John

14:1-14

The glory of the Messiah, 13:1-20:31

1. The farewell discourses, 13:1-17:26

iv] The way, the truth and the life

Synopsis

John continues his record of the farewell discourse covering chapters 13:1-17:26. Jesus has cleansed the apostolic community, washing their feet and seeing Judas off, and now he focuses on teaching his followers in light of his departure.

 
Teaching

Assurance, rather than sadness, is God's plan for his people.

 
Issues

i] Context: See 13:1-17. Chapter 14 presents as follows:

Jesus is going to the Father, v1-11;

The mission will now be accomplished through Jesus' disciples, v12-14;

The mission is empowered by the Spirit, v15-17;

The disciples will be encouraged by their mutual indwelling in the Godhead, v18-24;

Disciples will be instructed and sustained during the difficult days to come, v25-31.

Jesus concludes with "rise, let us be on our way" - a rather strange comment!

 

All the themes raised in chapter 14 appear in chapter 13, but in reverse order. What we may have here is a chiastic literary structure where the points of an argument are stated and then restated in reverse order.

 

ii] Background: As noted in the introduction, John writes from the perspective of Christ's glorification, from the perspective of his lifting up on the cross, ascension and the outpouring of his Spirit. So, what we have in Christ's farewell discourse, is not only Jesus' words to his disciples, but John's reflection on those words in light of the outpouring of the Spirit and the church's appreciation of their full import. This being the case, it is not possible to separate one from the other, together they are God's word to us.

 

iii] Structure: The passage, The Way the Truth and the Life, presents as follows:

Jesus is leaving to prepare a home for his disciples, v1-4;

Jesus is the way to the Father, v5-7;

Jesus and the Father are one, v8-11;

Jesus mission is the disciples' mission, v12-14.

 

iv] Interpretation:

John now presents Jesus' instructions to the disciples in the form of a question / answer dialogue. First, Jesus calls on his disciples not to be downhearted over his departure, but rather to overcome their fear with faith - they are to be men and women of faith; faith not only in God but in Jesus himself. They have nothing to fear because in going away, Jesus is able to prepare a place for them - a piece of heavenly realestate. And then, as each disciples departs this mortal coil, Jesus will be back for them (cf., ercomai, "I will come back", v3) so that all will be together in his presence.

Jesus goes on to remind the disciples that they should know by now that he is the way to the Father, although Thomas remains unsure about the "where" and the "way". Jesus reminds Thomas that he is like a pathway to God; "I am the way to God, in that I reveal the truth about God, and I give life to those who believe" (cf., "I am the way the truth and the life", v6). The simple fact is, no one comes to God the Father but by Jesus (cf., oudeiV ercetai, "no one comes [to the Father]", v6). If a person has walked that pathway then they are in a relationship with Jesus which brings them into a relationship with God the Father (cf., "if you know me", v7).

For Phillip, seeing is believing, so he asks for a revelation of God the Father, a Moses-like theophany. Yet, the disciples already have their theophany, their divine revelation from God; he stands before them, the one united to the father (cf., "I am in the Father and the Father is in me", v10). In their friendship with Jesus they have already glimpsed the divine. The power of Jesus' words says it all, but if words are not enough for them, they have the miraculous works to fall back on. And when it comes to works, the disciples will be doing even greater works than Jesus did (cf., "he will do even greater things than these", v12). It is only through Jesus being lifted-up, glorified, that this is possible. All that the disciples will need to do is pray according to God's revealed will for the unfolding of His glory.

 

vi] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes

 
Text - 14:1

Assurance, v1-14: i] Jesus is preparing a home for his disciples, v1-4. Judas may be out, but faith gives assurance to those who remain.

mh tarassesqe (tarassw) pres. pas. imp. "do not let [your hearts] be troubled" - let not be troubled [the heart of you]. This negation with the present imperative may express, not a command to stop an action already commenced, but rather a command to not proceed with an action, so "don't allow yourselves to become troubled." The "trouble", "distress", is related to Jesus' statement that he is about to leave his disciples - "I am with you only a little longer." This "distress" shadows every one of us in that we live with the reality of an absent Christ.

hJ kardia (a) "hearts" - the heart. Nominative subject of the verb "to be troubled." The singular is Semitic idiom, expressed with the plural in English.

pisteuete (pisteuw) "trust / believe" - [you] believe [into god] believe [also into god]. The verb here may be either indicative or imperative. This has prompted three possible translations of the two uses of "believe" in this clause:

Indicative / indicative, "you trust in God and you trust in me";

Indicative / imperative, "do you believe in God, then believe also in me", Bultmann;

Imperative / imperative, so NIV. "Believe in God, and believe in me likewise", Cassirer.

The present tense is durative, so possibly, "keep on believing in God, and keep on believing in me", Barclay.

kai "also" - and = also. Adjunctive, as NIV.

eiV "in [God]" - Spacial, expressing movement toward and arrival at, interchangeable with en,"in".

 
v2

The is plenty of room in heaven for those with faith.

en + dat. "in [my Father's house] / [my Father's house]" - in [the house of the father of me]. Local, expressing space. The oikia/, "house, dwelling", is a permanent dwelling rather than an inn or hotel. The reference is to "heaven", certainly not "church", and conveys the idea of hospitality; "in heaven there are many rooms" / "there are many dwellings in heaven."

monai (h) "[many] rooms" - [there are many] places to live, rooms. Nominative subject of the verb to-be. The sense of this word is disputed, eg., some suggest "resting place" for the use of believers on the move in heaven, but "permanent dwelling" is to be preferred; "homes", Berkeley. "There is room enough for everyone", TNT.

ei mh .... a]n "if it were not so, [I would have told you]" - [but and] if not [would I have told you]. Introducing a conditional clause, 2nd class / contrary to fact, where the proposed condition is not true, as NIV; "if, as is not the case, ...... then....."

oJti "-" - that [i go]. Not found in some texts, but if accepted it may produce a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus has told them, "if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" NRSV. Possibly causal, "because", although the sense is illusive; "were it not so I would have told you, because it is to prepare a place for you that I am going there", Cassirer. The trouble is, we have no earlier reference of Jesus saying this to his disciples, so the conjunction probably introduces the content of what Jesus is now going to explain to them; "I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going to prepare a place for each of you", CEV.

etoimasai (etoimazw) aor. inf. "to prepare" - The infinitive probably expresses purpose, "I am going in order to prepare a place for you." Carson notes that the preparation referred to is not the ordering of heaven to receive believers, but rather that it is "the cross and resurrection that prepares the place for Jesus' disciples."

uJmin dat. pro. "for you" - [a place] to you. Dative of interest, advantage, "for you."

 
v3

The language here is purposely illusive; "If I go"! Is there an "if" about Jesus' going? Go where? Come back when? Come back how? Go together where? Such evasion draws the reader into the discourse in order to find the answer.

ean + subj. "if [I go and prepare]" - [but/and] if [i go and prepare a place]. Introducing a conditional clause, 3rd class, where the proposed condition in the "if" clause has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, .... then ....." Here obviously a probability, so much so that Brown proposes "when I go and prepare", cf. BAGD 210.

uJmin dat. pro. "for you" - to you. Dative of interest, advantage, "for you / for your benefit."

ercomai pres. "I will come back" - i am coming [again]. The present tense is futuristic, expressing confidence in a future event, cf., BDF 323.. The return of Jesus is variously interpreted: a) the resurrection; b) the coming of the Spirit; c) the coming of Jesus to believers at their death; d) the parousia / the second coming of Jesus. Other than (c), all are referred to in these final discourses, with the weight resting on the parousia. Although the parousia is most likely technically correct, for a believer the parousia is the moment of their death, ie., (c). Like the thief on the cross, our death is the shmeron, the "today" when we will be with Jesus in paradise, cf., Lk.23:43.

proV + acc. "[I will take you] to be with [me]" - [and i will take you] toward [myself]. Expressing movement toward, here probably purpose, possibly association, "take you along with me." Possibly; "take you along with me to my home", Humphries = "my Father's home" = heaven.

iJna + subj. "that [you also may be where I am]" - that [where i am and = also you may be]. Possibly introducing a purpose clause, "in order that", so Morris, even epexegetic (explanatory), what Jesus means by "I will receive you to myself", so Barrett, but more likely a consecutive clause expressing result, "with the result that"; "I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together", CEV.

 
v4

Again the language is purposely illusive. The reader is unclear on the destination; is it the cross, or heaven? The reader is unclear on the pathway; is it the cross, or Christ's obedience to the Father, or his glorification, or simply Jesus himself? The reader is purposely left wondering. Note the longer variant: "You know the place where I am going, and you know the way", read in P66. The variant certainly expresses the intended sense of "you know the way where I go." The variant is probably not original, but is a nice example of early commentary.

oidate (oida) perf. "you know" - [and where i go] you have known [the way]. A stative verb read as present tense. "As for my destination, you know the way", Rieu.

 
v5

ii] Jesus is the way to the Father, v5-7. Thomas, "the one called the twin" (I had a friend who was nicknamed "brother" by his siblings, a nickname later used up by all his friends, so "twin" is not so strange), often displayed in John's gospel as someone with an inquisitive mind (so "doubting Thomas" is somewhat harsh. So also Barrett's description of him being "dull"), is unsure about "the place" where Jesus is going, and so obviously is unsure about the way there. He speaks for all those who read this gospel.

autw/ dat. pro. "[said] to him" - [thomas says] to him. Dative of indirect object.

pou "where" - [lord, we do not know] where [you go]. Interrogative adverb of place.

pwV "how" - so how. Interrogative particle.

eidenai (oida) perf. inf. "[can] we know" - [are we able] to know. Again the stative verb is read as a present tense. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "we are able."

thn oJdon (oV) "the way" - Accusative direct object of the verb "to be able." Thomas is unsure about the place where Jesus is going, and so consequently he is unsure about the pathway to get there; "The way to get there", TEV.

 
v6

Finally the "where" is specified; Jesus is going to where the Father is, ie., heaven. This also applies for the disciple; "I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." As for "the way", the pathway is dia, "through / by means of me"; Jesus is the way.

autw/ dat. "[Jesus] answered" - [jesus said] to him. Dative of indirect object.

egw eimi "I am [the way]" - Always a cue to a possible self declaration to Jesus' person; he is God's great I AM. Jesus seems to be saying he is a pathway to heaven; "I am like a roadway into God's presence." So, in answering Thomas' question, Jesus states that he himself is the means of getting to this hospitable place / heaven / God.

kai "and [the truth] and [the life]" - Serving here as a coordinative, "and", or an epexegetic, "that is". The claim that Jesus is "the pathway / like a pathway" is the key statement (repeated in v4, 5 and 6), with truth and life subordinate statements. This is not easily expressed in Greek, but it is likely that the coordinate clause here translates a Semitic structure where the first noun governs the next two; "I am the way of truth and life", Carson. It is possible that kai serves to identify this fact, functioning epexegetically (see also Barrett, Lindars), setting up an explanation of the two elements that enable the pathway to function as a means of reaching God. Jesus possess divine truth/revelation, the gospel, a saving message, and he possesses life, resurrection life, through his life-giving sacrifice. So, "I am the way to God/Father, in that I reveal the truth about God, and in that I give life to those who believe"; "I am the true and living way", Moffatt. Taking "the way" as the primary predicate noun is supported by many European commentators, but many English/American commentators still follow the traditional line where "the way is directed toward a goal that is the truth and/or the life", Brown, even a constriction to something like "the true way of life", Kostenberger, or even just treating the three words as coequal: "I am the way, and I am the truth, and I am the life." See Brown for a summary of positions.

oudeiV ercetai (ercomai) pres. "no one comes [to the Father]" - [no one] is coming [toward the father]. The present tense is most likely gnomic, expressing a universal truth; "no one ever comes to the Father except through me." The exclusivity expressed here by Jesus probably applies to both his truth and his life. The truth that Jesus conveys does not deny either natural revelation, or the revelation of God's will, given up to this point in time, to the people of Israel. The point is that Jesus is the final and complete revelation of the divine will. If we reject this revelation and rely on either a natural understanding of the divine, or an Old Testament understanding of the divine, then we will fail to access Christ's saving truth. Also, the life that Jesus conveys rests on a perfect and acceptable sacrifice to God. If we rely on some other sacrifice (life-giving means, eg. transcendental meditation, etc.) then we will fail to access Christ's life-giving sacrifice.

ei mh "except" - except. Expressing a contrast by designating an exception: "the only way for anyone to come to the Father is through me", Barclay.

dia + gen. "through [me]" - through, by means of [me]. Instrumental, expressing agency; "except by means of me", Moffatt.

 
v7

Since the disciples have come to know Jesus, they know the Father as well.

ei + ind. "if" - if, as is the case, [you have come to know me then you will know the father of me also.]. Variant readings produce either a 1st. class condition (eg. P66), or 2nd. class condition, contrary-to-fact (ei + past tense indicative of "know" in the protasis and an + ind. in the apodosis) - NIV opts for 2nd class; "If you really knew me (which sadly, you don't), you would know my Father as well." Yet, it makes more sense to go with a 1st. class condition where the condition is assumed to be true; "If you know me you will know my Father too", NEB, foot-note, cf. Metzger.

apo arti "from now on" - from now. Temporal construction; "from henceforth." Probably referring to Jesus' exaltation / his lifting up on the cross, even possibly his coming again at Pentecost, rather than just this moment in the upper room. Still, the immediacy of the experience needs to be underlined for the reader; "from this time onwards, you do know him and indeed have seen him", Cassirer.

ginwskete (ginwskw) pres. ind. (possibly imp. so Knox). "you do know [him]" - you know [him and have seen him]. The verse is a touch too concise so probably best filled out: "since you know me, from now on you are going to know the Father", possibly inceptive, "beginning to know him", Harris. "Knowing" and "seeing" God are qualities of religious experience beyond the usual, a "revolution in both religious experience and theological understanding" says Morris.

 
v8

iii] Jesus and the Father are one, v8-11. Phillip's question enables a more precise explanation of the relationship between Jesus and God the Father and how that applies to a believer / disciple.

deixon (deicnumi) aor. imp. "show" - [philip says to him, lord], show, reveal. It does seem that Phillip has misunderstood the nature of Jesus' promised revelation of the Father and asks to see the Father with his own eyes. He has certainly yet to realize that "it is God the only Son, who is close to the father's heart, who has made him known", 1:18. None-the-less, Phillip does express "the universal longing of the religious man", Barrett. "let us see the Father", Cassirer.

hJmin dat. pro. "to us [the Father]" - Dative of indirect object.

arkei (arkew) pres. "that will be enough" - [and] it is enough, sufficient. "We ask no more", REB.

hJmin dat. "for us" - to us. Dative of interest, advantage, "for us."

 
v9

To know the Father's agent, his great I AM, is to know God the Father.

ouk egnokaV (ginwskw) perf. "don't you know me" - [jesus says to him, so long a time i am with you and] you have not known [me philip]? Again "know" here is stronger than just "recognize / perceive", so it's a bit weak to say "have you still not realized who I am?" Barclay.

tasoutw/ gronw/ dat. "even after ...... such a long time" - so long a time. Dative of time. Of course, the dative is used for a point in time and here duration is obviously intended. A variant accusative exists, being correct grammar, but as the easier reading it is not widely accepted.

meq (meta) + gen. "with" - Expressing accompaniment / association.

uJmwn gen. pl. pro. "you" - The "you" is plural, so Jesus is saying "I have been with all of you for these three years and yet you (Phillip) don't yet realize who I am?"

oJ eJwrakwV (oJraw) perf. part. "anyone who has seen [me]" - the one having seen [me has seen the father]. The participle serves as a substantive. Usually translated as an indefinite relative clause, so NIV; "whoever has seen me", Williams. The clause is conditional, although an "if anyone has seen me" always expresses uncertainty in English, so "to have seen me is to have seen the Father", Barclay.

pwV "how [can you say]?" - how [do you say show us the father]? Interrogative particle, here expressing surprise.

 
v10

Jesus reminds Philip of the mutual indwelling that exists between the Father and the Son, a reality that is only perceived through faith.

ou pisteueiV (pisteuw) pres. "don't you believe" - do you not believe. The negation ou in a question expects a positive answer. Given Jesus' instruction to his disciples over the last few years, they would surely understand Jesus' relationship to the Father, but of course, they don't fully understand. Note the interesting shift from "know/perceive" to "believe". It is likely that both words are close in their meaning. "Know" is certainly stronger than just "recognize", while "believe" involves resting on what is recognized. More can be said, see "believe" v11. "You are convinced, are you not, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?"

oJti "that" - Here introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what they (Phillip +) should believe.

en + dat. "[I am] in [the Father and the Father is] in [me]" - Local, sphere, expressing incorporative union. Phillip would surely, by now, rest on the knowledge that "the words and deeds of Jesus are like a revelation from God", Morris. He should believe this much at least, but of course, Jesus is taking the relationship of the Father to the Son a step further. The preposition "in", supported by "living in me" (Gk. "abiding in me") implies something stronger than Jesus functioning as the divine agent of revelation, which of course, he is. What we have here is "unique sonship language", Carson. Certainly not an absorption of the divine, a mystical union, but rather a metaphysical union. "The reality is greater than human language can express, but that to which it points is sufficiently clear: in the depths of the being of God there exists a koinonia, a "fellowship", between the Father and the Son that is beyond all compare, a unity whereby the speech and action of the Son are that of the Father in him", Beasley-Murray.

ap (apo) + gen. "[not just my own]" - [the words which i speak to you] from [myself I do not speak]. Expressing source / origin, leaning toward agency. Although John describes the relationship of Jesus with the Father in terms of "a reciprocal formula of immanence", Schnackenburg, the union is expressed as if it is not fully reciprocal, ie., the words (the truth, the divine revelation) that Jesus communicates are the Father words, not visa-versa (see below).

de "rather" - but/and. Transitional, introducing a complementary truth. The words of Jesus are the Father words, "and in the same way", the works of Jesus are the Father's works.

menwn (menw) pres. part. "living in me" - [the father] abiding, remaining, continuing [in me]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "Father"; "the Father who abides in me, ..." Possibly in the sense "the Father who is permanently (constantly) in me", Bauer. Although usually translated this way, Both Harris and Novakovic argue that being anarthrous (without an article) it is probably adverbial, although the sense is not overly clear, possibly causal, "the Father does his works because he dwells in me", or instrumental, "the Father does his works by dwelling in me."

autou gen. pro. "[is doing] his [work]" - [does the works] of him. Variant nominative, either autoV poiei ta erga, or poiei ta erga autoV producing "he does the works", or he "does the works himself." It is an interesting idea that Jesus' works (as with his words) are actually the Father's works. One is tempted to say that Jesus does the works on behalf of the Father, but this could have easily been expressed in the Gk., but wasn't, and in any case, moves us back to the envoy model. Maybe it is just a matter of attribution, of deference within the Godhead, given that the Son always glorifies the Father, and Father always glorifies the Son.

ta erga "the works" - Accusative direct object of the verb "to do." In John's gospel the word is used for "the signs" (miracles) - powerful revelatory signs. "They proceed from the Father and reveal what the Father is like", Morris. See below.

 
v11

The disciples do "believe" in Jesus, in the sense of having put their faith in him (not the sense of "believe" here) and they do "believe / know / acknowledge" (intellectual assent) Jesus' teachings, including his special relationship with the Father, but their faith and knowledge is limited. The disciples are not fully aware of the unique nature of the relationship between the Father and the Son such that they do not understand that having known Jesus, they now know the Father. If the disciples can't get their head around the words that define the unique relationship that exists between the Father and the Son, then at the very least they can draw something of this truth by thoughtfully considering the significance of Jesus' signs (miracles), signs which themselves reveal this unique relationship.

pisteuete pres. imp. "believe" - "Believe" is used here in the sense of "be convinced" - "accept the full significance of this truth, namely that, ....", cf. Barrett. Not, "believe in me when I say", not even "believe my word", Torrey, but "believe that what I have just said (summarized in the next clause ["I am in the Father and the Father is in me"] is true", Carson.

moi dat. pro. "me" - in me. Dative of direct object, possibly reference, "believe, with reference to me, when I say ...", so "believe me", although not read in P66. The sentence makes better sense without the pronoun, although this would be a good reason for a copyist to drop it.

oJti "when I say that" - that [i in the father and the father in me]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception, expressing what they should believe.

en + dat. "[I am] in [the Father]" - See en above.

ei de mh "or at least" - but if not = otherwise. This adversative construction introduces a counterpoint, but in form it introduces an elliptical 1st. class conditional clause where the proposed condition is assumed to be true; "believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, but if, as is the case, you are not able to believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, then believe the evidence of the works themselves."

pisteuete "believe" - "Be convinced", as above. Variant "me" exists, as with the first use of "believe" in this verse - an example of assimilation, so Metzger.

dia + acc. "on the evidence of" - because of, on account of [the works themselves]. Causal.

 
v12

iv] Jesus' mission is the disciples' mission, v12-14. Given that the indwelling of the Father in the Son applies to the disciple as well, so also the works of the Son apply to the disciples, and "even greater works than these."

amhn amhn lew uJmin "I tell you the truth" - truly truly i say to you. An introductory formula to a saying of Jesus which makes a significant point; "I am telling you a solemn truth." Cf., 5:24.

oJ pisteuwn pres. part. "anyone who has faith [in me]" - the one having faith [into me]. The participle serves as a substantive. Here "belief/faith" "in/into" the person of Jesus (expressing "personal commitment", Morris), as indicated by the presence of the preposition eiV "to/into". Rendered as an indefinite relative clause which may be expressed in English as a conditional sentence, "If anyone believes in me he will ....", Barclay.

kakeinoV pro. "-" - [the works which i do] that one also [will do]. Adjunctive adverb. According to Westcott it fixes attention upon the one who is to do the works that Jesus does, so Westcott.

ta erga "what" - the works. Accusative direct object of the verb "to do." For Jesus, these were the sign-miracles, "acts in which the power and character of God are made known", Barrett. Yet, more specifically, they are God's works, v10, such that as Jesus does the works of God, so also will Jesus' disciples now do God's works. So, not necessarily "the same works as I do myself", Cassirer, but more generally, "will do the works that I do", NAB, ie., God's works.

toutwn gen. pro. "[he will do even greater things] than these]" - [even greater] of these [will he do]. The genitive is ablative, of comparison; "greater than these." The object is unstated, so presumably "greater works" than Jesus' works, but note the softening in NIV, REB etc. The sense of these words is open to some dispute. Certainly "more extensive", Lindars (Jesus worked in Palestine, his disciples work throughout the world). Not "greater" in the sense of greater miracles than Jesus performed, more spectacular, or more supernatural (raising the dead is hard to beat!!!). Traditionally, "greater works than these" is understood to refer to conversions, "greater works mean more conversions", Ryle. Morris takes this line, so Westcott, Barrett. Schnackenburg argues that "missionary success" is a reasonable understanding, but observes that there is more to "the increasing flow of God's power into man's world" from Christ's going to be with the Father (and the consequent sending of the Spirit). Carson agrees, for when Jesus performed the Father's works their meaning was illusive and the results minimal, whereas the disciples, living in "an age of clarity and power introduced by Jesus' sacrifice and exaltation", perform the Father's works in the unrestrained power of the Spirit, eg., the conversion of 3,000 souls on the day of Pentecost is a classic new-age consequence. Brown agrees, making a particularly important observation: the "works" which the disciples will undertake are those which are promised them, particularly the "giving of life (through the offering of divine forgiveness) and judging" through gospel ministry (the Father's works for disciples). So, the performance of messianic signs (the Father's works for Christ), in fulfillment of prophecy, for the people of Israel, is not really an integral part of the disciples' mission agenda, particularly as the gospel has now moved from Israel to the Gentile world. The "works" will necessarily be contextual.

oJti "because" - because. Here causal, as NIV. Presumably, it is because Jesus goes to the Father that he is able to, with the Father, send the Spirit to empower "the greater works than these."

poreuomai pres. "I am going" - i am going [toward the father]. The present tense is futuristic, expressing certainty in a future event.

 
v13

Non-specific generalizations are always contextual; here for example, the request is made under Christ's authority, in accord with his character, and to his glorification. It is not a request made on our own authority and to our own glory. A believer is free to ask anything of their heavenly Father, in Christ's name, but the results are always dependent on the divine will, the drift of which is revealed in the scriptures.

On a lighter note, I have found no scriptural warrant indicating that parking spots in a busy supermarket are included in the "whatever you ask" - but there is no harm asking! Jesus does have a sense of humor, and sometimes it plays out in the most unexpected ways. Although, when it plays out, I sometimes wonder if it may be that other bloke who has the whole world in his hands, Matt.4:8-9. He is in the game as well! And there is something infernal about a supermarket car-park.

poihsw fut. "I will do" - [and whatever you ask in the name of me this] will i do. "I shall bring it about", Barclay.

o{ ti a]n + subj. "whatever" - This construction is non-specific, expressing a generalization in the form of an indefinite relative clause. Such generalizations do not negate the more specific statements of scripture. Prayer requests do have a defined limit, namely, "according to his will", 1Jn.5:14. So, "whatever" amounts to requests made "under the authority of Jesus" ("in my name"), ie., based on a promise, or command of Jesus.

aithshte (aitew) aor. subj. "you ask" - P75 reads a present tense giving a durative sense. Presumably it is "ask the Father in my name", although this is not stated.

en + dat. "in [my name]" - Instrumental, expressing means, "by means of." In a general sense "the name" represents the person, so the request is made in accord with the person of Jesus, or as Augustine put it, "in accord with Christ's character." The phrase "in the name", when used for these "works", seems very likely to express "under the authority of", even "under the authoritative power of", cf., 10:25, 14:26, 17:11, 20:31, and this sense would surely apply here. So then, Jesus is offering his support in the performance of those works that the Father has commissioned Jesus' disciples to perform. "Whatever you ask as my agent, representative / with my authority, I will act on it."

iJna + subj. "so that" - that [the father]. Probably introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that", but a consecutive clause expressing result, "with the result that", may be intended. Again, the request must obviously be according to the will of the Father since the answer to the prayer, as to its purpose, is the glory of the Father.

doxasqh/ (doxazw) aor. pas. sub. "may bring glory / may be glorified" - may be glorified. "So that people may see how wonderful the Father is", TH.

en + dat. "the Son [my bring glory] to [the Son / in [the Son]" - in [the son]. Possibly instrumental, expressing means / agency, as NIV (following Phillips!!), "so that the Father may be glorified by the Son"; "through the Son", Williams. None-the-less, the majority of translators opt for a local sense, "in the Son", as NIV11, "in the person of the Son", Harris.

 
v14

This verse is omitted in some texts. That it is repetitious, and grammatically awkward may indicate that it is a later addition. None-the-less it is widely accepted, but with a doubtful me, "me". With "me", the verse moves from the mediatorial role of Jesus, to a more direct role for him - asking Jesus, rather than asking the Father through Jesus. Yet, how do we ask Jesus for something in his name? "I will do whatever you ask me to do within the limits of the authority I have given you (ie., "in my name")", CEV.

ean + subj. "-" - if [you ask]. Introducing a conditional sentence, 3rd class, where the proposed condition stated in the "if" clause has the possibility of coming true; "if, as my be the case, .... then ....."

ti "anything" - anything [in the name of me]. An indefinite anything, something. As noted above, the "ask anything" offer does come with conditions, it's just that the fine print is not always added. Here, of course, "in my name" sets limits on our requests, because the request must fall within the bounds of the authority consigned to us.

poihsw (poiew) fut. "I will do it" - Note, Jesus states that he will answer the prayer; he will deal with it personally. Note also it is sometimes "will give", cf., 16:23, rather than "will do", but obviously there is no difference between the two. "I shall bring it about", Cassirer, is probably too strong; better "I will act on it."

 

John Introduction

Exposition

TekniaGreek font download

 

[Pumpkin Cottage]
lectionarystudies.com