John 14:1-31 - Outline of John (Book Notes menu page)
14:1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
troubled - (cp. word use in Joh 11:33; 12:27; 13:21; 14:27)
Jesus had told them several potentially troubling things:
  • He was going away. 13:33
  • He was about to die. 12:32,33
  • one of them was a traitor. 13:21
  • Peter would disown Him. 13:38
  • all of them would fall away from Him. Mat 26:31
ye believe in God...- "Be putting your trust in God. Also be putting your trust in me." [Wuest]
Their hearts would not be troubled, if they would commit everything to His keeping.
Jesus refers to God and Himself as equally trustworthy. cp. Joh 10:27-30; Isa 43:1-3
14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions:
if [it were] not [so], I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, [there] ye may be also.
14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
my Father's house - GK= oikia, house, habitation (ie., the heavens. cp. 1Kin 8:27).
many mansions - GK= mone, dwellings, abidings. cp. 2Cor 5:1
a place - GK= topos, a place marked off (as a city is delineated from wilderness).
a place prepared - cp. Heb 11:16; Rev 21:2
The believer's true Home is heavenly, not earthly.-
  • I would have told you, if it were not so.- Christ is uniquely qualified to confirm
    the reality of the heavenly city, the hope of OT believers. cp. Heb 11:8-16; Joh 3:13
The believer's true Hope is Christ Himself.-
  • I go to prepare a place for you.- cp. Heb 9:28
  • I will come again and receive you unto myself...-
    (ie., at the Rapture of the church, 1The 4:13-18).
    ...that there ye may be also.- The believer's greatest joy is to be with Him.
    Joh 17:24; 2Cor 5:8; Php 1:23; 1The 4:17
    Note that our Lord has taken these tasks upon Himself. He has not delegated them to angels.
    The Bridegroom personally prepares for and gathers His Bride to Himself.
    The language of v.2-4 is in keeping with the marriage customs of the Jews, at that time. The bridegroom, having secured the hand of his intended bride by paying a dowery, would return alone to his father's house. There he would prepare a place (often an addition to the father's house) for his bride. Only after everything was ready, would he return for her, and take her to his father's house, where they would be married, and where they would live together, in the place prepared.
14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; {cp. Joh 13:36}
and how can we know the way?
14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also:
and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
(For Jesus' other ''I am...'' statements, see: 6:35; 8:12; 8:58; 10:7; 10:11; 11:25; 15:1)
I am the way.- It is not merely that He knows the way, but that...
  • He is the way of access into the Father's presence. Heb 10:19,20
  • He is the way...- Only one way exists. cp. Acts 4:12; 1Tim 2:5,6
  • He is the way...- Only Jesus can take us to the Father,
    - because only He has come from the Father (Joh 1:1,2; 1:51; 3:13), and
    - because only He could remove the sin that separated us from Him (Rom 5:1,2).
[I am] the truth.- It is not merely that He speaks the truth, but that...
  • He is the essence of Truth. As the Father is true, He is true. Joh 1:14; 18:37
  • He does what Truth must do to extend Grace (mercy) to sinners. 1:17; Psa 85:10
[I am] the life.- It is not merely that He can guide us in right living, but that...
no man comes to the Father, but by me.- Jesus does not say "no man goes to the Father..."
He calls us to Himself, that we might know the Father. cp. v.7; Isa 55:1-3 with Joh 7:37; 17:3
14:8 Philip saith unto him,
Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us
{ie., it is sufficient for us}.
14:9 Jesus saith unto him,
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?
he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;
and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?
14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?
the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:
but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
14:11 Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me:
or else believe me for the very works' sake.
hast thou not 'known' me?- GK= ginosko, to come to understand, to know by experience (cp. v.7).
He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.- cp. 8:19; 12:44,45; 2Cor 4:4; Col 1:15-19; Heb 1:3
God the Son has 'declared' (or, 'brought out into the open...' cp. Joh 1:18)...
14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you,
He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
greater works - Does this refer to miracles, signs and wonders, as some assume?
The twelve disciples had already done miracles like those of Jesus. Mat 10:5-8
Which is greater?
  1. to heal the physically sick and raise the physically dead, to a few years of earthly life?
  2. to lead spiritually dead men to eternal life?
The miracles performed by Jesus and by the apostles were signs to confirm the Gospel message, primarily to Jewish listeners (1Cor 1:22). Yet, many, who saw those miracles, remained in the spiritual blindness of unbelief (Joh 12:37-40).
     The first half of Acts records several apostolic miracles, but none of them were greater than those performed by Jesus. However, as the apostles preached "Christ crucified, risen and coming again," great multitudes were born again, in numbers far exceeding the few who followed Jesus during His earthly ministry (eg., Acts 2:41; 3:6,12-19). In the second half of Acts, miracles become increasingly scarce, but the number of believers continues to grow exponentially, in response to the Word of God (eg., Acts 6:7; 12:24; 16:4,5; 19:20; 28:23,24; See Rom 10:17 and context).
because I go unto my Father.-
These 'greater works' are part of what Jesus referred to as "the works that I do." v.12-14
Christ came into the world to accomplish the work that the Father gave Him to do (Joh 4:34; 17:4). That work was far greater than the temporary healing of perishing bodies. Only He could pay the price of redemption for sinful men. He finished that work on the cross. Yet, following His resurrection and ascension into heaven, He continues His work of building His church, as He calls men to trust in Him, by whom God has provided full salvation. He does that 'calling' work through men who "believe in" (trust in) Him (not in their own ability).
  • He entrusts believers with 'the word of reconciliation' (the Gospel message), by which He calls sinners to right relationship with Himself, through the means of reconciliation which He Himself has provided for all who believe. 2Cor 5:18-21; 6:1,2
  • He empowers His representatives by the Holy Spirit. cp. Joh 16:7-11; Acts 1:8; 2:32,33
14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,
that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].
to 'ask in my name'- Means more than just adding His name at the end of my prayer.
'The name of Jesus' is not a magic formula to secure whatever I want.
Prayer 'in His name' conforms my heart to His purposes...
  • To ask on the basis of what the blood of Christ has secured for us.
    • Access, into God's holy presence, by means of the remission of sin. Heb 10:19-22
    • Communion, with the holy God, by means of cleansing from incidental sins (eg., 1Joh 1:7-9).
  • To ask with confidence in His authority, and ability. v.12; Mat 28:18-20
  • To ask according to His will (1Joh 5:14) implies that...
ask... that the Father may be glorified in the Son... I will do it.- cp. v.12
It is proper to pray to God the Father (Joh 16:23,24,26) or to God the Son (10:30; Acts 7:59).
Our asking must agree with the heart of Christ, who does only what glorifies the Father. cp. Joh 15:7,8; 1Cor 10:31; Col 3:17
14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. {cp. v.21-24}
14:16 And I will pray the Father,
and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
14:17 [Even] the Spirit of truth;
{cp. v.6; Joh 15:26; 16:13}
whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:
but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more;
but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
14:20 At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
another {GK=allos, another of the same sort} Comforter {GK= parakletos, one who comes alongside, a consoler, a counselor}-
Up until this time, Jesus was their comforter (v.1). But He was about to go away.
Today, Christ is our 'advocate' {GK= parakletos} with the Father, in heaven (1Joh 2:1; cp. Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25). However, He continues His ministry to His children who are living on earth, through the Holy Spirit, who is always with us. eg., Rom 8:26-27
the Spirit...-
  • ...dwells {present tense} with you.- ie., in the Person of Christ. cp. v.7,9; Joh 3:34
  • ...shall be {future tense} in you.- Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit indwells all believers.
    cp. Acts 2:1-4; 19:2-6; Rom 8:9; 1Cor 12:13
    In John's Gospel, Jesus declared Himself as the fulfillment of the feasts of Tabernacles & Passover. These were two of the three feasts at which attendance was required of all Jewish men (Deu 16:16). The significance of the third feast, would not be fulfilled until the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost (also called 'the feast of weeks'). This feast, which celebrated an annual harvest season, marked the beginning of Christ's harvest, the ingathering of believer's into His Church. (For more see the Book Notes at Acts 2:1-4.)
I will not leave your comfortless {GK=orphanos, fatherless, desolate}...
Jesus was about to go away. But He was not abandoning them to their enemies.
I will come to you...-
  • bodily, after His resurrection (v.19), and
    at His second coming (v.3).
  • spiritually, in the person of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9).
The Holy Spirit, dwelling within believers, would...
I in my Father... ye in me... I in you...-
  • ye in me...- Believers are 'baptized' into Him (fully identified with Him)...
  • I in you...- Because He lives within, believers are sanctified {set apart} for God.
    - - as He lives within, we become increasingly like Him. Gal 2:20
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.
14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot,
Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him,
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.
14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:
and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] present with you.
14:26 But the Comforter
{v.16}, [which is] the Holy Ghost {ie., the Holy Spirit},
whom the Father will send
{cp. Joh 15:26} in my name, {"ie., in Jesus' place and for Him" [TBKC]}
he shall teach you all things,
{cp. 16:13; 1Cor 2:13}
and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.
{eg., Joh 2:22; 7:39; 12:16; 20:9}
Judas, not Iscariot - This disciple is called Lebbaeus and Thaddeus in Mat 10:3; Mark 3:18.
His question is logical, from the perspective of physical sight. 'How will you manifest {ie., make known, show} yourself to us, and not to the world?' But Jesus is speaking of a spiritual knowledge of, and relationship with, Him, who is hidden from unbelievers (cp. Mat 13:10-16).
if a man love me...-
  1. he will keep my words.- 'keep' is GK= tereo, to attend carefully, to observe.
  2. I will love him... my Father will love him.-
    ie., A man, who loves Christ and His Word, will be loved of God. 15:9,10; 1Joh 3:1
  3. I will... manifest myself to him... we will make our abode {singular, cp. plural in v.2} with him.-
    ie., A man, who loves Christ and His Word, will know God and have fellowship with Him.
    Psa 91:1; Isa 57:15; 1Joh 2:24; 4:15,16; Rev 3:20,21
he that loveth me not...- disregards His Word, which is God's Word. v.24 cp. v.10; Joh 12:49
14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:
not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
{cp. v.1}
my peace...- in Christ we have...
  1. peace with God (Rom 5:1; Col 1:20-22), and
  2. the peace of {from} God (Php 4:6,7; Col 3:15).
    This peace is produced within our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22), as He enables us to...
    • trust in the Person of our Lord, Joh 14: v.1
    • anticipate the Place He has gone to prepare, v.2
    • rest in the Promise of His return, v.3
    • fellowship with Him in the present, through -
      - - Participation in His work, v.12
      - - Prayer in His Name, v.13,14
      - - Obedience to His Word, v.15,21
      - - Awareness of His invisible Presence, v.18,22,23
      - - Growth in understanding of Him and His Word, v.26; cp. 2Pet 3:18
14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you.
If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father:
for my Father is greater than I.
14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass,
that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
{cp. Joh 13:19; Mark 8:31; 9:31}
I go unto my Father... my Father is greater than I.-
  • God the Father & the Son are One in essence and purpose. Joh 1:1,2; 10:30; 14:9; 20:28
  • The Father was greater in glory during the Son's voluntary humiliation. Php 2:6-8
  • The Son was about to return to the Father, and to His former glory. Joh 13:31,32; 17:5
  • His return to the Father, would enable 'greater' things than the miraculous works displayed in His brief earthly ministry (v.12, where 'greater' is the same GK word).
(This should have caused those who loved Him to rejoice, if only they had understood.)
However, before returning to the Father, He had a cup to drink...
14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you:
for the prince of this world cometh,
{ie., Satan, cp. 12:31; 16:11}
and hath nothing in me.
nothing- GK= oudeis, 'not even one thing.' The NIV translates it as "has no hold on me."
Satan holds men in bondage because of their sinful nature (Heb 2:14,15; cp. 1Joh 5:18,19).
But he could not get a grip on the sinless One (Heb 4:15; 7:26), who was motivated only by love for the Father and obedience to Him (Joh 8:29).
Despite Satan's attempts to divert or destroy Him, He would fulfill the Father's will.
14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; {cp. 4:34; Mat 26:39}
and as the Father gave me commandment,
{cp. Joh 10:17,18; 12:27,28}
even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
He would not linger with His disciples around the table in the upper room.
He had an appointment to keep, to glorify His Father.

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