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John 14:9-14

Context
14:9 Jesus replied, 1  “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known 2  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? 3  The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, 4  but the Father residing in me performs 5  his miraculous deeds. 6  14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, 7  believe because of the miraculous deeds 8  themselves. 14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, 9  the person who believes in me will perform 10  the miraculous deeds 11  that I am doing, 12  and will perform 13  greater deeds 14  than these, because I am going to the Father. 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, 15  so that the Father may be glorified 16  in the Son. 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

1 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”

2 tn Or “recognized.”

3 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.

4 tn Grk “I do not speak from myself.”

5 tn Or “does.”

6 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).

7 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.

8 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.

9 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

10 tn Or “will do.”

11 tn Grk “the works.”

12 tn Or “that I do.”

sn See the note on miraculous deeds in v. 11.

13 tn Or “will do.”

14 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.

15 tn Grk “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do it.”

16 tn Or “may be praised” or “may be honored.”



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