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The Gospel of John: Revealing the Invisible God 

A Bible Study by Fred Kenison

 

Chapter 14


 

 

Jesus makes loving promises to his disciples

 

Summary Highlights of Chapter 14

 

 

This book is a verse-by-verse commentary.  To go to the commentary for any particular verse in Chapter 14, please click on a number below.

 

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Jesus makes loving promises to his disciples

Knowing that he had only a few more hours with his disciples, Jesus spoke intensely about the near future, and the promises which would be theirs if they continued in the faith. What powerful feelings must have been running through his mind! In this chapter, and some of the following ones, John tried to draw a word picture of this gentle person and his attempt to both assure his disciples and instruct them for their near future.

 

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14:1     Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe on The God, also believe on me.

 

Be troubled comes from tarassesthoo, a present subjunctive. When written with the negative mee, it indicates the halting of something which was already in progress. The disciples were already becoming troubled in heart because of what Jesus had told them earlier. Although they did not fully understand what he had said, they did draw enough conclusions from it to trouble them.

 

The remedy Jesus gave them was two-fold. First, "believe on The God," and, second, "believe on me." On comes from the Greek word eis, or into. The KJV translated this same Greek word as in. Neither on nor in is completely correct. Eis is an accusative, which shows motion toward. The translation would be better by using the true meaning, which is into. This show motion in the act of believing, or a continuing growth.

 

No one will ever fully comprehend The God, or Jesus. Therefore, believing should be an on-going faith, not a static one-time event as is so often taught. Note carefully, Jesus again drew a separation between himself and The God. Never does he ever hint in the scriptures, if read in context, that he is the same as The God.

 

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14:2     In the house of my father there are many abodes; otherwise I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you.

 

Jesus used human concepts to explain spiritual truth. My father, or The God, does not have even one house, or abode. The scriptures tell us that The God does not dwell in temples built with men's hands (Acts 7:48 and 17:24). Luke, the writer of Acts, did not want anyone to miss this simple thought. Jesus was telling them that there is a place where all of them may find peace and joy. And, that place is in the presence of the heavenly father.

 

"I go to prepare a place for you." Without the intervention of Jesus, there would never be a way opened to the heavenly father. It was through his death that the way was opened to The God, and a place prepared for us. Jesus was not returning to his place at the right hand of the Father in order to build literal mansions for his followers. All the preaching on this point is nonsense, based on verses taken out of context. These words were spoken only to his disciples, and not necessarily meant to be appropriated by ministers to comfort the survivors of the dead. This was not a promise to all the others who would follow Jesus, but only to those present when he spoke.

 

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14:3     And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to myself, that where I am ye may also be.

 

His going was confirmed by Acts l:9:

"And these things having said, they beholding [him], he was taken up, and a cloud withdrew him from their eyes."

 

This was written later by Luke. The disciples were not aware of it at this point, but only observed it after his crucifixion. Therefore, if this ascension occurred, one may trust his promises.

 

"I am coming again."  No one but the heavenly father knows when this will occur. But, when it does happen, the 11 disciples could be assured that "he will receive you to myself."  They could also trust that "where he is they may be also."  These disciples may trust that they will be in his company in the heavenlies, as well as in the kingdom of The God when it occurs.

 

Revelation 21:14 notes, "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the lamb."  This verse was speaking of the New Jerusalem, and the Lamb shall be the light thereof. The 12 disciples, or apostles, shall also be there in association with Jesus, the Christ.

 

Please note that this was spoken to the 11 disciples who were still with him. The Revelation verse said that 12 apostles would be named as the foundation of the New Jerusalem. Some claim that the 12th apostle will be Matthias, chosen by the other 11 apostles after Jesus ascended (see Acts 1:23-26). Others say that the 12th apostle will be Paul, who was chosen by Jesus himself, just as the other 11 were.

 

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14:4     And where I go, ye know, and ye know the way.

 

This statement directly contradicted what the disciples said earlier, when they said they did not know where he was going. Why did Jesus make such a statement? Was it made to clarify a point made earlier, or was it made to clarify a mystery to the disciples? Remember, Jesus was speaking about his approaching death by crucifixion, and this statement was made in that context.

 

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14:5     Thomas says to him, Lord, we know not where thou goest, and how can we know the way?

 

Thomas, speaking for all the disciples, again denied such knowledge. The not comes from ouk, the absolute no. There was no question in his mind; the disciples absolutely did not know "where thou goest."  If no one knew where Jesus was going, then it would be impossible for them to know the way. They knew neither the destination nor how to arrive there.

 

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14:6     Jesus says to him, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me.

 

The words way, truth, and life are all preceded by the definite article which sets each apart from the others. These are three differing characteristics of Jesus. First, he is "the way."  Because of the definite article, this means he is the only way, not one of many ways.

 

When Jesus used this terminology about himself, he was telling them how to get to where he is. Hebrews 10:19-20 explains about this "way."

"Therefore brethren, having boldness for entrance into the holies by the blood of Jesus, a way newly made and living which he dedicated for us through the veil, that is his flesh."

 

The way was created through the sacrifice of his body and soul. This was the veil which had stood for eons between mankind and The God. When this veil was rent, or the body of Jesus was slain, then the way was opened so everyone could go directly to the heavenly father and fellowship with him. This is the ultimate salvation that was totally wrought by Jesus. [For further comment, see our book, The Hidden Meaning In Hebrews.]

 

Paul also commented on this way in Ephesians 2:17-18.

"And [Jesus] having come, he announced the glad tidings...peace to you who [were] afar off, and to those near. For through him we both have access by one spirit to the father."

 

The word "both" includes the Gentiles and the Jews. There is no difference between them as "both have access by one spirit to the father."

 

Second, Jesus is "the truth." Everything he said or did to reveal the Father, The God, has been the truth. He said nothing, nor did anything, except what the Father told him. Therefore, because of this ultimate obedience to his heavenly father, he spoke and acted without error concerning the invisible god during his lifetime on this earth.

 

His being the truth could also be extended to the time when he was the spiritual being, Jehovah, in Old Testament times. John l:17 says,

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No one has seen god at any time. The only begotten son, who is in the bosom of the father, he declared [him]."

 

Third, Jesus is "the life." Life comes from zoe, meaning spiritual life. This means that he is the spiritual life for every person on earth. Paul said in II Corinthians 5:17-19,

"So that if anyone be in Christ [which they are], there is a new creation; the old things passed away: lo, have become new all things. And all things [are] of The God, who reconciled us to himself by Jesus christ, and gave to us the service of reconciliation; how that god was in christ [the] world reconciling to himself, not reckoning to them their offences and having put in us the word of reconciliation." [The bracketed words were added for clarification.]

 

Reconciliation means that people now have direct access to the father. Nothing stands between themselves and The God, which was not true before the crucifixion of Jesus. He bore the penalty for all the sins of the world, and they were removed from the sight of The God. Sin is now a moot question with The God. It was settled once and for all.

 

However, having said that, it should be further stated that practiced, habitual, intentional sin will erode the full salvation given us by grace. Paul stated in Romans 6:10,

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to The God by the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."

 

It is the life of Jesus, the Christ, who lives through us by holy spirit, which will produce the fruits of the spiritual life.

 

Fleshly works, or those done to earn entrance into the kingdom of The God, will not suffice. Only those works done at the instigation of The God, through Jesus, and then through holy spirit, will withstand the fire of the judgment seat of Jesus, the Christ.

 

Ephesians 2:10 says,

"For we are his workmanship, created in chirst Jesus for good works, which god before prepared that we should walk in them."

 

These were already prepared for us before we ever arrived on this earth. Paul also stated, in Philippians 2:13,

"For it is The God who works in you both to will and to work according to [his] good pleasure."

 

The spiritual life which Jesus proclaimed himself to be, cannot be conjured up by any person. That is accomplished for us when we commit our bodies for his service. Then, and only then, will the works of The God be manifest in our lives.

 

Jesus also said that "no one comes to the father but by me."  No one is a compound word composed of ou (the absolute no) and deis. Absolutely no person in this world will ever go to the Father except by Jesus. This rules out all the liberal beliefs that there are many ways to get to The God, and, therefore, all religions should be honored as equal. Even the "christianity" of today has strayed so far from the scriptural concepts of salvation that it has become just another approach based upon fleshly works.

 

It is often preached today that people must be made aware that his name is Jesus. But is that what Jesus meant by his statement? Absolutely not! He was referring to the truth that it was he who died to open the way to the heavenly father. Whether or not people know it, whether or not they have ever heard the name, Jesus, they may fellowship with The God of heaven because Jesus died to open that veil, allowing them to freely approach The God. Jesus is sitting now on the right hand of the father to be a mediator between all people and The God.

 

This statement by Jesus negates the stated purpose of the many "mission programs," whose main purpose is to acquaint the heathen with the existence of Jesus. Such programs usually fall far short of introducing them to the accomplishments and purposes of his existence. Jesus is to be introduced as the christ of The God, not as a personal savior, which is what most evangelical programs do.

 

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14:7     If ye had known me, my father ye would have known also; and henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

 

This is another of those verses which supposedly support the doctrine of the trinity. But, that is not what this sentence conveys. This verse is a reference to verse 14:6, where Jesus told Thomas that he was the way, the truth, and the life. Here, Jesus was telling Thomas that everything he had said, and everything he had done, was for the purpose of revealing the attributes of the heavenly father to them. If Thomas had understood this, he would have known about The God. This statement indicates that the disciples, who walked with Jesus, still did not understand the purpose of his coming.

 

"Henceforth," or from now on, Jesus told Thomas, "ye know him, and have seen him." Jesus believed that what he would now show them would lead them to understand the heavenly father.

 

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14:8     Philip says to him, Lord, shew us the father, and it suffices us.

 

Philip seemed to understand some of what Jesus had said. However, he did not understand that Jesus had been doing what he was requesting. Before we dismiss these disciples as a bit thick-headed, remember that they were expecting a different reaction from the messiah than what they were getting from Jesus. They were expecting the messiah to deliver them from the domination of the Roman army, not to die for the sins of the people.

 

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14:9     Jesus says to him, So long a time am I with you, and thou hast not known me Philip? He that has seen me, has seen the father; and how sayest thou, Shew us the father?

 

Philip was as blinded as the others to what Jesus had been doing all along. Essentially, he asked the same question as did Thomas. Jesus answered him by saying "so long a time am I with you, and thou has not known me?" Those who hold to the doctrine of the trinity consider this as another proof that Jesus is the same as the Father, or The God. But, that was not the intent of his statement.

 

Jesus was pointing out the main thrust of his entire ministry. He had been showing them the Father in everything he had said and done. But they had no understanding of the invisible god. To them, Jehovah was the father they were requesting to see. They did not realize that they were actually seeing Jehovah, in the flesh as Jesus.

 

The invisible god would not be made accessible to people until after the crucifixion of Jesus. This would be the first time that the way into the heavenly holy of holies, the abode of the heavenly father, would be opened to mankind. Jesus' entire ministry had been to reveal this unknown god to them. They were not dense, but they simply could not understand. Out of all the people whose lives he had touched, surely the disciples could understand his ministry. But, they did not.

 

"He that has seen me has seen the father."  Again, there are those who claim this as proof of the trinitarian doctrine, but Jesus was declaring again to his disciples that his complete ministry had been to demonstrate the attributes of the heavenly father.

 

It appears as though Jesus was incredulous. "How sayest thou, show us the father?"  Why do you not yet understand what my ministry has been about? How can you ask such a question?

 

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14:10     Believest thou not that I [am] the father, and the father is in me: the words which I speak to you, I speak not from myself; but the father who abides in me he does the works.

 

Taken out of context, this verse is used as absolute proof of the trinitarian doctrine. Although it seems that way at the start, the remainder of his comments qualifies the opening statement, and modifies it from being a absolute statement as it is so often claimed to be.

 

This verse actually clarifies the previous verses which seemed to identify Jesus as being the Father. But, Jesus went on to say, "and the father is in me," or the father is in close communion with me. This is the same meaning as when Paul described being in Christ. This was the first qualification of the statement, believest thou not that I am the father?

 

The second qualification was his statement, "The words which I speak to you, I speak not from myself."  Jesus was stating that the words he had spoken in all his teachings were not his own words, but that they had been ordered by another.

 

That another, the one who ordered his words, comprises the third qualification.  "But the father who abides in me, he does the works."  This is an obvious statement that someone other than himself was involved in his teachings and works.

 

Jesus was so totally committed to his heavenly father, that he did nothing nor said anything, except what was ordered by his heavenly father, The God. That was what he meant when he said, "The father who abides in me he does the works."

 

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14:11     Believe me that I [am] in the father, and the father is in me; but if not, believe me because of the works themselves."

 

Jesus continued to ask his disciples to understand his close relationship with his father. They were in such close communion that he stated there was no difference in what the Father told him to say and what he said. He said that if they could not, for some reason, accept that he was "in the father, and the father was in him," then he said to "believe me because of the works themselves.

 

Jesus was telling them to look at his life, at what he had done, not to disregard his works, because those were the most important works they would ever be asked to believe. Jesus was telling them again, he was not acting for himself, but for his heavenly father who activated everything he did or said.

 

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14:12     Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works which I do, also he shall do, and greater than these he shall do, because I go to my father.

 

This is another scripture which is often taken out of context. Many claim that any person who "believes on me," can do "the works which I do, and greater than these he shall do."  But is this true for any believer? No, it is not! This was spoken to his 11 disciples who were with him then, and who would later be the impetus for spreading the gospel of grace to the world. It is they who would be endued with the power to do these things, not the average believer.

 

Each person was given a portion of holy spirit to empower them to perform whatever calling they may have. But, this verse refers to the calling of the 11 disciples. They would be empowered to accomplish what they had been called to do. This statement is for them, and them only. To apply this verse to anyone else is a gross error.

 

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14:13     And whatsoever ye may ask in my name, this I will do, that the father may be glorified in the son.

 

Here is another promise made only to the 11 disciples, but often taken from context and used to put believers under bondage to an unscriptural concept. There are those who have lost their faith because they were taught that this scripture is for everyone. They accepted this as being true, tried to implement it, found it did not work, and concluded that Jesus did not keep his promise to them.  In the process, they lost whatever faith they may have had.

 

Too many people have little or no understanding about what Jesus meant when he said to ask in "his name."  His name means everything that comes to mind about what he has said and done while here on this earth. In this specific instance, he was telling his disciples that they should ask in his name, or his power, which meant asking for those things which would further his purpose for coming to this earth. That purpose was "that the father may be glorified in the son."  Asking in the name of Jesus is significantly different than simply tacking on the phrase, "in Jesus' name," at the end of a prayer.

 

Jesus was still telling his 11 disciples that their empowerment will be authentic only when used properly. Asking in the name of Jesus was not for the purpose of providing a "wish list" for them, or any others who might follow them.

 

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14:14     If ye ask anything in my name, I will do [it].

 

This is a continuation of the statement in the previous verse. Again, though, this verse is often taken out of context, and used as if it were intended for any believer. Most people seem to think that this injunction, "ask in his name," consists only in uttering any prayer, and concluding with the words "in the name of Jesus. Amen"  That is not the point at all.

 

Jesus repeated his statement (from verse 14:13) because he did not want his disciples to misunderstand how they were to perform the tasks to which they were called. Those were the things they were to ask in his name. It would be Jesus, himself, who would produce the works through them, just as The God had done the works through him.

 

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14:15     If ye love me, Keep my commandments.

 

To what commandments was Jesus referring? It was the ones he had just announced to them, about asking in his name. These commandments concern how they were to carry out their ministry. These commandments will enable them, through the promises given, to carry the good news to people after his ascension to the heavenly father.

 

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14:16     And I will ask the father, and he will give you another paraclete, that he may remain with you forever.

 

Here is another promise of empowerment which Jesus gave to the disciples. Jesus was certain that his asking, or his prayer, to the Father would be answered in the positive.

 

If most people's prayers were always answered positively by the heavenly father, this world would be more of a mess than it is now. Many, perhaps most, prayers are for selfish purposes, not to bring glory to the Father. Our prayers are too often simply our wish list for our own success, satisfaction, and well-being.  We barge ahead with our own fleshly agendas, and then ask God to bless what we want to do.

 

Jesus, by saying, "he will give you another paraclete," was indicating that he, too, was a paraclete. Some translations call this a "comforter."  Jesus considered himself to be the one who had led, and helped, and comforted his disciples in their walk with him. Now that he is leaving, he told them that he would not leave them without another paraclete to take his place, to support and guide them, even as he had done.

 

"That he may remain with you for ever."  The word "he" does not appear in the Greek text, but is supposedly derived from the Greek menee, or English remain. This is a third person singular present subjunctive, which means that it is something which has not yet come to pass, but will come to pass. Since it is a third person singular, it is not necessary to translate it with the personal pronoun, he.

 

The usual pronoun used with the paraclete is ekeinos, a demonstrative pronoun which should be translated as that, it, or which, but never as he. Because ekeinos was often erroneously translated as he, it has helped promote the idea that the holy spirit is a person. It is not!  [For a detailed discussion of this point, see Part III in our book, What Scripture Says About Salvation.]

 

For ever comes from eis ton aioona, which means into the age. This paraclete which Jesus will send will remain in the world until the beginning of the next age, at least in the capacity of the paraclete, or comforter.

 

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14:17     The spirit of the truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him, nor know him; but ye know him, for he abides with you, and in you shall be.

 

John used the phrase, "the spirit of the truth" 13 times; all the other New Testament writers combined only used the term seven times. This does not mean that "the spirit" is composed of "the truth," but that it will bring "the truth" about Jesus and his ministry to the minds of the disciples.

 

John wrote of this later (John 16:13-14) when he stated,

"But when the spirit of the truth may have come, he will not speak from himself, but whatsoever he may hear he will speak; and the things coming he will announce to you. He will glorify me, for of mine he will receive, and will announce to you."

 

We will have more to say about this when we get to that part of John's gospel.

 

Jesus said that "the world cannot receive the spirit of the truth."  Receive comes from labein, which is an infinitive active. Thus this would be better translated as, "whom the world is not able to receive."

 

This means that when holy spirit is poured out on them, people will not be able to act under its guidance, or submit themselves to it. Why? The world "does not see him nor know him."

 

Him comes from auto, a neuter. Because this is a neuter, it should have been translated as "it," rather than "him."  See means that they do not have any comprehension about the purpose of holy spirit. "Nor know him" refers to the ignorance of the world, insofar as it was affected by the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. They knew nothing, or were in unbelief concerning what they had heard about the accomplishments of Jesus. Such people "cannot receive," or take to themselves holy spirit.

 

Jesus told his disciples something different about their relationship to this "spirit of the truth," whenever it comes. "But ye know him, for he abides with you, and shall be in you."  Since the spirit will be revealing all the things about Jesus, then, in a sense, Jesus is so closely associated with this spirit as to be almost identical with it. Their purpose is one and the same, and some translators cite this as their reason for translating neuter pronouns as though they were personal pronouns. This is what Jesus referred to when he said, "for he abides with you."  Jesus was still with them at the time.

 

The phrase, "and the spirit of the truth shall be in you," has led to a great deal of misunderstanding about the work of holy spirit in the lives of believers. The difficulty lies with the translation of in from the word en. When the Greek preposition, en, is used with the plural humin, you, it should be translated as "among you," not "in you."  Holy spirit was poured out "upon all flesh," not in them (see Acts 2:17). We do not control holy spirit; it is to control us, by being upon us to guide, empower, and lead us in whatever purpose The God has for our lives.

 

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14:18     I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you.

 

This was not an unusual way of speaking in that culture. A teacher often spoke of his students, or followers, or disciples, as his children. John used this in his first epistle, when he said, "My little children" (see I John 2:1).

Jesus was going away to be with his heavenly father, The God, yet he said, "I am coming to you."  He would not leave them without a parent, or guide. Jesus was speaking about the presence of "the spirit of the truth" which would represent to the disciples all that he was, is, and will be. This becomes quite clear in some of the following statements Jesus made.

 

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14:19     Yet a little while and the world sees me no longer, but ye see me: because I live, ye also shall live.

 

Jesus was speaking of his ascension to be with The God. He would again assume the position of Jehovah, the word of The God from which he emptied himself to become Jesus. This time, however, he will assume that position as a glorified man, not as a spiritual being. When he became flesh, it was not only for the 30+ years he spent here on earth, but for the rest of what we speak of as eternity. A glorified man? Yes!  This is the end result of his becoming flesh in order to identify himself with the human race. Now, he can represent them as the high priest because

"he has been tempted in all points as has anyone else" (see Hebrews 2:18).

 

"Because I live, ye also shall live."  Jesus would live his life through them by the guidance of that portion of holy spirit which he would pour out upon them. Please keep in mind that The God works only through his intermediary, his word.

 

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14:20     In that day, ye shall know that I am in my father, and ye in me, and I in you.

 

This refers to the future time when Jesus will leave them to go to the Father. Then, he will send the spirit of the truth to abide with them in his stead. That spirit will reveal to them the closeness of the future relationships. They will know that "Jesus is in the father," or in close relationship to him. They will also understand that they will be "in me," or closely bound together by that portion of holy spirit given to each of them.

 

They will also understand that Jesus "is in you."  In you is again the Greek en, associated with a plural you, and should be understood as "among you."  Please forgive the repetition, but this point needs to be clearly understood. Hopefully, readers will be freed from the common, erroneous teaching that holy spirit abides within each person. This is shown in the next verse.

 

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14:21     He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me; but he that loves me, shall be loved by my father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

 

In this verse, Jesus described the two attributes of the person "who loves me."  First, that person "has my commandments; and second, that person "keeps them."  Only after these two needs are present in a person's life will they be enabled to be one who "loves me."

 

Loves comes from agape, and means to wish the best for someone. It is not a love based upon emotion, which is phileo, but one based upon an act of the will. One must will to love Jesus, and this, too, is accomplished only by the grace of The God who enables anyone to make that choice.

 

Those who meet these two criteria receive certain benefits. First, they "shall be loved of my father."  Again, the word love comes from agape. This is written in the future passive which means that this will come about only after the first two needful things are fulfilled. This "love" is an individual act of The God, not a judicial one, as in John 3:16, where the whole of humanity was included.

 

John 3:16 noted that The God granted salvation to everyone, corporately, as a group. This makes it possible for anyone to develop a relationship with The God. However, whether or not such a relationship develops depends on how we individually react to the gift of salvation granted to everyone.

 

Those who react to The God's gift of salvation by loving him, and his son, Jesus, by keeping his commandments, will develop a loving relationship enabling them to retain their salvation. Thus, the love in verse 14:21 refers to the development of an individual relationship between each person, The God, and his son Jesus.

 

Second, "And I (Jesus) will love him."  This, also, is predicated on the fulfillment of the first two attributes noted in this verse, as it is written in the future tense. This is also the agape, love.

 

Third, "And I will manifest myself to him."  Manifest comes from emphanizo, which means to reveal, or to make visible. How will Jesus do this? It will be through the giving of holy spirit to each individual. Will Jesus, himself, be here in person? No! He will be seated at the right hand of the Father, but through the action of holy spirit his presence will be known to his disciples.

 

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14:22     Judas says to him, (not the Iscariote), Lord, what has occurred that thou art about to manifest thyself to us, and not to the world?

 

This question indicates that Judas did not even begin to understand what Jesus had just said. He clearly did not understand about the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus to the Father, although Jesus had told them about those things many times.

 

This is all shown by the tense of Judas' words. "What has occurred?"  This is in the past tense, as if he were looking to some event which had happened in the past. He was not considering the future at all. Although Jesus had spoken repeatedly of the coming of holy spirit, Judas did not associate its coming with the manifestation of Jesus "to us and not to the world."  Jesus had explained this to them earlier.

 

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14:23     Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone love me, he will keep my word, and my father will love him, and we will come to him, and make an abode with him.

 

In verse 14:21, Jesus used the word "commandments," but here Jesus said "word."  However, the meaning is the same, and the result is also the same: "my father will love him."  Jesus also added that "we will come to him, and make an abode with him."  Earlier, Jesus had spoken only of himself, but now he included the Father. Jesus would still be manifesting the Father to his disciples, and therefore he could speak in the plural, "we will come."

 

"And will make an abode with him."  Abode comes from monee, a word that appears only twice in the New Testament. The other instance occurs in John 14:2, translated as mansions in the KJV. This word cannot be taken literally. Jesus was not saying that he and the heavenly father would come and dwell in the same building as the one who "keeps my word."  He was saying that he and The God would be active in that person's life through holy spirit. Their presence will be with that person as long as he or she "keeps my word."

 

This is a conditional promise, just as living in the promised land was conditional. The Israelites were granted entrance into the land, but their stay there was conditional. Any disciples who fall away in disbelief, or not "keeping my word," will find that these promises no longer apply to them.

 

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14:24     He that loves me not, does not keep my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but of the father who sent me.

 

Without love, no one is able to keep his word. Again, the word used for love is the Greek word, agape, or that love which comes from an act of the will, wishing the best for another.

 

When Jesus said, "And the word which ye hear is not mine, but of the father who sent me," he was again acknowledging his subjection to the will of his heavenly father. Jesus always gave the glory for whatever he had done to the impetus of the Father.

 

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14:25     These things I have said to you abiding with you.

 

This verse makes it appear that Jesus was giving his disciples a sort of "cram course" on what he hoped they would fully understand in the future. This is verified in the next verse.

 

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14:26     But the paraclete, the spirit the holy, whom the father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all things which I said to you.

 

Earlier, Jesus spoke of the paraclete as the spirit of the truth. Here, he described it as "the spirit the holy." Holy comes from hagios, which basically means separation. The manner in which this is written, "the spirit the holy," places emphasis upon the separation, or holiness of the spirit. It is separated from mankind by being upon them and among them, not in them.

 

This verse lists another promise which was made only to the disciples. Many churches erroneously use this verse to put people under a bondage they cannot bear. Jesus told his disciples that this spirit he would send to them was a replacement for himself. "He will teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all things which I said to you."

 

Jesus had spoken only verbally with his disciples. It was to them that this promise was given, not to everyone. Today, we have the scriptures, and holy spirit does enlighten those who turn to the scriptures sincerely seeking truth. Jesus knew that his disciples did not "have a clue" about what he had been teaching them concerning the future. That is why he gave them this promise.

 

We should not judge the disciples for being slow to understand. They were living before the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus to be with the Father. Today, we are looking back at those events, and we have the written scriptures to help us understand. It is much easier for us than it was for the disciples, who had no knowledge of the invisible god. The only god they knew about was Jehovah. They recognized Jesus as being the messiah, but they did not understand that he was their god, Jehovah, who had become flesh. Today, we know this.

 

Acts 2:33 says,

"By the right hand of The God having been exalted, and the promise of the holy spirit having received from the father, he poured out this which now ye behold and hear."

 

That was the fulfillment of what Jesus told his disciples when he said, "whom the father will send in my name," or in my power, or my authority. When Jesus ascended to the Father, he regained the authority he had held earlier as Jehovah, i.e., that of bestowing holy spirit upon whom he wills. However, during his time on earth, he operated under the power of holy spirit just as any human should.

 

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14:27     Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it fear.

 

Peace comes from eireenee, which , means,

"a conception peculiar to Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content in its earthly lot, of what ever sort that is" (Thayer, p. 182).

 

Jesus illustrated his peace, saying,

"Let not you heart be troubled, nor let it fear" (John 14:1).

 

His peace is not as the world gives. His peace springs from the inner recesses of our spirit, and does not depend upon outward circumstances. His peace brings a sense of tranquility in times of trial, enabling us to live a joyful life while we await his return.

 

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14:28     Ye heard that I said to you, I am going away, and I am coming to you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced that I said, I am going to the father, for my father is greater than I.

 

This is a repeat of what Jesus had previously said to his disciples. Their reaction must have been something other than what Jesus desired, as shown by his remark, "if ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced that I said, I am going to the father."

 

"My father is greater than I."  Those who hold to the misguided concept of the trinity must ignore this statement. What Jesus said here should dispel this false idea once and for all.

 

Greater comes from the Greek word, megas, which means,

"Predicated as of rank, as belonging to persons, eminent for ability, virtue, authority, power; as God, and sacred personages" (Thayer, p. 395).

 

Jesus clearly stated that he is inferior to his heavenly father, The God, not equal to him.

 

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14:29     And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it shall have come to pass, ye may believe.

 

Jesus' concern for his disciples was because he knew that his crucifixion would have a drastic effect upon them. While he said blandly, "I am going to my father," he did not mention that being crucified was part of the process. The sins of the entire world were absolved only with a dire cost to Jesus.

 

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14:30     I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of this world comes, and he has nothing in me.

 

It sounds as though Jesus was speaking of a person, but he was not. "The ruler of this world" is what the personification of satan stands for. Satan is not a person, but the accumulated sins of this world which were unforgiven, and before The God, accusing mankind of its sin night and day. When Jesus spoke of "the ruler of this world," he was referring to this mass of accumulated sin.

 

"And he has nothing in me."  There is nothing in the character of Jesus to accuse him. That was because Jesus had said and done only what the father told him.

 

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14:31     But that the world may know that I love the father, and as the father commanded me, thus I do. Rise up, let us go hence.

 

Too many preachers imply that Jesus loves only those who love him. Jesus, however, was concerned for the whole of the populated world, cosmos. If they understood the reason that he underwent this great trial, then they would also understand that he did it because "I love the father."  He was demonstrating to all humanity the ultimate love that anyone should give to The God. Why?

"Because The God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son" (John 3:16).

 

"As the father commanded me, thus I do."  Jesus set the example for any who profess to love the Father. How is one to follow the commandments of the Father? The scriptures say that love is the fulfilling of all the law (see Romans 13:8-10). This commandment should not put a person into bondage; but, if obeyed, sets one free from any other law. If a person's every act is one of love, then no law will be broken.

 

"Rise up, let us go hence."  Jesus was through instructing the disciples for the time being. However, there is still much that he will tell them at another time.

 

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Summary Highlights of Chapter 14

 

# No one will ever fully comprehend The God, or Jesus. Therefore,

     believing should be an on-going faith, not a static one-time event as is

     so often taught.

 

# When Jesus said "I go to prepare a place for you" he was not returning

     to his place at the right hand of the Father in order to build literal

     mansions for his followers. It was through his death that the way was

     opened to The God, and a place prepared for us.

 

#  Some claim that the 12th apostle will be Matthias, chosen by the other

     11 apostles to replace Judas. Others say that the 12th apostle will be

     Paul, who was chosen by Jesus himself, just as were the original

     apostles.

 

# The words way, truth, and life are all preceded by the definite article

     which sets each apart from the others. These are three differing

     characteristics of Jesus.

 

# First, Jesus is "the way."  Because of the definite article, this means he is

     the only way, not one of many ways.

 

# The way was created through the sacrifice of his body which was the

     veil that had stood for eons between mankind and The God. When this

     veil was rent, or the body of Jesus was slain, then the way was opened

     so everyone could directly fellowship with the heavenly father.

 

# Second, Jesus is "the truth." Everything he said or did to reveal The God,

     has been the truth. He said nothing, nor did anything, except what the

     Father told him.

 

# Third, Jesus is "the life," zoe, meaning spiritual life. This means that he is

     the spiritual life for every person on earth.

 

# Reconciliation means that people now have direct access to the Father.

     Since the crucifixion of Jesus nothing stands between themselves and

     The God. He bore the penalty for all the sins of the world, and they

     were removed from the sight of The God. Sin is now a moot question

     with The God. It was settled once and for all.

 

# Practiced, habitual, intentional sin will erode the full salvation given us

     by grace.

 

#  It is the life of Jesus, the Christ, who lives through us by holy spirit,

     which will produce the fruits of the spiritual life.

 

# Only those works done at the instigation of The God, through Jesus, and

     then through holy spirit, will withstand the fire of the judgment seat of

     Jesus, the Christ.

 

# The spiritual life which Jesus proclaimed himself to be, cannot be

     conjured up by any person. That is accomplished for us when we

     commit our bodies for his service. Then, and only then, will the works

     of The God be manifest in our lives.

 

# Absolutely no person in this world will ever go to the Father except by

     Jesus. This rules out all the liberal beliefs that there are many ways to

     get to The God, and, therefore, all religions should be honored as equal.

 

# Even the "christianity" of today has strayed so far from the scriptural

     concepts of salvation that it has become just another approach based

     upon fleshly works.

 

#  Jesus is sitting now on the right hand of the father to be a mediator

     between all people and The God.

 

#  Jesus was telling Thomas that everything he had said, and everything

     he had done, was for the purpose of revealing the attributes of the

     heavenly father to them. If Thomas had understood this, he would

     have known about The God.

 

# Before we dismiss these disciples as a bit thick-headed, remember that

     they were expecting a different reaction from the messiah than what

     they were getting from Jesus. They were expecting the messiah to

     deliver them from the domination of the Roman army, not to die for

     the sins of the people.

 

#  Jesus was pointing out the main thrust of his entire ministry. He had

     been showing them the Father in everything he had said and done. But

     they had no understanding of the invisible god. They did not realize

     that they were actually seeing Jehovah, in the flesh as Jesus. They were

     not dense, but they simply could not understand.

 

#  Jesus was so totally committed to his heavenly father, that he did

     nothing nor said anything, except what was ordered by his heavenly

     father, The God. That was what he meant when he said, "The father

     who abides in me he does the works."

 

#  Jesus was telling them to look at his life, at what he had done, not to

     disregard his works, because those were the most important works

     they would ever be asked to believe. Jesus was telling them again, he

     was not acting for himself, but for his heavenly father who activated

     everything he did or said.

 

# Many claim that any person who "believes on me," can do "the works

     which I do, and greater than these he shall do."  But this is not true for

     any believer! This was spoken to his 11 disciples who were with him

     then, and who would later be the impetus for spreading the gospel of

     grace to the world. It is they who would be endued with the power to

     do these things, not the average believer.

 

# Each person has been given a portion of holy spirit to empower them to

     perform whatever calling they may have. But, this verse (14:12) refers

     to the calling of the 11 disciples. They would be empowered to

     accomplish what they had been called to do. This statement is for

     them, and them only. To apply this verse to anyone else is a gross

     error.

 

# Here (14:13) is another promise made only to the 11 disciples, but often

     taken from context and used to put believers under bondage to an

     unscriptural concept. There are those who have lost their faith because

     they were taught that this scripture is for everyone. They accepted this

     as being true, tried to implement it, found it did not work, and

     concluded that Jesus did not keep his promise to them.  In the process,

     they lost whatever faith they may have had.

 

# Asking in the name of Jesus is significantly different than simply

     tacking on the phrase, "in Jesus' name," at the end of a prayer.

 

#  Jesus was still telling his 11 disciples that their empowerment will be

     authentic only when used properly. Asking in the name of Jesus was

     not for the purpose of providing a "wish list" for them, or any others

     who might follow them.

 

# This verse (14:14) is often taken out of context, and used as if it were

     intended for any believer. Most people seem to think that this

     injunction, "ask in his name," consists only in uttering any prayer, and

     concluding with the words "in the name of Jesus. Amen"  That is not

     the point at all.

 

#  Jesus repeated his statement (from verse 14:13) because he did not want

     his disciples to misunderstand how they were to perform the tasks to

     which they were called. Those were the things they were to ask in his

     name. It would be Jesus, himself, who would produce the works

     through them, just as The God had done the works through him.

 

#  Most prayers are for selfish purposes, not to bring glory to the Father.

     Our prayers are too often simply our wish list for our own success,

     satisfaction, and well-being.  Or, we barge ahead with our own fleshly

     agendas, and then ask God to bless what we want to do.

 

#  Jesus considered himself to be the one who had led, and helped, and

     comforted his disciples in their walk with him. Now that he is leaving,

     he told them that he would not leave them without another paraclete to

     take his place, to support and guide them, even as he had done.

 

# The usual pronoun used with paraclete is ekeinos, a demonstrative

     pronoun which should be translated as that, it, or which, but never as

     he. Because ekeinos was often erroneously translated as he, it has

     helped promote the idea that the holy spirit is a person. It is not! 

 

# This means that when holy spirit is poured out on them, people will not

     be able to act under its guidance, or submit themselves to it. Why? The

     world "does not see him nor know him."  See means that they do not

     have any comprehension about the purpose of holy spirit. They knew

     nothing, or were in unbelief concerning what they had heard about the

     accomplishments of Jesus. Such people "cannot receive," or take to

     themselves holy spirit.

 

# When the Greek preposition, en, is used with the plural humin, you, it

     should be translated as "among you," not "in you."  Holy spirit was

     poured out "upon all flesh," not in them.

 

# We do not control holy spirit; it is to control us, by being upon us to

     guide, empower, and lead us in whatever purpose The God has for our

     lives.

 

# When Jesus became flesh, it was not only for the 30+ years he spent here

     on earth, but for the rest of what we speak of as eternity. A glorified

     man? Yes!  This is the end result of his becoming flesh in order to

     identify himself with the human race.

 

# Jesus would live his life through them by the guidance of that portion of

     holy spirit which he would pour out upon them. Please keep in mind

     that The God works only through his intermediary, his word.

 

#  In you is again the Greek en, associated with a plural you, and should

     be understood as "among you."  Please forgive the repetition, but this

     point needs to be clearly understood.

 

#  Jesus described the two attributes of the person "who loves me."  First,

     that person "has my commandments; and second, that person "keeps

     them."

 

# One must will to love Jesus, and this, too, is accomplished only by the

     grace of The God who enables anyone to make that choice.

 

#  John 3:16 noted that The God granted salvation to everyone,

     corporately, as a group. This makes it possible for anyone to develop a

     relationship with The God. However, whether or not such a relationship

     develops depends on how we individually react to the gift of salvation

     granted to everyone.

 

# Those who react to The God's gift of salvation by loving him, and his

     son, Jesus, by keeping his commandments, will develop a loving

     relationship enabling them to retain their salvation. Thus, the love in

     verse 14:21 refers to the development of an individual relationship

     between each person, The God, and his son Jesus.

 

#  Jesus will manifest himself to people through the giving of holy spirit to

     each individual.

 

#  Jesus was not saying that he and the heavenly father would come and

     dwell in the same building as the one who "keeps my word."  He was

     saying that he and The God would be active in that person's life

     through holy spirit. Their presence will be with that person as long as

     he or she "keeps my word."  Any disciples who fall away in disbelief, or

     not "keeping my word," will find that these promises no longer apply

     to them.

 

# Without love, no one is able to keep his word.

 

# The manner in which this is written, "the spirit the holy," places

     emphasis upon the separation, or holiness of the spirit. It is separated

     from mankind by being upon them and among them, not in them.

 

# Today, we have the scriptures, and holy spirit does enlighten those who

     turn to the scriptures sincerely seeking the truth.

 

# We should not judge the disciples for being slow to understand. They

     were living before the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of

     Jesus. Today, we are looking back at those events, and we have the

     written scriptures to help us understand. It is much easier for us than it

     was for the disciples, who had no knowledge of the invisible god. The

     only god they knew about was Jehovah. They recognized Jesus as

     being the messiah, but they did not understand that he was their god,

     Jehovah, who had become flesh. Today, we know this.

 

# "My father is greater than I."  Those who hold to the misguided concept

     of the trinity must ignore this statement. What Jesus said here should

     dispel this false idea once and for all. Jesus clearly stated that he is

     inferior to his heavenly father, The God, not equal to him.

 

# "The ruler of this world" is what the personification of satan stands for.

     Satan is not a person, but the accumulated sins of this world which

     were unforgiven, and before The God, accusing mankind of its sin night

     and day. When Jesus spoke of "the ruler of this world," he was referring

     to this mass of accumulated sin.

 

# Too many preachers imply that Jesus loves only those who love him.

     Jesus, however, was concerned for the whole of the populated world,

     cosmos.

 

# "As the father commanded me, thus I do."  Jesus set the example for any

     who profess to love the Father. How is one to follow the

     commandments of the Father? The scriptures say that love is the

     fulfilling of all the law (see Romans 13:8-10). This commandment

     should not put a person into bondage; but, if obeyed, sets one free from

     any other law. If a person's every act is one of love, then no law will be

     broken.

 

 

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September 2009