Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 14:21

He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Duty;   Fellowship;   God;   God Continued...;   Jesus, the Christ;   Love;   Obedience;   Righteous;   Righteousness;   Thompson Chain Reference - Christ;   Commands;   Divine;   Future, the;   Heaven;   Heavenly;   Holy Spirit;   Home;   Obedience;   Obedience-Disobedience;   Spirit;   The Topic Concordance - Coming;   Love;   Manifestation;   Obedience;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Conduct, Christian;   Love of Christ, the;   Love to Christ;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Law;   Love;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Comfort;   Counselor;   Faith;   Follow, Follower;   Love;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Holy Ghost;   Union to Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - House;   Jude;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Lawgiver;   Love;   Obedience;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Children (Sons) of God;   God;   Holy Spirit;   John, Theology of;   Love, Lover, Lovely, Beloved;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Assurance (2);   Brotherhood (2);   Coming Again;   Complacency;   Consolation;   Death of Christ;   Fellowship (2);   Grace;   Keeping;   Love (2);   Manuscripts;   Pity;   Quotations (2);   Religious Experience;   Reward;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Self-Examination;   Upper Room (2);   Vine, Allegory of the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Fruit;   Gallery;   Holy ghost;   Pentecost;   Samuel;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jude;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Commandment;   Eschatology of the New Testament;   Johannine Theology, the;   Lord's Supper (Eucharist);   Manifest;   Salvation;   Trinity;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 25;   Every Day Light - Devotion for March 9;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He it is that loveth me - See on John 14:15; (note).

And will manifest myself to him - All my faithful disciples shall see me after my resurrection; and I will manifest my power and goodness to all those who believe in and obey me, even to the end of the world.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 14:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He that hath … - This intimate union is further manifested by these facts:

1.That true love to Jesus will produce obedience. See John 14:15.

2.That those who love him will be loved of the Father, showing that there is a union between the Father and the Son.

3.That Jesus also will love them, evincing still the same union. Religion is love. The love of one holy being or object is the love of all. The kingdom of God is one. His people, though called by different names, are one. They are united to each other and to God, and the bond which unites the whole kingdom in one is love.

Will manifest myself to him - To manifest is to show, to make appear, to place before the eyes so that an object may be seen. This means that Jesus would so show himself to his followers that they should see and know that he was their Saviour. In what way this is done, see John 14:23.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-14.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 14:21

He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me

Love to Christ

I.
THE REASONS WHICH JUSTIFY ITS EXERCISE. If we love an object, it is because of something amiable in that object.

1. And is there not real excellency in Jesus Christ--“the brightness of His Father’s glory,” etc. “He is altogether lovely!”

2. Is He not nearly related to us (Hebrews 2:11; Matthew 12:48-50)?

3. Is He not our Friend, our kindest and best Benefactor? “He gave His life a ransom for us.”

II. THE PROPERTIES BY WHICH IT IS DISTINGUISHED. It must be

1. Sincere (Romans 12:9).

2. Supreme. Love to any object should rise according to its worth.

3. Constant.

III. THE TEST BY WHICH IT IS ASCERTAINED. It is good to have the commandments of Christ, to be born in a land of Bibles; but this is not enough. He that hath them, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Him. And what is this keeping the commandments of Christ? Do they keep them

1. Who are ignorant of them, and who discover little concern to become acquainted with them?

2. Who have no relish for them?

3. Who do not obey them?

IV. THE REWARD WITH WHICH IT IS CONNECTED.

1. The favour of the greatest Father.

2. The affection of the kindest Saviour.

3. The presence of the best Friend. From the whole, learn

1. The insufficiency of external privileges.

2. The honour which attends real Christianity.

3. The proper use of religious ordinances, and the spirit in which we should attend them. (T. Kidd.)

Love to Christ

I. THE OBEDIENCE WHICH IS THE SIGN AND TEST OF LOVE. The words are here substantially equivalent to John 14:15. Only the former begins with the root and traces it upwards to its fruits, love blossoming into obedience. Our text reverses the process. Note

1. How remarkably our Lord here declares the possession of His commandments to be a sign of love to Him. “He that hath,” etc. There are two ways of having: in the Bible, and in the heart; before my eye as a law that I ought to obey, or within my will, as a power that shapes it. And the latter is the only kind of “having” that Christ regards as real and valid. Love possesses the knowledge of the loved one’s will. Do we not all know how strange is the power of divining desires that goes along with true affection, and how the power, not only of divining, but of treasuring, these desires is the thermometer of our true love. Some of us, perhaps, have laid away in sacred, secret places tattered yellow old bits of paper with the words of a dear one on them that we would not part with. “He that hath My commandments” laid up in lavender in the recesses of his faithful heart, he it is “that loveth Me.”

2. Obedience: There are two motives for keeping commandments, one, because they are commanded, and one because we love Him that commands. The one is slavery, the other is liberty. The one is like the Arctic regions, cold and barren, the other is like tropical lands, full of warmth and sunshine, glorious and glad fertility.

3. The form of the sentence suggests how easy it is for people to delude themselves about their love to Jesus Christ. That emphatic “He,” and the putting first of the character before He states its root, are directed against false pretensions to love. The love that Christ stamps with His hallmark is no mere emotion, however passionate and sweet; no mere sentiment however pure and deep. The tiniest dribble that drives a mill is better than a Niagara that rushes and foams and tumbles idly. And there is ever so much so-called love to Jesus Christ that goes masquerading up and down the world; from which the paint is stripped by the sharp application of the words of my text.

II. THE DIVINE LOVE AND MANIFESTATION WHICH REWARD OUR LOVE AND OBEDIENCE. Note

1. The extraordinary boldness of that majestic saying: “If a man loves Me, My Father will love him.” God regards our love to Jesus Christ as containing in it the germ of all that is pleasing in His sight. And so, upon our hearts, if we love Christ, there falls the benediction of the Father’s love.

2. Of course, our Lord here is not beginning at the very beginning of everything. “We love Him because He first loved us” digs a story deeper down than the words of my text. That being understood, here is a great lesson. It is not all the same to God whether a man is a scoundrel or a saint. God’s love is a moral love; and whilst the sunbeams play upon the ice and melt it sometimes, they flash back from, and rest more graciously and fully on, the rippling stream into which the ice has turned. God loves them that love Him not, but the depths of His heart and the secret sacred favours of His grace can only be bestowed upon those who love Christ and obey Him.

3. If, then, we seek to know that dear Lord, the path is plain. Walk on the way of obedience, and Christ will meet us with the unveiling of more and more of His love. To live what we believe is the sure way to increase its amount. To be faithful to the little is the certain way to inherit the much. He gives us His whole self at the first, but we traverse the breadth of the gift by degrees. The flower is but a bud when we get it, and as we hold it, it opens its petals to the light. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Obedience the proof of love

I. SOME WHO THINK THEY LOVE JESUS ARE MISTAKEN AS TO THE GENUINENESS AND SINCERITY OF THEIR LOVE TO HIM. There is an emphasis on “He it is,” singling Him out as the only real lover. Men may be misled as to the reality of their love.

1. By regarding strong, keen and frequent feelings of sorrow and compassion for Christ as an innocent sufferer, as evidence of true love. Such an emotion is an element in, but is not love.

2. By substituting an intellectual and moral admiration of Christ. But many infidels evince this.

3. By counting sufficient an outward and decorous attention to His laws and institutions. This is sufficient to keep from sins of a gross nature; but at the bottom it may be self-love, a bid for the world’s good opinion.

II. THEY ONLY WHO HAVE AND KEEP CHRIST’S COMMANDMENTS TRULY LOVE HIM.

1. Having Christ’s commandments implies

2. Keeping them. We may have without keeping them. Practice and knowledge must keep step.

3. Here is

Obedience the sign of love

A king in ancient times made some wise laws for his people, and most of them loved and reverenced him as a father, but not all. Some who professed a great affection for him were very unwilling to obey him; and a few complained that his laws were too strict, and, whenever they could do so without fear of punishment, they broke them. Now the king had a country far off where troubles and tumults bad arisen, and the governor wrote to ask the king to go and visit his discontented people, and try if his own presence would win them to obedience and love. The king promised to go; but before he left, he gave every family a copy of the laws. He was away a long time, and on his return there were loud rejoicings. But when he came to his council chamber, there were some sad stories of rebellion and disobedience, not among the poor alone, but among the nobles, who had been louder than all the rest in their professions of love and songs of welcome. But when the king, having discovered the offenders, asked for a copy of the laws, and one by one read them to the rebels, they were confused and silent. Some, indeed, had lost the paper he had given them; some had wilfully burnt it, and declared that they would not obey; many had broken one or more of the rules. He was a gentle king, but firm and just; and so he gathered his disobedient subjects together, and looking sorrowfully at them, he gravely asked each, “If he loved his sovereign?” They all answered “Yes,” but on holding up a copy of his laws, they all hung down their heads. “He that hath my laws and keepeth them,” he said, “he, and he only, loves me.” So with Christ’s laws. (Mrs. Geldart.)

Christ known only to the loving

I. WE CANNOT KNOW CHRIST THROUGH THE INTELLECT. The intellect has tried for ages to find out God, and after all its investigations it has pronounced Him unknowable, “The world by wisdom knew not God.”

II. WE CANNOT KNOW CHRIST THROUGH THE IMAGINATION. Imagination has filled the world with myths, superstitions and idols, but has never, unaided by the heart, found Christ.

III. WE CANNOT KNOW CHRIST THROUGH AN EXCITED CONSCIENCE. Conscience has formulated a god of vengeance. Christ is God and reveals Himself to the loving. (Homiletic Monthly.)

Character and privilege of true Christians

I. THE PECULIAR CHARACTER OF TRUE CHRISTIANS.

1. They love Christ.

(a) As a Divine person, glorious in moral perfection and loveliness.

(b) As the incarnate Divinity, the image, of Him whom we should “love with all the heart, and soul, and strength.”

(c) As the God-man Mediator, the Only-begotten of Him whose name and nature is love.

(d) As the man, Christ Jesus, possessed of every quality which can command esteem and excite love.

2. They have His commandments, words, sayings. These are not to be confined to what was preceptive in our Lord’s teaching; they include all His communications.

3. They keep His commandments. As it is by having the words of Christ that men come to love Him, so it is by keeping His words that they manifest and prove their love to Him. They must be kept

(a) The promises are to be kept by firmly believing them in the most trying circumstances.

(b) The warnings are to be kept by keeping at a distance from their subjects, and by cherishing a habitual holy fear of sin.

(c) His commandments, with regard to tempers and dispositions, are to be kept by “keeping our hearts with all diligence.”

(d) Those with regard to our general conduct are to be kept by our not following “the course of this world,” but walking according to the will of God.

(e) Those with regard to institutions are to be kept by ‘observing all things whatsoever He has commanded.

II. THEIR PECULIAR PRIVILEGES.

1. They are loved of the Father and the Son.

2. This love is discovered in the Son’s manifesting Himself to them, and in the Father and the Son coming to them, and making their abode with them.

III. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO.

1. He only who possesses the character can enjoy the privilege.

2. He who possesses the character must enjoy the privilege.

3. The measure in which the character is possessed is the measure in which the privilege is enjoyed. The more a man loves Christ, the more must both God and Christ love him. (J. Brown, D. D.)

The secret of self-consecration

Here is the secret of self-consecration: in our being “possessed” by the love of Christ; and feeling--He loves me more than I love Him. Possessed by this love, I yield myself wholly and joyfully to Him. My hand is His, redeemed by Him, sacred to Him, and cannot do unholy work; my foot is His, and cannot go on unholy errands; my ear is His, and cannot listen to unholy words; my eye is His, and cannot look upon unholy deeds; my tongue is His, and cannot utter unholy speeches; my mind is His, and cannot think unholy thoughts; my heart is His, and cannot cherish unholy feelings and desires; my whole being is His, redeemed by Him, sacred to Him, and is surrendered to His will. (J. Culross, D. D.)

Practical religion

Since a vestment ornamented with gold is a beautiful and conspicuous object, but seems much more so to us when it is worn upon our own persons, thus also the precepts of God are beautiful when but praised, but appear far more lovely when they are rightly observed, and conspicuous in our own life. (T. H. Leary, D. C. L.)

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 14:21". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/john-14.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him.

The thought here is like that of John 14:15 (which see); also, the oneness of Christ with the Father is the constantly recurring theme of the Gospel, and is apparent here in Christ's loving whom the Father loves, and in the Father's loving them that love Christ.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them,.... He that has not merely the external revelation of them in the Bible; but has them written on his heart, by the finger of the Spirit of God, and keeps them under the influence of grace and strength received from him:

he it is that loveth me: others may talk of loving Christ, but this is the man that truly does love him; for his observance of Christ's commands is a proof and evidence that he loves him not in word only, but in deed and in truth: and to encourage souls to love and obedience, Christ adds,

he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father; not that love to is the cause, condition, or motive of the Father's love to his people; nor does his love to them begin when they begin to love Christ; but this expression denotes some further and greater manifestation of the Father's love to such persons, and shows how grateful to the Father are love and obedience to the Son:

and I will love him; which must be understood in the same manner; Christ does not begin to love his people when they begin to love, and obey him; their love and obedience to him, spring from his love to them; which love of his towards them was from everlasting: but this phrase signs a clearer discovery of his love to them, which passeth knowledge; and some fresh mark and token of his affection for them; and which is explained in the next clause:

and will manifest myself to him; not in a visible way, or in a corporeal form, as he did to his disciples after his resurrection; but in a spiritual manner, as when he makes himself known to his people in ordinances, and favours them with communion with him, and they see his beauty, his fulness, his grace and righteousness, his power, and his glory.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 14:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will k manifest myself to him.

(k) I will show myself to him, and be known by him, as if he saw me with his eyes: but this showing of himself is not bodily, but spiritual, yet so plain that no other showing could be more evident.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 14:21". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-14.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, etc. — (See on John 14:15).

my Father and I will love him — Mark the sharp line of distinction here, not only between the Divine Persons but the actings of love in Each respectively, towards true disciples.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-14.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

He it is that loveth me (εκεινος εστιν ο αγαπων μεekeinos estin ho agapōn me). Emphatic demonstrative pronoun εκεινοςekeinos “that is the one who loves me.”

And will manifest myself unto him (και εμπανισω αυτωι εμαυτονkai emphanisō autōi emauton). Future active of εμπανιζωemphanizō old verb from εμπανηςemphanēs (Acts 10:40; Romans 10:20). The Unseen and Risen Christ will be a real and spiritual Presence to the obedient and loving believer.

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 14:21". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-14.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Hath

“Who has in memory and keeps in life” (Augustine).

Will manifest ( ἐμφανίσω )

Properly, of manifestation to the sight, as distinguished from δηλόω , to make evident to the mind (1 Corinthians 3:13; Colossians 1:8, etc.). A clear, conspicuous manifestation is indicated. Compare ye see me (John 14:19). “It conveys more than the disclosing of an undiscovered presence ( ἀποκαλύπτω ), or the manifesting of a hidden one ( φανερόω )” (Westcott).

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Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-14.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

He that hath my commandments — Written in his heart.

I will manifest myself to him — More abundantly.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 14:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-14.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him1.

  1. And will manifest myself unto him. The fourth and all-convincing token of Jesus' union with the Father would be his return in the spirit which is here described. It was not his temporary return after the resurrection, as is shown at John 14:19, neither was it his final return to judgment, because it was one in which the world would not behold him, and at his final return "every eye shall see him" (Revelation 1:7). Jesus, therefore, speaks of his return in the spirit, and his inward manifestation of himself to his disciples wherein he energizes them with his own life. A coming, however, which, like that of the Holy Spirit, is conditioned upon the loving obedience of the disciples. The writings of Paul abound with expressions illustrating the nature of this coming of Christ. It is not to be confused with the coming of the Holy Spirit, though doubtless wholly concurrent with it.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 14:21". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-14.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Hath; receiveth.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-14.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Кто имеет заповеди Мои. Христос снова повторяет предыдущее предложение: доказательство нашей любви к Нему состоит в том, что мы соблюдаем Его заповеди. Он много раз наставляет в этом учеников, дабы те не уклонились от поставленной им цели. Мы весьма склонны впадать в плотские чувства, и под именем Христа любить что-то еще кроме Него Самого. Сюда же относятся слова Павла (2Кор.5:16): Даже если раньше мы и знали Христа по плоти, больше мы Его так не знаем. Потому что мы – новая тварь. «Иметь заповеди» означает здесь быть правильно наставленным в заповедях, а «соблюдать» – сообразовывать свою жизнь с их правилом.

А кто любит Меня. Христос говорит так, как будто люди своей любовью предваряют Бога. Это абсурдно, ибо Он примирил нас с Собою, когда мы были еще грешниками, Рим.5:10. Замечательны слова Иоанна, 1Ин.4:10. Не мы первые возлюбили Его, а Он первым возлюбил нас. Однако здесь не идет речь о причине и следствии. Посему неправильно выводить отсюда, что любовь, которой мы любим Христа, предшествует по порядку любви Божией к нам. Христос только хотел сказать: блаженными будут все, кто Его любит, ибо они взаимно любимы Отцом и Сыном. Не потому что Бог лишь тогда начинает их любить, а потому что эти люди носят в сердцах начертанное свидетельство Его отеческой любви. Туда же относятся и следующие слова «явлюсь ему». На самом деле, знание предшествует любви, но Христос хотел сказать следующее: почитателям Его чистого учения будет дано ежедневное возрастание в вере, то есть: Я сделаю так, – говорит Христос, – что они станут еще ближе ко Мне. Отсюда сделай вывод о том, что плод благочестия есть возрастание в познании Христа. Ибо тот, кто обещает дать уже имеющему, отвергнув лицемеров, заставляет возрастать в вере тех, кто всем сердцем принял евангельское учение и полностью ему повинуется. Поэтому, многие поворачивают вспять, и правильной дорогой продолжает идти едва ли каждый десятый. Ведь большая часть людей недостойна того, чтобы Христос явил Себя им. Следует отметить, что здесь говорится о возрастающем познании Христа как о награде за нашу к Нему любовь. Откуда следует, что познание это есть бесценное сокровище.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-14.html. 1840-57.

Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books

Vv. 21 states with preciseness the manner of this illumination. Jesus had said summarily, John 14:15 : "Keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father." Here he enumerates in detail all the links of the chain of graces which will be connected with this practical fidelity of His followers: It is necessary to hold inwardly ( ἔχειν) His word, and toobserve it practically ( τηρεῖν); this is not done by the world, which has heard it, but rejected it; for this reason it is not fitted to receive these higher graces.

By means of this moral fidelity,

1. Such an individual ( ἐκεῖνος, that exceptional man) assumes the character of a being who truly loves Jesus ( ὁ ἀγαπῶν με).

2. Hence he becomes the beloved of the Father, who, loving the Son, also loves whoever makes Him the object of his love. This love of the Father is not that which is spoken of in John 3:16 : "God so loved the world." These two loves differ as the compassion of a man for his guilty and wretched neighbor and the tender affection of a father for his child, or a husband for his wife, differ.

3. The Son, seeing the eye of the Father turning with tenderness towards the disciple who loves Him, feels Himself united with the latter by a new bond ("and I will love him"); He loves him still more tenderly in proportion as He sees the love of the Father enveloping him.

4. Finally, from all this follows the supreme miracle of the love of the Father and the Son: the perfect revelation which Jesus gives to the disciple of Himself: I will manifest myself to him.

This is the condition of the you shall know, John 14:20. This altogether extraordinary term ἐμφανίζειν refers to the inward manifestation of the Messiah. It will not by any means suit the external and passing appearances of the Risen One, to which even Weiss gives up referring it; but to substitute what? Certain manifestations of the nearness of Jesus granted to His disciples in the course of their life, like that of the Lord to Moses (Exodus 33:13; Exodus 33:18); "but in any case not by means of the Spirit," adds this interpreter. And yet the asyndeta after John 14:17 prove, by themselves alone, that Jesus is here developing the promise of the gift of the Spirit; and John 14:23 shows clearly enough what Jesus means to speak of in John 14:21. It is precisely this wholly inward character of the manifestation described in John 14:21 which calls forth the question of Judas in John 14:22.

In the face of these interruptions of the disciples, Gess compares Jesus to a skilful pilot who does not suffer himself to be turned aside by the rushing waves, but by a prompt stroke of the helm gives each time to the ship the desired direction.

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Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/john-14.html.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Ver. 21. And I will love him, and manifest, &c.] Increase of the saving knowledge of Christ is promised as a singular reward of our love to him and fruit of his love to us, εμφανισω, tacite et clam indicabo. By quietness and silence I will point out. (Eras.) Imo palam et in media luce. No indeed, openly and is the midst of light, Beza. This is, saith Agur, "to ascend into heaven," Proverbs 30:3-4. This is, saith our Saviour elsewhere, the great talent of all others. There is a "much" in it, Luke 12:48. This is, saith St Paul, the Christian’s riches, 1 Corinthians 1:5; and David reckons of his wealth by it, Psalms 119:32.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 14:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-14.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our blessed Saviour in these words repeats what he had before enjoined at verse 15, namely, to evidence the sincerity of our love to him, by the universality of our obedience to his commands: He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.

Where note, 1. The necessity of knowledge in order unto practice.

2. The necessity of practice in order unto happiness. We must first have Christ's commandments, before we can keep them: we must have them in our understandings and judgments, in our wills and affections; not have them only in our eyes to read, in our ears to hear, or in our mouths to talk of them but to hide them in our hearts, that we may not sin against Christ, in the willful violation of them.

Farther, we must keep, as well as have, these commandments. This denotes an universal, diligent, and pesevering obedience to them.

Hence learn, That although many loose professors pretend love to Christ, because they hear, read, know, and can talk of, his commandments; yet in Christ's account none do truly love him, but those who make conscience of their obedience to him: He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.

Observe next, The gracious promise of Christ to such as thus express their love unto him.

1. He shall be loved of my Father, and of myself.

And shall he not be loved of the Holy Ghost too? Yes, no doubt. But why is he not named then? Because the Son dwelleth in us by the Spirit, and shed his love abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.

2., I will manifest myself unto him: that is, such obedient Christians shall not only enjoy the fruit and benefit of my love, but they shall enjoy the sense of my love, and experience the sensible manifestations and inward diffusions of my love in their own souls.

Learn hence, That the only way to have Christ love us, and to let out his love upon us, and to know that he loves us is to look diligently to our obediential walking with him and before him. We may as rationally think to nourish our bodies with poison, as to enjoy the manifestation of Christ's love in a way of sin.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 14:21". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-14.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

21.] ἔχων κ. τηρῶν, “qui habet in memoria et servat in vita.” Aug(200) in loc. Or perhaps more accurately (with Stier). “He who has my commandments, as being my disciple by outward profession (not thus only: but holds them, by the inner possession of a living faith. So Meyer), and keeps them:” see Luke 11:28. And τηρ. is more of the inner will to keep them, than the absolute observance, which can only follow on high degrees of spiritual advancement.

ἐμφ. αὐτ. ἐμ., by the Holy Spirit: see ch. John 16:14. This (as Stier observes) is the highest promise which can be made to man (see John 14:23), and yet it is made to every man who ἔχει κ. τηρεῖ the commandments of the Lord Jesus. Cf. EXOD. in reff.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 14:21". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-14.html. 1863-1878.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 1689

OBEDIENCE THE TEST OF OUR LOVE TO CHRIST

John 14:21. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

IT is supposed by many, that to profess an assurance of our acceptance with God is the very height of presumption. But, whilst we acknowledge that such a profession may be made very erroneously, and by persons who deceive their own souls, we cannot admit that no such thing as a scriptural assurance exists: on the contrary, we affirm, that a consciousness of so great a change as takes place in conversion cannot but exist in some degree; and that our blessed Lord has taught all his people to expect it: “In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you [Note: ver. 20.].” If indeed such a persuasion were to be entertained without being subjected to any test, then would it be the most enthusiastic, and most dangerous: but, if we have an infallible rule whereby to try it, then have we no reason to feel that jealousy respecting it, which so generally prevails. The truth is, that in this very passage where our Lord has sanctioned an assurance of our state, he has established a criterion whereby all our professions must be judged: nor, till our experience has been found to accord with that standard, have we any right to expect the rewards and consolations of his Gospel: “He that,” &c.

Now in these words we may see,

I. How to judge of our love to Christ—

We must not imagine that the adoption of certain sentiments, or the joining of ourselves to a particular set of people, or the manifesting of a regard for public or social ordinances, or the having had great exercises of mind in reference to religion, with many hopes or fears, or joys or sorrows, or the feeling a strong confidence about the safety of our own state, are any certain proofs of love to Christ: these things not only may, but often do, exist, where there is no real love to Christ in the soul. There is one mark, and one only, whereby we can form any decided judgment about the states of men; and that is, “By their fruits ye shall know them:” they alone truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, who manifest a due regard for his commandments:

1. Who “have them” in their hearts—

[Those who “love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,” desire a perfect conformity to his mind and will. With this view they study his commandments: they do not read them in a cursory way, but meditate on them, and search into them, and beg of God to open them to their view, and are thankful for any light that may be cast upon them, even though their own conduct should thereby be condemned. Having obtained a deeper insight into them, they treasure up the welcome truth in their minds, and “hide it in their hearts,” as a rule of their conduct, “that they may no longer sin against him.” “They account not any one of them grievous,” but approve of them in their utmost extent, and “pant” after a more entire conformity to them, and long to “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God [Note: Psalms 119:127-128; Psalms 119:131. This last verse beautifully expresses the ardent longing of his soul to be conformed to them.].” They would not willingly have “a thought, that should not be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”]

2. Who “keep them” in their lives—

[Those who truly love Christ will be always “walking in the way of his commandments.” Do you inquire into their general conduct? you will find them “labouring, not so much for the meat that perisheth, as for that which endureth unto everlasting life:” they will “not be taking thought what they shall eat and drink, and be clothed with, as the poor ignorant Gentiles do; but will seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness;” “not laying up treasures upon earth, but laying them up in heaven.” In “love to the world and the things thereof, they will form a contrast with the ungodly world [Note: 1 John 2:15-16. Romans 12:2.].”

In like manner, if you inquire into their conduct under any particular circumstances, you will know beforehand where to find them: you need only examine the commandments in relation to that subject, and you will know how they will act. You will not expect to find them conceited, selfish, querulous: because they are commanded to “prefer others in honour before themselves;” to “mind, not their own things, but also the things of others;” and “in whatsoever state they are, therewith to be content.” Nor will you expect to find them censorious, passionate, unforgiving, or vindictive; because Christ has bidden them “not to judge others,” or “to say to any one, Thou fool;” but rather to “turn the left cheek to any one that smites them on the right,” and to “forgive him not only seven times, but seventy times seven.”

They are not unlike a mariner that is ordered to cruize in a given latitude. There is no visible object in the ocean to which he directs his way; but he consults his chart, and his compass, and the heavenly bodies, and then makes his observations with all the accuracy that he can. The spot is not so defined, but that a difference of opinion may exist respecting its precise situation: but a skilful mariner will not be far wrong; or, if for a moment he be driven by a storm from the place he should occupy, he will be sensible of his departure, and will make every effort to return to his post again as soon as possible. Thus it is with all that truly love Christ: they have in their hands the means of ascertaining the way that they should walk in: and they use those means with diligence, knowing that any considerable and habitual departure from it will be an impeachment of the sincerity of their love. The commandments indeed, especially in circumstances of expediency, are not always so defined, but that there may be room for difference of opinion respecting the precise line of conduct prescribed by them: but, in relation to the spirit in which we should act, they leave nothing doubtful; they are as clear as the light at noon-day: so that, though a difference of opinion may exist, it never can be such as to occasion any great departure from the path of duty: and as a man, who, being ordered to cruise in a northern latitude, should go to the southern hemisphere, and then maintain that he was in his proper place, would be justly deemed unworthy of any credit as a mariner; so the man who justifies himself in the indulgence of any evil tempers, is unworthy of the name of a Christian: a proud Christian, a passionate Christian, a covetous Christian, a lewd Christian, is as much a contradiction in terms, as an infidel, an idolatrous, or a murderous Christian.]

This is the criterion whereby every man must be judged: and though there are imperfections even in the best, yet this on the whole is the true, the manifest, and the uniform character of all who really love Christ: all others, whatever they may be, only deceive their own souls [Note: 1 John 5:3 and 1 Corinthians 7:19.].

Our Lord having thus accurately drawn the character of his people, shews us,

II. What to expect, if we do truly love him—

It is not possible to enlarge our expectations too much, if only we confine them within the promises of God. As surely as we attain this character,

1. We shall possess his favour—

[Much as “he abhors all the workers of iniquity,” he will retain no unkind thought towards us: on the contrary, “he will love us,” approving our spirit, accepting our services, and “rejoicing over us to do us good [Note: Jeremiah 32:41. Zephaniah 3:17.].” The Lord Jesus Christ also says, “And I will love you.” A love of benevolence he felt towards us when we were yet enemies; but now he will feel a love of complacency, even such a love as shall make him attentive to our every want, our every concern — — —

Of course, it must here be supposed, that our obedience to his commandments proceeds from proper principles; not from a desire of establishing a righteousness of our own, but from a grateful sense of his redeeming love, and from a zeal for his glory: if this be not the case, our best efforts will be even hateful both to the Father and to Christ, inasmuch as they are substituted in the place of that atoning blood of Christ, which alone can cleanse us from all sin: but if our obedience be pure in its principle, uniform in its tenour, and impartial in its extent, then shall it surely be accepted for Christ’s sake, and be rewarded with the everlasting favour of our God [Note: See John 16:27.].]

2. We shall have the present manifestations of it to our souls—

[There are manifestations of God to the soul, which the world have no idea of. In reading of the word, in prayer, in meditating on the promises, God will take away the veil from our hearts, and discover himself to us, and lift up the light of his countenance upon us, and “shed abroad his love in our hearts.” By the communications of his Spirit to us, he will enable us to cry, Abba, Father; he will witness with our spirits that we are his children; he will give us an earnest of our inheritance, even the present foretaste of heaven itself in our souls.

Our Lord, when interrogated by Judas, confirmed this truth by repeated asseverations, and repeatedly also confirmed what he had spoken respecting the character of those to whom these blessings should be vouchsafed [Note: ver. 22–24.]. We may be assured therefore, that to expect these manifestations is no presumption; but, on the contrary, they are the proper portion of all who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.]

From this subject we may clearly see, that religion is,

1. A holy thing—

[That there are those who profess religion and yet grievously dishonour it by their conduct, is a melancholy truth; and that the prejudices of many against religion are hereby greatly strengthened, is also true: but religion is no more accountable for the inconsistencies of those who profess it, than reason is for the follies of those who pervert it. What is the true tendency of love to Christ, has already appeared: and every one must try his professions by that test.

I would solemnly call upon all those who are habitually violating any one commandment, to remember, that all their pretended love to Christ is mere hypocrisy and delusion: and the more confident they are of their own acceptance with him, the more they deceive their own souls [Note: 1 John 2:3-4. Who would have thought that such persons as are here described, exist? Yet they do exist. Compare the concluding words of this passage with the words immediately preceding the text. See also James 1:26 and Matthew 7:16-23.].

And all who are in a measure shewing forth their faith by their works, I would exhort to abound more and more; that, “making their light to shine more bright, they may constrain all around them to glorify their heavenly Father.”]

2. A happy thing—

[As there are unholy, so are there also unhappy professors of religion. But shall we therefore conclude, that Christ will not fulfil his promises to his loving and obedient people; or that there are any circumstances under which his presence with the soul cannot make it happy?]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on John 14:21". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/john-14.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 14:21. ἐγὼ, I) likewise as My Father.— ἀγαπήσω αὐτὸν, καὶ ἐμφανίσω αὐτῷ ἐμαυτὸν) Exodus 33:13, εἰ οὖν εὕρηκα χάριν ἐναντίου σου, ἐμφάνισόν μοι σεαυτὸν, If therefore I have found grace in Thy sight, manifest Thyself to me.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 14:21". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-14.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: our Lord here doth repeat what he had before said, John 14:15, declaring that there is no infallible indication of our love to Christ, but obedience, which is here expressed under two notions.

1. Having Christ’s commandments and keeping them: they must both concur to make a true indication of our love to Christ. It is possible that men may have Christ’s commandments in their ears, in their notion, in their mouths, and yet not keep them; they may hear them, they may know and remember them, they may talk of them, yet they may not keep them; for keeping them denotes universal, diligent and industrious, steady and constant obedience to them; and this alone will speak our love to Christ.

2. And if any man thus declareth his love to Christ, Christ declareth, that both he and his Father will take a pleasure and delight in him to do him good; and he shall not live only under the real benefits of his love to him, but under the sensible manifestations of it. Here is no mention of the Spirit’s coming with the Father and the Son, because the Son dwelleth in us by the Spirit.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 14:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21.Hath my commandments, and keepethHath them in his knowledge, and keepeth them in his practice.

He it is that loveth me—For there can be no true keeping Christ’s commandments which springs not from love to Christ; and there is no true love to Christ which does not produce a keeping of his commandments.

Will manifest myself unto him—And this is the true witness of the Spirit with our spirits that we are born of God. This manifestation of Christ to the soul is self-evidencing. There may be false imaginations, just as there may be dreams; but these false imaginations can no more, invalidate or destroy the certainty of that manifestation, than dreams can destroy the certainty of any reality viewed by our waking senses. He who does not recognize from his own inner feelings what this manifestation of Christ to the soul is, stands in great need of a deeper religious experience. It behooves him well to look to it that his interest in Christ is real.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-14.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“He who holds closely my commandments and fully observes them, he is the one who loves me, and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will make myself known to him”.

Note the repetition of the idea in John 14:15. Our paraphrase brings out the force of the words. They are spoken to those who are in earnest, who hold His words closely in their hearts and live by them and by them alone. This promise is for all who are His, but there is no room for the half-hearted here. This is the real test of whether we love Him. Do we fully do what He said?

We may sing, and dance, and shout ‘praise the Lord’, and that is good. But it means little by itself. The test of love is obedience and a desire to do what He wants. Along with that, and only along with that, the other has meaning. ‘He who says “I know Him” and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him’ (1 John 2:4).

And what will be the result? That the Father will love them. This is a very different love from that which God had for the world (John 3:16). That love was a general beneficence that among other things (e.g. the giving of sun and rain - Matthew 5:45) provided a way of salvation towards those who would respond, and great it was for it cost Him His Son. But this is a personal, individual love, as a Father to His children. His people are His children in a way that the world is not. That is why Jesus taught them to pray ‘Our Father’ (Matthew 6:9).

But they will not only enjoy the special love of the Father, for He adds “andIwill love him and will make myself known to him”. They will thus also enjoy the personal love of the Son. Again we have to ask, who could say this but One Who was God? To link His own love for them as parallel with the Father’s love for them, and indeed to add it on as adding something extra, can only indicate a claim to be of equal stature with the Father. So the one who believes fully in Him and fully observes His commands will receive the Spirit of truth, will enjoy the special, personal love of the Father, and will be equally loved by Jesus, Who will make Himself known to him in the fullness of His glory. Here we see three Who are clearly of equal stature, Who come to those who fully believe.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-14.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Love for God makes the believer more obedient to God. Moreover obedience results in a more intimate relationship with God that God"s love for the believer and His self-disclosure to the believer identify.

The believer"s obedience does not make God love him or her more than He would otherwise. God"s love for all people is essentially as great as it can be. However in the family relationship that Jesus was describing the believer"s obedience results in God expressing His love for him or her without restraint. When there is disobedience, God does not express His love as fully because He chooses to discipline the believer (cf. Hebrews 12:4-13).

In the context ( John 14:18-20), this was a promise that Jesus would disclose Himself to the Eleven after His resurrection and an encouragement for them to continue obeying Him and loving Him. However that disclosure was only typical of many others that would come to believers who obey and love Jesus, including the one that happened on Pentecost.

Some believers love Jesus more than other believers do. This results in some believers obeying Him more than others and enjoying a more intimate relationship and greater understanding of Him than others enjoy. The way to become a great lover of Jesus is by learning to appreciate the greatness of His love for us (cf. Matthew 18:21-35; 1 John 4:19).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-14.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 14:21. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. The thought of privilege in John 14:14 led to that condition on which alone privilege can be preserved (John 14:15). We have a similar transition now. Here, as there, one thing must be distinctly remembered, that this unity is one of love. There is love on the part of the believer to his Lord, love on the part of the Father to the believer, love on the part of Jesus to the believer. In this fellowship of love the result of all will be the manifestation by Himself of the glorified Redeemer to His people. He will ‘manifest’ Himself from His glory, and in knowing and seeing Him by the power of the Spirit they will know and see the Father. A third difficulty arises in the breast of Judas.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-14.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 14:21. The conditions on which depended the manifestation of the departed Christ are then exhibited, . The love to which Christ promises a manifestation of Himself is not an idle sentiment or shallow fancy, but a principle prompting obedience, , cf.1 John 2:7; 1 John 4:21, 2 John 1:5; it means more than “hearing,” and is yet not equivalent to ; it seems to point to the permanent possession of the commandments in consciousness. This finds its appropriate expression in —“keeping them,” observing them in the life. This is the expression and proof of love, and this love finds its response and reward in the love of the Father and of the Son, and in the manifestation of the Son to the individual. The appropriateness of introducing the Father and His love appears in John 14:24. The love of Christ is that which prompts the manifestation. , the word is used by Moses in Exodus 33:13. Reynolds says: “This remarkable word implies that the scene or place of the higher manifestation will be in ( ) the consciousness of the soul”. The word however is currently used for outward manifestation; although here the manifestation alluded to is inward. Cf. Judas’ words. The nature of the manifestation has already been explained, John 14:19.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 14:21". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-14.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 14:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

of = by. Greek. hupo. App-104.

manifest. Greek. emphanizo. App-106.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 14:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. See the note at John 15:16.

And he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Mark the sharp line of distinction here, not only between the Divine Persons, but the actings of love in Each respectively, toward true disciples.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) He that hath my commandments.—Comp. John 14:15 and John 5:36. This verse points out the successive degrees which led up to the full manifestation of Christ. The first step is the moral apprehension and practical observance of our Lord’s commandments, which necessarily result from love to Christ.

He it is that loveth me.—The next step is the special receptivity of the Father’s love which he who loves Christ possesses, and therefore there is a special sense in which the Father loves him. The words express with fulness of emphasis, “He it is, and he only.”

And I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.—The special love of the Son follows from the special love of the Father, and is accompanied by the full manifestation of the Son. This is further explained in John 14:23.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
that hath
15,23,24; 15:14; Genesis 26:3-5; Deuteronomy 10:12,13; 11:13; 30:6-8; Psalms 119:4-6; Jeremiah 31:31,33,34; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Luke 11:28; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; James 2:23,24; 1 John 2:5; 3:18-24; 5:3; 2 John 1:6; Revelation 22:14
that loveth
23; 15:9,10; 16:27; 17:23; Psalms 35:27; Isaiah 62:2-5; Zephaniah 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:16; 1 John 3:1
and will
18,22,23; 16:14; Acts 18:9-11; 22:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6; 12:8; 2 Timothy 4:17,18,22; 1 John 1:1-3; Revelation 2:17; 3:20
Reciprocal: Exodus 20:6 - love me;  Exodus 34:11 - Observe;  Leviticus 18:26 - keep;  Deuteronomy 4:40 - keep;  Deuteronomy 5:10 - love me;  Deuteronomy 6:5 - God with all;  Deuteronomy 7:13 - he will love;  Deuteronomy 11:27 - GeneralDeuteronomy 26:16 - keep;  Deuteronomy 30:16 - to keep;  Joshua 1:8 - observe;  Joshua 22:5 - love;  Judges 16:15 - when thine;  1 Kings 3:3 - walking;  2 Kings 18:6 - kept;  2 Chronicles 7:17 - observe;  Psalm 25:14 - secret;  Psalm 78:7 - keep;  Psalm 89:15 - in the light;  Psalm 106:3 - keep;  Psalm 119:55 - kept;  Psalm 119:167 - soul;  Psalm 146:8 - loveth;  Proverbs 3:1 - let;  Proverbs 3:32 - his;  Proverbs 7:2 - Keep;  Proverbs 8:17 - I love;  Proverbs 19:8 - he that keepeth;  Proverbs 19:16 - keepeth the;  Proverbs 29:18 - but;  Song of Solomon 2:4 - brought;  Song of Solomon 5:1 - come;  Song of Solomon 7:8 - I will go;  Song of Solomon 8:13 - dwellest;  Isaiah 33:17 - eyes;  Ezekiel 18:9 - walked;  Matthew 11:29 - my;  Matthew 25:42 - GeneralMark 9:5 - it is;  Mark 9:37 - receive me;  Luke 6:47 - doeth;  Luke 8:15 - keep;  Luke 9:48 - Whosoever shall receive this;  John 9:37 - Thou;  John 11:36 - Behold;  John 12:26 - him;  John 17:6 - they;  1 Corinthians 16:22 - love;  1 Thessalonians 1:3 - and labour;  1 Peter 1:8 - ye love;  1 John 2:3 - if we;  1 John 3:24 - he that;  Revelation 3:8 - and hast kept

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 14:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-14.html.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

On Christ Manifesting Himself

John 14:21

Here is a promise of divine manifestation to the human mind, and of divine indwelling in the human heart. "He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father." "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Song of Solomon, then, God need not be unto the human soul as a far-off and unapproachable King—he may be in the heart as a gracious Father; his presence need not be as a coldly glittering star away in the inaccessible heights, but as a summer filling the heart with fire, working in the life all the strange enchantments of intermingling colours, and covering the soul with abundant fruitfulness. Thus we have distinctly set before us the highest possibility in spiritual life—the possibility of being temples of the Holy Ghost, of having fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ, and of being made partakers of the divine nature. This thought should silence the clamour of all earthly appeal to cur affections, and give us the true idea of our susceptibilities as children of God. We can do the daily business of life, yet through it all can have shining upon us the most holy and transfiguring image of the Son of man; we can be in the city of men, yet hidden in the sanctuary of God; our feet may be in the dust, but our heads among those who worship day and night; we may carry with us him whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God. So being and so doing we are no longer of the world; we are only waiting to pay it back the dust it lent us, and then we shall be free of it for ever; our true life is hidden; it is in God"s keeping; it is never seen drawing water from this world"s muddy wells, nor eating the base food of the beasts that perish; it lives on the living word, it draws water from the wells of salvation; it has meat to eat that the world knoweth not of. "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and his Church "—and I invite you to follow me, in a prayerful and quiet spirit, in an endeavour to show first the condition on which divine manifestation is granted; and, secondly, some of the blessed evidences by which we may know that such manifestation has been realised in our own experience. O Spirit of Light, shine upon us, that we may see every step of the ascending and glorious way!

(1) The condition on which divine manifestation is granted to man.—That condition is distinctly asserted in the text, and in other Scriptures, to be love. "The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me." "If any man love me, I will manifest myself unto him." Where love is wanting, all is wanting; there may be rough interpretations of the divine presence as seen in the wonders of creation; for he would be a fool who could mistake the sun as having been written by any other hand than God"s; he who reads only the writing on the face of nature is as the letter-carrier, who reads only the outward address, not the wise and tender words written for the heart. Love Isaiah, so to speak, the faculty by which we apprehend God, without which we can never know more of him than that he is a dread mystery. Love is the fulfilling of the law: thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy strength; Nor need it appear strange that love is the only interpreter of God. In all our education and intercourse we find again and again that love sees farthest, hears quickest, feels deepest. God has not set up an arbitrary test of manifestation, he has taken the common course of our life, and given it applications to himself. I might challenge the worshipper of Nature to say whether his god does not demand precisely the same condition of manifestation? The mountain is saying, If any man love me, I will manifest myself unto him; the sun holds the same language, so does the sea, so does every leaf of the forest. Two men shall walk along the same road; the one shall see nothing of beauty, and hear nothing of music. When he reaches his journey"s end he may, perhaps, have a dim impression that there was a hedge on one side of him and that there was garden land on the other; he may not be prepared absolutely to deny that a bird or two might have been singing in the air as he came along; he may not be ready to take an oath that now and again he passed a wayside flower; but he knows nothing, he is not in the slightest degree enriched by reason of his walk through the enchanting scenery. To such an eye as his Nature refuses to reveal herself in any but her most outward forms, and even they are misunderstood by so blind a reader. The companion who walked with him has, on the contrary, enriched his mind with many a picture; he has heard voices which will linger in his ear for many a day; the wayside flower has spoken to him some tender message, and the whole scene has been to him as the distinct handwriting of the great Creator. How are we lo account for the difference? The road was the same, the two men travelled the same path at the same moment; yet the one was poor at his journey"s end, and the other was filled with a sweet delight. The explanation is easy: the one loved Nature, and therefore Nature manifested herself to his admiring eye; the other cared nothing for Nature, and Nature in return cared nothing for him. What I wish to insist upon Isaiah, that even in your sanctuary, O worshipper of Nature, the same law holds good as in the sanctuary of the living God; in both we hear the words, "If any man love me, I will manifest myself unto him."

The same rule holds good with Art. Every great picture is saying to those who look upon it, If any man love me, I will manifest myself unto him. It is not every man who can read a picture. To some men a picture is only so much canvas and so much paint, without life, without idea, without poetry; there the great work hangs, having no message to those who look upon it with unappreciative eyes. You have heard persons who knew nothing of works of art, who, in passing great pictures, have said, "That is not so bad," or, "What a glorious frame that is!" but into the soul of the painter they have not seen at all; they have not appreciated the expenditure of mind which has been lavished on that costly work. On the other hand, there have been men who have stood before a great picture dumb with amazement, quivering with inexpressible delight, moved to the very depths of their being! The picture is the same, the light in which it is viewed by both parties is the same; yet to the one mind the picture is representing truths too deep for utterance, and to the other nothing but the coarsest exterior. Here again, therefore, we are thrown back upon the law of the text, and are shown that it is no arbitrary law which Almighty God has set up. Art unites with Nature in saying in the most distinct manner, If any man love me, I will manifest myself unto him. Nor do we come to a change of this law if we enter into the circle in which human nature is most deeply studied. You can never know a man deeply until you love him. If you wish to know what is in your friend, sound his depths by entrusting him with more and more of your friendship. As flowers expand in the sunshine, so character discloses itself under the genial radiance of trustful affection. All character, indeed, does not reveal itself in the same way, but some men, and probably the grandest men, do not show themselves fully except under the influence of love. We may make many happy conjectures concerning the disposition of men. By putting one thing and another together which we may have seen in their character, we may come to some tolerably correct conclusion regarding the life of those whom we carefully study; but to know a man deeply and truly, to know him as he knows himself, we must test him by our own love, we must develop him by the fulness and reality of our special trust. The mother often knows more about the child than the father does. You may remember that in your childish days you were able to go to your mother with a very broken story, and she was patient and wise enough to put it together for you and make something of it; but you did not care to go to your father until you had a straightforward story to tell, and were prepared to stand a close cross-examination upon it. Perhaps some little girl may say that in her case it was precisely the contrary, for she could go to her father better than to her mother. I am glad to know it; such an instance does not at all destroy the validity of my position; it still remains true that where there is the most love there will be the highest power of interpretation, and that love will draw from its object most surely all that it requires. What we have found in Nature, in art, and in the family circle, we find in the whole course of our general study. The poet is saying, If any man love me, I will manifest myself to him. He will not speak to the prosaic reader. His poem will be but so many lines to the man who has no poetic faculty. The poet will only speak to the poet. Two men shall read the same poem—one will feel it tedious and wearisome exceedingly; the other will feel as if it ended too soon, so rich, so inspiring, so grand he felt it to be. What is this but the application of the principle of the text? So with the musician: to some men (men, indeed, who are to be sincerely pitied) music is nothing; it does not come to them with interpretations which could never be expressed in common words; they are lost in what, to them, is a terrible discord—the clash of instruments, the throbbing of great drums, the roll of stupendous organs, the blending of many voices—to them it is all confusion, without spirit, without figure, without signification. To others, music is as a voice from heaven: in the grand compositions of the masters they see, as it were, the very spirit of music walking upon the wings of the tuneful wind, and beckoning them away to higher scenes and nobler delights than earth can afford. How is this? Music will not visit the silent chambers of the soul that gives it no loving invitation; music, on the contrary, will never cease to sound in the hearing of those who pray that her voice may continue to soothe and inspire them.

We come, therefore, again and again upon the principle of the text. Whatever be your god—be it Nature, be it Art, be it humanity—you will find in it the same law that you find in the text, namely, that without love there can be no true manifestation. It is the same with reading books. All authors are not the same to us; we must take something to an author before we can get from him all that he will give. The "Stones of Venice" must be hard reading to a man who cares nothing for Gothic, Byzantine, bases, jambs, and archivolts; Shakespeare is uninteresting to the man who brings nothing of the dramatic in his own nature to the interpretation of the great poet; such a man will flee to Euclid"s Geometry, as to an ark of refuge. Yes, even geometry itself insists upon the application of the law which we find in the text. Euclid is dull reading to the man who does not love mathematics; but to him who has, so to speak, a geometrical mind, even straight lines and circles are apt to become things of beauty. You will not regard these illustrations as tedious if they help you in any degree to realise the principle, that love is the secret of manifestation. In setting up love as the condition of divine fellowship, God does not set up an arbitrary law. This, indeed, is the common law of the universe. Like ever goes to like. He who loves the devil most, knows most of the devil. To love vice is to be a learned scholar in the school of the infernal spirit; is to be really clever at wickedness, to be refined in iniquity, to be a genius in abomination. Some men are so little learned in the arts of the devil as to expose themselves to the interference of the policeman and the magistrate; they are such clumsy servants of their bad master as actually to be imprisoned, and to be otherwise punished by the laws of their country; others, again, are such adepts in the art of doing that which is forbidden, that they can manage to build up a reputation for respectability while they are actually engaged in practices which cannot bear the light of day,—so silent are they, so skilful, so deeply do they love the devil, that they receive from him the most secret manifestations, whilst they can look abroad upon the world With a face which simulates the appearance of innocence. The law is impartial. To love is to know; to love is to have; to love is strength; to love is life.

(2) I intended to say something about the blessed evidences that we have realised this divine manifestation; but why attempt to explain what must of necessity be too great for utterance in words? When God is showing himself in the heart, there are many signs of his presence. In our deepest intercourse with the Father our souls enter into an ecstasy in which language is felt to be powerless. You cannot have God in your heart without knowing that he is there. You cannot always explain, in common language, how it is that you are assured of his presence; yet there are flashes of light upon your mind, there are surgings of love in your heart, which tell you most unmistakably that you are enjoying immediate fellowship with the Father and his Christ. If I were to enter into an enumeration of the evidences by which any man can be assured that God is manifesting himself to the human heart, I should put, first and foremost, this—namely, where God dwells there will be increasing hatred of sin as sin. I do not say that there will be mere dread of consequences; I do not teach that men will avoid sin simply because they fear the terrible rod which never fails to follow the evil-doer. I insist rather, that where God is reigning in the heart there will be an ever-deepening detestation of sin on its own account; of sin because it is sin, because it is so infinitely hateful to God himself. Where the spirit of order is in a Prayer of Manasseh, he does not require to go with a square and compasses, and other mathematical instruments, in order to test whether this or that is out of order, or out of proportion; he detects it instantly, by reason of the very spirit that is in him. Where the spirit of honesty is in a Prayer of Manasseh, he docs not retire in order to consult an Act of Parliament before he completes his transactions with those who have entered into business relations with him. He does not say, "If the Act will allow me to get off for elevenpence three-farthings, certainly I shall not pay one shilling." He is himself an Act of Parliament; he is the incarnation of the spirit of honesty—he represents the great law of divine righteousness, and, because of the spirit of integrity which is in him, it is utterly impossible for him to go astray from the path of rectitude. And even thus it is with regard to the very highest attainments of the divine life. When the spirit of holiness is in a Prayer of Manasseh, his whole life will be made holy thereby; he will not care to consult rules and codes as determined by human critics; the spirit of holiness that is in him will lead him into truth, into purity, into the very holiness of the all-holy God. Let us then put ourselves to the test on this point: if we would really know whether God is manifesting himself to us, let us each say, Do I hate sin as sin, or would I roll it under my tongue as a sweet morsel if I could do so without suffering evil consequences for it? Do I abominate sin because it is opposed to the nature of God, or do I profess to hate it merely because such profession will secure for me a better standing in society? Would I sin if I were left alone, or if the most perfect secrecy could be granted to me? These are the piercing questions by which a man may test whether he is really enjoying divine manifestation, or is living a superficial and perhaps a hypocritical life.

Next to insisting upon this proof of divine manifestation to the human heart, I should point out that where God really dwells with men there will be on the part of men supremacy of the spiritual over the material. The flesh will be servant, not master. Christianity indeed does not destroy human passions, but gives them a higher direction. Where God dwells in the soul, and fills the mind with heavenly light, and stirs the heart with blessed expectation, the passions will, of necessity, take their order from reason. As the material universe is under God"s control, so will the human body be under the control of the human spirit, where God dwells in the heart. As in nature we find occasional outbreakings of storm—as the winds now and again threaten to rock the world and shake it out of its place—as the volcano bursts forth in devastating fire—as the sea roars tumultuously, so there may be in our bodily experiences proofs that we are yet in a region where the enemy has some power over us; yet as God sits above the floods, and controls all the forces of creation, so will he give our spirit ability to overmaster all the agitation and turbulence which show that even yet we are more or less strangers in a strange land. Out of this hatred of sin and this spiritual supremacy there will, of course, come perfect trust in God"s government of the world. The world becomes quite a new study when the heart is renewed in Christ"s love. The world is no longer a threatening mystery; it is still, indeed, a problem, but there is the most perfect assurance in the heart that the solution will bring nothing but glory to the divine name. When God manifests himself to Prayer of Manasseh, man is delivered from the terrors of the present world; he ceases to see mere accident in the courses of daily life that perplex him and distress him. He says, I do but see part of the divine movement in this; so far as these events that appear to be disastrous are concerned, I see that which is fragmentary, and I must patiently and confidently wait until God has completed his whole purpose. This is a sure sign that God is in the heart, for the world is displaced, its power is thrown down, and, even in the most threatening circumstances, there is a calmness which was never wrought in the human mind by carnal philosophy or unassisted reasoning. The world becomes less and less to a man who enjoys divine fellowship. To some men the world Isaiah, of course, everything; they have but one little world in their tiny universe—of course they are bound to make the most of it; to the man who is the temple of the Holy Ghost there is a great and indeed immeasurable universe, in view of which this speck of dust, on which some men would live for ever, dwindles into its proper insignificance. The Christian and the worldling are not, as they ought not to be, able to look upon the events of life with the same composure. The worldling must, of necessity, live in a constant state of alarm, because he is exposed to the mercy of what he calls accident, chance, misfortune. The Christian, on the other hand, by reason of taking wide views of things, by reason of associating himself with that which is infinite and absolute, enters into a profound and imperturbable peace. Yes, this peace is a sure sign that God is revealing himself to the heart Where grace Isaiah, there will be the most blessed peace. "Great peace have they that love thy law." The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Is any man in search of the Holy Grail? Here it is. "If any man love me, I will manifest myself unto him." Hast thou been on the holy quest in many countries? Pause. The answer is here, "If any man love me, I will manifest myself unto him." After many heartaches, many blighting disappointments, many cruel mockings, art thou still sighing for the Holy Sangreal? I have the answer, "If any man love me, I will manifest myself unto him." We must begin with love, the love which comes of earnest desire to know that which is heavenly, and then, in due time, will come a still tenderer affection. We must get to the point of love. All our self-sufficiency, all our high notions, and mighty imaginings, must be cast away as things unclean and unsatisfying, and then we shall see the Father. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Love is the brightest purity. Purity is the divinest love. I cannot tell you how wondrously God reveals himself to love! He can never do enough for it. It moves him to lavish upon us unsearchable riches. Nor is love on our part a fixed quantity; we may grow in love for ever, constantly going out after God, never exhausting his grace, yet ever increasing in capacity to receive it. As for your god, O ye idolaters of Mammon, your love is a vanishing quantity, though it may appear to increase; you are daily impairing your very power of love; you are letting your greedy god eat up your hearts, and yet suffering him to delude you with the notion that you are independent and high-minded thinkers. Mammon! accursed god! never satisfied, never thankful, never beneficent, thou dost slay all to whom thou dost reveal thyself! Men of business, let me warn you against this flattering and mocking money-god; he will deceive you at last; he will stir you with most exciting promises—he will show you the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them; he will throw open the doors of enchanting palaces, and give you visions of temples in which all is golden—but at last he will laugh you to scorn! Yes! he will surely reveal himself to you; he will grin as devils only can grin; and when you see him as he is you shall be like him. Blessed are they who have turned with loathing from his jewelled altars, and sought the Sangreal in the blessed Cross! Blessed is their life—blessed is their peace—blessed is their hope. Daily they draw themselves through the discipline of earth, by the inspiring expectation of heaven, and by the sweetness of grace they overcome the bitterness of sin.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on John 14:21". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/john-14.html. 1885-95.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 21. "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him."

Lampe remarks: "The expression is changed. Earlier He had addressed the disciples; now He proceeds to speak in the third person, because the promise of His coming which precedes, specifically concerned His disciples, but this concerns all His people." Instead of specifically, we would say especially. That Lampe distinguishes too nicely, is shown by the ἐμφανίζειν in ver. 22.

As the impartation of the Holy Spirit, ver. 15, so also the manifestation of Christ, is conditional on love to Christ approving itself in the keeping of His commandments. The high reward promised must fill with glowing emulation towards this obedience. What under one aspect is recompense, is under another the consequence of Christ's manifestation. But before that manifestation there must be the full bias and earnest effort of the soul to keep His commandments. Christ cannot manifest Himself to an indolent and careless soul.

The καὶ τηρῶν αὐτὰς more closely explains the having: it points to the fact that our Lord did not mean the unreal and merely outward remembrance of the law. To refer the ἔχων to this latter, and assume that the καὶ τηρῶν αὐτάς is an appendage, equivalent to "He that not merely has My commandments, but also keepeth them" (Augustin: Qui habet in memoriâ et servat in vitâ), would scarcely be in harmony with the emphasis of the Johannaean phrase. Grotius rightly compares (on ἔχειν) ch. John 5:28, where it is used concerning the vital and real possession of the word of God. Christ Himself shows how the merely external having is, when closely considered, no having at all. Matthew 13:12 : "But he that hath not, from him shall be taken away that which he hath." The ἐκεῖνός

He and no other—intimates that the human heart is eminently prone to yield itself to the delusions of a mere semblance of love to Christ, of a mere love of feeling and fancy.

The love of the Father comes into consideration only as the foundation of the love of Christ; and this only as the foundation of its form of expression, its manifestation, which involves in itself the fulness of all blessedness, and is the foretaste of eternal happiness, enabling the soul to say, in the time of affliction, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 14:21". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-14.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

21.He who hath my commandments. He again repeats the former statement, that the undoubted proof of our love to him lies in our keeping his commandments; and the reason why he so frequently reminds the disciples of this is, that they may not turn aside from this object; for there is nothing to which we are more prone than to slide into a carnal affection, so as to love something else than Christ under the name of Christ. Such is also the import of that saying of Paul,

Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth we know him no longer in this manner. Let us therefore be a new creature,
(
2 Corinthians 5:16.)

To have his commandments means to be properly instructed in them; and to keep his commandments is to conform ourselves and our life to their rule.

And he that loveth me will be loved by my Father. Christ speaks as if men loved God before he loved them; which is absurd, for,

when we were enemies, he reconciled us to him,
(
Romans 5:10;)

and the words of John are well known,

Not that we first loved him, but he first loved us,
(
1 John 4:10.)

But there is no debate here about cause or effect; and therefore there is no ground for the inference, that the love with which we love Christ comes in order before the love which God has toward us; for Christ meant only, that all who love him will be happy, because they will also be loved by him and by the Father; not that God then begins to love them, but because they have a testimony of his love to them, as a Father, engraven on their hearts. To the same purpose is the clause which immediately follows: —

And I will manifest myself to him. Knowledge undoubtedly goes before love; but Christ’s meaning was, I will grant to those who purely observe my doctrine, that they shall make progress from day to day in faith; “that is, “I will cause them to approach more nearly and more familiarly to me. ” Hence infer, that the fruit of piety is progress in the knowledge of Christ; for he who promises that he will give himself to him who has it rejects hypocrites, and causes all to make progress in faith who, cordially embracing the doctrine of the Gospel, bring themselves entirely into obedience to it. And this is the reason why many fall back, and why we scarcely see one in ten proceed in the right course; for the greater part do not deserve that he should manifest himself to them It ought also to be observed, that a more abundant knowledge of Christ is here represented as an extraordinary reward of our love to Christ; and hence it follows that it is an invaluable treasure.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 14:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-14.html. 1840-57.