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” I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”

In Apologetics on July 8, 2012 at 10:24 am

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JOHN 14:1-31 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”  Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

 

Jesus begins by quieting the hearts of the disciples because they were confused, Jesus has announced his coming crucifixion, not the earthly kingdom they had expected, they would be hated, persecuted and imprisoned for their faith in Jesus.  Christ comforts them, bids them be of good heart, and exhorts them to all exercise of faith on God, and on himself, as the best way to be rid of heart troubles, and to have peace. Then he introduces his unity with the Father by the extreme idea that He and the Father share the same being yet they are distinct and different. So both are exhortations to exercise faith alike on them both, as being the best antidote they could make use of against heart troubles: “believe in God, and ye believe in me”; and so the former is an exhortation, the latter a proposition: and the sense is, put your trust in God, and you will also trust in me, for I am of the same nature and essence with him; I and my Father are one; so that if you believe in one, you must believe in the other: or thus, and so our translators render them, “ye believe in God, believe also in me”; and so the former is a proposition, or an assertion, and the latter is an exhortation grounded upon it: you have believed in God as faithful and true in all his promises, though yon have not seen him; believe in me also, though I am going from you, and shall be absent for a while; this you may be assured of, that whatever I have said shall be accomplished. The words considered either way are a full proof of the true deity of Christ, since he is represented as equally the object of faith with God the Father, and lay a foundation for solid peace and comfort in a view of afflictions and persecutions in the world.

 

With a fresh new assertion he takes the thinking from an earthly view to a heavenly view in pointing to a place he was going. Not in a metaphorical sense, that would not provide much comfort or peace. He pulls back the curtains of heaven to show a destination that is a reward for all the troubles they are going to suffer after Him.

 

(2Co 5:1)  For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

 

We are taken back to John 12:44& 45:

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.  And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.

 

The modern mind is instantly taken to a Xerox mind set in that Jesus is an exact copy of God or worse the flesh God existing in an avatar walking on earth. This reveals the intimate link between Father and Son a relationship born from eternity past. Christ presents himself as an object of worship. Christ is the object of faith; he is proposed as such in the Gospel; and it is his Father’s will, and his own advice, that his people should believe in him: but then those that truly believe in him, do not believe in him as a mere man, but as God, as the Son of God; and not as separate from, or to the exclusion of his Father: nor do they believe in him as a new, or another God, but as the one God with the Father, and the Spirit; for he and his Father are one: nor do they believe in him “only”; and so the Arabic version reads; but in God the Father also: nor does their faith rest in him, but it proceeds through him, as the Mediator unto God; see 1Pe_1:21.

 

(1Pe 1:20-21)  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

 

 

Besides, he is here to be considered in his office capacity, as being sent of God; and he that believes on him as the sent of God, does not so much believe on him, as on the sender of him. So he that despises Christ, despises him that sent him; and he that receives Christ, receives him that sent him; and he that believes on Christ, believes on him that sent him; see Luk_10:16.

 

Luke 10:16 “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

 

Then Thomas forever the skeptic and sinking into despair asks the Savior how or where we find you?  How do we even know the way? You can hear the fear in his questions. The thought of Jesus leaving put Thomas in a state of despair, if Jesus left how could we ever find him? Christ’s answer: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. What way is Christ speaking of, where are we going, what is the final destination we are heading for? Unto the Father!

 

This lovely verse makes it clear that the Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the way to heaven. He does not merely show the way; He is the way. Salvation is in a Person. Accept that Person as your own, and you have salvation. Christianity is Christ. The Lord Jesus is not just one of many ways. He is the only Way. No one comes to the Father except through Him. The way to God is not by the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, ordinances, church membership—it is through Christ and Christ alone. Today many say that it does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. They say that all religions have some good in them and that they all lead to heaven at last. But Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Then the Lord is the truth. He is not just One who teaches the truth; He is the truth. He is the embodiment of Truth. Those who have Christ have the Truth. It is not found anywhere else.

Christ Jesus is the life. He is the source of life, both spiritual and eternal. Those who receive Him have eternal life because He is the Life.

From Vincent’s Word Studies Commentary: 14:6

I am the way

The disciples are engrossed with the thought of separation from Jesus. To Thomas, ignorance of whither Jesus is going involves ignorance of the way. “Therefore, with loving condescension the figure is taken up, and they are assured that He is Himself, if we may so speak, this distance to be traversed” (Milligan and Moulton). All along the course to the Father’s house they are still with Him.

The truth

As being the perfect revelation of God the Father: combining in Himself and manifesting all divine reality, whether in the being, the law, or the character of God. He embodies what men ought to know and believe of God; what they should do as children of God, and what they should be.

The life

Not only life in the future world. He is “the principle and source of life in its temporal development and future consummation, so that whoever has not received Him into himself by faith, has become a prey to spiritual and eternal death” (Meyer). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” Compare Col_3:4; Joh_6:50, Joh_6:51; Joh_11:25, Joh_11:26.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou shouldst pursue; the truth which thou shouldst believe; the life which thou shouldst hope for” (Thomas a Kempis, “Imitation of Christ,” iii., 56). On ζωή, life, see on Joh_1:4.

Unto the Father

The end of the way: a personal relationship with the Jesus we discover the way to God, the truth that puts our existence in perspective, and an eternal life that is to be lived here and now.

Once more the Lord taught the mysterious union that exists between the Father and Himself. If the disciples had recognized who Jesus really was, they would have known the Father also, because the Lord revealed the Father to men. From now on, and especially after Christ’s resurrection, the disciples would understand that Jesus was God the Son. Then they would realize that to know Christ was to know the Father, and to see the Lord Jesus was to see God. This verse does not teach that God and the Lord Jesus are the same Person. There are three distinct Persons in the Godhead, but there is only one God.

JOHN 6:44-46 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.  It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.

 

 

Now we see the problem with skepticism how it spreads and leads to doubt. The disciple Phillip one who Jesus earlier in John commented of his friend Nathanael was on in whom no deceit was found. This very Phillip challenges Jesus to show them the Father and it would satisfy them. I found it interesting they didn’t ask to see God but instead requested to see the Father. This would lead us to see they were wrestling with the identity of the Godhead and persons within the Godhead. These were very obedient Jewish men. If this language or idea had offended them they would have reacted the way the crowds and the Pharisee’s reacted, death to Jesus. Now the Son reveals more about the Father and his relationship. Philip wanted the Lord to give some special revelation of the Father, and that would be all he would ask. He did not understand that everything the Lord was, and did, and said, was a revelation of the Father. The words “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” describe the closeness of the union between the Father and the Son. They are separate Persons, yet They are one as to attributes and will. We should not be discouraged if we cannot understand this. No mortal mind will ever understand the Godhead. We must give God credit for knowing things that we can never know. If we fully understood Him, we would be as great as He! Jesus had power to speak the words and to do the miracles, but He came into the world as the Servant of Jehovah and He spoke and acted in perfect obedience to the Father.

The disciples should believe that He was one with the Father because of His own testimony to that fact. But if not, then they should certainly believe because of the works He performed.

 

Philip expressed a universal desire of mankind: to see God (cf. Exo_33:18). In a perverted form this desire leads to idolatry. Philip was probably longing for a theophany (cf. Exo_24:9-10; Isa_6:1) or some visible display of God’s glory. Jesus’ statement, Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father (cf. Joh_12:45), is one of the most staggering claims He ever made. The Father is in Jesus and Jesus perfectly reveals Him (Joh_1:18). Hence no theophany was necessary, for by seeing Jesus they were seeing the Father!

 

Exo 33:18-20 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”

 

Exo 24:8-11 And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

Isa 6:1-5 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

 

The final in a list of glorious verses where Jehovah (Jehovah in the old testament is Jesus in the New testament) reveals himself and it crosses over to the new testament!

 

John 1:16-18 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

 

Jesus surrender is so complete in the incarnation that his will and the Fathers will are one in accord. The phase the Father dwelling him reveals the most intimate of unions, that no mere creature and God could have that bond. If the Jesus weren’t’ God his language would have to have been the Father commissioned me but here there is reference, doubtless, to that mysterious and special union which subsists between the Father and the Son.

 

 Here were two grounds on which they might believe; one was his own testimony, the other was his works. Meaning his miraculous works, such as raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, causing the deaf to hear, and giving sight to the blind; and which were such as none but a divine person could ever perform. The substance of this passage is that the Son is the ordained and perfect eternal generated Son of the Father, that His own word for this ought to His disciples to be enough; that if any doubts remained His works ought to remove them (see on Joh_10:37); but yet that these works of His were designed merely to aid weak faith, and would be repeated, even exceeded, by His disciples, in virtue of the power He would confer on them after His departure. His miracles the apostles wrought, though wholly in His name and by His power, and the “greater” works – not in degree but in kind – were the conversion of thousands in a day, by His Spirit accompanying them.

 

Joh 10:35-38  If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

 

Robertson’s word picture sates the following:

Greater works than these (meizona toutōn). Comparative adjective neuter plural from megas with ablative case toutōn. Not necessarily greater miracles and not greater spiritual works in quality, but greater in quantity. Cf. Peter at Pentecost and Paul’s mission tours. “Because I go” (hoti egō poreuornai). Reason for this expansion made possible by the Holy Spirit as Paraclete (Joh_16:7).

 

One of the most amazing miracles God does is redeeming sinful fallen creatures and uses as agents in this world is a greater wonder than any I can conceive. Jesus promises us that if we in his name approach the throne of the Father seeking that which glorifies the Father through the Son will grant. We have through Jesus access to the Father, by the Spirit. Out Triune Godhead available to us and then granted son-ship, can there be a greater work than this?

 

That will I do (touto poiēsō). The Father answers prayers (Joh_15:16; Joh_16:23), but so does the Son (here and Joh_14:14). The purpose (hina clause with first aorist passive subjunctive of doxazō) is “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Plead Christ’s name in prayer to the Father.

(John 14:13-15 AMP)  And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. [Exod. 3:14.]  [Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]. If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.

 

The keeping of the commandments is a transition from prayer to expectation. This also introduces the Helper, Comforter; the “Holy Spirit” the Godhead is complete. Obedience is the proof of genuine love. Jesus has a major theme through this moment with the disciples and a message for us today. Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus (borrowed from a most familiar hymn.)  

 

The transition moves to a very personal conversation with the disciples at this point. Jesus knows and hears the fear, anxiety and concern. He makes a personal pledge not to leave them or us as orphans. Because Jesus lives we live, not as a thought, or plan or worse a borrowed body only used as an avatar. The Jesus we are discussing is 100% human and 100% Devine. He has a will emotions, he suffers he hurts he loves he weeps. His language and conversations are fraught with references to HIS Father (our Father) to the Helper that is to come there is a personhood clearly shown in action and scripture. Then the Son reveals the Holy Spirit is coming from the Father that only those chosen will be able to receive him. The mystery from the beginning revealed God dwelling in man through the Son by the Spirit. Perfect unity, community and harmony that only a triune God could be capable of!

 

John 15:26 ESV “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

 

John 16:7 ESV Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

 

1 John 2:14 ESV I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

 

“Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos). Finding an appropriate English translation for παράκλητος is a very difficult task. No single English word has exactly the same range of meaning as the Greek word. “Comforter,” used by some of the older English versions, appears to be as old as Wycliffe. But today it suggests a quilt or a sympathetic mourner at a funeral. “Counselor” is adequate, but too broad, in contexts like “marriage counselor” or “camp counselor.” “Helper” or “Assistant” could also be used, but could suggest a subordinate rank. “Advocate,” the word chosen for this translation, has more forensic overtones than the Greek word does, although in John 16:5–11 a forensic context is certainly present. Because an “advocate” is someone who “advocates” or supports a position or viewpoint and since this is what the Paraclete will do for the preaching of the disciples, it was selected in spite of the drawbacks.[1]

Here Christ speaks as Mediator, and promises his disciples, that he would intercede for them with the Father; which is designed as an encouragement to them to ask for what they want, in his name, and to comfort their hearts, which were troubled at the news of his departure from them; This is no inconsiderable proof of a trinity of persons in the Godhead; here is the Father prayed unto, the Son in human nature praying, and the Holy Ghost the Comforter prayed for; who is the gift of the Father, through the prevalent mediation of the Son, and is another “Comforter”; distinct from the Messiah, to whom reference is here had! One of the names of the Messiah, with the Jews, is מנחם (u), “a Comforter”; such an one Jesus had been to his disciples; and now he was about to leave them, and for their support under their sorrows, he promises to use his interest with his Father, that he would give them another Comforter, meaning the Spirit, who performs this his work and office, by taking of the things of Christ, and showing them to his people; by shedding abroad the love of the Father, and of the Son, into their hearts; by opening and applying the precious promises of the Gospel to them; by being a spirit of adoption in them; and by abiding with them as the seal, earnest, and pledge of their future glory; and with this view Christ promises to pray for him,

 

that he may abide with you for ever: not a few years only, as I have done, but as long as you live; and with all those that shall succeed you in the work of the ministry, and with the church, and all true believers unto the end of the world: this is a proof of the saints’ final perseverance. When we consider these words, in connection with the preceding exhortation, to keep the commands of Christ, and as an encouragement so to do, it brings to mind a saying of R. Eliezer ben Jacob (w);

 

“he that does one commandment gets for himself פרקליט אחד, ενα παρακλητον, the very word here used, “one advocate”, or “comforter”; and he that transgresses one command, gets for himself one accuser.”

 

But though the word signifies both an advocate and a comforter, the latter seems to be the meaning of it here, as being more suited to the disconsolate condition of the disciples.

 

(u) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 5. 1. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. (w) Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 11.

 

The Scripture says so many things regarding the Holy Spirit and our relationship with Him.

 

John 16:13 ESV  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

 

 

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 ESV Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

 

1 John 2:27 ESV  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie–just as it has taught you, abide in him.

 

1 John 2:28 ESV And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

 

1 John 4:6 ESV We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

 

1 John 5:6 ESV This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

 

We too can claim this promise that Jesus will never leave us as orphans; we are his people, his adopted brothers and sisters, children of the Father. Chosen, justified, being sanctified and soon to be glorified. He came to the Apostles not only for their benefit but ours as well. We experience the same types of emotional upheavals in our lives and Jesus through our comforter reassures us we are not hoping in vain. Our hearts or souls are not to be troubled; Jesus is the founder and perfecter of our faith!

 

Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

 

The promise of peace is given what does that really mean? How are we t0 understand this peace? What does it mean free of worry, no pain, no fear of death, enough money in the bank, a good job, being successful; truly what does it mean to have peace?

 

Let’s start with the meaning of peace in the dictionary then the scripture.

Peace

PEACE, n. [L. pax, paco, to appease.]

 

1. In a general sense, a state of quiet or tranquillity; freedom from disturbance or agitation; applicable to society, to individuals, or to the temper of the mind. 2. Freedom from war with a foreign nation; public quiet. 3. Freedom from internal commotion or civil war. 4. Freedom from private quarrels, suits or disturbance. 5. Freedom from agitation or disturbance by the passions, as from fear, terror, anger, anxiety or the like; quietness of mind; tranquillity; calmness; quiet of conscience.

 

Great peace have they that love the law. Psa 119.

 

6. Heavenly rest; the happiness of heaven. 7. Harmony; concord; a state of reconciliation between parties at variance.

 

8. Public tranquility; that quiet, order and security which is guaranteed by the laws; as, to keep the peace; to break the peace. This word is used in commanding silence or quiet; as, peace to this troubled soul. Peace, the lovers are asleep. To be at peace, to be reconciled; to live in harmony. To make peace, to reconcile, as parties at variance. To hold the peace, to be silent; to suppress one’s thoughts; not to speak.

 

6700

peace

The state of harmony that is available to believers through having a right relationship with God and others and is especially associated with the presence of the Holy Spirit.[2]

6704

peace, divine in NT

God’s ultimate provision of peace is discovered in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is only through Christ that peace with God can be achieved and maintained.[3]

6705

peace, believers’ experience of

Peace is the birthright of every believer in all circumstances. It is found only in God and is maintained through having a close relationship with him.[4]

3215

Holy Spirit, and peace

The Holy Spirit brings a sense of well-being, contentment and wholeness to believers whatever their outward circumstances. Peace is therefore an indication of the Holy Spirit’s presence.[5]

 

 

 

Jesus explained to them why he was about to leave them; he promised them that he would return; he assured them that the Holy Spirit would come to comfort, teach, and guide them. By all these truths and promises he provided for their peace in the time of his approaching departure. But the expression refers also, doubtless. to the peace which is given to all who love the Saviour. They are by nature enmity against God, Rom_8:7. Their minds are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, whose waters east up mire and dirt, Isa_57:20. They were at war with conscience, with the law and perfections of God, and with all the truths of religion. Their state after conversion is described as a state of peace. They are reconciled to God; they acquiesce in all his claims; and they have a joy which the world knows not in the word, the promises, the law, and the perfections of God, in the plan of salvation, and in the hopes of eternal life.

 

The unbeliever cannot have this peace the world offers a distorted view in the perspective that peace is the absence of war, lack of conflict, or self-satisfaction. The scriptures tell us why this kind of thinking is common:

 

Romans 8:6-8 ESV For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

Isaiah 57:20-21 ESV But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

 

Jesus recaps his conversation about going away and returning, he describes the Helper or Holy Spirit who will come only after he goes away. Who cannot come till certain future events take place? The ruler of this world, the enemy, the blasphemer, the father of lies, Satan is coming to carry out what he thought was his ultimate victory but help certain defeat instead. Jesus categorically denies the power claims made by Satan.

 

28. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father, for my Father is greater than I—These words, which Arians and Socinians perpetually quote as triumphant evidence against the proper Divinity of Christ, really yield no intelligible sense on their principles. Were a holy man on his deathbed, beholding his friends in tears at the prospect of losing him, to say, “Ye ought rather to joy than weep for me, and would if ye really loved me, “the speech would be quite natural. But if they should ask him, why joy at his departure was more suitable than sorrow, would they not start back with astonishment, if not horror, were he to reply, “Because my Father is greater than I?” Does not this strange speech from Christ’s lips, then, presuppose such teaching on His part as would make it extremely difficult for them to think He could gain anything by departing to the Father, and make it necessary for Him to say expressly that there was a sense in which He could do so? Thus, this startling explanation seems plainly intended to correct such misapprehensions as might arise from the emphatic and reiterated teaching of His proper equality with the Father—as if so Exalted a Person were incapable of any accession by transition from this dismal scene to a cloudless heaven and the very bosom of the Father—and by assuring them that this was not the case, to make them forget their own sorrow in His approaching joy.[6]

 

 67 tn Or “You have heard that I said to you.”

68 tn Or “you would rejoice.”

69 sn Jesus’ statement the Father is greater than I am has caused much christological and trinitarian debate. Although the Arians appealed to this text to justify their subordinationist Christology, it seems evident that by the fact Jesus compares himself to the Father, his divine nature is taken for granted. There have been two orthodox interpretations: (1) The Son is eternally generated while the Father is not: Origen, Tertullian, Athanasius, Hilary, etc. (2) As man the incarnate Son was less than the Father: Cyril of Alexandria, Ambrose, Augustine. In the context of the Fourth Gospel the second explanation seems more plausible. But why should the disciples have rejoiced? Because Jesus was on the way to the Father who would glorify him (cf. 17:4–5); his departure now signifies that the work the Father has given him is completed (cf. 19:30). Now Jesus will be glorified with that glory that he had with the Father before the world was (cf. 17:5). This should be a cause of rejoicing to the disciples because when Jesus is glorified he will glorify his disciples as well (17:22).[7]

 

Finally from Gill:

 

because, says he,

 

I said, I go unto the Father; who was not only his, but their Father also; at whose right hand he was to sit, an honour which no mere creature ever had; where he was to be glorified and exalted above all created beings; and besides, his glorification would secure and bring on theirs; as sure as he lived in glory, so sure should they; yea, they should immediately sit down in heavenly places in him, as their head and representative, and therefore had good reason to rejoice at his going away: the other is,

 

for my Father is greater than I: not with respect to the divine nature, which is common to them both, and in which they are both one; and the Son is equal to the Father, having the self-same essence, perfections, and glory: nor with respect to personality, the Son is equally a divine person, as the Father is, though the one is usually called the first, the other the second person; yet this priority is not of nature, which is the same in both; nor of time, for the one did not exist before the other; nor of causality, for the Father is not the cause of the Son’s existence; nor of dignity, for the one has not any excellency which is wanting in the other; but of order and manner of operation: these words are to be understood, either with regard to the human nature, in which he was going to the Father, this was prepared for him by the Father, and strengthened and supported by him, and in which he was made a little lower than the angels, and consequently must be in it inferior to his Father; or with regard to his office as Mediator, in which he was the Father’s servant, was set up and sent forth by him, acted under him, and in obedience to him, and was now returning to give an account of his work and service; or rather with regard to his present state, which was a state of humiliation: he was attended with many griefs and sorrows, and exposed to many enemies, and about to undergo an accursed death; whereas his Father was in the most perfect happiness and glory, and so in this sense “greater”. That is, more blessed and glorious than he; for this is not a comparison of natures, or of persons, but of states and conditions: now he was going to the Father to partake of the same happiness and glory with him, to be glorified with himself, with the same glory he had with him before the foundation of the world; wherefore on this account, his disciples ought to have rejoiced, and not have mourned.

 

Jesus ends this final discourse by stressing his love for God the Father demonstrated by obedience to the Father’s “commandment,” namely, that Jesus sacrifice himself on the cross to save humanity (v. 31; cf. 10:18). Jesus will put his words into action by going to Gethsemane for his arrest, arranged by the “ruler of this world” (Satan) in the person of Judas Iscariot (cf. 13:27). By obeying his beloved Father, Jesus models his teaching that the disciples demonstrate their love for him by keeping his commandments to them. In John, Jesus has given only one, the commandment of self-sacrificial love for fellow believers (13:34)—the direct parallel of the commandment Jesus received from the Father.[8]

 

 

 This theme in John 14 carries the message decreed by the Father, accomplished by the Son and applied by the Spirit! Our Triune Godhead in action redeeming those who aren’t worth redeeming!

 


[1] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Jn 14:16.

 

From: John Gill’s Exposition on the Entire Bible.

[2] Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 1999).

[3] Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 1999).

[4] Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 1999).

[5] Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 1999).

[6] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), Jn 14:28.

[7] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Jn 14:28.

[8] The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible, ed. Gordon D. Fee and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011), 596.

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