesu ii. p. 14* and 1360). The ecclesiastical tradition respecting Judas Thaddeus or Lebbeus, see in Winer under that art.: Apostol. Zeitalter 2 p. 407.
How is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself, etc.? Τί γέγονεν, What has happened? what is the reason? i.e. in spite of all the threats and persecutions of Thine enemies, there seemeth to me as yet no sufficient reason for this holding back. This courage may in part rest upon the expectation that the Messiah, if He manifest Himself at all, must manifest Himself to the whole world in His judicial glory; a view which Tholuck upholds by the citation of Dillmann on the Book of Enoch, chap. xxx. Christ’s answer, however, renders it more probable that Judas entertained the hope that the whole world would pay Him homage if He should manifest Himself in full.
John 14:23. If a man love Me, he will, etc. [(Ἐάν τις , τὸν λόγον μον τηρήσει). Bengel: τὸν λόγον μου, sermonem meum. Sermo unus est, in hoc versu, respectu fidelium; sermones plures (τοὺς λόγους μου), respectu infidelium, qui discerpunt, John 14:24.—P. S.] In the following reply Jesus sketches the contrast between His people and the world, assigning such contrast as the reason which renders it impossible for Him to manifest Himself to the world or to make His abode in it. Be it observed that Jesus has inverted the similarly sounding words in John 14:21. There it is: “he that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me;” here: “if any man love Me, he will keep My word.” There must be some good reason for this antithesis. The proof of the inner life, in antithesis to the visible world, must itself be visible; for this cause John 14:21 the keeping of the commandments is mentioned first as an evidence of love. The proof of the divine life, however, in antithesis to the ungodly life of the world, must be love for Christ, since the world can counterfeit the inner life and the keeping of the commandments. In the one case, the proof of the subjective truth of the religious life, i.e. the antithesis to sensuality, suffices; in the other, Christ treats of the proof of the objective truth of the religious life, i.e. of the antithesis to demoniacalness. Ascetics may have some inner life, and yet may subjectively belong to the world; but believers in justification, they being truly in Christ, do not belong to the world. Thus, love to Christ is the foundation. It keeps His word as His objective portrait and law. The believer, pursuing this course, is well pleasing to the Father. Therefore, the Father comes to him with the Son (by means of the Holy Ghost the Paraclete). For the manifestation of Christ is this: the glorification of the Father through the Son,—of the Son with the Father through the Holy Ghost. The Father will manifest Himself through the Son, the Son through the Holy Ghost. They make their abode with him [μονὴν ταῤ αὐτῷ ποιήσομεν], not merely in him; i.e. they found a community, a place where the Triune God manifests Himself—which community forms a contrast to the world. The παῤ αὐτῷ does not mean: in his dwelling. The Spirit is not only in the faithful, but with them as well; He forms a fellowship of believers, the Church. Thus He builds the spiritual house for an individual. The dwelling with him presupposes a dwelling in him. (We may quote as a curiosity the explanation of Semler and Less: Christ and the disciples shall come unto the Father and make their abode with Him). New Testament realization of the tabernacling of God amongst His people, Leviticus 26:11; prophesied Ezekiel 37:26 and in loc. The real Shekina.
John 14:24. He that loveth Me not [Ὁ μὴ ].—Characteristic of the world. The world, as an ungodly world, loves itself; its tendency is not centripetal but centrifugal; hence it loves not Christ. Hence it keeps not Christ’s word as a living word, for the reason that it lacks the bond that should hold it and Christ together—namely, the Spirit. Now in failing to keep Christ’s word it also fails to keep the Father’s word which He has sent into the world with Christ [καὶ ὁ λόγος ὀ͂ν , οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμός, ἀλλὰ τοῦ πέμψαντός με πατρός]. And thus the preliminary condition on which depends the manifestation of God to the world, is wanting; that condition is the medium and focus of His word.
John 14:25. These things I have spoken unto you. [Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν παῤ ὑμῖν μένων].—I.e. thus much of the heavenly life on earth as the sign of the heavenly home that awaits you beyond this world. Thus much ye can understand now through My words. At some future time, however, the Paraclete shall make it all perfectly clear to you (see John 16:12). Ταῦτα λελάληκα. Perfect. I have spoken it, it shall be certain.
John 14:26. But the Paraclete, etc. [ό δὲ παράκλητος, τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἃγιον δπέμψει ὀ͂ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει τὰ πάντα καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα, α̊ εῖ̓πον ὑμῖν ].—The designation of the Paraclete is more definite. The different predicates are summed up together: the Paraclete—the Holy Ghost—whom the Father sends—in the name of Jesus. Different interpretations of the ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου: 1. Grotius (Lücke and others): At My intercession (in meam gratiam, with reference to John 14:14). 2. Euthymius Zigabenus and others: Instead of Me, i.e. not, as Meyer explains: He will send Him instead of My sending Him, but: He will send Him as the representative of Me in My character of Ambassador. 3. Meyer: So that the name of Jesus is the sphere containing the divine purpose and will which are to be accomplished by the sending. The object of God’s intent and design is the name of Jesus. Since the name is the subjective knowledge of an objective manifestation, the sense is: in the knowledge of Christ, perfected through the perfect manifestation of Christ,—in the glorified Christ;—in His inclination towards the Church, in the Church’s inclination towards Him, a bias effected by love to Him and by the keeping of His word. Luther: Here the emphatic words are: in My name and: what I have said unto you.
He will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance.—The proximate reference is to the subject of chap. 14, the heavenly home, the heavenly goal. But, together with His teachings on this head, He is to be the means of imparting all fulness of Christian knowledge regarding the whole plan of salvation (πάντα). The first promise embraces the whole Christian science of salvation, progressing, as it does, in infinitum; the second its inalienable principial basis: that which Christ has said. It is not specifically new truths that the Holy Ghost will teach; not specifically supplementary ones (traditions in the Romish sense), still less such as shall take the place of those taught by Christ (as the fanatics and enthusiasts would have it), or correct and contradict these (according to Rationalism). His teaching shall consist in reminding men of the word of Christ, in giving them a subjective understanding of the same. In performing this His office, He shall unfetter the word—break down the barriers of individualization, parable, misunderstanding—thus causing it to develop into an ever-living organism of doctrine, the specific soul and character of which does, nevertheless, remain the word of Christ. The first πάντα says that every one of Christ’s words shall attain its full development; hence it refers to the infinite import or capability of development belonging to His words. The second πάντα declares that none of the words of Christ shall be lost, that they all, as items of His doctrine, shall become operative. The interpretation of Grotius, according to which ἅ εἶπον ὑμῖν extends even to the first πάντα, has the effect of confusing the parallels and intrenching upon the independence of the Spirit. The meaning is not: everything that I have told you, He shall teach you and remind you of,—but: He shall teach you all things, whilst He brings all things that I have told you, to your remembrance. The καί is explicative.
[The work of the Spirit is the appropriation of Christ to the believer. “Dicente Filio,” says Augustine, “verba capimus, docente Spiritu eadem verba intelligimus.” Objectively all is done by Christ, subjectively the same work is done or applied every day by the Spirit. The fulfilment of this promise of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, who was to guide them into the whole truth and give them the right understanding of Christ’s teaching, guarantees their inspiration, sufficiency and authority as witnesses of our Lord, and is abundantly testified by their writings, which carry in themselves their own best evidence, as the shining sun proves his existence to all but the blind. The πάντα furnishes a strong argument for the completeness of the New Testament revelation and against the Romish doctrine of ecclesiastical tradition, in the sense of an additional and co-ordinate source and rule of faith. For two of the most important dogmas of modern Romanism—the sinlessness of Mary and the infallibility of the pope—there is not the faintest trace in the apostolic writings.—P. S.]
John 14:27. A peace I leave with you [Εἰ ρήνην , εἰρήνην τὴν ἐμὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν].—According to Luther (Neander and others) this is the farewell-greeting of Christ to His people (comp. 1 Peter 5:14; 1 Peter 3:0 John John 14:14). Luther: “These are last words, as of one who, on the eve of departure, says good night or invokes a blessing.” Tholuck remarks, against this view, that Christ is not going away from them, but that they are going with Him (John 14:31), and that in this case the corresponding phrase could not mean εἰρ. ἀφιέναι, but only διδόναι or λέγειν. And so ἀφιέναι (still according to Tholuck) should be taken in the sense of leaving behind, namely, as a parting gift, and it is the peace of reconciliation that Jesus speaks of. But this deeper meaning offers no obstacle to the belief that to the concrete fact of His departure He affixes His peace as a parting greeting. The Hebrew greeting was perfectly adapted to express this union of the highest with the trivial. And as certainly as the saying of the Risen One: Peace be with you (John 20:19; John 20:21), is the customary salutation and yet, at the same time, the announcement of the resurrection peace, just so certainly is the leaving of peace here at once the higher farewell greeting of Jesus and a real gift of peace. But there is nothing contradictious in the fact that parting friends may bid each other good-bye, perchance more than once, and still walk a little way together. It is here that the subject we have been considering—viz., the going of Jesus to heaven, in order to the preparation of the place for His disciples—is brought to a conclusion. The term ἀφίημι is explained by the too slightly estimated δίδωμι. Thus the Hebrew שָׁלוֹם, prosperity, peace (go in peace, לֵך לִשָלוֹם, 1 Samuel 1:17, etc.; Mark 5:34, etc.; see the farewell salutations Ephesians 6:23 [1 Peter 5:14; 1 Peter 3:0 John John 14:13]), in this place certainly peace of soul likewise; this interpretation is disputed by Meyer.42—My peace (peace-greeting) I give unto you [εἰρήνην τὴν ἐμὴν δίδωμιὑμῖν].—We question the generally assumed identity of this saying with the foregoing one: “A peace (εἰρήνην) I leave unto you.” On the contrary, the emphasis: “My peace” (τὴν ἐμήνis of itself indicative of an antithesis. It is the intention of Jesus to declare in the strongest manner possible that His greeting on seeing them again shall follow fast upon His parting salutation, and that He will not present to them that full peace-greeting which is His specific property until, meeting them again, He salutes them, bringing His perfect and entire peace. With a peace I left you; with My peace I am with you again. I leave you a peace for a support; it is sufficient to keep you upright; My full peace I will give unto you. The most lively construction of the words: after a little while, John 14:19.
Not as the world giveth [οὐ καθὼς ὁ κόσμος δίδωσι, ἐγὼ δίδωμι ὑμῖν].—The proposition is, undoubtedly, a general one; not for this reason, however, should its application to the world’s empty forms of greeting (Grotius, Bengel and others) be denied (De Wette, Meyer, Tholuck).43 In the world also the manner of salutation on going and coming is connected with the manner of giving. The world gives as it greets, i.e. in a vain and empty way, 1 John 2:17. Having just recognized an antithesis in the words of Christ: “I leave you a peace” at parting, “I give you My peace” at our new union, it readily occurs to us to meditate upon the inverted conduct of the world. At the start the world with its greetings promises golden mountains; coldly and heartlessly it takes leave of its servants and prepares them an end full of terrors. It fared literally thus with Judas. Christ makes a warm and comforting farewell-greeting the forerunner of the beatific salutation which shall accompany the eternal meeting.
Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid [μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡκαδία μηδὲ δειλιάτω].—Repetition of the exhortation John 14:1; hence the indication of a concluded meditation. The annexed δειλιάτω (which is found in this place only in the New Testament)44 proves that He views the trembling more as a natural emotion that might seize them at the thought of a hopeless parting, while in uttering the δειλιάτω His mind is contemplating the danger of a cowardly course of conduct proceeding from that emotion.
John 14:28. Said unto you, etc. [ἠκούσατε ὄτι ἐγὼ εἷπον ὑμῖν• ὑπάγω καὶ ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς].—See John 14:2. At the same time, however, the words: I go away and I come to you, are doubtless explanatory of the farewell just uttered: “peace,” etc., “My peace,” etc. Neither does the proposition mean simply: “I go away and come again,” etc., but, “by going away, I come to you more truly than ever;” as results from what follows.—If ye loved Me [εἰ ἡγαπᾶτἐ με.—Of perfect love that casteth out fear (1 John 4:18. He makes their love to Him a motive of comfort to them. They loved Him, but not spiritually enough, else they would have rejoiced at the prospect of His abiding spiritual presence. Bengel: Amor parit gaudium; per se, et quia servat verbum Christi Iætissima omnia aperiens, “Love begets joy, both of itself, and because it keeps the word of Christ, which opens all the most joyful prospects.”—P. S.]—Ye would have rejoiced (ἐχάρητε (not the Imperf. ἑχαίρετε) ἄν ὅτι πορεύομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα).—He does not mean: in that case ye would not be in the least affected by grief at parting from Me (comp. John 16:21), but, the joy of faith would preponderate. The thing in My difficult journey that would appear pre-eminent to your eyes would be My triumphal home-going to the Father. Hence: “because I said unto you, I go unto the Father,” i.e., because I have put such a cheering interpretation upon My going away from you.—For the Father is greater than I (ὅτι ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μου ἐστίν).—A. We have first to consider this proposition in the abstract, and then in its relation (ὅτι) to what precedes it.
1. Theological elucidations [in the essential or metaphysical sense]: a. The Arians regarded the declaration as a proof-text for their system.
[The Arians inferred from this passage that Christ is a creature of the Father, though existing before the world. The same interpretation has been revived by the Socinians, Unitarians and Rationalists, who deny also the preexistence of Christ, which the Arians admitted. But this gives no intelligible sense at all. On the contrary, the words imply (as even Meyer freely admits, p. 526) the homoousia or divine nature of Christ. If a mere man or creature says: “God is greater than I,” he talks blasphemous nonsense almost as much as if he said: “I am equal with God.” Comp. also the remarks of Godet (II., 490): “Cette parole suppose chez celui qui la prononce, le sentiment le plus vif de sa participation à la divinité.”—P. S.]
b. Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzum [Hilary, Euthym. Zigab.] and others, in modern times Olshausen,45 considered it expressive of the ἀγεννησία of the Father in antithesis to the begottenness or eternal generation of the Son.
[On the Arian controversy concerning this passage see Suicer, Thesaur., II., pp. 1368 sq., and Bull’s Defens. Fid. Nic., sect. 4. To escape the Arian inference it would have been better to refer the μειζονότης of the Father to His official superiority. The Nicene orthodoxy admitted a certain subordination of the Son to the Father, as to dignity or office, but not as to essence or substance, which is the same; there being but one God. But this passage has no reference to the essence or nature at all, but to the state or condition; for the superiority of essence which exists always and everywhere, could be no reason why the disciples should rejoice at the approaching departure of Christ to the Father. Hence no inference unfavorable to the orthodox doctrine of the homoousia can be drawn from it. Calvin clearly, with his usual tact, saw this, and gives substantially the right interpretation, which I may anticipate here (see ii. b.): “Varie detortus fuit hic locus. Ariani ut Christum probarent quendam secundarium esse Deum, objiciebant minorem esse Patre. Patres orthodoxi, ut tali calumniæ ansam præciderent, dicebant hoc debere ad naturam humanam referri. Atqui ut impie hoc testimonio abusi sunt Ariani, ita nec recta, nec consentanea fuit patrurn solutio. Hic enim neque de humana Christi natura, neque de æterna ejus divinitate sermo habetur, sed pro infirmitatis nostræ captu se medium inter nos et Deum constituit.”—P. S.]
2. Christological explanations:
a. The superiority of the Father has reference to the human nature of Christ, because it is in this alone that He goes to the Father (Hunnius, J. Gerhard). [Comp. the Athanasian Creed: “equal to the Father as touching His Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.” So also Webster and Wilkinson. Wordsworth: “Christ is speaking of going which cannot be predicated of God. My Father is greater than I am in that nature which goes to Him.” This interpretation implies a mere platitude. Who need be told that the human nature is inferior to the divine ? It also assumes an abstract separation of the two natures in Christ, which constitute one life. The speaking and acting Ego of Christ is His divine-human person, and the nature is the organ through which He acts.—P. S.]
b. Reference is had to Christ’s state of humiliation (status exinanitionis, Luther, Calvin, Luthardt).
[This interpretation is also defended by Cyril, Melanchthon, Beza, Bengel, De wette, Brückner, Stier, Alford, Barnes, Owen, etc. Christ spoke these, words as the battling and suffering Messiah from His state of humiliation, which was to cease with His departure to the Father; and it is His prospective exaltation to glory and bliss which ought to have been an occasion for rejoicing to His disciples. There is no force in Meyer’s objection that God is greater than Christ even in His exalted state (John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:27 f.; Philippians 2:9-11), as He was greater than the preëxistent Logos (John 1:1-3). He refers the μειζονότης of the Father to His superior power: “As My Father is greater, especially mightier than I, My departure to Him will be an elevation to greater power and activity, to the victory over the world, to higher union with Him, hence a matter of rejoicing for those who love Me.”—P. S.]
c. It refers to both the above-mentioned considerations [“humanity in its state of lowliness”] (Calov, Quenstädt, Tholuck, Augustine: “quia naturæ humanæ gratulandum est eo, quod sic assumta est a verbo unigenito, ut immortalis constitueretur in cœlo”).
3. We must grasp at once the theological import and the Christological one, for there is a good reason why the Son of God became man and humbled Himself,—not the Father. Theologically considered, the Father is greater than the Son, as the first principle, in respect of order or succession, by whom the Son was established, both being perfectly equal in substance. Hence it follows that He is greater in substance also than Christ in His human nature, and above all, greater in regard to the rule or power which He exercises, than is Christ in His humiliation. And it is upon this latter circumstance that the stress here lies. [So also Meyer, see above.—P. S.] Christ, in going to the Father as to the One greater than He, enters into the joint possession of His greatness and majesty, without, however, thereby destroying the subordination of order (see John 14:16; John 17:3; John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Php 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3). The characterization of the theological import as the “absolute monotheism of the New Testament,” by Meyer, in connection with Lücke, is liable to misapprehension and fails to afford, in any case, a sufficient explanation.
B. We now consider the relation of this proposition to the preceding ἐχάρητε ἄν. For (ὄτι) the Father. Why should the disciples be glad of His going to the Father?
1. On account of His exaltation to δόξα and blessedness (Cyrill, Olshausen, Tholuck).
2. On account of the more powerful protection which He should thenceforth be able to bestow upon the disciples (Theophylact, Lücke and others).
3. On account of Jesus’ exaltation to greater power and activity (Meyer).
4. Because the going away of Jesus was His own exaltation and was likewise of benefit to them (Luther, Bengel, Lampe).
It is as little possible to separate Jesus’ exaltation to glory from His exaltation to power as to separate His own exaltation from the exaltation of His disciples; nevertheless, their love should first view His exaltation, passing on, however, as the context admonishes, from a glance at that in the abstract to the consideration that it is through His exaltation alone that He shall become in very deed their own.
John 14:29. And now I have told you.—As is frequently His custom He emphatically states that He tells them such and such things beforehand, in order that, when His predictions are fulfilled, they may believe. Thus prophecy is, like miracles, a proof of the divine power and presence (Isaiah 41:22-26). It is impossible that the bare prediction of the death of Jesus can here be meant; it is the announcement of His exaltation by means of His death, resurrection and ascension. These facts, in which they saw Christ’s prediction fulfilled, made perfect their faith. In this sense, therefore, it is written here also: “that ye might believe.” (See John 20:31).
John 14:30. Hereafter I shall not talk much with you (οὐκ ἔτι πολλὰ λαλήσω μεθ ὑμῶν).—A presentiment of departure, an introduction to the start which He was about proposing.—For the prince, etc. (ἐρχεται γὰρ ὁ τοῦ κόσμου ἄρχων).—See John 12:31. A reference of the mood of Jesus to the preparations against Him that are going on in Jerusalem. In spirit He is aware that His enemies are now making ready to advance against Him; and in them He sees the tools of Satan; hence: “the prince of this world cometh,” John 13:27.—And hath nothing in Me (καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν ).—The ἐν ἑμοί antithesis to the prince of this world. He comes as the prince of this world’s power, of this world’s fear, of death and corruption, to claim a power over Me, Hebrews 2:14. Καὶ ἐν ἐμοί, etc. Various constructions:
1. He can, or is able to, do nothing to Me; he cannot inflict death upon Me; of My own free will I suffer it (Chrysostom, Kuinoel).
2. He finds nothing in Me; no accusation against Me (Origen).
3. He possesses nothing in Me (Cyril, Augustine: peccatum, cui debetur mortis supplicium; Grotius, Meyer more generally: in Me he possesses nothing, as owning his sway). [Meyer thinks that the sinlessness (Augustine: “in Me non habet quidquam, nullum omnino scilicet peccatum”) is not directly expressed in the passage, but necessarily implied as the causal condition, since only when Christ was free from sin, Satan had no hold on Him and no power over Him. Alford similarly: “no point of appliance whereon to fasten his attack.”—P. S.]
4. Tholuck: He has no claim on Me. (nihil juris). Submission on Christ’s part was, therefore, voluntary; comp. John 19:11 (so too De Wette, Hofmann and others).
The words certainly declare not only Jesus’ sinlessness but also His freedom from death. They are a repetition of Jesus’ solemn protestation of His freedom,—a protestation aimed against the idea which represents Him as of necessity succumbing to the irresistible fate of sinful men (see John 10:18; John 12:24; John 13:19). At the same time the saying contains an intimation to the effect that Satan, possessing, as he does, not a single fibre or hair of Him in an ethical sense, shall likewise fail to retain a single fibre or hair of Him in a physical sense. But the fact that he now, in accordance with the counsel of God, is coming upon Him, is implied in the emphasis that rests upon the expression: he cometh (comp. Luke 22:53).
John 14:31. But that the world may know, etc.—Expressive of His willingness to become a sacrifice. The root is love to the Father; the proof, obedience to the Father; the consequence: the departure, not so much in order to go obstinately to meet the enemy, but rather, in pursuance of God’s guidance, to await him at the place of prayer, in Gethsemane. That the world. Bengel: “Ut mundus desinat mundus esse et patris in me bene placitum agnoscat salutariter.” That, in His personal submission to the personal Father, the kingdom of grace, love, personal life, may dawn upon the world, for a judgment upon its unrightful prince and in order to the freeing of it from that false tyranny which he exercises through the fear of death. That the world may know that love is stronger than death (comp. Sol. Song of Solomon 8:6 : “strong as death”).
Arise, let us depart.—The mighty saying prompted by a holy emotion finds expression not in two only, but in three asyndetical exhortations: ἐγείρεσθε—ἄγωμεν—ἑντεῦθεν. Various explanations of the item:
1. Jesus, accompanied by the disciples, proceeds to a secure place where He uttered chh. 15, 16, 17. (Chrysostom, Theophylact and others);—unsupported.
2. Still less tenable: hitherto Jesus had been outside of the city; He was but now about departing for Jerusalem to keep the Passover (Bengel, Wichelhaus [Röper]).
3. Jesus, too full of the matters which were still pressing upon His heart, spoke, still standing in the room where they had eaten the supper, chh. 15, 16, 17. (Knapp, Lücke, Tholuck, Meyer, [Calvin, Olshausen, Bleek, Brückner, Ewald, Alford, Owen], etc.). And this after the three powerful exhortations to depart ?
4. The following (chh. 15–17) was spoken by Him on the road (Luther, Grotius, Lampe, Lange, Leben Jesu II., p. 1347 [Ebrard, Barnes, Webster and Wilkinson, Wordsworth] and others). Meyer [Alford and Owen] in opposition to this view: The thing is psychologically improbable. Psychologically improbable indeed would be the supposition that Jesus did not discourse to the disciples of the most momentous matters even when they were upon the road to their destination. Walking and standing still and walking again is the very expression of a mind stirred by great things.
5. On the hypercritical remarks of De Wette (who identifies the ἐγείρεσθε, ἄγωμεν, Matthew 26:46, with that of our text), Strauss, Weisse, Baur, Hilgenfeld, see Meyer [p. 529].
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. The farewell discourses of the Lord have not been sufficiently valued for what they are: namely, the new revelation of Christ concerning heaven. Until these discourses were delivered, the theocratic belief of Israel was acquainted only with Sheol, and with the antithesis of a paradise and a place of punishment (gehenna) in Sheol. See Luke 16:22 ff. The doctrine of paradise was of course the germ of the doctrine of the heavenly home, and even the Old Testament contained sundry dark intimations of the latter in the translation of Enoch, the ascension of Elijah, the description of heaven as the throne of God and the habitation of His holy angels, and the hope of the faithful for a closer union with God, in sayings such as Proverbs 15:24; Ecclesiastes 12:7. But it was reserved for Christ to throw heaven open, in the first instance by His word in the farewell-discourses, and, secondly, by His act in the ascension itself. Hence the farewell-discourses substantially contain a theology of Christ’s ascension. The doctrine of heaven was, however, not intelligible to believing human hearts until the disciples were forced to learn experimentally that the earthly world was no longer a resting-place for the Lord and for them; that they were cast out of the world. When the world cast them out and its doors shut to behind them, there opened to them the gates of heaven. Understanding the ethical import of the going down of the sun and the gathering night, they could also comprehend the symbolical sign of the starry heavens, the Father’s great open house. And even now they were enabled to grasp and hold fast this hope only through the imminence of Christ’s ascension into heaven. But the revelation concerning heaven as the place and land of glory could and should not be the exchange of a new sensuous expectation for an old one; together with the local heaven Christ disclosed the dynamical heaven to their view—destined, this latter, to be developed in the new life upon earth as a personal kingdom of love; founded by the revelation of His personality, by the manifestation of the personal Father and the glorification, by means of the personality of the Holy Ghost, of the personal love-life of God as the foundation of the personal kingdom of love in which they are, which they are to maintain against the hate of the world, and which they are to spread through the world. In the second life of the second Man who is from heaven, in the resurrection of Christ, heaven was made manifest on earth (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 Corinthians 15:47; John 16:21); through the Paraclete as the Spirit of glory, of δόξα, the disciples were translated into the fellowship of this heavenly state (Philippians 3:20).
2. The startling effect produced upon the disciple of Christ when this present world is darkened for him by the cross, and sets upon him or casts him out. Then he is comforted by the watch-word which bids him put his trust in the Christ who ascendeth to heaven and in the Father who is in heaven. The soul may be troubled at this transition; but not the heart (John 14:1; John 14:27).
3. Trust in God; in so doing, etc. Become thorough Israelites, for thus ye shall also become Christians. We can go still further and say: become thorough Catholics and then ye will also be Evangelical Christians.
4. Man, having as a sinner lost his power over the earth and being chained by an autochthonic consciousness to particular climes and countries, had, in still greater measure, lost the bent or drawing of his astral or heavenly citizenship; his way led not upwards toward the stars, but downwards to the earth. Christ has restored us our heavenly citizenship (Hebrews 9:0). The words of Christ: In My Father’s house, etc., do not, indeed, contain any new astronomical system, but they do prove His view of the world and of heaven to have been infinitely elevated above that of His time.
5. The three sayings inculcating faith in the heavenly home: the saying addressed to Thomas, the saying addressed to Philip, the saying addressed to Judas Lebbæus. Or our heavenly home is sure to us in spite of the contradiction of an outward reality full of distress and death, in spite of the want of phenomena evident to the senses, in spite of the denial of the hostile world, which even by its hate, as the germ and sign of hell, must testify of love, as the seed and sign of heaven. See above.
6. Meyer on John 14:3 [p. 507, footnote]: “It is incorrect to affirm that the idea of reward is utterly wanting in John. (Thus Weiss in the Deutsch. Zeitschr., 1853, pp. 325, 388 and in his Petrin. Lehrbegr., 1855, p. 55 ff.) As Christ asks for eternal glory for Himself as a reward, John 17:4 ff., so in like manner does He promise it to the disciples as their reward. See John 17:24; John 12:25. Under this head we should also class the promise of ἰδεῖν τὴν βασ. τοῦ θεοῦ, John 3:3; John 3:5, and of the raising up at the last day, John 5:28 ff; John 6:40; John 6:54. Comp. 1 John 3:2-3, where the future glorification and union with Christ is expressly designated as the subject of the ἐλπίς; as also 2 John 1:8, where the term μισθόν πλήρη is used and must be understood as referring to eternal bliss (see Düsterdieck, II. p. 505).”—Upon all which we must observe, that in John especially, the term reward cannot be apprehended in its legal sense; it is to be construed, in conformity to the kingdom of love, as a loving recompense, bestowed, it is true, in accordance with justice.
7. Christ the living Way, the pledge of the goal. Christianity the absolutely dynamical view of the world. The personal, God-filled heart and essence of Christ becomes surety for the existence and unclosure of the personal, i.e. eternal and spiritually glorious world. Christ’s heart the absolute dynamis of the eternal places and times, 1 Peter 1:4. Christ the absolute Way, because He is the Truth,—the principle, medium and aim of all connection, all that is lasting in the world—perfect reality; and because He is the Life,—the complete manifestation of the highest appearance and beauty from the deepest ground: all-animating Life and Love.
8. If ye had known Me. The mystery of Christ’s personality, the medium of the manifestation of God and of the manifestation of the personal kingdom.
9. The greater works of Christianity, a continual miracle in the world, to result in the wonderful metamorphosis of the world at the consummation of all things, and in its transfiguration into the world of the Spirit.
10. The evidence of Philip and the evidence of Christ. Philip still sees in things power over persons; the Lord sees in personality power over things. On the Paraclete see note to John 14:16, in reference to Tholuck, p. 364 [and Hare’s Mission of the Comforter.—P. S.]
11. Similarly see note on the distinction between the manifestation of Christ in the Father and that of the Father in Christ. Analogously, the being of believers in Christ—justification—is distinguished from Christ’s being in believers—sanctification.
12. The promise that His people shall see Him again, John 14:19, is inclusive of the resurrection, together with the entire future manifestation of Christ in His word and Spirit here, in His paternal house beyond this world, until the time of His great Epiphany. Hence it is wrong to contrast, as Meyer does (p. 400), Christ’s paracletic coming again with His resurrection; and, similarly, to suppose it to result from the Johannean version that Christ did not so definitely predict His resurrection (except in such hints as are contained in John 2:19; John 10:17) as the Synoptists report Him to have done.
13. The manifestation of Christ in its relation to the world, according to the view of Judas Lebbeus and according to Christ’s view. Love to Christ, as the tendency of the Spirit in the Church to the centre of life, is the fundamental condition, the medium of the manifestation of His personality; the world as world, on the other hand, is, in its centrifugal tendency, bent upon vanity, upon impersonal things. In this medium Christ cannot manifest Himself to it.
14. The doctrine of the procession of the Holy Ghost, according to John 14:26, stands, in a manner, betwixt the assertion of the Oriental and that of the Occidental Church. See the history of dogmas. The former Church with reason insists upon the priority of the Father as first principle; the latter, with equal reason, gives prominence to the autonomy of spiritual life which the Son too possesses and of which intimation is given here: “in My name.”
15. On John 14:26. The Spirit is related, as Spirit, to a specific vital cause by which He is necessitated. The wind, as the symbolical Spirit, cannot be conceived of without the earth; the spirit of man cannot be conceived of without the substratum of a man. Spirit is the concentrated, conscious unity of a definite life. So the Spirit of God is the unity of the manifestations of the essence of God; the Holy Spirit the unity of the complete manifestation of the Father and Son, by which unity God has fully made manifest His antithesis to the world, in order thus fully to communicate Himself to the world. But because the essence of God is actual to its very foundation, the Holy Ghost also, as the Spirit of the complete manifestation of God, appears as a particular third form of the personality of God, and is free in Himself, like the Father and the Son. The life of the Spirit becomes a fountain of life in men’s spirits. This truth has been misinterpreted by the Montanists, Manichees, the spiritualistic Franciscans and other enthusiasts of the Middle Ages, the Anabaptists and the philosophers of the school of Hegel, inasmuch as all these distinguish, more or less definitely, three kingdoms,—the kingdom of the Father, that of the Son, and that of the Holy Ghost. And the Catholic doctrine of ecclesiastical tradition adds to the kingdom of the Son a kingdom of the Spirit, to the administration of which the Hierarchy pretends. This forms the other extreme to the Spirit’s sphere of manifestation according to the doctrine of the Quakers. The Holy Ghost is related just as purely and entirely to the Son as the Son is to the Father.—The infiniteness of the Christian spiritual life, the eternal nature of it, is expressed in the calling of the Spirit who has been given to the believer, now the Spirit of truth, now the Spirit of knowledge, of strength, etc. There is always denoted an infinite plenitude—self-begetting like a fountain—of this divine life of truth, knowledge, etc.
16. Christ’s farewell-greeting a pledge for the greeting of a future meeting. Thus the Lord comforteth His people.
17. The prophecies in their fulfilment are miracles of God’s Spirit, in order to the awakening, quickening and confirming of faith.
18. Christ’s repeated protest against the misinterpretation of His death-way,—against the conception of it as a blind, inevitable fate or a sign of the world’s superiority; in connection with the asseveration of His freedom in submitting to the will of His Father. In this free submission His high-priesthood is perfected; the Priest is the Sacrifice and the Sacrifice is the Priest Himself.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
The word of the Lord to His disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled! ” or how He encourages them on their entrance upon the night of sorrows: 1. By the admonition to submissive and unconditional trust (John 14:1). 2. By the opening up of a view of the high and heavenly home (John 14:2). 3. By His going before and coming again (John 14:2-3). 4. By the explanations and promises whereby He removes all their scruples and doubts (the scruple of Thomas, of Philip, of Judas Lebbeus). 5. By the gift of His peace as a pledge of a speedy and joyful return (John 14:27 ff.).—The rise of the heavenly Paradise upon Christ’s earthly night of passion: 1. The Paradise a heavenly one, better than the lost Paradise on earth. 2. Its rise, brought on by Christ’s exode into the night of Passion, in company with His disciples. 3. Christ the Revealer and Perfecter of it, and the Guide to it.—Discovery of the new celestial realm of life above the old subterranean kingdom of the dead.—The glorification of the human life through Christ, at the same time the glorification of the creation. He hath brought life and immortality to light. First an inner life for God’s paternal house, then a paternal house of God for that inner life.—The heavenly heart revealed and unlocked the heavenly home.—Christ has disclosed and unclosed heaven: 1. He was the bearer of disclosures concerning it; 2. the opener of a way into it.—Christ has pledged His word to His people that there is an heavenly inheritance for them.—He makes all things ready for the heavenly life: 1.The place for His people, 2. His people for the place.—The Christian’s way to earthly woe, the way to the Father’s house in heaven. Heaven our Father-house: 1. The Father of the house; 2. the house of the Father.—Our journey to the Father’s house: 1. The goal of our way; 2. the way to our goal.—The many mansions in the Father’s house: 1. Many mansions, one Father-house. In all one Father, one Son and Heir, one inheritance for one throng of children. 2. One Father-house, many mansions. Room enough for many inhabitants. 3. The mansions, habitable, resting-places, abiding places. 4. The mansions manifold, for every one a special home in the one eternal citadel of God.—The heavenly mansions: 1. In what respect prepared from the beginning; 2. in what respect receiving additional preparation through the ascension of Christ; 3. in what respect undergoing an eternal process of glorification.—The unshakable assurance of Christ with regard to the heavenly Fatherland.—The home-country of Christians where the glorified Christ is.—Christ’s disclosures in regard to the way to heaven. (See above).—The doubt of Thomas.
The saying of Christ: I am the way: 1. He is the way, as the truth of the way:—the living, personal motion to the Father because He is truth itself; 2. He is the way, as the life of the way;—the victorious mover to the Father because He is life in general.—Christ the way in His divine-human personality: 1. God’s way to man. Therefore 2. man’s way to God.—Christ’s personality as a pledge of the heavenly home: 1. As the truth of the heavenly life; 2. as the life of heavenly truth.—No way in the Father except through the Son.—He who knows nothing of the life beyond, knows nothing of it for this reason—because he is ignorant of the kernel of this present life.—The Lord’s discourse with Philip.—The personal life of Christ the substantial appearance in the midst of the seemingness of the world.—The manifestation of the Father in the figure of the Son.—Christ the image of God, Hebrews 1:3.—Different ways of knowing the one way of truth: 1. The knowledge of elect disciples, a cognition of the Father in the Son by means of the cognition of the Son in the Father, or a comprehension of Christ’s works by Christ’s word. 2. The way of the majority: or the cognition of the Son in the Father by the Father in the Son, i.e. comprehension of the word through a comprehension of the works. The greater works, or how the wonders of Christ are developing in the wonders of Christianity until the great wonder of His appearing.—How Christ’s miracles are perennial in His works.—Greater works, i.e. the increasingly glorious unfolding of Christ’s work in His people.—As Christ Himself has been glorified by the Holy Ghost, so the wonders of Christ have been glorified through the wonders of the Holy Spirit.
For I go to the Father. Christ’s power rendered boundless by His going to the Father, the Fountain of power.—Prayer in the name of Jesus the channel for the performance of Christ’s works.—The sighs of the Christian heart as the prophecy and origin of the triumphs of the Christian hand.—The longing of Christians and the blessing of Christ encounter one another.—An ever purer praying in His name results in an ever richer doing in His strength.
The Holy Spirit as the other Comforter, not Christ’s substitute but His presence.—The promise of the other Comforter (Mediator).—The Holy Ghost promised to Christians as, above all, the Spirit of truth.—The world, as world, is not capable of receiving the Holy Ghost: 1. It does not see Him, therefore it does not know Him; 2. it does not know Him, therefore it does not receive Him.—The world with all its spirit yet without the (Holy) Spirit: 1. Its spirits lack the Spirit (the true Spirit); 2. its spirit lacks spirits (its inspiration does not attain to great personal spirit-life).—The Holy Ghost, like Christ, a stranger to the world.—Always an intimate of Christians, always a stranger to the world.—The disciples of Jesus become the intimates of His Spirit.—Christians never orphans.—Christianity a living in the coming of Christ: 1. He lives, therefore His people shall live 2. He comes, therefore His people shall see Him.
The grand saying: Yet a little while: 1. Yet a little while and He will be here with us (as Comforter, as Quickener, Gladdener, Helper-through) with wonders of refreshment. 2. Yet a little while and we shall be yonder with Him.—After Gethsemane and Golgotha, in sooth,—but still after a little.—Through trouble and death, and yet after a little. (Romans 8:18.)—At that day, John 14:20. The new day of a three-fold lustre: 1. That of the Resurrection, 2. of the Ascension, 3. of the outpouring of the Spirit.—Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 60:19.—The resurrection time as the triumphal celebration of the personal life: 1. Of Christ, 2. of His own, 3. of the hearts that they, in His strength, shall awaken to personal life.—Upon what conditions do we become recipients of the manifestation of the living Christ? (See John 14:23.)
Christ’s discourse with Judas Lebbeus.—The gloomy views of Thomas, the wavering views of Philip, and the cheerful views of Judas.—Judas’ faith in the piety of the world not free from worldly-mindedness.—The difference and contrast between Jesus’ disciples and the world: First mark: Love to Jesus; no love. Second mark: The keeping of Christ’s word; the failing to keep it. Third mark: Experience of how the Father, together with the Son, takes up His dwelling with His own. The Father’s staying away from the despisers of the Son.—Only where Christ’s radiant image is extant in His word, is this radiant image filled with the power of His life.—Christ having covered up the great abyss between earth and heaven, discloses the great abyss between the company of the faithful and the world.
The Holy Ghost as the teacher of Christ’s word: 1. How He brings to mind all things; 2. how He develops all things.—The Holy Ghost as a Reminder: 1. Who unlocks the penetralia of revelation for the Christian, 2. the penetralia of the Christian for revelation.—The inner life as a being reminded, or a calling to mind.—The mark of the true Christian spirit, unison with Christ and His word.
The peace-greeting of Christ His gift of peace.—The farewell-greeting of Christ the pledge for the greeting of a reunion.—How Christ greets us so differently from the world: 1. At coming, 2. at parting.—Christ’s going away itself a mightier coming again to His own.—The gain of the faithful in Christ’s going home to the Father.—How, in the hour of temptation, the heart’s peace should stand firm in the midst of all and any grief of soul.—Christ’s prophecies concerning His death and glorification, a fountain of faith for His people.—The protestation of Christ John 14:30.—The prince of this world cometh, or Christ’s enemies a host of Satan.—He hath nothing in Me: He possesses none of Me. 2. He shall seize none of Me. 3. He shall retain none of Me.—Everything of Christ’s belongs to the light, even His body. This fact decides His future: 1. His going home to the land of light. 2. His return in the power of light.—Christ’s joyfulness in sacrifice (John 14:31): 1. Its purpose (that the world), 2. its impulse (love to the Father), 3. its act (obedience), 4. its expression (the exhortation to departure).—The eternal authoritativeness, as applying to Christ’s people, of His charge to depart: 1. Arise! 2. Let us go! 3. Away from this place!
Gospel for Whitsunday John 14:23-31.—The promise of the Holy Ghost as an answer to the question of Judas: 1. The magnitude of that promise, 2. its certainty to the disciples of Jesus, 3. its seclusion against the world.—For whom is the promise of the Holy Ghost? 1. Not for the world, as world, but only for the disciples. 2. Not for the disciples alone, but for the whole world which, as world, is at once to be destroyed, and, in the susceptible, elevated and preserved.—The coming of the Holy Ghost: 1. The stipulation of it: a contrast between the disciples who love the Lord, and the world. 2. Form of it: a contrast between the condition of those who are anointed with the Spirit and the condition of immature disciples. 3. The effect of it: a contrast between the true peace of the Lord and the false peace of the world. 4. The aim of it: a contrast between victorious departure out of the world and the destruction of the world.—The development of the Christian life by means of the Holy Ghost: 1. Love to Jesus (John 14:23-24). 2. Enlightenment (John 14:26). 3. Peace (John 14:27). 4. Joy. 5. Victory and perfection (John 14:31).
Starke: Luther: Whom the devil tries to terrify and dispirit, Christ comforts; but whom the devil lulls into security, and emboldens, Christ terrifies.—Jeremiah 17:9.—Hedinger: Faith, the best weapon of defence against all fear.—“In My Father’s house:” in heaven, in the which house I am no servant but a son.—Canstein: O blessed friendship and fellowship of Christ with His faithful ones! His heart doth so hang upon them that He is not able, as it were, to dwell in heaven if He have not them with Him.—Zeisius: When the world will no longer put up with thee, remember His house.—On John 14:5. Luther: It is laudable for a man to perceive his ignorance in divine things.—On John 14:6. Revelation 1:8.—Ibid.: A Christian is a man who forthwith commences to go out of this life to heaven.—Hedinger: Through Christ we look into the divine nature.—Canstein on John 14:11 : If Christ did not will that men should believe Him without works, still more does it behoove Christians to show in deed and in works how it is that they desire to be accounted of.—On John 14:13. Learn to pray aright.—On John 14:15. 1 Corinthians 16:22.—Zeisius: If thou desire to know whether thou truly love Christ, ask thy conscience whether thou be leading a life of genuine and daily repentance, etc.—If thou grieve not the Holy Spirit with sins, He will not depart from thee, but will guide and lead thee into life.—Osiander on John 14:17 : The bad Spirit is a lying spirit who seduces men, making them trifling and deceitful; but the Spirit of Christ is a Spirit of truth who brings forth truth and makes men true so that they take pleasure in the truth.
John 14:18. Hedinger: Made sorrowful and yet beloved.—Luther: Christendom has this consoling promise in common.—On John 14:19. No matter how thyself and thine art, thy splendor and thy cleverness may be seen; yet a little while, and the world shall see thee no more.—On John 14:20. Hedinger: The cross and experience open both the eyes and the understanding.—O mysterious bliss of the faithful! They are united to Christ as Christ is to the Father.
John 14:21. Zeisius: To love Christ is not merely to know His commandments, but to keep them.—Be solicitous of this manifestation of Jesus, O soul! more than of all in the world beside.
John 14:23. Luther: Christ intends to say: This is the reason why I will not reveal Myself to the world; it is so mad-brained and foolish as to presume to lecture and tutor Me as to how I ought to rule. It should hear Me and learn of Me; but it thinks itself too clever for that and undertakes to dictate to Me how I should act.—Despise not the meanest human being that loves Jesus; meet such with reverence; his soul is a dwelling-place of the triune God.—Cramer: Precious guests, God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; these come to us; not as to a wedding or on a visit, but to dwell in us—and so we are the temple of God.—Hedinger: Listen! Christ’s word thou must keep, not simply know. Should’st thou say: that I will not do, that I cannot do, then thou must suffer us to dispute thy Christianity. Yet even keeping is not (necessarily) fulfilling.
John 14:26. Cramer: The office of the Holy Ghost is implied in His name (and in His different names).—Zeisius: How will the Holy Ghost adorn His dwelling and fill it with light, comfort, righteousness, peace, joy.—Faithful teachers must first suffer themselves to be instructed and reminded by the Holy Ghost before they teach their hearers.—Zeisius: True love rejoiceth at the prosperity of the beloved. Why then, O Christian heart, dost thou mourn so bitterly at the departure of those who have shut their eyes upon this atrocious world and fallen asleep in Christ?
John 14:30. Dost thou hear, worldling? thy prince is the devil.—As Satan has no power over Christ, neither has he power over those who are justified through the blood of Christ.
John 14:31. The faith, the love and the patience of true Christians must shine in the eyes of the world.—Canstein: All our actions must originate in faith in, and love to, God; their aim must be His glory, and the rule of them His will.—Be comforted, dear Christian, in thy misery; thou art suffering in accordance with thy heavenly Father’s will. He will end thy sufferings in His own good time and will order them to the accomplishment of some good purpose.—Nov. Bibl. Tub.: What is the true Christian’s pilgrimage? After the example of Jesus, it is a continual going hence and a continual hasting to the heavenly Father.
Gerlach: 1. Of Christ’s going to the Father and the way to be pursued. 2. Of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, in whom Christ comes to His people again in greater glory. 3. The setting out to suffer.—Now did the disciples more and more clearly understand that their Master was really about going away from them, and their faces reflected their fear and anxiety—emotions which had been heightened by His last words to Peter. Therefore it is that the succeeding discourse is preëminently comforting in its nature.—Jesus does not merely point out the way,—He is the Way; He does not simply guide to life,—He is the Life. The Way itself carries the man who enters upon it and continues in it, to the goal; the Truth lights him so that he cannot stray; the Life imbues him with strength in which he walks without growing weary.—This demand of Philip shows that the disciples still imagined the Father to be with Him, not in Him.—The greater works. Jesus had sowed, they were to reap (John 4:38); before the whole work of redemption was finished, Jesus’ works on the earth, His teaching, His working of miracles, His guiding and speeding of His people, could not but be (appear) small in comparison with the mighty works of the apostles, to whom the Holy Ghost more than supplied the visible presence of Jesus, glorifying Jesus and His cross for them, throwing open to them the doors of the heathen world, and giving them, through the word of reconciliation, multitudes for a spoil and the strong for a prey.—(Luther). Who is this “I?” He assumes to Himself all the power and strength of the divine majesty and seizes everything in a mass:—“Whatsoever ye ask, without exception.”—Judas probably understood the “manifestation” to mean an outward one.—He hath no power over Me. In order that, even at His death, they might not believe that the prince of this world had conquered Him, He told them so clearly that He went of His own free will to the Cross.—Lisco. John 14:1-14. The departing Redeemer comforts His disciples in view of their imminent separation.
John 14:15-31. The departing Redeemer promises the Holy Ghost to His people and comforts them.
Braune: To believers, death is in very truth a going home; their life a journey home. The Jews were gathered to their Fathers,—Christians go hence to the Father.—The disciples, Thomas, etc. How honestly they speak out their hearts; not one utters a false Yea.—Thomas: This reminds one of the verse of the natural man: “I live, I know not for how long; I die, I know not how soon; I go, I know not whither; how can I be so cheerful ?”—In our earthly speech we say: The wayfarer makes a way, but in the spiritual tongue the Way makes the wayfarer.—The prophecy Isaiah 25:8 is fulfilled in Christ.—The greater works. When He had completed the reconciliation, a free, familiar and living intercourse was opened between God and man, and streams of power from on high could now discharge themselves unchecked into the hearts of men.—(Herder). He opens (says He) a clear and lightsome way. The assurance with which Christ declares this, makes heaven and earth one, as it were.—(Bengel:) Truth makes all the virtues in us true; otherwise there would be false knowledge, false faith, false love, false hope.—Beginning with this passage (John 14:17), Christ makes a distinction between the world and His people, such as does not elsewhere appear in His addresses. Pentecost, however, confirmed this distinction and made it manifest. The Christian cannot be distinguished from the world if he has not yet celebrated His Pentecost.—The Holy Ghost. The longer we have Him, the better we have Him, the better we know Him, until finally He comes to be in us.—Thomas, Philip, and the faithful Judas speak; the more intelligent, profounder and greater disciples John, Peter, James, keep silence.—He says in the face of death: I live and ye shall live also.—Peace be with you. The heart is free from everything that is hostile to God; there is no latent love of the world, no want of trust in the spirit. Perfect concord of heart is where Christ and His peace are.
Heubner: It is the duty of the Christian to be courageous, undaunted and composed so long as Christ is with him.—We hear after what fashion the Son speaks, as one perfectly at home and able to find His way about in the house of the Father—more familiar with it than all the astronomers who scarcely descry the visible covering, the threshold of that heavenly house.—Many mansions. Many as regards number and kind: different in glory and blessedness.—So long as there are stars in the heavens, there shall not be wanting witnesses to a higher world. Comp. Daub, Der Sternenhimmel mit Christlichem Auge zur Erhebung des Herzens betrachtet, Essen, 1836.—There is already assigned us through Christ a place in heaven. What consolation does this afford in poverty, persecution and death. The reply of Basil to the question of the Arian emperor Valens, as to where he would remain in the face of his persecutions: Aut sub cœlo, aut in cœlo.—Urban, the deputy of Cajetan, to Luther: Where wilt thou abide then? Luther: Under heaven.—A saying of Frederick the Magnanimous (p. 427, note). Must not the Christian be homesick for his heavenly Fatherland ? “Knowest thou the land ?”
John 14:3. Christ’s going hence by the way of His cross and passion served,—through His appearing in the presence of God (Hebrews 9:24), through the offering of His blood in the Holy Place or the presentation of the sufficient reconciliation made by Him,—to purchase for us our re-adoption into heaven. It is to Him we owe our heavenly citizenship.
John 14:3. Perfect union with Christ.—No heaven without Christ.—On John 14:23. We can surrender ourselves only to one who meets us with a trustful heart.
John 14:26. Every one longs to be spirituel (a play upon words: Alles will Geist haben, Geist in the sense of ésprit, wit). Why do not men seek the true Spirit which is with Christ?—Whoso does not become a doctor in this School (of the Holy Spirit), is no true doctor.—What is true clearing up? What Christ makes clear, glorifies.
John 14:28. Nothing against the divine nature of Christ can be deduced from this passage, even should we be unprepared to regard, as Basil does, the very fact of Jesus’ instituting a comparison between Himself and the Father, as a proof of the Son’s equality in substance with the Father. (Basil says, namely: none but things of a like nature can be compared,—angels with angels, men with men, etc.).—The prince of this world. Of course he thought it conducive to his highest interest to see Jesus, the Holy One, the Founder of the kingdom of God, covered with opprobrium as the greatest criminal,—and all under the pretence of justice.
Gossner: The Saviour had in His humiliation, never exactly declared (out and out) who He was. Therefore it was difficult for people who were to see him hanging for several hours on the cross between two murderers, to believe in His divinity.—The Father’s House. No fear that there will not be room enough there.—No bridge nor path is there, leading from earth to heaven, from time to eternity, from this world to God, and stretching as far as Christ who did come from heaven and go to heaven. All other bridges break; all other roads fail thee just where they ought to begin,—namely, in death.—Philip here asked a question which has puzzled the brains of the wisest men of all ages—namely, as to what God is and how we may know Him.
John 14:16. In this verse the Triune is clear as the sun.
John 14:18. It is not: ye shall have a shadow, a conception, a thought of Me; no,—I am coming to you. Our soul doth live, our whole heart laugheth, when He revealeth Himself to us,—Christ, our salvation.—At that day. At the Easter day, which comes to every Christian when Christ rises within him and begins to live—at the day of manifestation.—Without Christ it is not possible to know Christ, without God it is impossible to know God. This saying: “I will reveal Myself unto him,” must be fulfilled for each man or he knows nothing truly of Christ and has no living God.—On John 14:23. Scripture ascribes to the inner man all the senses of the outer man. Taste and see that the Lord is good, Psalms 34:8.—When the body is dead, the soul continues to be a living substance. This is a proof of the substantiality of spiritual experience in the heart.
John 14:30. Against this, Christ’s innocence, the devil has dashed his horns to pieces; it has broken his neck for him.
John 14:31. Up, up! away! to suffer with Him; ye must not be taking your repose.
Stier: The first chapter (14) manifestly takes for its starting-point faith in God as existent in Christ; the special subject of the second is the love of those who are united in Him and through Him; finally, the third contains (for the exercise of hope, we may say) the most minute announcement of all that is to result from and succeed the departure of Jesus.—Richter (Luther): So long as we are not ready, the habitations are not prepared for us, though in themselves they are prepared.
Schleiermacher: He requires faith in God and faith in Himself, as something which indeed seems to be two things—things, however, so inseparably united as to be actually one and the same.—That which we do in faith on the Lord, is a work of the Son; and when this work is promoted by the government which the Father exercises in the world, the Father is glorified in the Son.—Only he who holds fast that in My life which, as commandment, doctrine, or promise—for they are all one—has become an eternal, divine word of love and grace to men, etc.,—only he it is who loveth Me.—My peace. This peace resteth upon love, and love expelleth all fear.—Besser: On John 14:1. Be of good courage, Deuteronomy 31:6-7. But a greater than Joshua is here.—On the “other Comforter.” The ancient Church advisedly took the Gospels for four Sundays of the glorious time between Easter and Pentecost from these three chapters of John.—Heaven the true archetype of the Old Testament temple. Heb. chh. 8–12.
On the Pentecostal pericope. Genzken: Concerning the glorious Pentecostal gifts which the Lord hath promised us.—Bachmann: The Christian a temple of God, of the Holy Ghost.—Rambach: The victory of Christianity over the world.—Hagenbach: The peace of God as the most precious legacy of our Lord, the most glorious gift of the Holy Ghost.—Florey: The kingdom of the Holy Ghost. A kingdom of love, truth, peace.—The peace of the world, and the peace of the Lord.
[Craven: From Hilary (De Trin. vii. 9): John 14:6. He who is the Way cannot lead us astray; He who is the Truth cannot deceive us; He who is the Life will not desert us in the darkness of death.
John 14:9. He does not mean the sight of the bodily eye; the Father is seen in the Son by the incommunicable likeness of birth.
John 14:9-10. That the Father dwells in the Son shows that He is not solitary; that the Father works by the Son, shows that He is not different or alien.——From Augustine: John 14:1-4. Our Lord consoles His disciples, who would be naturally troubled at the idea of His death, by assuring them of His divinity.—As the disciples were afraid for themselves when Peter had been told that he would deny his Lord, He adds In My Father’s house, etc., to assure them that they might with confidence look forward to dwelling with Him.—Many mansions, i.e. many degrees of dignity corresponding to people’s deserts.
John 14:5-7. The disciples knew not what they did know.—I am the Way, whereby thou wouldest go; the Truth, whereto thou wouldest go; the Life, in which thou wouldest abide—Walk by the Man, and thou wilt arrive at God.
John 14:8. To the joy of beholding His [the Father’s] face nothing could be added.
John 14:9. When two persons are very much alike, we say, If you have seen the one you have seen the other.
John 14:10. Spiritual vision is the reward of faith, vouchsafed to minds purified by faith.
John 14:12. Greater works; they afterwards converted the Gentiles to the faith.
John 14:13. Why, then, do we often see believers asking and not receiving? Whatsoever we ask for that would hinder our salvation, we do not [truly] ask in our Saviour’ name.—Whenever we ask any thing to the disadvantage of our salvation, He shows Himself our Saviour by not granting.—What we ask for is [often] deferred, not denied.
John 14:17. The world, i.e. those who love the world, cannot receive the Holy Spirit; unrighteousness cannot become righteous.—The world cannot receive Him, because it seeth Him not; the love of the world hath not invisible [i.e. spiritual] eyes to see that which can be seen only invisibly [spiritually].
John 14:19. A little while; that which seems long to men, is short to God.
John 14:21. He that hath them in mind and keepeth them in life; he that hath them in words and keepeth them in works; he that hath them by hearing and keepeth them by doing; he that hath them by doing and keepeth them by persevering, he it is that loveth Me.—Love must be shown by works, or it is a mere barren name.—Now He loves us so only that we believe, then He will love us so that we shall see; now, we love by believing that which we shall see; then, we shall love by seeing that which we have believed.
John 14:22-24. Love distinguishes the Saints from the world: it maketh men to be of one mind in an house; in which house the Father and the Son take up Their abode; Who give that love to those to whom in the end They will manifest Themselves.—We will come unto him: They come to us in that we go to Them; They come by succouring, we go by obeying; They come by enlightening, we go by contemplating; They come by filling, we go by holding: so Their manifestation is not external but inward; Their abode is not transitory but eternal.—The abode He promised them hereafter (John 14:3) is altogether different from that of which He now speaks; the one is spiritual and inward, the other outward and perceptible to the bodily senses.
John 14:26. The Son speaks, the Spirit teaches; when the Son speaks we take in the words, when the Spirit teaches we understand those words.—Bring to your remembrance, i.e. suggest; every wholesome hint to remember is of the grace of the Spirit.
John 14:27. He left no peace in this world, in which we conquer the enemy; He shall give us peace in the world to come, when we shall reign without an enemy.—This peace is Himself, both when we believe that He is, and when we shall see Him as He is.—His peace is such peace as He has Himself.—There is a peace which is serenity of thought, tranquillity of mind, simplicity of heart, the bond of love, the fellowship of charity; none will be able to come to the inheritance of the Lord, who do not observe this testament of peace.
John 14:28. In that He was Man, He went; in that He was God, He stayed.——From Chrysostom: John 14:9. He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father: A man cannot see the substance of gold in silver, one nature cannot be made apparent by another.
John 14:16. Another Comforter: The word another shows the distinct personality of the Spirit; the word Paraclete (Comforter) His consubstantiality.—They were made to wait some time for this gift (the Comforter) in order that they might feel the want of it, and so be the more grateful when it came.
John 14:19. Because I live ye shall live also: The death of the cross shall not separate you from Me forever, but only hide Me from you for a moment.
John 14:27. External peace is often even hurtful, rather than profitable to those who enjoy it.—From Gregory: John 14:23. If thou wouldest prove thy love, show thy works.—Into some hearts He cometh, but not to make His abode.—In proportion as a man’s love rests upon lower things is he removed from heavenly love.—To the love of our Maker, let the tongue, mind, life bear witness.
John 14:26. Unless the Spirit be present to the mind of the hearer, the word of the teacher is vain.—The invisible Spirit suggests, not because He takes a lower place in teaching, but because He teaches secretly.——From Alcuin: John 14:21. By love, and the observance of His commandments that will be perfected in us which He has begun, viz. that we should be in Him and He in us.——From Theophylact: John 14:6. When thou art engaged in the practical, He is made thy way; when in the contemplative, He is made thy truth; and to the practical and contemplative is joined life, for we should both act and contemplate with reference to the world to come.
John 14:21. As if He had said, Ye think that by sorrowing for My death ye prove your affection, but I esteem the keeping of My commandments the evidence of love.
John 14:26. The Spirit was to teach what Christ had forborne to tell His disciples because they were not able to bear it; He was to bring to remembrance what Christ had told and they had failed to remember.——From Burkitt: John 14:1. The holiest of God’s children subject to disquieting fears.—Christ’s remedy for fear, viz. faith in God and in Himself.
John 14:3-4. Christ’s arguments of consolation in view of His departure.
John 14:6. As though Christ had said—I am the author of the way that leadeth unto life, the teacher of the truth that directs to it, the giver of the life that is obtained by walking in it.
John 14:8. Much ignorance may consist with saving grace.
John 14:13-14. Our Lord assures His disciples that whatever comforts they enjoyed by His presence, they should obtain by their prayers.—To pray in the name of Christ is—1. to look unto Christ as having purchased for us this privilege; 2. to pray in the strength of Christ; 3. to pray in respect of the present mediation of Christ.—The promise is doubled for the confirmation of it.
John 14:15. Christ requires an obedient love, and loving obedience.—Not waiters, but workers are the best servants. [We often work by waiting.—E. R. C.]—The surest evidence of love to Christ is obedience.
John 14:16. The office of the Holy Spirit—a Comforter [Paraclete], i.e. an Advocate, an Encourager, a Consoler.
John 14:18. Christ does not say, I will not suffer you to be comfortless, but I will not leave you so.
John 14:19. Because I live ye shall live also.—While there is vital sap in the root you that are branches shall not wither and die.
John 14:21. Christ teaches—1. the necessity of knowledge in order to practice; 2. the necessity of practice in order to happiness.—I will manifest Myself: Obedient Christians shall not only enjoy the benefit of Christ’s love, but also the sense thereof.—We may as rationally think to nourish our bodies with poison, as to enjoy the manifestation of Christ’s love in a way of sin.
John 14:23. Make our abode denotes—1. the sweet and intimate fellowship between God and the obedient; 2. the perpetuity thereof.
John 14:26. The great Comforter, the special Teacher—He teaches, 1. condescendingly; 2. efficaciously; 3. plainly; 4. unerringly.—The Spirit the Remembrancer, He teaches nothing but what Christ Himself taught.
John 14:27. The world may wish [in words] peace, yet never intend it; or they may wish it and not be able to give it; but Christ’s peace is real and effectual: The world’s peace is freedom from outward trouble; Christ’s peace is deliverance from inward guilt, which though it does not give exemption from troubles, affords—1. a sanctified improvement of them; 2. an assurance of deliverance out of them.
John 14:28. True love to Christ will make us rejoice in His advancement, though it be to our own disadvantage.——From M. Henry: John 14:1. Christ knows our souls in adversity.—Let not your heart be troubled—He does not say let them not be saddened, but let them not be disquieted: Let not your heart be troubled—keep the heart with all diligence: Let not your heart be troubled—you that are My chosen, redeemed, sanctified ones.
John 14:2. A particular declaration as to what we must trust God for—viz. heaven—Heaven will make amends for all.—Heaven is—1. a house, not a tent.; 2. a Father’s house, My Father’s and therefore our Father’s; 3. a place of mansions; (1) distinct dwellings; (2) durable dwellings; 4. a place of many mansions—for there are (1) many sons to be brought to glory, [(2) many classes of sons].—If it were not so I would have told you.—The assurance of heaven, built upon—1. the veracity of His word; 2. the sincerity of His affection.
John 14:3. The belief of Christ’s second coming an excellent preservative against trouble of heart, Philippians 4:5, James 5:8.—The coming of Christ is in order to our gathering together unto Him, 2 Thessalonians 2:1.—The quintessence of heaven’s happiness is being with Christ, John 17:24.
John 14:4. Christ having set heaven before His disciples as the end, here shows them Himself as the way to it.
John 14:6. The nature of Christ’s mediation, He is—1. the way, the highway, Isaiah 35:9—(1) His own way, Hebrews 9:12; (2)our way; 2. the truth, as opposed to—(1) figure, (2) error, (3) deception; 3. the life—we are alive unto God only in and through Jesus Christ, Romans 6:11.—The way, the truth and the life, He is—1. the beginning, middle and end, in Him we must set out, go on and finish; 2. as the truth the guide of our way, as the life the end of it; 3. the true and living way, there is truth and life in it as well as at the end of it; 4. the only true way to life.—No man cometh unto the Father but by Me—the necessity of Christ’s mediation.
John 14:9. He reproves Philip for—1. not improving his acquaintance with Him as he might have done; 2. his infirmity in the prayer made—we know not what we should pray for as we ought, Romans 8:26, and often ask amiss, James 4:3.—All that saw Christ by faith saw the Father in Him; the Father’s—1. wisdom in His doctrine; 2. power in His miracles; 3. holiness in His purity; 4. grace in His acts of grace.
John 14:10-11. Christ’s miracles proofs of His divine mission, not only for the conviction of infidels but for the confirmation of disciples.
John 14:13-14. In prayer—1. humility prescribed, ye shall ask; 2. liberty allowed, ask anything.—In My name—1. to plead His merit; 2. to aim at His glory.
John 14:16. The Comforter the great New Testament promise.
John 14:17. Christ is the truth, and He is the Spirit of Christ.—Speak to the children of this world of the operations of the Spirit and you are as a barbarian.—The experiences of the Saints are the explications of the promises: Paradoxes to others are axioms to them.
John 14:18-24. The departure of Christ neither total nor final.—Union with Christ the life and felicity of believers.
John 14:19. Because I live ye shall live also. The life of Christians is bound up in the life of Christ.
John 14:20. At that day you shall know perfectly what now you see through a glass darkly.
John 14:21-24. Note—1. The duty of those who claim the dignity of being disciples; 2. the dignity of those who do the duty of disciples.—The returns for love—those who love shall have—1. The Father’s love; 2. Christ’s love; 3. the comfort of that love.—I will manifest Myself.—Christ’s manifestation of Himself to His disciples—1. is done in a distinguishing way to them and not to the world; 2. is justly marvellous in our eyes.
John 14:23. God will be with obedient believers as at His home.
John 14:25-27. With two things Christ here comforts believers, that they should be—1. Under the tuition of His Spirit; 2. Under the influence of His peace.
John 14:26. He shall teach you all things, as a Spirit—1. of Wisdom 2. of revelation.
John 14:27. Peace I leave with you, etc.; observe—1. the legacy bequeathed, viz.: peace, which is here put for all good; 2. to whom it is bequeathed—to His disciples; 3. the manner in which it is left—not as the world giveth; 4. the use that should be made of it—to prevent trouble and fear.
John 14:28. Many that love Christ let their love run in a wrong channel; they think they must be in continual pain because of Him, whereas they should rejoice in Him.
[From Stier: John 14:1. The already existing faith in God must be the ground of faith in Christ; and, on the other hand, the perfect faith in God is to be the result of faith in Christ.
John 14:2. House is home, where one abides, to which he belongs, to which he has a right; still more—it is a firm, secure building, provided for all kinds of need.—Many mansions—the household character of the abodes; many mansions—intimating degrees and distinctions in blessedness.
John 14:3. His coming again and receiving embraces the whole of His influence, drawing, setting free (John 12:32; John 8:35-36), beginning with the resurrection and ending in His final manifestation.
John 14:5. When any one in due time, after the Word and Spirit of Christ have long spoken to him, opposes his “we know not,” then becomes he the unbelieving Thomas who will not know and believe; but a genuine Thomas asks for the way in deep earnestness, and will not be long without a perfect understanding.
John 14:6. Christ is as—1. Man, the way which offers itself to all men; 2. God, absolute, independent truth; 3. God-Man, the life, that is the fountain of life springing from Him and received by us.—“Yea, Thou art the goal and Thou art also the way: so is a stream goal and way at once: I will bend my energies to go thither where the stream pours itself into the sea, thither where the Son sits at the right hand of the Father; and to reach it I will commit myself to the stream which is my way, and not only a way which guides me, but a way also which bears me: thus come I to Thee through Thyself, Thou guidest me and bearest me at once.” (Theremin).
John 14:8. Previous to the true “my Lord and my God” there was no greater honor given to Christ, or higher power ascribed to Him than in this Lord show us the Father.—It sufficeth us; to see God is blessedness.
John 14:9. Christ is the visibility of the Invisible, as far as, and in such a way as, He may be seen.
John 14:10. Believest thou? That is still the humbling question of the Lord which rebukes the presumption of every aspiring Philip in life, as it is the consoling question which alleviates the sorrow of every downcast Martha at the grave.—His words are no other than works, and His works are speaking and testifying words.
John 14:11-24. The transition from believing to loving; from believing primarily as the reliance and subjection of knowledge, to loving as not merely the fruit of faith but as already the living germ of the true and living trust of a person on a person—as the affiance of the heart.
John 14:12. He sowed, we reap—and the harvest is indeed greater than the seed.—I go—to death, indeed, but thereby to the Father; away from you, indeed, but thereby the more spiritually and effectually to unite Myself with you.
John 14:13-14. Let your faith in My Person become prayer in My name. To pray in the name of Jesus is—1. to mention Him in connection with the thing asked for, appealing to (depending upon) Him; 2. to pray actually in the Person of Christ, that is, as standing in His place; 3. to ask for nothing but what is according to His mind, in His interest; 4. to call immediately upon the name of Him, who is with the one praying by the Spirit at the same time that He is above with the Father.
John 14:16. Christ is Himself the one Paraclete, and by His side with like personality stands the other.—The acts of the three Persons—asking, giving, abiding.—Paraclete—one who performs all that which a Counsel or Representative, being at the same time an Adviser, can perform for us.
John 14:17. The Spirit brings to us the Truth—that is the truth concerning ourselves, the will of God toward us, the way of return to God through Christ; He shows, glorifies, opens to us this way as truth and life, so that we know what follows in John 14:20.—The world cannot receive Him, because to receive Him requires susceptibility.—The beginning and ground of all knowing is an internal true beholding.
John 14:18. I will not leave you orphans; they are His little children, John 13:33.
John 14:19. Because I live ye shall live also; there is no other guarantee for our personal continuance in the integrity of our being than the personality of Christ—all other arguments and hopes of immortality are like shadows and vapor before the light and power of this living word.
John 14:21. I will manifest Myself to him; beyond this, promise has nothing greater or higher for man. (Is not the promise of John 14:3 greater—I will come again and receive you unto Myself?—E. R. C.).
John 14:23. This first loving, which is the point of decision on our part, is the essential germ of life in living faith.—Learn better what love is, ye zealots, and make the banner of love to the Lord, the sole banner of His Church!—My Father will love him, etc.—the rewarding love for such as thus love (obediently) in full communion or manifestation.—As sin dwells in our hearts as a home, so does the new love which casts it out.
John 14:26. On account of our weakness or our sinfulness, we forget the most familiar words just where they should be remembered, and there is always need that one should stand behind us ready to pronounce our duty in our ears.—Let us not scorn in relation to babes in the school of Christ the receiving and the keeping of even the word not understood.
John 14:27. Peace; the whole salvation of man, his re-establishment into final perfect external and internal well-being.—”In the Hebrew this little word peace means nothing else but thriving and prospering” (Luther).—My peace; the peace which—1. I Myself have, 2. I alone can give, 3. I can give only through fellowship with Myself.—Not as the world giveth; public peace is not to be trusted, still less the world’s peace of heart.—The peace of God in Christ is higher than all understanding; higher than all words about it, and deeper than all consciousness of it.
John 14:28. They would rejoice at His departure if they loved Him aright; their love is not yet disinterested enough.—“Up! up! let us go forth to suffering and the fulfilment of the Divine will! Thus does the Lord arouse them, and carry them with Him into His contest, that they may be His followers in the way of suffering.” (Berlenb. Bibel).
[From Barnes. John 14:2-3. The universe is the dwelling-place of My Father; in that vast abode earth is one mansion, heaven is another; it should not be a matter of grief when we are called to pass from one part of this vast habitation to another.—I am about to leave you; but shall still be in the same habitation with you, performing an important work for you.
John 14:7. if ye had known Me: they had not a full and accurate knowledge of His character and designs.
John 14:13. In My name, i.e. on My account; if a man who has money in a bank authorizes us to draw it, we do it in his name.
John 14:15. The evidence that a child loves his parents is his being willing without hesitation, gainsaying, or murmuring, to do all they require him to do.
John 14:16. The other Comforter, a compensation for Christ’s absence; it is the office of the Spirit—To furnish to all Christians the instruction and consolation which would be given by the personal presence of Jesus. John 16:14.
John 14:19. Ye shall live also; learn that—1. The life of the Christian depends on Christ; 2. The fact that Jesus lives is a pledge that all who believe in Him shall be saved.
John 14:21. Religion is love.
John 14:23. We will come unto him with the manifestation of pardon, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost.—Make our abode, i.e. manifest ourselves in no temporary way.
John 14:26. Bring all things to your remembrance; the Spirit will—1. Remind you of My sayings; 2. Teach you the meaning of them.
John 14:27. Not as the world giveth—1. Not as the objects which men commonly pursue; 2. Not as the men of the world give; 3. Not as systems of philosophy and false religion give; 4. My peace is such as meets all the wants of the soul, silences the alarms of conscience, is fixed amid all external changes, and will abide forever.
John 14:30. Hath nothing in Me; there is in Me no principle or feeling that accords with his, and nothing therefore by which he can prevail; temptation has only power because there are some principles of evil (?) in us which accord with the designs of the tempter. (How then could holy Adam have been tempted to a fall?—E. R. C.)
[John 14:13-14. True faith, wrought by the Spirit, cannot unconditionally ask for anything not in accordance with the will of God; many say: If we had faith we could obtain such a (supposed) blessing for the asking—whereas if our minds were enlightened and purified by true faith we might not regard it as a blessing.]
John 14:1; John 14:1.—[Or, “Trust (confide) in God, trust also in Me.” The sentence admits of four interpretations and translations, as πιστενετε may be taken both times in the imperative, or both times in the indicative, or once in the imperative, and once in the indicative sense. Hence: 1. “Believe in God, believe also in Me” (Cyril, Nonnus, Theophyl., Euthym. Zigab., Lampe, Bengel, Whitby, Doddridge, Locke, De Wette, Meyer, Stier, Alford, Hengstenberg, Godet); 2. “Ye believe in God, ye believe also in Me” (Luther in his trans.); 3. “Believe in God, and (then) ye will also believe in Me” (Olshausen, Lange); 4. “Ye believe in God, (therefore) believe also in Me;” Creditis in Deum, et in Me credite (Vulg, Aug., Erasmus, Beza, Engl, Ver., Grotius). I take πιστενετε in both clauses as Imperative. See the Exeg.—P. S.]
John 14:2; John 14:2.—[Ὅτι in accordance with א. A.B.C. * D. K., Lachmann, Tischend., Alford, etc. The omission in the text, rec. arose from its being taken as the mere ὅτι recitantis and hence as unnecessary. It may be taken as the ὅτι recitantis with Lange who connects ὅτι πορεύομαι with εῖ̓πον ἂν ὑμῖν, or in the sense because, for. See Exeg.—P. S.]
John 14:3; John 14:3.—Καὶ ἑτοιμάσω. Lachmann, in accordance with A. B. E. G., etc., omits καὶ. Tischendorf retains it in accordance with Codd. [א.] C. I. L., the Vulgate and Itala. [Tischendorf, Exodus 8:0, claims B. as supporting the latter reading.] The former reading seems to have arisen from the idea that ἑτοιμάσω, as a promise, must be attracted to the subsequent πάλιν ἔρχομαι, etc. The corollary, however, is designed to limit Christ’s going away and remaining in the other world. Codd. D. M., etc. read ἑτοιμά σαι in accordance with the foregoing.
John 14:4; John 14:4.—Codd. B. C .* Sin., etc., Tischendorf [Alford, Westcott and H.] read οἴδατε τὴν ὁδόν instead of οἴδατε, καὶ τὴν ὁδόν in accordance with A. D., etc. Meyer favors the former reading: “and whither I go, ye know the way.” John 14:5 he declares to be in favor of this reading. This passage indeed seems at first declarative for the Recepta, since it makes a decided distinction between the goal and the way. Nevertheless we must give the preference to the former reading, it being the more difficult and also according significantly with the context. [The καὶ and second οἴδατε of the text. rec. is explanatory according to John 14:5.—P. S.]
John 14:5; John 14:5.—Lachmann and Tischendorf, in accordance with Codd. B. C. * D., Versions, etc. read οἴδαμεν τὴν ὁδόν instead of δυνάμεθα τὴν ὁδὸν εἰδέναι. The Recepta is explanatory [sustained by (א). A. C.2 (K.) L., etc.]
John 14:7; John 14:7.—Ἐγνώκειτε ἄν is opposed to ἥδειτε by strong authorities, A. E. G., etc. [Tischendorf, Exodus 8:0, reads ἐγνώκατε, instead of ἐγνώκειτε, and γνώσεσθε (cognoscetis) for ἤδειτε, with Cod. Sin. and D* The other reading is supported by A. B. C. D.2 L. N. Q. X., etc., Lachm., Tischend., ed. 7th, Alford.—P. S.]
John 14:10; John 14:10.—[Tischend., Alf., etc. read λέγω (with B. L. N. X.), the text. rec. λαλῶ (with א. A. Q., etc.); D. aeth λελάληκα, perhaps from John 6:63.—P. S.]
John 14:10; John 14:10.—[According to the reading ὀ δὲ πατὴρ ὁ ἐν ἐμοὶ μένων ποιεῖ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ, which is supported by א. B. D. and adopted by Tischendorf, Exodus 8:0. The text. rec. inserts αὐτός before ποιεῖ and omits αὐτοῦ, he himself doeth the works; so Lachm. and Tischend., Exodus 7:0, in accordance with A. Q. Γ.∆.Α.ΙΙ., etc.—P. S.]
John 14:11; John 14:11.—[Tischendorf, Exodus 8:0, omits μοι in accordance with א. D. L.; Lachmann and Alford give it with A. B. Q., etc.—P.S.]
John 14:12; John 14:12.—Moυ is omitted in accordance with decisive authorities, [viz. א. A. B. D. L. Q. X. II.]
John 14:13; John 14:13.—[Tischendorf gives αἰτήσητε in accordance with א. A. D. L. X.; Cod. B. reads αἰτήτε.—P. S.]
John 14:14; John 14:14.—This verse is wanting in 10 and a few Minuscles and Versions. Omitted probably on account of its similarity to John 14:13. [Tischendorf, Exodus 8:0 and Lachmann read αἰτήσητέ in accordance with א. B. E. H., etc.; Tischendorf in Exodus 7:0 omitted με with A. D. G. K., etc. So does Alford, Exodus 6:0—P. S.]
John 14:16; John 14:16.—[On the different renderings of παράκλητος, Paraclete, Comforter, Helper, Advocate, Representative, see the Exeg. Not. The English rendering Comforter, which corresponds to Luther’s Tröster, is derived from Wicliff, who often uses it in the sense of the Latin comfortari, so as to combine the idea of help and strength with that of consolation. See Archdeacon Hare, Mission of the Comforter, vol. 2. j.a. and Alford in loc.—P. S.]
John 14:16; John 14:16.—Instead of μένῃ according to Cod. [A.] D., in conformity to John 14:17 [N.] א. L. Q. X. S. Lachmann, Tischendorf [Alford, etc.] decide in favor of ῆ̓.
John 14:17; John 14:17.—[Tischendorf and Alford omit δέafterὑ,εῖς, in accordance with א. B. Q.; Lachmann gives it with A.D.L.X., etc.—P.S.]
John 14:17; John 14:17.—The Future ἔσται, in accordance with [א.] A. [D.2 L.] Q. Tischendorf, in opposition to ἐσταί [is] B. D. Lachmann [Alford], is recommended by the very μένει which precedes it as a Present (E. G. K.) instead of a Future (Vulgate).
John 14:22; John 14:22.—[Tischendorf reads καὶ τί in accordance with א.G. H. K., etc.; Lachmann omits καὶ with A. B. D. E. L. X—P. S.]
John 14:26; John 14:26.—[The μου is supported only by D. II.2 and a few inferior authorities.—P. S.]
John 14:28; John 14:28.—Εῖ̓πον is omitted in accordance with Cod. [א].A. B. D. K., etc. A repetition from the foregoing.
John 14:28; John 14:28.—[The μου is omitted by Tischendorf, Exodus 8:0, in accordance with א.ca A. B. D., * etc.; Griesbach and Lachmann give it with א. * D.2 Γ. Δ., etc.]
John 14:30; John 14:30.—Τούτου is omitted in accordance with [א.] A. B. D. [g. r.], etc. An explanatory addition.
[In his translation, but not in his Commentary on chh. 14, 16, where he follows, the translation of the Vulgate, see no. 1.—P. S.]
[This little book of Dr. Lange, Das Land der Herrlichkeit, appeared first in a series of articles in Hengstenberg’s ‘Evangelical Church Gazette,’ and then separately, Mörs 1838. It is an argument for the Scripture idea of heaven against the astronomical objections, and abounds in beautiful poetic passages. I shall quote but two: “It is certain that there must be some place in the upper worlds where the beauties and wonders of God’s works are illuminated to the highest transparency by His power and holy majesty; where the combination of lovely manifestations, as seen from radiant summits, the enraptured gaze into the quiet valleys of universal creation, and the streams of light which flow through them, must move the spirits of the blest in the mightiest manner, to cry out: Holy! Holy! Holy!—And there is the holiest place in the great Temple! It is there, because there divine manifestations fill all spirits with a feeling of His holiness. But still rather, because there He reveals Himself through holy spirits, and through the holiest one of all, even Jesus Himself!”—“Seek not to persuade us that all those vast regions are destitute of inhabitants. Seek not to persuade the pilgrim, wandering through the darkness, that yon cottage, whence a hospitable light streams forth to greet him, is without an inhabitant. So on us there shimmers from above, light out of ‘many mansions.’ It is a city of God that beams upon us, whose golden streets stretch forth into remotest infinitude. We see not its furthest battlements; its nearest ones do meet our gaze. And when we consider that light from there is thousands of years in reaching us, and that, starting from a remoter point, it is millions of years on its way, we may well call the city of the Living God an ‘Eternal City.’ Its radiance beams mightily upon our bodily vision if we do but step forth into the starry night. Its glory and higher nature have been made evident by science. But to the believer alone do the heavens disclose themselves as the Fatherland and Heritage of the Blessed. Unto Christians it is said: ‘Ye are come unto the City of the Living God,’ and ‘in my Father’s House are many mansions.” P. 62.—P. S.]
[A very singular and painful abuse of this passage on the many mansions was made by Göthe in his old age (1823) when, in a letter to Countess Auguste Bernstorf-Stolberg who, as a friend and correspondent of his youth, had most delicately and touchingly entreated him to attend to the salvation of his soul, he coldly replied: “Let us dismiss all fears about the future. In our Father’s kingdom are many provinces, and since He has prepared for us such a delightful abode in this world, He will no doubt take good care of both of us in the other world; perhaps we may there succeed also, what we failed to do heretofore, to become acquainted with each other face to face and to love each other all the more deeply. Remember me in undisturbed faithfulness.”—P. S ]
[So also the Eng. 5, Grotius, Olshausen, De Wette, Meyer, Alford, Lachmann, Tischendorf (in their punctuation), Hengstenberg, Godet. In this case εἰ δὲ μή, εῖ̓πον ἁ̓ν ὑμῖν is parenthetical, and ὅτι πορεύομαι, for i go, etc., begins a new sentence which confirms (ὅτι) the assurance: “In My Father’s house are many mansions;” the ἑτοιμάζειν τοπον implies μονὰς πολλάς. The parenthetical assurance, “if it were not so, I would have told you,” agrees with the childlike simplicity of the discourse and is calculated to beget implicit confidence, comp. John 16:4. Upon the whole I prefer this interpretation and would retain the English Version, except that it omits for (ὅτι) before “I go.” Lange’s inrerrogative interpretation is open to the objection that no such words as πορεύομαι τόπον ὺμῖν, are recorded in the previous chapters of John.—P. S.]
[Not consistit, as the original reads in 2d and 3d ed. A typographical error.—P. S.]
[Wordsworth refers also to the healing power of Paul’s handkerchiefs (Acts 19:12) and the speaking in new tongues. Comp. Mark 16:17 ff. But, as Meyer justly says, such a mechanical measurement of the greatness of miracles is entirely foreign to the New Testament. The true commentary on the μείζονα ἔργα is found in the Acts and especially the labors of Paul.—P. S.]
[Similarly Wordsworth: in submission to My will, and conducive to your own salvation and to God’s glory.—P. S.]
[So Alford: “in union with Me, as being Mine, manifesting forth Jesus as the Son of God.”—P. S.]
[Παράκλητος occurs five times in the N. T., four times in the Gospel of John, as a designation of the Holy Spirit, and once in the first Ep. of John, as applied to Christ. It is always translated by the E. V. comforter (following Wiclif), except 1 John 2:1, where it is rendered advocate (after the Vulgate). In the Gospel the Vulgate retains the Greek with a slight change of Paracletus into Paraclitus; the long Greek η being turned into the short Latin i, as in Kyrie eleison. The R. C. Rhemish Version which is constructed on the convenient, but very slavish and un-English system “of taking the words of the Vulgate, chipping off the Latin, and tacking on English terminations,” gives paraclete in all the four passages of the Gospel, and advocate in the Epistle, like the Vulgate. Archdeacon Hare observes (Mission of the Comforter, p. 349), that to avoid confusion the Greek word might have been anglicized (as baptism, apostle, bishop, deacon, etc.), but that this would have obscured our perception of the meaning and, by severing it from its etymological associations, deprived it of a portion of its power.—P. S.]
[So in his 74th Tractate on John; but in the 94th, Augustine combines the interpretation Advocate with that of Comforter; both terms being equivalent to the Greek paraclete. See the quotation in Hare, p. 352 f.—P. S.]
[The same may be said of Calvin; see his interpretation quoted p. 440.—P. S.]
[In the Vulgate Jerome, as already observed; retains the Greek Paraclitum (Paracletum). Some MSS. of the Itala give advocatum.—P. S.]
[Luther translates Tröster, Comforter, but explains Advocate.—P. S.]
[Meyer, in a footnote, p. 515, urges against this meaning the passive form παράκλητος, instead of the active παρακλητικός (Plat. Republ. p. 524 D.), in accordance with ὲπικλητικός , etc. But it should be remembered that in the N. T. παρακαλέω does not mean to call for, but always to exhort or to comfort.—P. S.]
[Wordsworth goes beyond these limits and makes παράκλητος to mean Sanctifier, Teacher, Comforter, Exhorter, Inspirer, Counsellor, Guide, etc., all in one.—P. S.]
[Olshausen remarks in loc., that the original meaning, advocatus, called to aid, is lost in the more general idea of helper, assistant, comforter; that this idea Suits admirably the connection in all passages where the word is applied to the Holy Spirit, but that advocate is better suited in 1 John 2:1 where it is used of Christ.—P. S.]
[Meyer also (p. 516) calls Tholuck’s idea that the Paraclete is der zu Geist verklärte Christus, obscure, unjohannean and unbiblical. Comp. 1 Corinthians 3:17, Against a similar confounding of the Logos with the Spirit by Reuss, see Godet 2 p. 480.—P. S.]
[The absolute present, not the future μενεῖ, manebit (Vulg.). Comp. Meyer in loc.—P. S.]
[Meyer explains the omission of a connecting particle from the deep emotion.—P. S.]
[Bengel: Non modo vivam, sed vivo; Revelation 1:18. Vivetis, futurum; nam vita fidelium sequitur vitam Jesu; et non ex se, sed ex illo vivunt; John 6:57. Meyer’s note on this passage is excellent. On these assuring words of Christ Schleiermacher, in the touching funeral discourse of his only son Nathanael, despairing of all philosophical arguments for the immortality of the soul, firmly placed his hope and trust for a future life.—P. S.]
[In the fifth edition (p. 524) where Meyer takes εἰρήνη indeed in the most general sense of prosperity, like the Hebrew Shalom but so as to include “the peace of redemption or reconciliation with God as the first essential element.”—P. S.]
[Bengel: “In salutationibus inanibus vel beneficiis duntaxat externis, cor non attingentibus, et cum præsentia, conspectu ac vita mortali desinentibus.” (Comp. the English proverb, “Out of sight, out of mind.”) “Mundus ita dat, ut mos eripiat, non relinquit.” Alford and Godet likewise refer the καθώς to the manner of giving, rather than the unreality and emptiness of the world’s peace. But Meyer thinks a reference to the empty formulas of worldly greeting entirely out of place in the solemnity of this moment. Lange has the right view here.—P. S.]
[But often in the Sept. For δειλιάω the classics use ἀποδειλιάω. δειλός, timid, fearful, occurs Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:40; Revelation 21:8, δειλιά, timidity, 2 Timothy 1:7. Bengel refers ταρασσέσθω, ne turbetur, to the intrinsic, δειλιάτω, ne formidet, to the extrinsic fear.—P. S.]
[Olshausen explains: “The Son is born of the essence of the Father, but not inversely the Father from the Son: hence the Father is the cause (der Grund) of the Son, but the Son is not the cause of the Father. The Son proceeding thus from the Father (John 13:3) there was necessarily in Him a desire to return to the Father, as every being is attracted to its source; accordingly the return to the Father was the satisfaction of the desire felt by the Son after His source, and this relation is indicated by the words μείζων μου ἐστίν”. But the essential relation is eternal and hence unchangeable. P.S.]
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on John 14". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter