14:1 “Do not let your hearts be distressed. 1 You believe in God; 2 believe also in me. 14:2 There are many dwelling places 3 in my Father’s house. 4 Otherwise, I would have told you, because 5 I am going away to make ready 6 a place for you. 7 14:3 And if I go and make ready 8 a place for you, I will come again and take you 9 to be with me, 10 so that where I am you may be too. 14:4 And you know the way where I am going.” 11
14:5 Thomas said, 12 “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 14:6 Jesus replied, 13 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. 14 No one comes to the Father except through me. 14:7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too. 15 And from now on you do know him and have seen him.”
14:8 Philip said, 16 “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” 17 14:9 Jesus replied, 18 “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known 19 me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? 20 The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, 21 but the Father residing in me performs 22 his miraculous deeds. 23 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, 24 believe because of the miraculous deeds 25 themselves. 14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, 26 the person who believes in me will perform 27 the miraculous deeds 28 that I am doing, 29 and will perform 30 greater deeds 31 than these, because I am going to the Father. 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, 32 so that the Father may be glorified 33 in the Son. 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
1 sn The same verb is used to describe Jesus’ own state in John 11:33, 12:27, and 13:21. Jesus is looking ahead to the events of the evening and the next day, his arrest, trials, crucifixion, and death, which will cause his disciples extreme emotional distress.
2 tn Or “Believe in God.” The translation of the two uses of πιστεύετε (pisteuete) is difficult. Both may be either indicative or imperative, and as L. Morris points out (John [NICNT], 637), this results in a bewildering variety of possibilities. To complicate matters further, the first may be understood as a question: “Do you believe in God? Believe also in me.” Morris argues against the KJV translation which renders the first πιστεύετε as indicative and the second as imperative on the grounds that for the writer of the Fourth Gospel, faith in Jesus is inseparable from faith in God. But this is precisely the point that Jesus is addressing in context. He is about to undergo rejection by his own people as their Messiah. The disciples’ faith in him as Messiah and Lord would be cast into extreme doubt by these events, which the author makes clear were not at this time foreseen by the disciples. After the resurrection it is this identification between Jesus and the Father which needs to be reaffirmed (cf. John 20:24-29). Thus it seems best to take the first πιστεύετε as indicative and the second as imperative, producing the translation “You believe in God; believe also in me.”
3 tn Many interpreters have associated μοναί (monai) with an Aramaic word that can refer to a stopping place or resting place for a traveler on a journey. This is similar to one of the meanings the word can have in secular Greek (Pausanius 10.31.7). Origen understood the use here to refer to stations on the road to God. This may well have been the understanding of the Latin translators who translated μονή (monh) by mansio, a stopping place. The English translation “mansions” can be traced back to Tyndale, but in Middle English the word simply meant “a dwelling place” (not necessarily large or imposing) with no connotation of being temporary. The interpretation put forward by Origen would have been well suited to Gnosticism, where the soul in its ascent passes through stages during which it is gradually purified of all that is material and therefore evil. It is much more likely that the word μονή should be related to its cognate verb μένω (menw), which is frequently used in the Fourth Gospel to refer to the permanence of relationship between Jesus and the Father and/or Jesus and the believer. Thus the idea of a permanent dwelling place, rather than a temporary stopping place, would be in view. Luther’s translation of μοναί by Wohnungen is very accurate here, as it has the connotation of a permanent residence.
4 sn Most interpreters have understood the reference to my Father’s house as a reference to heaven, and the dwelling places (μονή, monh) as the permanent residences of believers there. This seems consistent with the vocabulary and the context, where in v. 3 Jesus speaks of coming again to take the disciples to himself. However, the phrase in my Father’s house was used previously in the Fourth Gospel in 2:16 to refer to the temple in Jerusalem. The author in 2:19-22 then reinterpreted the temple as Jesus’ body, which was to be destroyed in death and then rebuilt in resurrection after three days. Even more suggestive is the statement by Jesus in 8:35, “Now the slave does not remain (μένω, menw) in the household forever, but the son remains (μένω) forever.” If in the imagery of the Fourth Gospel the phrase in my Father’s house is ultimately a reference to Jesus’ body, the relationship of μονή to μένω suggests the permanent relationship of the believer to Jesus and the Father as an adopted son who remains in the household forever. In this case the “dwelling place” is “in” Jesus himself, where he is, whether in heaven or on earth. The statement in v. 3, “I will come again and receive you to myself,” then refers not just to the parousia, but also to Jesus’ postresurrection return to the disciples in his glorified state, when by virtue of his death on their behalf they may enter into union with him and with the Father as adopted sons. Needless to say, this bears numerous similarities to Pauline theology, especially the concepts of adoption as sons and being “in Christ” which are prominent in passages like Eph 1. It is also important to note, however, the emphasis in the Fourth Gospel itself on the present reality of eternal life (John 5:24, 7:38-39, etc.) and the possibility of worshiping the Father “in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24) in the present age. There is a sense in which it is possible to say that the future reality is present now. See further J. McCaffrey, The House With Many Rooms (AnBib 114).
5 tc A number of important
tn If the ὅτι (Joti) is included (see tc above), there are no less than four possible translations for this sentence: The sentence could be either a question or a statement, and in addition the ὅτι could either indicate content or be causal. How does one determine the best translation? (1) A question here should probably be ruled out because it would imply a previous statement by Jesus that either there are many dwelling places in his Father’s house (if the ὅτι is causal) or he was going off to make a place ready for them (if the ὅτι indicates content). There is no indication anywhere in the Fourth Gospel that Jesus had made such statements prior to this time. So understanding the sentence as a statement is the best option. (2) A statement with ὅτι indicating content is understandable but contradictory. If there were no dwelling places, Jesus would have told them that he was going off to make dwelling places. But the following verse makes clear that Jesus’ departure is not hypothetical but real – he is really going away. So understanding the ὅτι with a causal nuance is the best option. (3) A statement with a causal ὅτι can be understood two ways: (a) “Otherwise I would have told you” is a parenthetical statement, and the ὅτι clause goes with the preceding “There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house.” This would be fairly awkward syntactically, however; it would be much more natural for the ὅτι clause to modify what directly preceded it. (b) “Otherwise I would have told you” is explained by Jesus’ statement that he is going to make ready a place. He makes a logical, necessary connection between his future departure and the reality of the dwelling places in his Father’s house. To sum up, all the possibilities for understanding the verse with the inclusion of ὅτι present some interpretive difficulties, but last option given seems best: “Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going to make ready a place.” Of all the options it provides the best logical flow of thought in the passage without making any apparent contradictions in the context.
6 tn Or “to prepare.”
7 tn Or “If not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” What is the meaning of the last clause with or without the ὅτι? One of the questions that must be answered here is whether or not τόπος (topos) is to be equated with μονή (monh). In Rev 12:8 τόπος is used to refer to a place in heaven, which would suggest that the two are essentially equal here. Jesus is going ahead of believers to prepare a place for them, a permanent dwelling place in the Father’s house (see the note on this phrase in v. 2).
8 tn Or “prepare.”
9 tn Or “bring you.”
10 tn Grk “to myself.”
11 tc Most
sn Where I am going. Jesus had spoken of his destination previously to the disciples, most recently in John 13:33. Where he was going was back to the Father, and they could not follow him there, but later he would return for them and they could join him then. The way he was going was via the cross. This he had also mentioned previously (e.g., 12:32) although his disciples did not understand at the time (cf. 12:33). As Jesus would explain in v. 6, although for him the way back to the Father was via the cross, for his disciples the “way” to where he was going was Jesus himself.
12 tn Grk “said to him.”
13 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”
14 tn Or “I am the way, even the truth and the life.”
15 tc There is a difficult textual problem here: The statement reads either “If you have known (ἐγνώκατε, egnwkate) me, you will know (γνώσεσθε, gnwsesqe) my Father” or “If you had really known (ἐγνώκειτε, egnwkeite) me, you would have known (ἐγνώκειτε ἄν or ἂν ἤδειτε [egnwkeite an or an hdeite]) my Father.” The division of the external evidence is difficult, but can be laid out as follows: The
16 tn Grk “said to him.”
17 tn Or “and that is enough for us.”
18 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”
19 tn Or “recognized.”
20 tn The mutual interrelationship of the Father and the Son (ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί ἐστιν, egw en tw patri kai Jo pathr en emoi estin) is something that Jesus expected even his opponents to recognize (cf. John 10:38). The question Jesus asks of Philip (οὐ πιστεύεις, ou pisteuei") expects the answer “yes.” Note that the following statement is addressed to all the disciples, however, because the plural pronoun (ὑμῖν, Jumin) is used. Jesus says that his teaching (the words he spoke to them all) did not originate from himself, but the Father, who permanently remains (μένων, menwn) in relationship with Jesus, performs his works. One would have expected “speaks his words” here rather than “performs his works”; many of the church fathers (e.g., Augustine and Chrysostom) identified the two by saying that Jesus’ words were works. But there is an implicit contrast in the next verse between words and works, and v. 12 seems to demand that the works are real works, not just words. It is probably best to see the two terms as related but not identical; there is a progression in the idea here. Both Jesus’ words (recall the Samaritans’ response in John 4:42) and Jesus’ works are revelatory of who he is, but as the next verse indicates, works have greater confirmatory power than words.
21 tn Grk “I do not speak from myself.”
22 tn Or “does.”
23 tn Or “his mighty acts”; Grk “his works.”
sn Miraculous deeds is most likely a reference to the miraculous signs Jesus had performed, which he viewed as a manifestation of the mighty acts of God. Those he performed in the presence of the disciples served as a basis for faith (although a secondary basis to their personal relationship to him; see the following verse).
24 tn The phrase “but if you do not believe me” contains an ellipsis; the Greek text reads Grk “but if not.” The ellipsis has been filled out (“but if [you do] not [believe me]…”) for the benefit of the modern English reader.
25 tn Grk “because of the works.”
sn In the context of a proof or basis for belief, Jesus is referring to the miraculous deeds (signs) he has performed in the presence of the disciples.
26 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
27 tn Or “will do.”
28 tn Grk “the works.”
29 tn Or “that I do.”
sn See the note on miraculous deeds in v. 11.
30 tn Or “will do.”
31 tn Grk “greater works.”
sn What are the greater deeds that Jesus speaks of, and how is this related to his going to the Father? It is clear from both John 7:39 and 16:7 that the Holy Spirit will not come until Jesus has departed. After Pentecost and the coming of the Spirit to indwell believers in a permanent relationship, believers would be empowered to perform even greater deeds than those Jesus did during his earthly ministry. When the early chapters of Acts are examined, it is clear that, from a numerical standpoint, the deeds of Peter and the other Apostles surpassed those of Jesus in a single day (the day of Pentecost). On that day more were added to the church than had become followers of Jesus during the entire three years of his earthly ministry. And the message went forth not just in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, but to the farthest parts of the known world. This understanding of what Jesus meant by “greater deeds” is more probable than a reference to “more spectacular miracles.” Certainly miraculous deeds were performed by the apostles as recounted in Acts, but these do not appear to have surpassed the works of Jesus himself in either degree or number.
32 tn Grk “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do it.”
33 tn Or “may be praised” or “may be honored.”