The Agora
Bible Commentary

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John 14

Joh 14:1

Cited from 2 psalms about the traitor (Psa 55:2,12-14; 109:22,28).

Joh 14:2

IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE: God's house, on earth (2Sa 7; Mic 4:1,2; Isa 66:1,2; Joh 2:16; 1Pe 2:3-5; Eph 2:19-22; 1Co 3:9; Heb 8:2; Rev 3:12). Also, Joh 2:19-22 refs the "house" of Christ's body -- where "sons" (cp Joh 8:35) remain forever. Thus the "dwelling place" is "in" Jesus himself, wherever he is!

ROOMS: Cp the rooms for priests on duty in God's house, the Temple. The "rooms" where God and Christ will "abide" (vv 16,17,23) with believers.

Joh 14:3

I go (to Golgotha: cp Joh 13:36) to prepare for you a place of sacrifice, a place (like the mercy-seat) where man might meet with God.

I WILL COME BACK: As the High Priest came back to the congregation with a special blessing on the Day of Atonement (Lev 9:23; Heb 9:28).

WHERE I AM: That is, 'in my Father's house'. More specifically, sitting on David's throne (2Sa 7:13,14) in Jerusalem (Isa 2:2-4; 9:6,7; Luk 1:32,33).

Joh 14:4

Vv 4-9: See VL, Disciples, slow comprehension.

Joh 14:6

THE WAY: (In first century) = "the Truth" (in 20th century): Act 9:2; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:22; Heb 9:8; 10:20.

A missionary lost his way in an African jungle. He could find no landmarks and the trail vanished. Eventually, stumbling on a small hut, he asked the native living there if he could lead him out. The native nodded. Rising to his feet, he walked directly into the bush. The missionary followed on his heels. For more than an hour they hacked their way through a dense wall of vines and grasses. The missionary became worried: "Are you sure this is the way? I don't see any path." The African chuckled and said over his shoulder, "Sir, in this place there is no path. I AM the path."

And so it can be for us with our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the "path". We have been lost in a trackless wilderness. For us there is no way out except death. Thus there is no salvation for us except to follow, implicitly and obediently, the one man who knows the way -- the one man who, in fact, IS the "way" -- no matter how hard that way might seem, or how uninviting. There is NO other way!

And the way IS hard and uninviting. It is the way of the cross!

How can this be said? Whereas most versions render John 14:6 as though there were three distinct "things" -- "way" and "truth" and "life" -- there may be good reason to see the three as fused or blended together: the NET suggests: "the way -- even the truth and the life", that is, the true way of life. "The way to the TREE of life" has been known since the garden of Eden (Gen 3:24). It is the way of obedience and sacrifice. The (true) way to the (true) tree of life -- that is, the REAL and SUBSTANTIAL way to the REAL and SUBSTANTIAL tree of life -- of which the one in Genesis was a symbol and a shadow -- is the cross of Christ. The cross of Christ is called a "tree" in Gal 3:13; 1Pe 2:4; Rev 2:7; 22:2,14,19). This corresponds to Heb 10:19-22, which speaks of the most holy, the blood of Jesus, the new and living way (the way of life!), the priest, and the house of God.

The blood of Christ, shed on the cross, or "tree" of life, has opened the way into the presence of the Heavenly Father, who will confer life on those who approach Him in the proper way. There is no comfortable, and easy, and smooth road that conveys us there, without effort or pain. It is only by taking up the cross of our crucified Lord, and following him, through the trackless wilderness, that we may gain access to the Father.

But it is a journey well worth the taking.

Seven "I am's" of John: "the bread of life" (Joh 6:35); "the light of the world" (Joh 9:5); "the door" (Joh 10:9); "the good shepherd" (Joh 10:11); "the way" (Joh 14:6); "the resurrection and the life" (Joh 11:25); and "the vine" (Joh 15:1).

Joh 14:7

To know Christ = to know God, since the Son reveals the Father's character: Joh 1:14; 17:3; Col 1:15; 2:9; Heb 1:3. Christ's words and works are from God: Heb 1:8,9; Joh 5:36; 9:33; 12:49,50.

Joh 14:9

ANYONE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER: Jesus was the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation (karacter) of his being (Heb 1:3). "For in him all the fulness of God dwelt" (Col 1:19).

Joh 14:10

"The words of Jesus, the works of Jesus, the life of Christ, the teaching of Christ... they are the reflection of God; and as we read the record given to us in the Gospel narratives can we not see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ [2Co 4:6]? Do we still ask, 'Shew us the Father and it sufficeth us' (v 8)? Or do we, like Moses of old need special manifestations on our behalf to teach us that God exists, and that His glory fills the earth? 'He that hath seen me hath seen the Father' [John 14:9], and the glory of God in Christ will commend itself to our reverence, to our love, to our service, to our certain acceptation. He is the highest expression of the creative work of God. The Word made flesh no longer manifests itself in the glory of Christ or in the framing of the ages, but embodying itself, identifying itself with the human flesh for the benefit of mankind and for the glory of God. Behold then the glory of God in Christ! What shall we look at? Look at his holiness. He did no sin. Simple words, but how much is expressed therein. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God [Rom 3:23]. 'If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us' [1Jo 1:8], and your heart and my heart know the truth of that judgment But his sinlessness was not the quality of his nature. Do not seek to honour Christ by speaking of his nature as immaculate.

"Rather do him the greater honour of testifying that his victory was over human flesh. He was tempted in all points like we are yet without sin. He was obedient unto death. And for what purpose? That he might save sinners. 'This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners' [1Ti 1:15]. His sinlessness was an essential condition for the forgiveness of sins. Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world [John 1:29]" (FWT).

Joh 14:12

GREATER: The apostles' greater scope in preaching the gospel to Gentiles, after Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension.

Joh 14:14

"In my name" is not a magic charm. Rather, it sig 'because you bear my name' and/or 'according to my purpose' (cp Joh 15:7,16).

Joh 14:15

"Love" = agape, ie obedience. And obedience = love (Joh 13:34; 15:10,12).

Joh 14:16

COUNSELOR: Paraklete: Used 5 times, all in John's writings: here; v 26; Joh 15:26; 16:7; 1Jo 2:1. The one who is called to stand alongside, as a legal counselor ("Advocate") or personal "Comforter". The Holy Spirit = "another Counselor", because Christ is the first. The Counselor/Holy Spirit is personified ("he") because it is implemented by an angel.

Joh 14:18

ORPHANS: In ct "little children" of Joh 13:33.

Joh 14:19

Joh 14:19.

The resurrected Christ would reveal himself only to believers, and no longer to the "world".

Joh 14:23

MAKE OUR HOME WITH HIM: Further allusion to the Tabernacle (Exo 25:8). This "dwelling" must be two-fold: God in us, and we in God. This involves keeping His commandments (Joh 14:10). If we enter God's "house" through Christ (the "way": v 6), then God will enter us, and we will be His "house"!

Joh 14:24

NOT MY OWN: Heb idiom: "not only... but also".

Joh 14:26

See VL, Disciples, slow comprehension.

Holy Spirit, means of inspiration: Joh 2:22; 12:16; 13:7; 16:4.

"These words are specially valuable because they give us a firm assurance that the four gospels are true, accurate and dependable records of what our Lord said and did. Those who wrote had the special help of perfect memories and a better understanding of everything concerning Christ, in just the same way that Old Testament prophets were 'moved by the Holy Spirit' " (WGHS).

Joh 14:27

Peace: made (Col 1:20), preached (Eph 2:17), enjoyed (Rom 5:1), filling hearts (Rom 15:13), given (John 14:27), keeping (Phi 4:7), and ruling (Col 3:15).

PEACE: Not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it spiritually. See Gal 5:22; Rom 5:1.

AS THE WORLD GIVES: That is, "Peace", or "Shalom" as a common (and perhaps thoughtless) greeting among Jews.

DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED: "There is comfort in the confident words of a strong man: and there is assurance in the counsel, 'Let not your hearts be troubled.' But Jesus goes further and tells them how they might overcome their troubled thoughts. There was a foundation for peace in human lives, away from which there is only unrest and disquiet. The foundation was faith; faith in God, and then faith in him. The disciples had faith -- but it needed to be fostered and strengthened. Belief in God must be accompanied by belief in him, the coupling together of God and himself as the objects of faith carrying an implicit claim that his words and his counsel had divine authority. The words had great value then, but their importance would increase as the days passed by and they took his gospel to the world and found opposition and difficulty such as he had encountered. The memory of his words, spoken during the crisis of his life, would nerve them to endure with fortitude and courage. They have not lost their value yet. In the midst of difficulty, and in a world that has ceased to believe, when doubt and despair stalk hand in hand, the man of faith can still hear the words of Jesus, and believing find heart's ease" (CJo 153,154).

Joh 14:30

THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD: Ref religious leaders of Israel -- "archon" in Joh 3:1; 7:26,48; 12:31,42; 14:30; 16:11 -- whose offices would be effectively ended by the sacrifice/resur of Christ (Joh 12:32). Caiaphas, the pseudo-high-priest -- and the entire corrupt system over which he presided! Was Caiaphas (or his agent) also the "Satan" of the wilderness temptation (Mat 4:1-11; Mar 1:13; Luk 4:1-13)? Cp also the "devil" of Joh 13:2 and the "Satan" of Joh 13:27.

NO HOLD ON ME: Or "no power over me": cp Jesus' words to Pilate in Joh 19:11.

Joh 14:31

...Now they leave the Upper Room and make their way, through the dark streets of Jerusalem, to Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives... (Joh 18:1).

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