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Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
John 14

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

having answered the questions of St. Peter, Jesus again addresses himself to his disciples, and bids them not to be afflicted or troubled, at what he says to them. Many Greek and Latins begin this chapter thus: Jesus said to his disciples, let not your hearts be troubled. (St. John Chrysostom) --- Euthymius; Leont.; Theophylactus; Theodor.; &c. agree, that our Saviour wished to encourage his apostles, who were so much troubled, because he had said, that Peter should deny him. They thought within themselves, if Peter, who is the strongest, and most resolute amongst us, shall so far forget himself, as to deny his master, what will become of us? Jesus seeing their anxiety, tells them not to be troubled; but to believe in him, and in his words, for he had said, that he would not lose any, whom his Father had given him; (John chap. vi, ver. 39.) and that whosoever should believe in him, should have life everlasting. (chap. iii, ver. 15.) --- Let not you heart be troubled. Christ here begins those incomparable discourses to his apostles, which are set down in the four next chapters. His sufferings and death now approaching, he forewarns them not to be troubled. You believe in God, and put your trust in him; believe also, and trust in me, no less than in him. (Witham)


Verse 2

In my Father's house. He does not say of your Father: for though God be the Father of all by creation, and of the just, by the grace of adoption; yet Christ in several places, calls him his Father, in a quite different sense, that is, as he was his eternal Father, as the ancient interpreters observe. (Witham) --- These many mansions signify different degrees of glory in heaven. (St. Jerome, lib. ii. adv. Jovin.)


Verse 3

I will come again: not only by rising the third day, but at your death, and at the day of judgment: that where I am, you also may be, and may receive the reward of eternal happiness in my kingdom.


Verse 4

And whither I go, you know, and the way you know. Thomas replied, we know neither. Jesus saith to him, I am the way. They knew it, says St. Augustine, (tract. 69.) but they did not know, that they knew it: they knew their Master, Jesus Christ, and he was the way: they also knew, that is, believed, the kingdom of heaven, but they knew not, that he was returning thither: for as yet their imaginations were upon a temporal kingdom. --- I am the way, by my doctrine and example: I am the Truth, by my promises; and I am Life, by the graces I offer and give. (Witham)


Verse 7

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Cognoscetis eum, in the present Greek copies (one excepted) we read, cognoscitis, Greek: ginoskete; Maldonatus judges it the true reading. But not only St. Augustine and the Latin Fathers, but even St. John Chrysostom reads it in the future tense, Greek: gnosesthe: and takes particular notice of this reading. Greek: to men mellontos, hom. lxxiii. tom. 8. p. 432. Ed. Montfaucon.


Verse 9

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Qui videt me, videt & Patrem. See St. John Chrysostom, Greek: om od. p. 435. Nov. Ed. si alterius esset substantiæ, non hoc dixisset, Greek: ei de eteras ousias en, ouk an touto eipen. See St. Cyril, p. 777.


Verse 10

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? These words confirm the equality of the Father and the Son: nor can they be expounded of an union of affection only, by what Christ told them before. (John v. 17. and 19.) As the Father worketh till now, so I work: and whatsoever things the Father worketh, these also in like manner the Son doth. (Witham) --- In the Son and in the Father, there is one and the same essence, the same wisdom, the same power; so that what the Son says, he does not say it of himself, and what the Son does, he does not do it of himself; but it is the Father, who abideth in the Son, who both acts and speaks.


Verse 12

And greater than these shall he do, because I go to the Father. Christ speaks of the greatness of visible miracles, and tells them, that after his ascension, they shall be enabled, even to do greater miracles than he has yet shewn to the world. He would give this power to his disciples, who were to convert the world; and perhaps the greatest miracle of all, was the conversion of the whole world. (Witham) --- Behold another proof of my divinity, viz. the wonderful miracles those perform, who believe in me. An impostor may seduce the vulgar with false miracles, or, perhaps, with real wonderful prodigies; but he cannot confer that power on others. Behold, I have performed miracles by my own power, without any deceit, and always with a sovereign authority. I have given those, who believe in me, power to work in my name, as great, and even greater miracles, than I have done myself. All this I have done, to shew you, that I am equally God with the Father. I truly am so, then, for it would be impossible for God to assist an impostor, a liar, and an enemy to his honour and glory. (Calmet)


Verse 13

That will I do. He does not now say, this the Father will do: to shew that the power of both is equal, and the same. (Witham)


Verse 15

of afflicting yourselves at our separation, and my going to the Father, you ought, if you truly love me, to testify your affection, by a faithful observance of my commandments. Behold, this is the best proof you can give me of your attachment: better far than any exterior sign of grief and tenderness. (St. John Chrysostom)


Verse 16

Paraclete. This is a comforter: or also an advocate: inasmuch as by inspiring prayer, he prays, as it were, in us, and pleads for us. --- For ever. Hence it is evident, that this spirit of truth was not only promised to the persons of the apostles, but also to their successors, through all generations. (Challoner) --- I have not changed the word Paraclete, which signifies, both and advocate and a comforter. He shall remain with you, and in you, for ever. What greater happiness, what greater security for the faithful, than to have this divine promise, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, remaining with the Church for ever, to protect her, and preserve her from all errors and heresies? (Witham) --- If the Holy Ghost had been promised only to the apostles, their successors could not have challenged the promise. But the promises and privileges were not merely personal, but attached to their office perpetually. Hence, the Holy Ghost, in every age and clime, perpetually watches over the Catholic Church, and preserves her from both open and secret attacks of her enemies.


Verse 19

The world seeth me no more, after my death; but you shall see me, conversing with you for forty days, after my resurrection. (Witham)


Verse 20

In that day, when I am risen again, or when the Holy Ghost is come, you shall know that I am in the Father, and how, and in what manner: as also, how I am in you, and you in me. Our Saviour Christ, on several occasions, speaks of different ways of being united, or of being one; as first, of being one in nature and substance, and by such an union, as agrees only with the divine persons, who are one in all things. 2ndly, Persons may be one, or united in affection and love, which also, as to its most perfect manner, agrees only with the three divine persons; but a similitude, and an imitation of this union of love, is found among creatures, both when they love God, and when for God's sake, they love one another: yet these unions are as different as God, and his creatures. The Arians and Socinians lay hold on these expressions, and of the words, (chap. xvii. ver. 21.) when Christ prays, that his disciples may be one, as he and his Father are one, which words imply no more than a similitude, and an imitation of that union of love (with which the three divine persons love one another) though at an infinite distance. If the old or new Arians examined, with a sincere desire of finding the truth (which they ought to seek from many passages in the New Testament, as well as from the sense and tradition of the Church, guided by the promised Spirit of Truth) they might certainly find how different is the union of nature and substance of the eternal Son with his eternal Father, and of that union of the three divine persons, when they are said to be one, from that inferior and lesser union of love and affection, by which either God loves his adoptive children, his faithful servants, or they love one another: they would easily discover, that many things are said of the unity and union of the divine persons, which could not be true, unless they were one and the same God, coeternal and consubstantial, which by no means can be said of God and his creatures, nor of the union of affection only, by which the creatures love one another. (Witham)


Verse 21

that Christ in this place speaks only of this imperfect union of affection, appears by the following words: he that keepeth my commandments, loveth me: and he that loveth me, shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, by a recompense of glory in the next life. (Witham)


Verse 22

-25

Lord, how is it? Literally, what is done, or, what will be done, that thou art about to manifest thyself to us, and not to the world? This apostle imagined, that the Messias would make manifest his glory of a temporal kingdom, not to them only, but to all the world. But Christ, by his answer, lets him know, that he spoke only of a manifestation of his love to those that loved him. If any man love me, my Father will love him, and we will come to him, that is, the three divine persons, will come to his soul, in a special manner, so as to bless him with an infusion of graces, and make our abode in his soul. (Witham)


Verses 22-25

Lord, how is it? Literally, what is done, or, what will be done, that thou art about to manifest thyself to us, and not to the world? This apostle imagined, that the Messias would make manifest his glory of a temporal kingdom, not to them only, but to all the world. But Christ, by his answer, lets him know, that he spoke only of a manifestation of his love to those that loved him. If any man love me, my Father will love him, and we will come to him, that is, the three divine persons, will come to his soul, in a special manner, so as to bless him with an infusion of graces, and make our abode in his soul. (Witham)


Verse 23

Verse 26

The Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, as proceeding also from me: and therefore Christ saith, in the next chapter, (ver. 26) that he himself will send him from the Father. He will teach you all things, &c. He will give you a more perfect knowledge of all those truths, which I have taught you. (Witham) --- Teach you all things. Here the Holy Ghost is promised to the apostles, and their successors, particularly, in order to teach them all truth, and to preserve them from error. (Challoner) --- The Scripture, in different places, remarks, that the apostles did not understand the accomplishment of prophecies, as soon as they were fulfilled. (Luke xxiv. 27.) They could not draw the comparison between the actions of our Saviour, and the figures of the old law: but no sooner had the Holy Ghost descended upon them, than they explained the Scriptures, their hearts and eyes being opened and enlightened by the light of the Holy Spirit. (Calmet) --- See chap. xvi. ver. 12. and 13.


Verse 28

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Pater major me est, Greek: o pater meizon mou estin. St. John Chrysostom, hom. Greek: oe. p. 443. Nov. Ed. Si quis vero dixerit majorem esse Patrem, ut filii principium, non huic contradicemus, Greek: kath o aitios tou uiou, oude touto anteroumen. See St. Athanasius, Orat. 1. Cont. Arianos, p. 362. Ed. Ben. non dixit, Pater præstantior est me, Greek: kreiton mon esti, ne quis eum alium a Patris natura, esse suspicaretur, sed major dixit, non quidem magnitudine quadam, aut tempore, sed quia ex ipso Patre gignitur, &c. See St. Augustine, tract. 78. p. 699. propter forman servi, dicit, Pater major me est, &c.

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Verse 31

As the Father hath given me commandment, so I do. --- He again speaks of himself, as man. Arise, let us go hence. Yet by chap. xviii. ver. 1. Christ still continued the like instructions, either in the same place, or in the way to Gethsemani. (Witham)

 


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Bibliography Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 14:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-14.html. 1859.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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