You heard me say to you, 1 ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad 2 that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am. 3
Ps 47:5-7; Ps 68:18,9; Isa 42:1; Isa 49:5-7; Isa 53:11; Mt 12:18; Lu 24:51-53; Joh 5:18; Joh 10:30,38; Joh 13:16; Joh 14:3,18; Joh 14:12; Joh 16:7; Joh 16:16-22; Joh 16:16; Joh 20:17; Joh 20:21; 1Co 11:3; 1Co 15:24-28; Php 2:6-11; Heb 1:2,3; Heb 2:9-15; Heb 3:1-4; 1Pe 1:8; Re 1:11,17; Re 1:18
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Or “You have heard that I said to you.”
2 tn Or “you would rejoice.”
3 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).