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The Results Of Love And Obedience

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JOHN 14:22-31


1.        The New Dawning

The groundwork is being laid for the “oneness” between Jesus and his disciples that mirrors the oneness between Jesus and his heavenly Father.

a.        The Resurrection

The reference point in their development: “at that day you shall know that…” [14:20].

§        ἐν - “at” [14:20], ‘withinness’;

§        ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ - “that day” [14:20],

b.        The New Light

The revelation of that day: “you shall know that…” [14:20].

§        γνώσεσθε - “know” [14:20], future middle indicative, ‘to know by experience or personal relationship’;

2.        The Triple Union

There is a triple union in God’s way of salvation:

a.        Mutual Indwelling – Father & Son

There is the union of the Father and the Son: “that I am in the Father…” [14:20].

§        ἐγὼ - “I” [14:20], that is, Jesus;

§        ἐν τῷ πατρί μου – “in my Father” [14:20],

§        This was the fundamental teaching with regard to saving faith: “I am in the Father…” [14:7-11].

b.        Mutual Indwelling – Jesus & Disciples

There is the union of the disciples and Jesus: “you in me, and I in you” [14:20].

§        ὑμεῖς - “you” [14:20], that is, the disciples;

§        ἐν ἐμοὶ - “you in me” [14:20],

§        κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν - “I in you” [14:20],



It is assumed that as the Messiah Jesus would naturally have revealed himself publicly. What has happened to change this? That is the background to Judas’ question: “Lord, how is it that…” [14:22]. The power of receiving the revelation of Jesus rests on two interrelated actions:

1.        Discipleship & Faith

The emphasis so far has been on encouraging the disciples to believe: “believe in God…” [14:1].

§         Need for constant faith: “believe me that I am in the Father…” [14:11].

a.        Ongoing Faith

The ongoing emphasis on faith: “he that believes on me…” [14:12].

§        πιστεύων - “believes” [14:12], present active participle, ‘knowledge, conviction and trust’;

2.        Discipleship & Love

a.        The Disciples’ Love

The first characteristic of discipleship: “he that loves me…” [14:21].

§         ἀγαπῶν - “loves” [14:21], present active participle, ‘devotion and delight based on regarded value’; ‘a spontaneous feeling which impels to self-giving or to the seizure of the object which awakens the feeling, or to the performance of the action in which pleasure is taken’.

§         The articular participle draws attention to the constant exercise of “love” which make love characteristic of discipleship.

§         με - “me” [14:21], ‘personal devotion to the Lord Jesus’;

b.        The Reciprocated Love

The disciples’ love is reciprocated by Jesus: “I will love him…” [14:21].

§        ἀγαπήσω - “love” [14:21], future indicative active, ‘a spontaneous feeling which impels embracing and self-giving’;

§        αὐτὸν - “him” [14:21], ‘the one loving me’;

3.        Discipleship & Obedience

a.        The Inner Relationship

The condition of discipleship: “if you love me keep my commandments” [14:15].

§        Ἐὰν - “if” [14:15], a combination of the conditional eiv and the  particle a;n to denote uncertainty or indefiniteness;

§        ἀγαπᾶτέ - “love” [14:15], plural present active, ‘devotion and delight’;

b.        The Public Characteristic 

i.         The Object

The characteristic of love is devotion: “keep my commandments…” [14:15].

§        ἐντολὰς - “my commandments” [14:15], ‘order, commission or command’; usually in the context of a command given by ‘a king, official, or general’;

§        τὸν λόγον μου - “my words” [14:23], ‘statement or speech’; ‘the gospel statement’;

ii.       The Action

The action(s) that characterises love: “keep...” [14:15]; “has and keeps...” [14:21]; “keep” [14:23].  

§        τηρήσετε - “keep” [14:15], future indicative active, ‘to continue in a state’; ‘to guard, observe’;

§        ἔχων - “has” [14:21], present active participle, ‘to possess’; ‘to own’; in this context ‘to grasp with the mind’; ‘to have as one’s own’; ‘to take into one’s inner being’;

§        τηρῶν - “keeps” [14:21], present active participle, ‘to watch over’; ‘to guard’; ‘to observe’;

§     The articular participles draw attention to the constancy of obedience which makes obedience characteristic of discipleship.

c.        Christlikeness

To obey is to follow the example of Jesus Christ:

§         The presence that is consequent to pleasing: “and he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things which please him” [8:29].

§         The Son’s love for the Father: “but that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do…” [15:31].


Obedience to the word of Jesus is obedience to the word of the father: “the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me” [14:24].

§         The lover does what the loved one asks: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments” [1Joh.5:2].

§         Jesus insists that the theophany of which he has been speaking occurs within the circle of love that displays itself in obedience to the Son’s teaching.


The consequence of this it threefold:  

1.        The Father’s Love

The first consequence of love and obedience is the Father’s love. This emerges in the passive sense and also in the active sense.

a.        The Passives Sense

The disciples’ love for Jesus also draws the love of the Father: “shall be loved of my Father…” [14:21].

§        ἀγαπηθήσεται - “loved” [14:21], future passive indicative, ‘a spontaneous feeling which impels embracing and self-giving’;

§        ὑπὸ - “of” [14:21], with the genitive and the passive ‘denoting the immediate agent’;

i.         The Meaning

The passive form seems to bring out the idea of the conscious experience of love by the object of it.

§        The believer loves and feels in himself the action of the Father through Christ.

§        It points to the personal, sensible assurance of faith; “the Spirit bears witness...” [Rom.8:16] but here it is the “witness” to the Father’s love; “we know that we have passed from death unto life...” [1Joh.3:14].  

b.        The Active Sense  

The Father’s love is also spoken of in the active sense: “my Father will love him...” [14:23].

§         πατήρ μου - “Father” [14:23],

§         ἀγαπήσει - “love” [14:23], future active, ‘a spontaneous feeling which impels embracing and self-giving’;

§         The active form seems to draw attention to the action of the one loving: “God’s so loved the world that he gave…” [3:16].

§         This then becomes personalised: “he loved me and gave himself for me…” [Gal.2:20].

i.         The Relationship of Triple Indwelling

The Father’s love for them is explained through the model of indwelling: “I am in the Father…” [14:20]. 

§        There is an unbreakable unity of life between him and them that will be expressed in the same ‘reciprocal formula of immanence’ as that of the unity of the Father and the Son.

§        The nature of the Father’s love: “hast loved them, as thou hast loved me…” [17:23];

§        The Father’s delight in the Son: “you are my beloved Son…” [Luk.3:22].

§        The Father’s delight in those who delight in the Son: “the Father himself loves you because you have loved me…” [16:27].


2.        The Revelation of Jesus

a.        Jesus & Disciples

As a consequence of the disciples’ love, Jesus will: “I will manifest myself to him” [14:21].

§        ἐμφανίσω - “manifest” [14:21], future active indicative, ‘to make visible’; ‘to cause to be seen’; ‘to reveal’;

§        The exact force of the word is that of presentation in a clear, conspicuous form; it conveys more than the idea of disclosing a hidden presence.

i.         Resurrection Appearances

One thinks first of the resurrection appearances of Jesus where this verb is used:

§        Resurrection appearance of Jesus: “when Jesus was risen…he appeared first to Mary Magdalene…” [Mar.16:9].

§        Resurrection appearance of the saints: “came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” [Mat.27:53].

ii.       Corresponding Appearances

In the light of the developing argument [14:22-23] this can apply to the corresponding self-disclosure of Jesus to his disciples in later times:

§        Peter’s gospel proclamation: “we are witnesses of all these things which he didHim God raised up the third day, and showed him openly…” [Acts 10:40].

§        Refers also to the corresponding self-disclosure of Jesus to his disciples in later times: “surely I am with you always…” [Mat.28:20].

b.        Father & Son

The oneness between Jesus and the disciples mirrors the oneness between Jesus and the Father:

§        The Father in the function of his love for the Son shows him all things: “for the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does…” [5:20]; so the Son in function of his love for his disciples says: “I will…show myself (to them)” [14:21].

§        The giving of authority: “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand” [3:35]. 


The action of the Spirit effectuates in the believer this higher manifestation of Christ, which more than supplies the place of his presence under the conditions of earthly life.

§        Following the sayings on the Easter appearances and the era they initiated in vv.18-20, it is evident that what is here promised is a counterpart in the believer’s life to the Easter appearances of the risen Lord to the disciples.

3.        The Presence of the Father & the Son

a.        The Coming

The Father and the Son: “we will come unto him, and make our abode…” [14:23].

§         ἐλευσόμεθα - “come” [14:23], future indicative middle, ‘to move towards or up to’; ‘to appear’; ‘to come forward publicly’;

§         πρὸς αὐτὸν - “unto him” [14:23], in the accusative denoting ‘motion towards’; “the Word was with God…” [1:1], pro.j to.n qeo,n.

b.        The Permanent Dwelling

i.         The Dwelling

The Father and the Son: “make our abode with him” [14:23].

§         ποιησόμεθα - “make” [14:23], future middle indicative, ‘to do, make, create’; ‘work or action’;

§         μονὴν - “abode” [14:23], ‘dwelling place’; from mevnw ‘to stay or remain’; ‘a place of rest from a journey’;

§         This carries the thought back to verse 2: “in my Father’s house are many mansions…” [14:2], μοναὶ.

§         While Jesus leaves the disciples in order to prepare “dwelling places” [14:2] in his Father’s house for his followers, he simultaneously joins with the Father in making a “dwelling place” with the believer. 

ii.       Redemptive History

There are different references to this concept in redemptive history:

§         God’s promise to Israel: “And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people…” [Lev.26:11-13].

§         God’s new covenant promise: “I will make a covenant of peace with them…I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for ever more…” [Eze.37:26-28].

§         The consummation of the kingdom: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them…” [Rev.21:3].

 ‘This is an anticipation, an inauguration, of the final, consummating experience of God after the parousia’ (Carson).

c.        The Presence

The Father and the Son: “will dwell with him” [14:23].

§         παρʼ αὐτῷ - “with him” [14:23], the root meaning of ‘beside’;

i.         The Proclamation & The Distinction 

Jesus made the distinction with regard to the Holy Spirit and the disciples:

§         During Jesus’ time with them they have, through the Holy Spirit in the public person, life and ministry of Jesus, “known” [14:17] the Spirit and the Spirit has “dwelt with you” [14:17], παρʼ ὑμῖν μένει.

§         After the return of Jesus to the Father, who “shall send another comforter” [14:16], the Spirit “shall be in you” [14:17], ἐν ὑμῖν ἔσται, in that private way.

§         Jesus uses the same language here to define the “abode” here as one which is around them and beside them, παρʼ αὐτῷ, as it was in the ministry of Jesus.

§         The idea is that of the recognition of the divine without (so to speak) and not of the consciousness of the divine within; the Christian sees God “by him”.


How or in what way if the Father and the Son making their “abode” [14:23] with the disciples?



Finally, we notice the method of divine revelation.

1.        The Holy Spirit

a.        The Comforter 

Jesus introduces the second of five Paraclete passages: “But the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name…” [14:26]. 

§         παράκλητος - “comforter” [14:26], from para ‘beside’ and kalew ‘to call; ‘to call or come alongside to help’; ‘to present the case on behalf of another before a court of law’; ‘advocate’;

§         πέμψει - “send” [14:26], future active, ‘to cause one to depart’; ‘to cause one to carry something to a destination’; stresses the mere fact of sending;

b.        The Holy Spirit

The comforter is “the Holy Ghost…” [14:26].

§         τὸ ἅγιον - “holy” [14:26], ‘sacred’; ‘set apart or consecrated’; only God is holy: “The high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy…” [Isa.57:15].

§         τὸ πνεῦμα - “Ghost” [14:26], ‘breath, wind, spirit’;

§         The verse shows him to be closely related to the Father and the Son and the fact that He is God is what is important to these first century Christian. The Spirit’s mission derives from both the Father and the Son.

c.        The Spirit of Truth

The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth” [14:17].

§         τὸ πνεῦμα - “Spirit” [14:17], ‘wind, breath, spirit’: “the wind blows where it lists…” [3:8];

§         τῆς ἀληθείας  - “of truth” [14:17], ‘fact’; ‘that which is in accord with what really happens’; “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” [14:17]; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” [14:6];

§         The genitive is descriptive of a characteristic; the “Spirit of truth” communicates truth: “he shall teach you all things…” [14:26].

d.        The Mission

i.         The Father & The Spirit

The Father sends the Comforter “in my name…” [14:26].

§         ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου - “in my name” [14:26],

§         ὀνόματί - “name” [14:26], in the Old Testament “name” spoke of someone’s character, personality and attributes.

§         Christ’s “name” is all that can be defined as to His nature and His work.

ii.       The Father & The Son

Jesus came “in the Father’s name” [5:43; see also 10:25].

§         The purpose of Christ’s mission was to reveal God as His Father, and through this to make known His relation to men, and to humanity, and to the world.

§         The purpose of the Mission of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Christ, to make clear to the consciousness of the Church the full significance of the Incarnation.

§         Jesus came as the Father’s ambassador, so the Spirit comes in Jesus’ name.


The sense of the promise is completely destroyed if “in my name” is interpreted as meaning nothing more than “as my representative” or “at my intercession”.  

The Father and the Son are “present” with the disciples by taking up permanent residence with them.

§         This presence is surely by the power of the Spirit: “he shall give you another comforter…” [14:16].

§         The filioque clause; the double procession of the Spirit; the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son [14:16; Acts 2:33].

How is the Holy Spirit to ‘come alongside the disciples in order to help them’ in this instance?

2.        The Subject   

a.        The Word of Truth (Salvation)

The Spirit’s activity is to do with “all things” [14:26].

§         πάντα - “all things” [14:26], ‘each individual in a class’; ‘everything belonging to a class’; a comprehensive term referring to ‘all that they need to know’;

§         This is comprised of Jesus “words” [14:23] as his gospel statement and Jesus “commandments” [14:21] as the boundaries and directions for living the life of discipleship.

§         It is clear that the Spirit brings no new revelation; it works with regard to “whatsoever I have said to you” [14:26].

i.         Essence of the Gospel

The Spirit speaks in the ‘continuity of the office of proclamation’ in order to bring the knowledge of the core truths of the gospel. They will be taught inwardly the core truths of salvation:

§         They will be taught that nature of Christ’s relationship to the Father: “that I am in the Father…” [14:20]; that perichoresis which proclaims the ‘dancing around each other’ which speaks of ‘relationships’ and ‘the mutual love and harmony’ that exists between the persons of the Trinity.

§         They will be taught the nature of their relations to Jesus Christ: “you in me and I in you” [14:20]; that perichoresis which proclaims the ‘dancing around each other’ which speaks of ‘relationships’ and ‘the mutual love and harmony’ that exists between Jesus and his disciples.

§         This will be more fully developed as we enter into Chapter 15.

b.        The Teacher

The role of the Holy Spirit will be that of teacher: “he shall teach you all things…” [14:26].

§         διδάξει - “teach” [14:26], future active, ‘to provide instruction’; ‘imparting of information’ and the ‘passing of knowledge’;

i.         Etymology

The etymology of the word shows that διδάξει comes from di-dak-sko (root dek-, ‘to accept’, ‘extend the hand to’).

§         The reduplicated stem and inchoative suffix convey the idea of repeatedly extending the hand for acceptance; the word therefore suggests the idea of causing someone to accept something.

§         The word calls attention to two aspects, being applied on the one side to the insight of the one who is to be instructed and on the other to the knowledge presupposed in the teacher’.

c.        The Enlightening of the Mind

The role of the Holy Spirit will be that of bringing illumination: “bring all things to your remembrance…” [14:26].

§         ὑπομνήσει - “bring to your remembrance” [14:26], future active, ‘to call to mind, call to attention’;

i.         Etymology

The etymology of the word shows that ὑπομνήσει is derived from the root *men, ‘to think’;

§         the words from this root cover three areas of meaning: (a) me-, mn-, to intend, want, require; (b) to be enraptured, to rave; (c) mena-, menei-, to be mindful of), might, power, ferocity, liveliness, etc. (Gk. menos), to remember, recall, mention (Gk. mimnesko, -omai), counsellor (Gk. mnemon); memorial (Gk. mnema). 

§         In Indo-European languages generally, the following complex of meanings arise: (a) to remember (referring to the intellectual ability, and its exercise, of linking the past to the present); (b) to consider, weigh up (where the present is linked to the future); (c) to be mindful, take into account, mention (assessing how the present relates both to past and future).

d.        Gospel Examples

The work of the Holy Spirit in this case includes power of recall and the power to perceive the significance of what was said. Examples of the work in the life of the disciples:

§         The destruction of the temple: “when therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said…” [2:22].

§         The entry into Jerusalem: “These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him…” [12:16];


In John’s gospel, the disciples are shown to fail in their understanding of Jesus. One of the Spirit’s principal tasks, after Jesus is glorified, is to remind the disciples of Jesus’ teaching and thus, in the new situation after the resurrection, to help them grasp its significance and thus teach them what it meant. 

§         The two tasks are strictly complementary and almost identical

§         The former office – “teach” - appears to find its fulfilment in the interpretation of the true character of Christ, of what He was, and what He did.

§         The latter office – “bring to remembrance” – appears to find its fulfilment in opening the minds of the disciples to the right understanding of Christ’s words.  

The Spirit’s ministry in this respect was not to bring qualitatively new revelation, but to complete, to fill out, the revelation brought by Jesus himself.

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