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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
John 14

 

 

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Introduction

CHAPTER 14

BEFORE πορεύμαι, John 14:2, ὅτι (Lachm. Tisch.) is decisively attested. Its omission is therefore to be explained from the fact that it was taken for the recitative ὅτι, as which it appeared superfluous, since the recitative ὅτι is so frequently passed over in the Codd.

John 14:3. καί before ἑτοιμ. is wanting in A. E. G. H. K. δ. Curss., some Verss., Phot. Deleted by Matth. and Lachm. D. M. Curss. Syr. Cant. Theophyl. Euth.: ἑτοιμάσαι. This mechanical repetition from what precedes was the cause of the omission of the καί, which, however, is still very strongly attested by B. C. L. N. U. X. λ. א. Vulg. It. and important witnesses.

John 14:4. οἴδατε, καὶ τ. ὁδὸν οἴδατε] B. C.* L. Q. X. א. 157, Copt. Aeth. Pers. p. Verc. have merely οἴδατε τ. ὁδόν. So Tisch., whilst Lachm. only brackets the καί and the second οἴδατε. The Recepta is an explanatory expansion; against it John 14:5 also witnesses.

John 14:5. δυνάμεθα τ. ὁδὸν εἰδέναι] Lachm. and Tisch.: οἴδαμεν τὴν ὁδόν, according to B. C.* D. Codd. It. Cyr. Tert., among which, however, a few (including D.) have τ. ὁδ. οἴδ. The Recepta is an explanatory expansion. John 14:7. ἐγνώκειτε ἄν] B. C.* L. Q. X. Curss. Cyr. Ath.: ἂν ᾔδειτε, or (X.) ᾔδ. ἄν. From John 8:19.

John 14:9. τοσοῦτον χρόνον] Lachm. Tisch.: τοσούτῳ χρόνῳ, according to D. L. Q. א. Cyr. The accusative is an unnecessary gloss.

John 14:10. αὐτὸς ποιεῖ τὰ ἔργα] Tisch.: ποιεῖ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ, according to B. D. א. Rightly. The αὐτός, added in explanation, dislodged the αὐτοῦ, and that in such a way that it took its place (L. X.) in some instances, in others was placed before the verb.

John 14:11. After ἐμοί Elz. has ἐστίν. A supplementary addition against decisive testimony.

μοι at the end is rejected by Schulz, deleted by Tisch. It suggests the suspicion of being a mechanical repetition; besides, the omitting witnesses (amongst them Codd. D. L. א. 33) are sufficiently strong.

John 14:12. μου] is, according to preponderating evidence, with Lachm. and Tisch., to be deleted.

John 14:14 is entirely wanting in X. λ. Curss., some Verss. Chrys. Nonnus; witnesses, however, which are too weak to permit us, with Rinck, to condemn it, especially since, on account of the similar beginning in John 14:14; John 14:16, and considering its superfluous character, it might very easily be passed over.

John 14:15. τηρήσατε] Tisch.: τηρήσετε, according to B. L. א. (?) Curss. Euseb. But the future readily arose from the entire surrounding.

John 14:16. μένῃ] B. L. Q. X. א. Codd. It. Goth. Copt. Syr. and several Fathers have . So Lachm. (but, with B., after αἰῶνα) and Tisch. Rightly; μενῃ is a more closely-defining gloss from John 14:17.

John 14:17. ἔσται] Lachm.: ἐστίν, according to B. D.* Curss. Verss. Lucif. According as MENEI was taken as present (E. G. K. M. U. X. λ.) or as future (Vulg.), ἐστίν or ἔσται may be written after it; hence it is only the preponderance of witnesses which decides, and this is in favour of the future.

John 14:20. Since the first ὑμεῖς stands in some of the witnesses after, in some before, γνώσ. (so, only bracketed in Lachm.), while in some it is entirely wanting (A. Verss. Fathers), it must be regarded as an addition.

John 14:22. Instead of καὶ τί, Elz. and Lachm. have merely τί, in accordance with preponderating evidence. But καί (which א. also has) might be readily passed over by clumsy copyists, especially, too, as the preceding κύριε might occasion its being overlooked.

John 14:23. ποιήσομεν] Lachm. and Tisch.: ποιησόμεθα, in accordance with important witnesses (D. also with ἐλεύσομαι κ. ποιήσομαι declares for the middle voice). Rightly; the middle, which John uses nowhere else, was unfamiliar to the copyists.

John 14:28. ἠγαπᾶτε] D.* H. L. and a few Curss.: ἀγαπᾶτε, to which Buttmann, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1858, p. 481 f., gives the preference. Too weakly attested; and how easily would a stumbling-block be found in the imperf., as denying love to the disciples!

Between ὅτι and πορεύομαι Elz. has εἶπον, against decisive witnesses. An interpolation in conformity with the preceding.


Verse 1

John 14:1.(138) From Peter Jesus now turns, with consolatory address in reference to His near departure, to the disciples generally; hence D. and a few Verss. prefix καὶ εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ (so also Luther, following Erasmus). But the cause of the address itself is fully explained in John’s narrative by the situation, and by no means requires the reference, arbitrarily assumed by Hengstenberg, to Luke 22:35-38. The whole of the following farewell discourses, down to John 17:26, must have grown out of the profoundest recollections of the apostle, which, in a highly intellectual manner, are vividly recalled, and further expanded. It coheres with the entire peculiarity of the Johannean narrative of the last Supper, that the Synoptics offer no parallels to these farewell discourses. Hence it is not satisfactory, and is not in keeping with the necessary personal recollection of John, to regard him as taking his start from certain primary words of earlier gospels, which he, like an artist of powerful genius, has transfigured by a great, but, at the same time, most appropriate and enchanting transformation (Ewald).

μὴ ταρασσ.] by anxiety and apprehension. Comp. John 12:27. It points to what He had spoken in the preceding chapters of His departure, not, as Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, and many thought, to Peter’s denial, after the prediction of which the rest of the disciples also might have become anxious about their constancy. This is erroneous, because the following discourse bears no relation to it.

πιστεύετε, κ. τ. λ.] By these words Jesus exhorts them not to faith generally (which they certainly had), but to that confident assurance by which the μὴ ταράσσεσθαι was conditioned: trust in God, and trust in me. To take, in both cases, πιστεύετε as imperatives (Cyril., Gothic, Nonnus, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Bengel, and several others, including most moderns, from Lücke to Hengstenberg and Godet) appears most in conformity with the preceding imperative and the direct character of the address.(139) Others: the first πιστ. is indicative, and the second imperative: ye believe on God, believe therefore on me (Vulgate, Erasmus, Luther in his Exposition, Castalio, Beza, Calvin, Aretius, Maldonatus, Grotius, and several others). Luther, who takes the first sentence as a hypothetical statement, which in itself is admissible (Bernhardy, p. 385; Pflugk, ad Eur. Med. 386, comp. on John 1:51), has in his translation taken πιστεύετε, in both cases, as indicatives. According to any rendering, however, the inseparable coherence of the two movements (God in Christ manifest and near) is to be noted. Comp. Romans 5:2.


Verse 2-3

John 14:2-3 serve to arouse the πιστεύειν demanded in John 14:1, to which a prospect so blessed lies open. In the house of my Father are many places of sojourn, many shall find their abiding-place ( μονή only here and in John 14:23 in the N. T.; frequent in the classics, comp. also 1 Maccabees 7:38), so that such therefore is not wanting to you also; but if this were not the case I would have told you (“ademissem vobis spem inanem,” Grotius). After εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν a full stop must be placed, and with ὅτι (see critical notes) πορεύομαι a new sentence begins. So, first Valla, then Beza, Calvin, Casaubon, Aretius, Grotius, Jansen, and many others, including Kuinoel, Lücke, Tholuck, Olshausen, B. Crusius, De Wette,(140) Maier, Hengstenberg, Godet, Lachmann, Tischendorf. But the Fathers of the church, Erasmus, Luther, Castalio, Wolf, Maldonatus, Bengel, and many others, including Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 464, and Ebrard, refer εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν to what follows: if it were not so, then I would have said to you: I go, etc. Against this John 14:3 is decisive, according to which Jesus actually says that He is going away, and is preparing a place.(141) Others take it as a question, where, however, we are not, on account of the aorist εἶπον, to explain: would I indeed say to you: I go, etc. (Mosheim, Ernesti, Beck in the Stud. u. Krit. 1831, p. 130 ff.)? but: would I indeed have said to you, etc.? In this way there would neither be intended an earlier saying not preserved in the Gospel (Ewald),(142) possibly with the stamp of a gloss on it (Weizsäcker), or a reference to the earlier sayings regarding the passage into the heavenly world (Lange). But for the latter explanation the saying in the present passage is too definite and peculiar; while the former amounts simply to an hypothesis which is neither necessary nor capable of support on other grounds.

The οἰκία τοῦ πατρός is not heaven generally, but the peculiar dwelling-place of the divine δόξα in heaven, the place of His glorious throne (Psalms 2:4; Psalms 33:13-14; Isaiah 63:15, et al.), viewed, after the analogy of the temple in Jerusalem, this earthly οἶκος τοῦ πατρός (John 2:16), as a heavenly sanctuary (Isaiah 57:15). Comp. Hebrews 9

πολλαί] ἱκαναὶ δέξασθαι καὶ ὑ΄ᾶς, Euth. Zigabenus. The conception of different degrees of blessedness (Augustine and several others) lies entirely remote from the meaning here; for many the house of God is destined and established, and that already ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου, Matthew 25:34.

ὅτι πορεύο΄αι, κ. τ. λ.] for I go, etc., assigns the reason of the assurance: ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳπολλαί εἰσιν, so that εἰ δὲ ΄ὴ, εἶπον ἂν ὑ΄ῖν is to be regarded as logically inserted. The πορεύο΄αι ἑτοι΄άσαι, κ. τ. λ., however, is an actual proof of the existence of the ΄οναὶ πολλαί in the heavenly house of God (not of the εἶπον ἂν ὑ΄ῖν, as Luthardt thinks, placing only a colon after ὑ΄ῖν), because otherwise Jesus could not go away with the design of getting prepared for them in those ΄οναί a place on which they are thereafter to enter, a place for them. This ἑτοι΄άζειν τόπον presupposes ΄ονὰς πολλάς, in which the dwelling-place to be provided must exist. The idea is, further (comp. the idea of the πρόδρο΄ος, Hebrews 6:20), that He having attained by His death to the fellowship of the divine δόξα, purposes to prepare the way for their future συνδοξασθῆναι with God (comp. John 17:24); but “therefore He speaks with them in the simplest possible, as it were, childlike fashion, according to their thoughts, as is necessary to attract and allure simple people,” Luther.

John 14:3. καὶ ἐὰν τόπον] Emphatic repetition of the consolatory words, with which the still more consolatory promise is united: I will come again, and will (then) receive you to myself. Jesus says, καὶ ἐάν, not κ. ὅταν, for He will not mention the point of time of His return, but what consequences (namely, the πάλιν ἔρχομαι, κ. τ. λ.) will be connected with this departure of His, and preparation of a place of which He had just given them assurance. The πορεύεσθαι κ. ἑτοι΄, κ. τ. λ., is the conditioning fact which, if it shall take place, has the πάλιν ἔρχεσθαι, κ. τ. λ., as its happy consequence. Comp. John 12:32. The nearness or remoteness of the appearance of this result remains undefined by ἐάν. Comp. Düsterdieck on 1 John 2:28, where the reading ὅταν is an alteration proceeding from clumsy copyists.

By πάλιν ἔρχο΄αι Jesus means, and that not indefinitely, or with any approach to a spiritual signification (De Wette), but distinctly and clearly, His Parousia at the last day (John 6:39-40, John 11:24), and not His resurrection (Ebrard), to which the following κ. παραλ., κ. τ. λ., is not appropriate. That in John also (comp. 1 John 2:28), and in Jesus, according to John (comp. John 21:22, John 5:28-29), as in the whole apostolic church, the conception existed of the Parousia as near at hand,(143) although, on account of its spiritual character in the Gospel, it steps less into the foreground, see in Kaeuffer, de ζωῆς αἰων. not. p. 131 f., comp. also Frommann, p. 479 f.; Lechler, Apost. und Nachapost. Zeit. p. 224 ff.; Wittichen in the Jahrb.f. D. Th. 1862, p. 357 f.; Weiss, Lehrbegr. p. 181. On this His glorious return He will receive the disciples into His personal fellowship (as raised from the dead or transformed respectively), and that as partakers of His divine δόξα in the heavenly sanctuary which has descended with Him to the earth, in which a place will be already prepared for them. He comes in the glory of His Father, and they enter into fellowship with Him in this δόξα in the Messianic kingdom. Comp. Origen and several others, including Calvin, Lampe, Luthardt, Hofmann, Schriftbew. I. p. 194, Hilgenfeld, Brückner, Ewald. The explanation of a coming, only regarded as such more or less improperly, in order to receive the disciples by a blessed death into heaven (Grotius, Kuinoel, B. Crusius, Reuss, Tholuck, Lange, Hengstenberg, and several others), is opposed to the words (comp. John 21:22) and to the mode of expression elsewhere employed in the N. T. respecting the coming of Christ, since death does indeed translate the apostles and martyrs to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Acts 7:59; see on Philippians 1:26, note); but it is nowhere said of Christ that He comes (in order to be personally present at their dying bed, so Hengstenberg, indeed, thinks) and fetches them to Himself. Except in the Paraclete, Christ first comes in His glory at the Parousia. The interpretation, however (according to John 14:18 ff.), that here “only the spiritual return of Christ to His own, and their reception into the full sacred fellowship of the Spirit of the glorified Christ” (Lücke, Neander, Godet) can be intended (comp. Olshausen, Ebrard), is not to be approved, for the reason that Jesus Himself, John 14:2, has decisively provided beforehand for the words being understood of His actual return, and of local fellowship with Him (in John 14:18 ff. the entire context is different).

πρὸς ἐμαυτό ν] spoken in the consciousness of the great value which the love of the disciples placed on fellowship with His own person. Only with Himself have faith and love the final object of hope, and their blessed reward(144) in the Father’s house.


Verse 4-5

John 14:4-5. In order now to lead the disciples to that which, on their side, in respect of the promise contained in John 14:3, was the main practical matter, He says, arousing inquiry: And whither I go … ye know the way (so, according to the amended reading, see critical notes) which leads thither, namely, to the Father. And the disciples, had they already been more susceptible to the communications of the Lord respecting His higher Messianic destiny, must have known it,—this way,—since Christ had already so frequently set Himself forth as the only Mediator of salvation, as in chap. 6, John 10:1 ff., John 11:25, et al. He means, that is, not the way to suffering and death, which He Himself is about to tread (Luther, Jansen, Grotius, Wetstein, also Tholuck and Luthardt), but the way designated in John 14:6 (He Himself is that way!) along which every one is directed who would attain to that glorious fellowship with the Father.

ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω is an anacoluthon, with the emphasis of the certainty of the near and blessed completion, and ἐγώ has the accent of self-conscious and unique pre-eminence.

Thomas, as in John 20:25, speaks the language of sober, hesitating intelligence, not of dejection, at the approaching suffering of the Lord, as Ebrard thinks. He seeks information; ᾤετο γὰρ αἰσθητὸν εἶναί τινα τόπον, ὅπου ὑπάγει, καὶ ὁδὸν ὁμοίως τοιαύτην, Euth. Zigabenus. The heavenly ποῦ, however distinctly Jesus had already designated it, Thomas did not yet know clearly how to combine with his circle of Messianic ideas; but he desired to arrive at clearness. That Thomas is here cited without the name δίδυμος, which is added in John 11:16, John 20:24, John 21:2, is accidental, and without the design which Hengstenberg imports (that he does not speak here according to his individual spiritual character).

πῶς, κ. τ. λ.] “Quodsi ignoretur, quae sit meta, non potest via sub ratione viae concipi,” Grotius.


Verse 6

John 14:6. I (no other than I) am the way, on which men must go, in order to come to the Father in His heavenly house, John 14:2-3, and the truth, and the life. But since no one, without going the prescribed way, without having appropriated the truth to himself, and without bearing in himself the life, can come to that goal, οὐδεὶς, κ. τ. λ., is thus the exponent to all three particulars, not merely to the first. The three moments lay down the proposition that no other than Christ is the Mediator of eternal salvation with God in the Messianic kingdom, according to three several characteristic aspects which are co-ordinated, yet in such a way that the advance is made from the general to the particular. The characteristic of the mediation of salvation, in the first point, is not designated with reference to matter (as in ἀλήθεια and ξωή), but as to form, in so far, namely, as the mediation of salvation itself is therein expressed in a specific figure (comp. John 10:9). On individual points, note: (1) Christ is the Way, not because He ὑπέδειξε τὴν ὁδόν (Cyril. Melanchthon, and many others), whereby both the expression and the figure are departed from, and the relation of things is not sufficiently attended to, but because in His personal manifestation the mediation of salvation is objectively given, absolutely the sole mediation for all men, but which has to be made use of subjectively, that is, by faith on Him, like the man who is aiming at a goal, and for that purpose must take and pursue the given way which is the means of its attainment. (2) Christ is the Truth, because He is the self-revelation of God which has been manifested (John 14:7; John 14:9), the Light that is come into the world, without the appropriation of which salvation is not obtained. (3) He is the Life (Colossians 3:4), because He is the Principle and Source of eternal life (in its temporal development and future consummation); so that whoever has not received Him into himself by faith (John 6:50-51, John 11:25-26), has become a prey to spiritual and eternal death; comp. Ignatius, ad Trall. 9 : οὗ χωρὶς τὸ ἀλήθινον ζῆν οὐκ ἔχομεν; ad Ephesians 3 : χριστὸς τὸ ἀδιάκριτον ἡμῶν ζῆν. These three points are not to be separated according to time (Luther: beginning, middle, end; so also Calvin), but Christ is all three at once,—in that He is the one, He is also the second and the third,—although this cannot justify an arbitrary fusion of the three predicates (as would be the Augustinian vera via vitae).

οὐδεὶς ἔρχεται, κ. τ. λ.] the Johannean sola fide. Note how John 14:6 is the summary of the most perfect self-confession of the Son regarding Himself and His work.


Verse 7

John 14:7. Had you known me (for they had indeed not known that He was the Way), you would also have known the Father (of their non-acquaintance with whom their οὐκ οἴδαμεν, ποῦ ὑπάγεις, John 14:5, had testified).

The emphasis changes (otherwise in John 8:19); it lies in the protasis on ἐγνώκ., not on the enclitic μέ; in the apodosis on τ. πατ. μον.

καὶ ἀπʼ ἄρτι, κ. τ. λ.] and—which I can nevertheless now add—from henceforward (after I have told you in John 14:6 so definitely and fully what I am) you know Him, and have (in me, John 14:9) beheld Him. This view of the meaning, which flows immediately out of the context, John 14:6; John 14:9, the point of which is the idea of the adequate self-revelation of God in Christ, entirely excludes any interpretation of the two verbs in a future sense (Chrysostom, Kuinoel, and many others), and the reference to a future terminus a quo (Chrysostom, Lücke, Ewald, and several others), which is wont to be assumed as the time of the communication of the Spirit, nay, even a mentally supplied “I hope” (De Wette) with ἀπάρτι. The reference of ἀπάρτι to the whole time of their fellowship with Christ since their conversion (Hengstenberg), is, even in a linguistic point of view, impossible. See on John 13:19, John 1:51. In that case only νῦν could stand. Godet’s remark is also incorrect: “at the point at which my teaching has now arrived,” as if ἄρτι merely were expressed.

On καί, which, without altering its meaning, significantly subjoins an adversative clause (and … i.e. and nevertheless), see on John 7:28.


Verse 8-9

John 14:8-9. Philip, like Thomas in a certain hesitation, corresponding to his want of apprehension, has not yet understood the ἑωράκατε αὐτόν; instead of seeing it fulfilled in the manifestation of Jesus Himself, it excites in him the wish that the Lord would bring about a Theophany, perhaps such as Moses once beheld (Exodus 24:9-10), or desired to see (Exodus 33:18), or the prophets had predicted for the inauguration of the Messianic kingdom (Malachi 3:1 ff.).

ἀρκεῖ ἡμῖν] and then are we contented; then we see the measure of the revelation of the Father, given to us by Thee, fulfilled to such a degree that we do not covet a further until the last glorious appearance.

On the dative of duration of time, τοσούτῳ χρόνῳ (see critical notes), comp. Buttmann, N. T. Gram. p. 161 [E. T. p. 186]).

καὶ οὐκ ἔγν. με] And thou hast not known me? A question of melancholy surprise, and hence also in loving emotion, He addresses him by name. Had Philip known Jesus, he would have said to himself, that in Him the highest revelation of God was manifested, and the wish to behold a Theophany must have remained foreign to his mind. Hence: He who has seen me has seen the Father; for He reveals Himself in me, I am ἀθηήτοιο τοκῆος συμφυὲς ἔνθεον εἶδος ἔχων βροτοειδέϊ μορφῇ, Nonnus. The proposition is to be left in objective generality, and ἑωρ. is not to be limited to believing seeing (Luther, Lücke, De Wette, and many others). Every one has, if he has seen Christ, seen the Father objectively; but only he who has known Christ for that which He is, subjectively also, “according to the sight of the Spirit and of faith,” Luther. Comp. John 1:14, John 5:37.


Verse 10-11

John 14:10-11. This language of thine amounts indeed to this: as though thou didst not believe that, etc.

ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τ. πατρὶ, κ. τ. λ.] On this mutual fellowship, which “virtutis potius quam essentiae elogium est” (Calvin), see on John 10:38. Comp. John 17:21. Here the ἐγὼ ἐν τ. πατ. stands first, because the matter in question is the way which the knowledge has to take from the Son to the Father.

τὰ ῥήματατὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ] (see critical notes): the proof of this union of mine with the Father is, that I do not speak of myself; but the proof for that (for this ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐ λαλῶ) is, that the Father does His works through me. The δέ is therefore continuative (autem), not antithetical. Further, we must neither say that the ῥήματα are to be reckoned along with the ἔργα, nor that τὰ ἔργα signifies the business of teaching (Nösselt); but, from the fact that the Messianic works (see on John 5:36) are the works of the Father, it is inferred, with necessary dialectic certainty, from whom also the discourses of Jesus proceed; if the former are divine, the latter must be adequately related thereto. The first proposition is often arbitrarily supplemented from the second, and vice versâ.(145) This, however, does not agree with the Greek mode of allowing, in antithetic propositions, one clause to be completed from the other (Kühner, II. p. 603 f.; Bernhardy, p. 455), and would here run counter to the context, since Jesus, John 14:11, desires to have deduced from the ἔργα that which He had brought into light by τὰ ῥήματαλαλῶ. Hence we are not to get out of the difficulty either by the assumption of an “incongruity in the antithetic propositions” (Tholuck), or, with Lange, pronounce that the words belong pre-eminently to the Son, the works pre-eminently to the Father, which is not contained in the expressions, and would be an un-Johannean halving of the thought (John 5:19, John 8:28, John 12:49); nor are we to assume, with Ewald, that a lesser significance is to be ascribed to the works in opposition to the words.

ἐν ἐμοὶ μένων] expressing the ἐν ἐμ. ὤν as enduring (he who does not depart from me). According to the reading ποιεῖ τ. ἔργα αὐτοῦ (see critical notes), the works of Jesus are set forth as the works of God, which the Father performs, that is, in virtue of His immanence in the Son, making them to operate in an outward direction.

John 14:11. From Philip, Jesus now turns to the disciples collectively, and that with an exhortation to the faith, in reference to which He had been obliged to question Philip in a manner implying doubt.

πιστεύετέ μοι] namely, without anything further, in addition to my personal assurance.

ὅτι] not because (Bengel), but that, as in John 14:10.

διὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτά] On account of the works themselves (in and of themselves), irrespective of my oral testimony, believe me in this. The works are the actual proofs of that fellowship, John 5:19-20, John 10:37-38.


Verse 12-13

John 14:12-13. Truly, on the compliance with this πιστεύετέ μοι there awaits an activity like my own, yea, and still greater. What encouragement to fidelity in the faith! Schott, Opusc. p. 177, imports the meaning: “neque ad ea tantum provoco, quae me ipsum hucusque vidistis perficientem, imo,” etc. Comp. also Luthardt, according to whom Jesus proceeds to a still further demonstration of His fellowship with God.

πιστ. εἰς ἐμέ] intended not to have a general application, but to refer (comp. John 14:11; John 14:13) to the disciples. On εἰς ἐμέ, Bengel aptly remarks: “qui Christo de se loquenti (see πιστ. μοι, John 14:11), in Christum credit.”

κἀκεῖνος] he also, in comparison, emphatically repeating the subject. Xen. Mem. i. 2. 24.

καί] heightening the effect: and besides, indeed. See Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 145 f.

μείζονα τούτων] greater than these, ἐγὼ ποιῶ, comp. John 5:20, and on the thought, Matthew 21:21-22. It is not, however, to be referred to single separate miracles, which are reported by the apostles; Ruperti names the healing power of Peter’s shadow, Acts 5, and the speaking in foreign tongues, which latter Grotius also has in view; Bengel appeals to Acts 5:15; Acts 19:12; Mark 16:17 ff. A measuring of miracles of this kind by their magnitude is throughout foreign to the N. T. Rather in μείζονα τούτων is the notion of ἔργα expanded, so that its predominant signification is not that of miraculous deeds in the narrower sense (as in ἐγὼ ποιῶ), but in a broader sense, the world-subduing apostolic activity. generally, produced by the Holy Spirit (John 16:18 ff.) in the diffusion of the gospel, with its light and life, amongst all peoples, in the conquest of Judaism and paganism by the word of the cross, etc. The history of the apostles, and especially the work of Paul, is the commentary thereon. These were ἔργα of a greater kind than the miracles proper which Jesus wrought,(146) and which also, categorically, those of the apostles resembled.

ὅτι, κ. τ. λ.] assigns the reasons of the preceding assurance, τὰ ἔργα ἐγὼ ποιῶμείζ. τούτ. ποιήσει (not merely the μείζονα, for which limitation no reason presents itself), and this statement of reason continues to the end of John 14:13, so that καὶ , τι ἂν still depends on ὅτι. Since He is going to the Father, and is thereby elevated to the position of heavenly rule, He will do all that they shall ask in His name, there can be no doubt that the assurance of those ἔργα will be justified. So, substantially, Grotius, Lücke, Olshausen, De Wette, Ewald, Godet, comp. already Cyril. Considering the internal coherence, and the immediately continuative καί, John 14:13, it is incompetent to separate John 14:13, as if it were independent, from John 14:12, whereby ὅτι ἐγὼ πρὸς τ. π. πορ. is taken either merely in the sense: ὑμῶν λοιπόν ἐστι τὸ θαυματουργεῖν, ἐγὼ γὰρ ἀπέρχομαι (Chrysostom, so Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Erasmus, Wolf, Kuinoel, Ebrard, and several others); or more correctly, because really assigning a reason, with Luther: “for through the power that I shall have at the right hand of the Father, … I will work in you,” etc. Comp. Calvin and several others, including B. Crusius, Luthardt, Hengstenberg.

ἐγώ] In opposition to the πιστεύοντες, who continue their activity on earth.

ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου] Comp. John 15:16, John 16:23. The prayerful request to God (for it is to God that the absolute αἰτήσητε refers, comp. John 15:16) is made in the name of Jesus, if this name, Jesus Christ, as the full substance of the saving faith and confession of him who prays, is in his consciousness the element in which the prayerful activity lives and moves, so that thus that Name, embracing the whole revelation of redemption, is that which specifically measures and defines the disposition, feeling, object, and contents of prayer. The express use of the name of Jesus therein is no specific token; the question is of the spirit and mind of him who prays. The apostolic mode of expression is analogous: to be, have, say, do, anything, etc., ἐν χριστῷ, ἐν κυρίῳ. Comp. on Colossians 3:17, and see also Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 357, and generally Gess, d. Gebet im Nam. Jesu, 1861. The renderings: invocato meo nomine (in connection with which reference is irrelevantly made to Acts 3:6, Chrysostom, Nonnus, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Maldonatus, and several others); me agnoscentes mediatorem (Melanchthon); ut mea causa faciat (Grotius); per meritum meum (Calovius and several others); in my mind, in my affairs (De Wette), and the like, are partly opposed to the words, partly too narrow, and comprised in the foregoing explanation. But if we proposed to interpret, with Godet: in my stead, that is, in such a way as though I myself were the subject that prays through you,(147) the first person ποιήσω would be inappropriate to a self-hearing; and essential prayers like those for the forgiveness of sin would be excluded.

τοῦτο ποιήσω] nothing else. This definite and unlimited promise rests upon the fact that the petition of him who prays in the name of Jesus is in harmony with the will of Christ and of God, but in every case subordinates itself in the consciousness of him who prays to the restriction: not my, but Thy will! hence also the denial of a particular petition is the fulfilment of prayer, only in another way. Comp. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9.

That Christ asserts the ποιεῖν of Himself (John 15:16, and John 16:23 of the Father), lies in the consciousness of His unity with God, according to which He, even in His exalted condition, is in the Father, and the Father is in Him. Hence, if, through the fulfilment of these petitions, the Son must be glorified, the Father is glorified in the Son; wherefore Jesus adds, as the final aim of the τοῦτο ποιήσω: ἵνα δοξασθῇ πατ. ἐν τῷ υἱῷ. Comp. John 13:31. The honour of the Father is ever the last object of all that is attained in the affairs of the Son, John 12:28; John 11:4; Philippians 2:11; Romans 16:25 ff.; Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21. Note the emphatic collocation πατὴρ ἐν τῷ υἱῷ, where, however, the main stress lies upon πατήρ.


Verse 14

John 14:14. τὸ αὐτὸ λέγει βεβαιῶν μάλιστα τὸν λόγον, Euth. Zigabenus. But this is done to make it specially prominent that He is the active subject. Bengel well remarks: “ ἐγώ hoc jam indicat gloriam.”


Verse 15

John 14:15. A new exhortation—to keep His commandments in proof of their love to Him—in order, John 14:14, to attach a new promise thereto. But exhortation and promise are thus necessarily connected, as in John 14:11-12 ff. Hence the latter not without the former. Comp. John 14:21.

Note the emphatic τὰς ἐμάς: which you have from me; they are not those of the O. T., but the completion of these. Comp. on John 13:34.


Verse 16-17

John 14:16-17. The καί is in both instances consecutive. On the concession of thoughts, see John 14:21.

ἐγώ] Emphatically introducing, after what He had required of the disciples, what He on His part will do as the Mediator of the divine love. The ἐρωτήσω does not conflict with John 16:26-27, where there is a different relation of time. ἐρωτᾶν is in John the standing word in the mouth of Jesus, when He addresses the Father in prayer, John 16:26, John 17:9; John 17:15; John 17:20. But there is no difference of meaning from αἰτεῖν, see 1 John 5:16.

ἄλλον παράκλητον] another Advocate (instead of myself), another, who will as counsellor assist you. The word is found in the N. T. only in John, namely, also in John 14:26, John 16:7, 1 John 2:1, and the signification given holds good in Dem. 343. 10, Diog. Laert. iv. 50, Dion. Hal. xi. 37, and passages from Philo in Loesner, p. 496 f., both in the proper judicial sense (Advocate), and also in general as here (so also Philo, de opif. m. p. 4 E, and Letter of the Church of Vienne in Eusebius, v. 2). With this agrees also the Talmudic פְּרַקְלִיט. See Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. p. 1843, and generally Wetstein in loc.; Düsterdieck on 1 John 2:1, p. 147 ff. Rightly, after Tertullian and Augustine, Melanchthon, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Wolf, Lampe, and several others, have most of the moderns so interpreted it (see especially Knapp, I. p. 115 ff.). See also Hahn, Theol. d. N. T. I. p. 225. The equally ancient explanation: Comforter (Origen, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Jerome, Erasmus, Castalio, Luther, Maldonatus, Jansen, Lightfoot, and several others, including van Hengel, Annott. p. 40 ff.), rests on a confusion with παρακλήτωρ (LXX. Job 16:2) in Aquila and Theodotion, Job 16:2, which, on account of the passive form, is on that ground contrary to usage.(148) Equally incorrect is the rendering Teacher in Theodore of Mopsuestia, Ernesti, Opusc. p. 215, Luthardt, Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 17.

Observe on ἄλλον, that in 1 John 2:1 Christ Himself might also be designated as παράκλητος, without implying any difference of doctrine (Baur, Schwegler, Hilgenfeld). Nonnus aptly says: χριστῷ σύγγονον ἄλλον.

ἵνα ΄εθʼ ὑ΄. εἰς τ. αἰῶνα] in order that He may; not as I now, again be taken from you, but be with you (i.e. may stand at your side protecting, helping, strengthening you against all hostile powers; comp. Matthew 28:20) for ever. Comp. 2 John 1:2. In the Paraclete, however, Christ Himself is present with His own (Matthew 28:20); for in the mission of the Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6), the self-communication of the exalted Christ takes place (Romans 8:10; Galatians 2:20), without, however, the Paraclete ceasing to be an ἄλλος, a different—although dependent on the Son—subject than He;(149) the obscure idea that the Paraclete is “the Christ transfigured to Spirit” (Tholuck) is un-Johannean and unbiblical generally. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 3:17. See also, against the mingling together of the idea of the Logos with that of the Spirit, in Reuss; Godet, II. p. 480.

τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθεία ς] the Spirit of Truth, i.e. the Holy Spirit, who is Possessor, Bearer, and Administrator of the divine ἀλήθεια. He is the divine principle of revelation, by whose activity in human hearts the redemptive truth given by God in Christ, i.e. the truth κατʼ ἐξοχήν, is transformed into knowledge, made to be vitally appropriated, and brought to powerful moral expression. Nonnus: ἀτρεκίης ὀχετηγόν. Comp. John 15:26, John 16:13. The opposite: τὸ πνεῦ΄α τῆς πλάνης, 1 John 4:6.

κόσ΄ος] The unbelieving, as opposed to Christ and His work. These are unsusceptible to the Spirit, because the capacity of inward vision (of experimental perception) of the Spirit is wanting to them, and He is to them something unknown and strange, so that they have thus no subjective point of attachment at all for the reception of the Spirit. Comp. 1 Corinthians 2:14.

ὑμεῖς δὲ, κ. τ. λ.] The presents γινώσκετε and ΄ένει (not manebit, as the Vulgate has, and as Ewald also proposes μενεῖ) are as little to be taken as future as the presents in the first clause of the verse. They denote the characteristic relation of the disciples to the Spirit without reference to any definite time. They are absolute presents: but you know Him, since He has Sis abiding amongst you (not far from you, but in your midst, in the Christian community), and (the discourse now first enters the point of view of definite time) will be in you (in your own hearts). This being the specific character of His relationship to you, how should He be an unknown something to you? Let the gradation be observed: παρʼ ὑμῖνἐν ὑμῖν. On the latter, Nonnus: ὁ΄όστολον ἔσται ὑ΄ῖν, πάντας ἔχον νοερὸν δό΄ον.

Note, generally, the Trinitarian relation here and John 14:26, and particularly (against B. Crusius and Tholuck) the definitely expressed personality of the Paraclete. See Köstlin, p. 109; Hofmann, I. p. 192 f.; Melanchthon, in loc. But in passages, again, like John 1:33, John 20:22, the presupposition of the personality, whose life and powers are communicated, is by no means excluded.


Verse 18

John 14:18. Development of the consolatory element in this promised communication of the Spirit, onwards to John 14:21.

οὐκ ἀφήσω ὑμ. ὀρφ.] I will not leave you behind, as those who (after my departure) are to be orphans (John 14:27; Mark 12:19; Tobit 11:2; Sirach 6:2; 1 Maccabees 12:41; Soph. Aj. 491; Phil. 484). The expression itself (comp. τεκνία, John 13:33) is that of the πατρικὴ εὐσπλαγχνία (Euth. Zigabenus).

ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς] Without mediatory particle ( γάρ) in the intensity of the emotional affection. That Jesus means by this coming, i.e. according to the connection coming again (see on John 4:16), not the final historical Parousia (Augustine, Beda, Maldonatus, Paulus, Luthardt, Hofmann), is shown by the whole of the following context (quite otherwise, John 14:3). See, especially, John 14:19, where it is not the world, but the disciples who are to see Him, which is as little appropriate to the Parousia as the ἔτι μικρόν;(150) further, John 14:20-21, where spiritual fellowship is spoken of, the knowledge of which cannot first begin with the Parousia, and John 14:23, where μονὴν παρʼ αὐτῷ ποιησ. is not in harmony with the idea of the Parousia, since in this the disciples take up their abode with God (John 14:3, comp. 2 Corinthians 5:8), not God with them, which takes place through the communication of the Spirit. Most of the older expositors refer to the Resurrection of Christ, and to the new union with the Risen One. So Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Ruperti, Erasmus, Grotius, and many others, and again Kaeuffer, Hilgenfeld, Weiss, and, with a spiritualizing view of the resurrection, Ewald. But opposed to this are John 14:20-21; John 14:23; John 16:16; John 16:22-23, expressions all of which equally point to a higher spiritual fellowship,(151) as the οὐκ ἀφ. ὑμ. ὀρφ. also already presupposes a new abiding union. Justly, therefore, have most of the moderns (Lücke, Tholuck, Olshausen, B. Crusius, Frommann, Köstlin, Reuss, Maier, Baeumlein, Godet, Scholten, but also already Calvin and several others) understood by the Paraclete the spiritual coming of Christ, in which He Himself, only in another form of existence, came to the disciples. It is not yet, indeed, the consummation of the reunion; this latter first takes place at the Parousia, and therefore up to that time the state of orphanage still relatively continues, the community seeks its Lord (John 13:33), and waits for Him; and believers have to regard themselves as ἐκδημοῦντες ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου (2 Corinthians 5:6), whose life in Him with God is not yet revealed (Colossians 3:1-4) (in answer to Luthardt’s objections). Others explain it in a twofold sense, so that Christ intended His Resurrection, and at the same time His spiritual return. So Luther, Beza, Lampe, Bengel, Kuinoel, De Wette, Brückner, Lange, Ebrard; where De Wette, with this interpretation, assigns the first place to the spiritual thought, as also Hengstenberg. But the bodily ἔρχεσθαι is not indicated at all (as, if so, it would have been, in opposition to the mission of the Paraclete, by the addition of an ἐγὼ αὐτός), and the entire promise of the Paraclete, of which the present passage is an integral part, transports to a time in which the Resurrection of Christ had long passed. Generally, however, to maintain a twofold sense can only be justified by evidence from the connection.

OBSERVATION.

That Jesus, according to John, does not speak at all in express terms of His resurrection, but only in allusions like John 2:19, John 10:17-18, is in entire harmony with the spiritual character of the Gospel, according to which the return of the Paraclete was the principal thing on which the hopes of the disciples had to fix themselves. From death to the δόξα, out of which Jesus had to send the Spirit, the resurrection formed only the transition. But that He also cannot have in reality predicted His resurrection with such definiteness as it is related in the Synoptics, is clear from the whole behaviour of the disciples before and after the occurrence of the resurrection, so that in this point also the preference belongs to the Johannean account. See on Matthew 16:21.


Verse 19

John 14:19. ἔτι μικρ.] sc. ἐστι. Comp. John 13:33, John 16:16; Hebrews 10:37; Hosea 1:4; Psalms 37:10.

οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ] Corporeally. Comp. also Acts 10:41.

θεωρεῖτε] But you, whilst the world no more beholds me, do behold me, although corporeally I am no more present, through the experience of my spiritual presence;(152) you behold me spiritually, in that you experience my presence and my communion with you, in the communication of myself, and in my working upon you by means of the Paraclete. The terminus a quo of the present tenses, which represent the near future as present, is, indeed, not quite the same in θεωρεῖ and θεωρεῖτε, since the κόσμος με οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ already begins with the death of Jesus, but the ὑμεῖς δὲ θεωρ. με first after His return to the Father; this distinction, however, disappears before the Johannean view of the death of Jesus as a departure to God.

ὅτι ἐγὼ ζῶ, κ. ὑμ. ζήσεσθε] Not: because I live, you also will live (Nonnus, Beza, Godet), but, corresponding to the progress of the discourse (comp. John 14:17), a statement of the reason of what precedes: for I live, and you shall live. Note the change from the present to the future, and that ζῶ and ζήσεσθε cannot without arbitrariness be taken as essentially different in idea, but that ζῶ manifestly, since it exists without interruption (present), denotes the higher life of Christ independent of death, of Christ, who, by His departure to the Father, becomes a partaker of the heavenly glory. Christ lives, for He is, indeed, Himself the Possessor and bearer of the true ζωή (comp. John 5:26); death, which translates Him into the glory of the Father, by no means breaks off this true and higher life of His (although His life ἐν σαρκί ceases), but is only the medium of the consummation and transfiguration of this His ζῆν into the everlasting heavenly ζωή and δόξα (comp. Colossians 3:3-4). Out of this consciousness the Lord here utters the words: ἐγὼ ζῶ. And He adds thereto: καὶ ὑμεῖς ζήσεσθε: and you shall live, i.e. you shall be partakers (in its temporal development on to its glorious consummation) of the same higher ζωή, liable to no death (John 11:26), under the life-giving (John 6:33) influence of the Spirit. “Stat enim illud fixum, nullam fore ejus vitam membris mortuis,” Calvin. Thus the life is in both essentially alike, only with this difference, that it is original in Jesus, and with His approaching departure is already at its glorious consummation; but in the case of the disciples, being imparted by Christ in the Holy Spirit, who is the πνεῦμα τῆς ζωῆς (Romans 8:2), it is, in the first instance, to be unfolded within (before the Parousia as the living fellowship with the exalted Christ), in order to become, at the Parousia by means of the resurrection (Romans 8:11) and relative transformation (1 Corinthians 15:51-52), the participation in His δόξα. Comp. the idea of the συζῆν τῷ χριστῷ in Paul, Romans 6:8; 2 Corinthians 7:3; 2 Timothy 2:11. The moment which assigns the reason ( ὅτι) lies simply in this, that the above two-sided ζῆν is the necessary condition of the promised θεωρεῖτέ με. If the higher ζωή, that is meant, were to be the lot only of Christ, and not also thereafter (through the working of the Spirit) that of the disciples, there could be no mention of a beholding of the Lord on the part of the disciples. The paritas rationis for the mutual relation would be wanting, and thereby the disciples would lose the capacity (the eye, as it were) to see Christ. But thus the living behold the Living One. The reference to the resurrection of Jesus has led to interpretations like that of Grotius (comp. Euth. Zigabenus): you shall see me actually alive (“non spectrum”) and remaining in life amidst the impending dangers; or (so Theophylact, comp. Kuinoel): I shall, as having risen, be alive, and you shall be as newly made alive for joy! or: I rise again, and you shall (at the last day) arise (so Augustine). Again the interpretation of ζήσεσθε in Weiss (Lehrbegr. p. 70) of the new life, which arises in the disciples through the reappearance of the Risen One, who is recognised by them (as in the case of Thomas, John 20:28), is a forced expedient, proceeding from an erroneous assumption, and is not appropriate, moreover, to ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, John 14:20, which is definite and valid for all disciples, nor to the intimate reciprocal confidence of John 14:20-21; wherefore Weiss again, adding violence to violence, explains John 14:21 of the further unfolding of the new communion begun with the appearances of the Risen One (p. 276). Had the resurrection been spoken of, the simplest explanation would be that of Kaeuffer, p. 136: “quae instat fortunae vicissitudo nec me nec vos poterit pessumdare,” according to which, however, a thought of much too small importance would result, and, besides, the change of tense is overlooked. But if, according to the above, both ζῶ and ζήσεσθε must embrace time and eternity, then De Wette has incorrectly limited ζήσεσθε to the life of faith with its joyous victory over death and the fear of death; on the other side again, Luthardt has erroneously understood it only of the life of transfiguration after the Parousia, because ἐγὼ ζῶ can only denote the glorified life,—an assumption, however, which is unsupported, since the expression used is not ἐγὼ ζήσομαι.


Verse 20-21

John 14:20-21. At that day;(153) in the historical fulfilment this was the day of Pentecost. Not: at that time (De Wette), or, as Hengstenberg twists it: in the period of time, beginning with the day of the resurrection (comp. Weiss); for a definite fact, marked off in point of time, is treated of, and this is the advent of Christ in the Paraclete. Comp. John 16:23.

γνώσεσθε, κ. τ. λ.] This dynamic immanence of Christ in the Father (see on John 10:38), which exists even in His state of exaltation (Colossians 3:3), like the analogous reciprocal relation between Him and the disciples, according to which they live and move in Him and He in them (Galatians 2:20), was to become for them a matter of experimental acquaintance through the Spirit.

John 14:21. General moral condition of this promised γνώσεσθε. Comp. John 14:15.

ἔχων, κ. τ. λ.] Augustine: “qui habet in memoria et servat in vita.” The ἔχειν, however, is rather the internal possession of the commandments, obtained by faith, the appropriated living presence of them in the believing consciousness, as the consequence of the ἀκούειν. Comp. John 5:38.

ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν] with great and exclusive emphasis.

In ἀγαπηθήσ. and ἀγαπήσω lies the peculiar mutual love.

καὶ ἐγὼ ἀγαπ.] ὡς ἀ΄φοτέρων τὰ αὐτὰ θελόντων κ. ἀποδεχο΄ένων, Euth. Zigabenus.

ἐ΄φανίσω αὐτῷ ἐ΄αυτόν] corresponds to the γνώσεσθε, which was to commence through this very causing of Himself to appear in virtue of the communication of the Spirit. On ἐμφαν., comp. Exodus 33:13; Exodus 33:18; Sap. John 1:2; Matthew 27:53. The expression is such, that it sets forth the relation of the self-demonstration of the Lord to His individual loving ones, not His manifestation at the Parousia, which certainly will be glorious and universal (in answer to Luthardt). Those who explain it of the resurrection of Christ understand the appearances of the Risen One to be referred to, 1 Corinthians 15 (Grotius, Hilgenfeld, and many others).


Verse 22

John 14:22. Judas (Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus, Matthew 10:3; not, however, a brother of the Lord, Acts 1:13-14, but son of one James, Luke 6:16)(154) expects a bodily appearance of Christ in Messianic glory, has in this view misunderstood Jesus, and is therefore surprised that He has spoken of His ἐμφανίζειν ἑαυτόν as having reference only to the man who loves Him, and not also to the world of the unbelieving, on whom the Messiah when He appeared was in truth to execute judgment.

τί γέγονεν] What has come to pass, in respect to the fact that, etc.? What occurrence has determined Thee, etc.? See Kypke, I. p. 403 f. The foregoing καί as in John 9:36.

The addition οὐχ ἰσκαρ. was indeed, after John 13:30, quite superfluous, but is to be explained as an involuntary outflow of the deep loathing felt at the traitor of like name. The latter is not to be thought of as again present (Bengel).


Verse 23-24

John 14:23-24. Jesus repeats—and that was sufficient for the removal of such a misunderstanding—substantially, yet now at once placing love as the principal matter in the immediate foreground, the condition to which His self-revelation, John 14:22, is attached, by more closely defining it according to its divine and blessed manner of existence; and shows from this, and from the antithesis added in John 14:24, that the κόσμος—this κόσμος which hates Him and is disobedient to Him—is quite incapable of receiving that self-revelation. The more precise explanation, πρὸς αὐτ. ἐλευσόμ. κ. μονὴν παρʼ αὐτῷ ποιησόμεθα, is intended to make this very incapacity still more distinctly and deeply felt. At the foundation of the expression lies the theocratic idea, realized in this spiritual fellowship, of the dwelling of God amongst His people (Exodus 25:8; Exodus 29:45; Leviticus 26:11-12; Ezekiel 37:26 ff.), with which also the later representation of the dwelling of the Shekinah with the pious (Danz in Meuschen, N. T. ex Talm. ill. p. 701 ff.) is connected. This representation, however, is not to be assumed here, since Jesus means an invisible presence. In the plural of communion, ἐλευσόμεθα is the clear expression of the divine-human consciousness, John 10:30.

On the genuinely Greek expression μονὴν ποιεῖν, see Kypke, I. p. 404. The Middle (see critical notes): we will make to ourselves.

παρʼ αὐτῷ] The unio mystica, into which God and Christ enter with man by means of the Paraclete,(155) is presented in the sensuous form of the taking up an abode with Him (comp. John 14:17; John 14:25), i.e. in His dwelling (comp. John 1:40, Acts 21:8, et al.), under His roof. They come, like wanderers from their heavenly home (John 14:2), and lodge with Him, “will be daily His guests, yea, house and table companions,” Luther.

The λόγοι, discourses, are the individual parts of the collective λόγος, and the ἐντολαί are the preceptive parts of the same, and form, therefore, a more special conception than the λόγοι.

καὶ λόγος ὃν ἀκούετε, κ. τ. λ.] and—from this you may infer how unfitted such a man is to experience that visitation—the word which ye hear (now, still!), etc. Comp. John 7:16, John 8:28, John 12:49-50, John 3:34. He therefore rejects God Himself. The second person ( ἀκούετε) is individualizing (not to be limited to what was said in John 14:23-24, as Godet takes it), and makes the expression at the close of this portion of the address more lively.


Verse 25-26

John 14:25-26. We are to suppose a pause before John 14:25; Jesus looks back upon all that He has hitherto said to them at His farewell supper, and of which so much still remained to them enigmatical, and continues: “These things have I spoken to you, whilst I (still) tarry with you; but the Paraclete who, after my impending separation from you, will have come to you from the Father, He will further instruct you,” etc.

ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ. μου] Specific definiteness of the act of sending. God sends the Spirit in the name of Jesus, i.e. so that what the name Jesus Christ comprises in itself, forms the sphere in which the divine thought, counsel, and will lives, and is active in the sending. Comp. on John 14:13. The name of Jesus is the only name which includes in itself the eternal salvation of men (Acts 4:12); but God intends and designs, in the mission of the Spirit—the causa meritoria of which lies already in this name, and the appearance of which is attached to the glorification of Jesus (John 8:39)—nothing else than this Name, the complete saving knowledge of which, its confession, influence, glorification, etc., is to be brought about and advanced through the mission of the Spirit, as in general, all that He has done in the carrying out of His redemptive counsel, He has done ἐν χριστῷ, Ephesians 1:3 ff. The notion: at my request (comp. Godet: “in meam gratiam”), is not contained in the words, although, according to John 14:14, the prayer of Jesus precedes (in answer to Lücke, De Wette, Ebrard, Godet, and several others). Better, but only an approximation, and wanting in precision, is the interpretation of B. Crusius: in my affair, and of Melanchthon and several others: propter me. The rendering, in my stead (Euth. Zigabenus and several others, including Tholuck, Baeumlein, Ewald, Weiss), is not appropriate, since, according to it, the Spirit would not appear as the Representative of Christ (comp. John 5:43), but God, as in Christ’s stead, executing the mission—which would be absurd. It must in that case run: ἐλεύσεται παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, comp. John 16:7.

In the ministry of the Spirit ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα is the general feature: He will not leave you uninstructed respecting any portion of the divine ἀλήθεια (comp. John 16:13): to this the particular is then joined: καὶ ὑπομνήσει, κ. τ. λ.: and (and especially) will He bring to your recollection, etc. To the first belong also new portions of doctrine, not yet delivered by Jesus (see on John 16:12), also disclosures of the future (John 16:13). On ὑπομνήσει, κ. τ. λ., comp. e.g. John 2:22, John 12:16. εἶπον ὑμῖν might also be referred to διδάξει πάντα (Luther, Melanchthon, Grotius, Calovius, and several others), but John 16:12-13 justifies the ordinary reference, which also logically at once suggests itself, merely to the second πάντα, and nevertheless excludes the misuse of the present passage in favour of Catholic tradition (see on John 16:12), as well as of the revelations of fanaticism. Of the actual fulfilment of the entire promise, the apostolic discourses and letters supply the full proof.

εἶπον] Not merely now, but generally, as the context, by the first πάντα, demands.


Verse 27

John 14:27. “These are last words, as of one who is about to go away and says good-night, or gives his blessing,” Luther.

εἰρήνην ἀφίημι ὑμῖν] The whole position of affairs, as Jesus is on the point of concluding these His last discourses (John 14:31), as well as the characteristic word εἰρήνη, introduced without further preface, justifies the ordinary assumption that here there is an allusion to the Oriental greetings at partings and dismissals, in which שָׁלוֹם (i.e. not specially: Peace of soul, but generally: Prosperity) was wished. Comp. 1 Samuel 1:17; 1 Samuel 20:42; 1 Samuel 29:5; Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50; Luke 8:48; Acts 16:36; James 2:16; also the Syrian pacem dedit, in the sense of valedixit in Assem. Bibl. I. p. 376; and finally, the epistolary farewell-greeting, Ephesians 6:23; 1 Peter 5:14; 3 John 15. That which men were wont to wish at departure, namely, prosperity, Jesus is conscious of leaving behind, and of giving to His disciples, and that in the best and highest sense, namely, the entire prosperity of His redemptive work, “fore ejus benedictione semper felices” (Calvin), in which, however, the peace of reconciliation with God (Romans 5:1), as the first essential element, is also included. To assume (with Lücke) in the expression a reference, at the same time, to the O. T. peace-assuring and encouraging address שָׁלוֹם לָכֶם (Genesis 43:23; Judges 6:23, et al.), is less in harmony with the departing scene, and the remote μὴ ταρασσέσθω, κ. τ. λ., as well as with the expression of this consolatory address.

εἰρ. τ. ἐμὴν δίδ. ὑμ.] More precise definition of what has preceded. It is His, the peculiar prosperity proceeding from Him, which He gives to them as His bequest. Thus speaks He to His own, who, on the threshold of death, is leaving hereditary possessions: “I leave behind, I give,” in the consciousness that this will be accomplished by His death. So also Jesus, whose δίδωμι is to be understood neither as promitto (Kuinoel), nor even to be conceived as first taking place through the Paraclete (who rather brings about only the appropriation of the salvation given in the death of Jesus).

Not as the world gives, give I TO YOU! Nothing is to be supplied. My giving to you is of quite another kind than the giving of the (unbelieving) world; its giving bestows treasure, pleasure, honour, and the like, is therefore unsatisfying, bringing no permanent good, no genuine prosperity, etc.(156) Quite out of relation to the profound seriousness of the moment, and therefore irrelevant, is the reference to the usual empty formulas of salutation (Grotius, Kling, Godet).

΄ὴ ταρασσέσθω, κ. τ. λ.] “Thus does He conclude exactly as He first (John 14:1) began this discourse,” Luther. The short asyndetic (here supply οὖν) sentences correspond to the deep emotion.

δειλιάω (Diod. xx. 78) here only in the N. T., frequently in the LXX., which, on the other hand, has not the classical ( δοκι΄ώτερον, Thomas Magister) ἀποδειλιάω.


Verse 28

John 14:28. Instead of being terrified and alarmed, you should rejoice, that I, etc. ἠκούσατε, κ. τ. λ. (John 14:18) prepares for this.

εἰ ἠγαπ. με] intended by Jesus to be understood in its ideal sense, of true, complete love, which consists simply and solely in entire self-surrender to Him, so that all other interests are subordinated to it.

ὅτι πατήρ μου μείζων μου ἐστί] Statement of the reason for the joy which they would have felt ( ἐχάρητε): since my Father is greater, as generally, so particularly, more powerful (comp. John 14:12; John 8:53; John 10:29; 1 John 4:4) than I since I, consequently, through my departure to Him, shall be elevated in the higher fellowship with Him, to far greater power and efficiency for my aims, for victory over the world, etc. Comp. Melanchthon. In this gain, which is awaiting me, how should not he rejoice who loves me? Others find the motive to joy indicated by Christ in the glory and blessedness which awaits Him with the Father. So Cyril ( τὴν ἰδίαν δόξαν ἀναληψόμενος), and several, including Tholuck, Olshausen, Kling, Köstlin, Maier, Hilgenfeld, Hengstenberg, Baeumlein, comp. Godet. But thus the motive would lie only in the departure to the Father generally (with which the attainment of the δόξα was necessarily associated), not to the Father’s superior greatness of being, irrespective of the fact, that on this view the reference which Jesus would be giving to the love of the disciples would contain something selfish. Others render: the occasion of joy lies in the more powerful protection which the μείζων πατήρ would assure to the disciples, beyond what He, during His presence on earth, was able to do (Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, and several others, including Kuinoel, Lücke, De Wette). But this does not apply to the condition of love to the person of Jesus, for the above explanation changes it rather into love towards His work. Others, as Luther, Beza, Grotius, Bengel, Lampe, mingle together in the determination of the cause of joy, the interest of Christ and of the disciples; comp. Calvin: “quia haec ultima est meta, ad quam tendere vos oportet.”

The μειζονότης of the Father (formerly the point of controversy with the Arians, see Suicer, Thes. II. p. 1368) does not rest in the pre-eminence of the unbegotten over the begotten (Athanasius, Faustinus, Gregory Nazianzus, Hilarius, Euth. Zigabenus, and many others, including again also Olshausen), for which special expedient the text offers no occasion whatever, nor again in the temporal humiliation of Christ (Cyril, Augustine, Ammonius, Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, Beza, Aretius, and many others, including De Wette, Tholuck, and Luthardt), since God is also greater than the exalted Christ (see John 14:16, ἐρωτήσω, John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:27-28; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3, and generally throughout the N. T.), as He was also greater than the pre-existent Logos (John 1:1-3); but in the absolute monotheism of Jesus (John 17:3), and of the whole N. T. (see on Romans 9:5), according to which the Son, although of divine essence,(157) and ὁ΄οούσιος with the Father (John 1:1; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:15-18, et al.), nevertheless was, and is, and remains subordinated to the Father, the immutably Highest One, since the Son, as Organ, as Commissioner of the Father, as Intercessor with Him, etc., has received His whole power, even in the kingly office, from the Father (John 17:5), and, after the complete accomplishment of the work committed to Him, will restore it to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28). The remark of Hengstenberg is incorrect: Only such a pre-eminence of greatness on the part of the Father can be intended, as came to an end with the departure of Christ to the Father.


Verse 29

John 14:29. And now, even now, when my departure is approaching, I have said it to you, namely, ὅτι πορεύομαι πρὸς τ. π., John 14:28, not what was said in John 14:26, as Lücke thinks.

ὅταν γένηται] cum factum fuerit, namely, through my death; comp. John 13:19.

πιστεύσητε] Not absolutely, so that it would express of itself what is more precisely denned in John 13:19 by ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι; but: that you may believe it, namely, that I have gone to the Father. Comp. πιστεύετέ μοι, John 14:11. The point for the departing Lord was, that when His approaching death should take place, the disciples should have the true believing apprehension of it, namely, as His departure to the Father.


Verse 30

John 14:30. οὐκέτι πολλὰ, κ. τ. λ.] “Quasi dicat: temporis angustiae abripiunt verba,” Grotius.

For the prince of the world (see on John 12:31) is coming (is already drawing near). Jesus sees the devil himself in the organs and executors of his design (John 13:2; John 13:27, John 6:70; Luke 4:13).

τοῦ κόσμου] is here emphatically placed first in antithesis to ἐν ἐμοί.

καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν] and in me (antithesis of the κόσμος, John 17:16) he possesses nothing, namely, as pertaining to his dominion, which more minute definition flows from the conception of the ἄρχων; hence neither ποιεῖν (Kuinoel), nor μέρος (Nonnus), nor “of which he could accuse me before God” (Ewald), is to be supplied; nor again is the simple sense of the words to be transformed into “he has no claim on me” (Tholuck, Hofmann, and several others); comp. Luther: “cause and right.” In any case, Christ expresses the full moral freedom with which He subjects Himself to death (John 10:18). The sinlessness, which Cyril., Augustine (“in me non habet quicquam, nullum omnino scilicet peccatum”), Euth. Zigabenus, Cornelius a Lapide, and many others, including Olshausen, here find expressed, certainly lies at the foundation as a necessary causal presupposition, since only provided that Jesus were sinless, could the devil have in Him nothing that was his, but is not directly expressed. That He has already overcome the world (John 16:33) is not the reason (Lücke), but the consequence of His freedom from the prince of the world.

The καί is not: but (Ebrard, Godet); for the antithesis first follows with ἀλλά. Therefore: he comes, and is powerless over me (wherefore I needed not to surrender myself to him), but, nevertheless, that, etc, John 14:31.


Verse 31

John 14:31. That the world may know, etc. (as far as οὕτω ποιῶ), rise (from table), let us go hence! In order to bring the world to the knowledge of my love and my obedience to the Father (“ut mundus desinat mundus esse et patris in me beneplacitum agnoscat salutariter,” Bengel), let us away from here, and go to meet the diabolical power, before which I must now fall according to God’s counsel! The apodosis does not begin so early as καὶ καθώς (Grotius, Kuinoel, Paulus), in which case καί would mean also, and a reflection less appropriate to the mood of deep emotion would result. If a full point be placed after ποιῶ (Bengel, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Ewald), which, however, renders the sentence heavy, and makes what follows to stand too abruptly, then after ἀλλʼ a simple ἔρχεται would have to be supplied. Comp. John 15:25.

After the summons ἐγείρεσθε, κ. τ. λ., we are to think of the company at table as having risen. But Jesus, so full of that which, in view of the separation ever drawing nearer, He desired to impress on the heart of the disciples, and enchained by His love for them, takes up the word anew, and standing, continues to address chap. 15 and 16 to the risen disciples, and then follows the prayer of chap, 17, after which the actual departure, John 18:1, ensues. This view (Knapp, Lücke, Tholuck, Olshausen, Klee, Winer, Lnthardt, Ewald, Brückner, Bleek, following the older expositors, also Gerhard, Calovius, and Maldonatus) appears to be correct from this, that John, without any indication of a change of place, connects John 15:1 immediately with John 14:31; while, that the following discourses, and especially the prayer, were uttered on the way (Ammonius, Hilarius, Beda, Luther, Aretius, Grotius, Wetstein, Lampe, Rosenmüller, Lange, Ebrard), is neither in any way indicated, nor reconcilable with John 18:1, nor psychologically probable. A pure importation, further, is the opinion of Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Erasmus, and several others, that Christ, John 14:31, went with the disciples to a more secluded and safer place, where He (“sur la pente couverte de vignes, qui descend dans la vallée du Cédron,” Godet) delivered chap. 15, 16, 17; so also is Bengel’s harmonistic device, which Wichelhaus has adopted, that the locality of the discourse from John 13:31(158) to John 14:31 had been outside the city, but that now He set forth to go to Jerusalem for the passover.(159) Others, while De Wette abides by the hypothesis of an hiatus between chap. 14 and 15, the reason of which remains unknown, have sought to make use of the ἐγείρεσθε, ἄγωμεν, Matthew 26:46, Mark 14:42, in spite of the quite different historical connection in Matthew and Mark, in order to charge the author with a clumsy attempt to interweave that reminiscence in his narrative (Strauss, Scholten); in opposition to which Weisse, with equal arbitrariness and injustice, accuses the supposed editor of the Gospel with having placed in juxtaposition, without any link of connection, two Johannean compositions, of which the one closed with John 14:31, and the other began with John 15:1. Baur and Hilgenfeld, indeed, make the synoptic words, divested of their more definite historical justification, stand here only as a sign of pause. The Johannean words, and those in the Synoptics uttered in Gethsemane, have nothing to do with one another; but the apparent incongruity with the present passage speaks, in fact, in favour of the personal testimony of the reporter, before whose eyes the whole scene vividly presented itself. Comp. Bleek’s Beitr. p. 239.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 14:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-14.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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