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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

John 14

Verse 1

Let not your heart be troubled (μη ταρασσεσθω υμων η καρδια). Not here the physical organ of life (Luke 21:34), but the seat of spiritual life (πνευμα, ψυχη), the centre of feeling and faith (Romans 10:10), "the focus of the religious life" (Vincent) as in Matthew 22:37. See these words repeated in John 14:27. Jesus knew what it was to have a "troubled" heart (John 11:33; John 13:31) where ταρασσω is used of him. Plainly the hearts of the disciples were tossed like waves in the wind by the words of Jesus in John 13:38.

Ye believe ... believe also (πιστευετε ... κα πιστευετε). So translated as present active indicative plural second person and present active imperative of πιστευω. The form is the same. Both may be indicative (ye believe ... and ye believe), both may be imperative (believe ... and believe or believe also), the first may be indicative (ye believe) and the second imperative (believe also), the first may be imperative (keep on believing) and the second indicative (and ye do believe, this less likely). Probably both are imperatives (Mark 11:22), "keep on believing in God and in me."

Verse 2

Mansions (μονα). Old word from μενω, to abide, abiding places, in N.T. only here and verse John 14:23. There are many resting-places in the Father's house (οικια). Christ's picture of heaven here is the most precious one that we possess. It is our heavenly home with the Father and with Jesus.

If it were not so (ε δε μη). Ellipsis of the verb (Mark 2:21; Revelation 2:5; Revelation 2:16; John 14:11). Here a suppressed condition of the second class (determined as unfulfilled) as the conclusion shows.

I would have told you (ειπον αν υμιν). Regular construction for this apodosis (αν and aorist--second active--indicative).

For I go (οτ πορευομα). Reason for the consolation given, futuristic present middle indicative, and explanation of his words in John 13:33 that puzzled Peter so (John 13:36).

To prepare a place for you (ετοιμασα τοπον υμιν). First aorist active infinitive of purpose of ετοιμαζω, to make ready, old verb from ετοιμος. Here only in John, but in Mark 10:40 (Matthew 20:23). It was customary to send one forward for such a purpose (Numbers 10:33). So Jesus had sent Peter and John to make ready (this very verb) for the passover meal (Mark 14:12; Matthew 26:17). Jesus is thus our Forerunner (προδρομος) in heaven (Hebrews 6:20).

Verse 3

If I go (εαν πορευθω). Third-class condition (εαν and first aorist passive subjunctive of πορευομα).

And prepare (κα ετοιμασω). Same condition and first aorist active subjunctive of the same verb ετοιμαζω.

I come again (παλιν ερχομα). Futuristic present middle, definite promise of the second coming of Christ.

And will receive you unto myself (κα παραλημψομα υμας προς εμαυτον). Future middle of παραλαμβανω. Literally, "And I shall take you along (παρα-) to my own home" (cf. John 13:36). This blessed promise is fulfilled in death for all believers who die before the Second Coming. Jesus comes for us then also.

That where I am there ye may be also (ινα οπου ειμ εγω κα υμεις ητε). Purpose clause with ινα and present active subjunctive of ειμ. This the purpose of the departure and the return of Christ. And this is heaven for the believer to be where Jesus is and with him forever.

Verse 4

Ye know the way (οιδατε την οδον). Definite allusion to the puzzle of Peter in John 13:36. The path to the Father's house is now plain.

Verse 5

Whither (που)-- how (πως). It is Thomas, not Peter (John 13:36) who renews the doubt about the destination of Jesus including the path or way thither (την οδον). Thomas is the spokesman for the materialistic conception then and now.

Verse 6

I am the way, and the truth, and the life (Εγω ειμ η οδος κα η αληθεια κα η ζωη). Either of these statements is profound enough to stagger any one, but here all three together overwhelm Thomas. Jesus had called himself "the life" to Martha (John 11:25) and "the door" to the Pharisees (John 10:7) and "the light of the world" (John 8:12). He spoke "the way of God in truth" (Mark 12:14). He is the way to God and the only way (verse John 14:6), the personification of truth, the centre of life.

Except by me (ε μη δι' εμου). There is no use for the Christian to wince at these words of Jesus. If he is really the Incarnate Son of God (John 1:1; John 1:14; John 1:18, they are necessarily true.

Verse 7

If ye had known me (ε εγνωκειτε με). Past perfect indicative of γινωσκω, to know by personal experience, in condition of second class as is made plain by the conclusion (αν ηιδετε) where οιδα, not γινωσκω is used. Thomas and the rest had not really come to know Jesus, much as they loved him.

From henceforth ye know him (απ' αρτ γινωσκετε αυτον). Probably inchoative present active indicative, "ye are beginning to know the Father from now on."

And have seen him (κα εωρακατε). Perfect active indicative of οραω. Because they had seen Jesus who is the Son of God, the Image of God, and like God (John 1:18). Hence God is like Jesus Christ. It is a bold and daring claim to deity. The only intelligible conception of God is precisely what Jesus here says. God is like Christ.

Verse 8

Show us (δειξον ημιν). Philip now speaks up, possibly hoping for a theophany (Exodus 33:18), certainly not grasping the idea of Jesus just expressed.

Verse 9

So long time (τοσουτον χρονον). Accusative of extent of time.

And dost thou not know me? (κα ουκ εγνωκας με;). Perfect active indicative of γινωσκω. Jesus patiently repeats his language to Philip with the crisp statement: "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (ο εωρακως εμε εωρακεν τον πατερα). Perfect active participle and perfect active indicative of οραω, state of completion.

Thou (συ). Emphatic--After these years together.

Verse 10

Believest thou not? (ου πιστευεισ;). Jesus had a right to expect greater faith from these men than from the blind man (John 9:35) or Martha (John 11:27). His words in John 14:1 are clearly needed. This oneness with the Father Jesus had already stated (John 10:38) as shown by his "words" (ρηματα) and his "works" (εργα). Cf. John 3:34; John 5:19; John 6:62.

Verse 11

Believe me (πιστευετε μο). Repeated appeal (present active imperative of πιστευω) as in John 14:1 to his disciples and as he had done with the hostile Jews to be influenced by his "works" at any rate (John 10:38).

Verse 12

Shall he do also (κακεινος ποιησε). Emphatic pronoun εκεινος, "that one also."

Greater works than these (μειζονα τουτων). Comparative adjective neuter plural from μεγας with ablative case τουτων. Not necessarily greater miracles and not greater spiritual works in quality, but greater in quantity. Cf. Peter at Pentecost and Paul's mission tours. "Because I go" (οτ εγω πορευορνα). Reason for this expansion made possible by the Holy Spirit as Paraclete (John 16:7).

Verse 13

Whatsoever ye shall ask (οτ αν αιτησητε). Indefinite relative clause with οτ (neuter accusative singular of οστις), αν and the aorist active subjunctive of αιτεω. This is an advance thought over verse John 14:12.

In my name (εν τω ονοματ μου). First mention of his "name" as the open sesame to the Father's will. See also John 14:26; John 15:16; John 16:23; John 16:24; John 16:26.

That will I do (τουτο ποιησω). The Father answers prayers (John 15:16; John 16:23), but so does the Son (here and verse John 14:14). The purpose (ινα clause with first aorist passive subjunctive of δοξαζω) is "that the Father may be glorified in the Son." Plead Christ's name in prayer to the Father.

Verse 14

If ye shall ask me anything in my name (εαν τ αιτησητε με εν τω ονοματ μου). Condition of third class with εαν and first aorist active subjunctive of αιτεω. The use of με (me) here is supported by Aleph B 33 Vulgate Syriac Peshitta. Just this phrase does not occur elsewhere in John and seems awkward, but see John 16:23. If it is genuine, as seems likely, here is direct prayer to Jesus taught as we see it practiced by Stephen in Acts 7:59; and in Revelation 22:20.

Verse 15

If ye love me (εαν αγαπατε με). Third-class condition "if ye keep on loving (present active subjunctive, same contract form as indicative) me." Cf. verse John 14:23.

Ye will keep (τηρησετε). Future active of τηρεω, not aorist imperative τηρησατε (keep) as some MSS. have. For this phrase see also John 8:51; John 14:23; John 14:24; John 14:20; 1 John 2:5. Continued love prevents disobedience.

Verse 16

And I will pray the Father (καγω ερωτησω τον πατερα). Ερωταω for prayer, not question (the old use), also in John 16:23 (prayer to Jesus in same sense as αιτεω), John 14:26 (by Jesus as here); John 17:9 (by Jesus), "make request of."

Another Comforter (αλλον παρακλητον). Another of like kind (αλλον, not ετερον), besides Jesus who becomes our Paraclete, Helper, Advocate, with the Father (1 John 2:1, Cf. Romans 8:26). This old word (Demosthenes), from παρακαλεω, was used for legal assistant, pleader, advocate, one who pleads another's cause (Josephus, Philo, in illiterate papyrus), in N.T. only in John's writings, though the idea of it is in Romans 8:26-34. Cf. Deissmann, Light, etc., p. 336. So the Christian has Christ as his Paraclete with the Father, the Holy Spirit as the Father's Paraclete with us (John 14:16; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7; 1 John 2:1).

For ever (εις τον αιωνα). This the purpose (ινα) in view and thus Jesus is to be with his people here forever (Matthew 28:20). See John 4:14 for the idiom.

Verse 17

The Spirit of truth (το πνευμα της αληθειας). Same phrase in John 15:27; John 16:13; 1 John 4:6, "a most exquisite title" (Bengel). The Holy Spirit is marked by it (genitive case), gives it, defends it (cf. John 1:17), in contrast to the spirit of error (1 John 4:6).

Whom (ο). Grammatical neuter gender (ο) agreeing with πνευμα (grammatical), but rightly rendered in English by "whom" and note masculine εκεινος (verse John 14:26). He is a person, not a mere influence.

Cannot receive (ου δυνατα λαβειν). Left to itself the sinful world is helpless (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:7), almost Paul's very language on this point. The world lacks spiritual insight (ου θεωρε) and spiritual knowledge (ουδε γινωσκε). It failed to recognize Jesus (John 1:10) and likewise the Holy Spirit.

Ye know him (υμεις γινωσκετε αυτο). Emphatic position of υμεις (ye) in contrast with the world (John 15:19), because they have seen Jesus the Revealer of the Father (verse John 14:9).

Abides (μενε). Timeless present tense.

With you (παρ' υμιν). "By your side," "at home with you," not merely "with you" (μεθ' υμων) "in the midst of you."

In you (εν υμιν). In your hearts. So note μετα (John 14:16), παρα, εν.

Verse 18

I will not leave (ουκ αφησω). Future active of αφιημ, to send away, to leave behind.

Desolate (ορφανους). Old word (ορφος, Latin orbus), bereft of parents, and of parents bereft of children. Common in papyri of orphan children. In John 13:33 Jesus called the disciples τεκνια (little children), and so naturally the word means "orphans" here, but the meaning may be "helpless" (without the other Paraclete, the Holy Spirit). The only other N.T. example is in James 1:27 where it means "fatherless."

I come (ερχομα). Futuristic present as in verse John 14:3.

Verse 19

But ye behold me (υμεις δε θεωρειτε με). Emphatic position of υμεις (ye) in contrast to the blind, unseeing world. Cf. John 13:33; John 16:10; John 16:16.

Because I live, ye shall live also (οτ εγω ζω κα υμεις ζησετε). This is our blessed guarantee of immortal, eternal life, the continued living of Jesus. He is the surety of a better covenant (Hebrews 7:22), the Risen Christ Jesus. He had said it before (John 6:57).

Verse 20

In that day (εν εκεινη τη ημερα). The New Dispensation of the Holy Spirit, beginning with Christ's Resurrection and the Coming of the Holy Spirit at pentecost.

Shall know (γνωσεσθε). Future middle of γινωσκω. Chapters 1 to 3 of Acts bear eloquent witness to these words.

Verse 21

He it is that loveth me (εκεινος εστιν ο αγαπων με). Emphatic demonstrative pronoun εκεινος: "that is the one who loves me."

And will manifest myself unto him (κα εμφανισω αυτω εμαυτον). Future active of εμφανιζω, old verb from εμφανης (Acts 10:40; Romans 10:20). The Unseen and Risen Christ will be a real and spiritual Presence to the obedient and loving believer.

Verse 22

Not Iscariot (ουχ ο Ισκαριωτης). Judas Iscariot had gone (John 13:30), but John is anxious to make it clear that this Judas (common name, two apostles also named James) was not the infamous traitor. He is also called Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus (Mark 3:17; Matthew 10:3) and the brother (or son) of James (John 6:15; Acts 1:13). This is the fourth interruption of the talk of Jesus (by Peter, John 13:36; by Thomas, John 14:5; by Philip, John 14:8; by Judas, John 14:22).

And not to the world (κα ουχ τω κοσμω). Judas caught at the word εμφανιζω in verse John 14:21 as perhaps a Messianic theophany visible to all the world as at the judgment (John 5:27). He seems to suspect a change of plan on the part of Jesus (τ γεγονεν οτ=how has it happened that).

Verse 23

If a man love me (εαν τις αγαπα με). Condition of third class with εαν and present active subjunctive, "if one keep on loving me." That is key to the spiritual manifestation (εμφανιζω).

We will come (ελευσομεθα). Future middle of ερχομα and first person plural (the Father and I), not at the judgment, but here and now.

And make our abode with him (κα μονην παρ' αυτω ποιησομεθα). See verse John 14:2 for the word μονη (dwelling, abiding place). If the Holy Spirit "abides" (μενε, verse John 14:17) in you, that heart becomes a temple (ναος) of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16), and so a fit dwelling place for the Father and the Son, a glorious and uplifting reality.

Verse 24

He that loveth me not (ο μη αγαπων με). Present active articular participle of αγαπαω with negative μη, "the one who keeps on not loving me."

Is not mine, but the Father's (ουκ εστιν εμοσ, αλλα του πατρος). Predicative possessive pronoun εμος and the predicate genitive of possession πατρος.

Verse 25

Have I spoken (λελαληκα). Perfect active indicative of λαλεω, for permanent keeping (τηρεω verse John 14:23).

While yet abiding with you (παρ' υμιν μενων). Present active participle, no "yet" (ετ) in the Greek, "while remaining beside (παρ') you" before departing for the coming of the other Paraclete.

Verse 26

Whom (ο). Grammatical neuter, but "whom" is correct translation. The Father will send the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:33), but so will the Son (John 15:26; John 16:7) as Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit upon the disciples (John 20:22). There is no contradiction in this relation of the Persons in the Trinity (the Procession of the Holy Spirit). Here the Holy Spirit (full title as in Mark 3:29; Matthew 12:32; Luke 12:10) is identified with the Paraclete.

He (εκεινος). Emphatic demonstrative pronoun and masculine like παρακλητος.

Shall teach you all things (υμας διδαξε παντα). The Holy Spirit knows "the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10) and he is our Teacher in the Dispensation of the Holy Spirit of both new truth (verse John 14:25) and old.

Bring to your remembrance (υπομνησε υμας). Future active indicative of υπομιμνησκω, old verb to remind, to recall, here only in this Gospel (cf. 3 John 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:14) and with two accusatives (person and thing). After pentecost the disciples will be able better to recall and to understand what Jesus had said (how dull they had been at times) and to be open to new revelations from God (cf. Peter at Joppa and Caesarea).

Verse 27

My peace (ειρηνην την εμην). This is Christ's bequest to the disciples before he goes, the shalom of the orient for greeting and parting, used by Jesus in his appearances after the resurrection (John 20:19; John 20:21; John 20:26) as in 2 John 1:3; 3 John 1:14, but here and in John 16:33 in the sense of spiritual peace such as only Christ can give and which his Incarnation offers to men (Luke 2:14).

Neither let it be fearful (μεδη δειλιατω). Added to the prohibition in verse John 14:1, only N.T. example of δειλιαω (rare word in Aristotle, in a papyrus of one condemned to death), common in LXX, like palpitating of the heart (from δειλος).

Verse 28

I go away, and I come (υπαγω κα ερχομα), both futuristic presents (John 7:33; John 14:3; John 14:18).

If ye loved me (ε ηγαπατε με). Second-class condition with the imperfect active of αγαπαω referring to present time, implying that the disciples are not loving Jesus as they should.

Ye would have rejoiced (εχαρητε αν). Second aorist passive indicative of χαιρω with αν, conclusion of second-class condition referring to past time, "Ye would already have rejoiced before this" at Christ's going to the Father (verse John 14:12).

Greater than I (μειζων μου). Ablative case μου after the comparative μειζων (from positive μεγας). The filial relation makes this necessary. Not a distinction in nature or essence (cf. John 10:30), but in rank in the Trinity. No Arianism or Unitarianism here. The very explanation here is proof of the deity of the Son (Dods).

Verse 30

The prince of the world (ο του κοσμου αρχων). Satan as in John 12:31 which see.

Verse 31

But that the world may know (αλλ' ινα γνω ο κοσμος). Purpose clause with ινα and the second aorist active subjunctive of γινωσκω. Elliptical construction (cf. John 9:3; John 13:18; John 15:25). "But I surrendered myself to death," etc., before ινα.

Arise, let us go hence (εγειρεσθε, αγωμεν εντευθεν). Imperative present middle of εγειρω and the volitive (hortatory) subjunctive αγωμεν (the word used in John 11:7; John 11:16) of going to meet death. Apparently the group arose and walked out into the night and the rest of the talk (chs. 15 and 16) and prayer (ch. 17) was in the shadows on the way to Gethsemane.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/john-14.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.