by Mike Ratliff
Ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτέ με, τὰς ἐντολὰς τὰς ἐμὰς τηρήσετε· (John 14:15 NA27)
“If you love Me, you will keep my commandments;” (a personal translation of John 14:15 from the NA27 Greek text)
In this post we will look at John 14:15-31, which is last part of the dialogue between our Lord and His disciples in the upper room after the Passover Feast just prior to His arrest in the garden on the other side of the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem (John 18). Never forget my brethren, our Lord did not come to bring all people together. His message was one of division. That was what He said. Also, as we saw in our last post, Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life, His ministry was to reveal the Father (John 1:14, 18), to bring glory to Him. In this post we will see that our Lord even further defines who it is who are truly His.
Ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτέ με, τὰς ἐντολὰς τὰς ἐμὰς τηρήσετε· κἀγὼ ἐρωτήσω τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἄλλον παράκλητον δώσει ὑμῖν, ἵνα μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ᾖ, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὃ ὁ κόσμος οὐ δύναται λαβεῖν, ὅτι οὐ θεωρεῖ αὐτὸ οὐδὲ γινώσκει· ὑμεῖς γινώσκετε αὐτό, ὅτι παρ᾽ ὑμῖν μένει καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἔσται. (John 14:15-17)
“If you love Me, you will keep my commandments; and I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper that He may be with you into the age, the Spirit of Truth, which the world is not able to receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. You know Him because He will remain in you.” (a personal translation of John 14:15-17 from the NA27 Greek text)
In v15 our Lord begins with “Ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτέ με” which literally says, “If you love me…” The verb “love” translates ἀγαπᾶτέ, which is the plural, Present Tense, Subjunctive Mood, Active voice of ἀγαπάω or agapaō, “to love as a direction of the will.” The present, subjunctive structure as, in this statement by our Lord is a clear “if…then…”” sentence. Also, the verb tense speaks of continuous or repeated action. Our Lord is saying, therefore, that those who are His are those who love Him as a life pattern, as a way of life and through this, they will keep His commandments. The reverse is also true. Those who are not really His, will not keep His commandments and the root cause of that is that do not love Him for only those who are truly His, Love Him this way. Also, The Lord shows us here that we have another παράκλητον (v16). I translated this as “Helper.” In this passage the noun παράκλητον is the Accusative, Singular of παράκλητος or paraklētos, “An intercessor, consoler: – advocate, comforter.” Of course, this is the Holy Spirit. Only true believers have Him and they have Him “into the age.”
Οὐκ ἀφήσω ὑμᾶς ὀρφανούς, ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. ἔτι μικρὸν καὶ ὁ κόσμος με οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ, ὑμεῖς δὲ θεωρεῖτέ με, ὅτι ἐγὼ ζῶ καὶ ὑμεῖς ζήσετε. ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ γνώσεσθε ὑμεῖς ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρί μου καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν. ὁ ἔχων τὰς ἐντολάς μου καὶ τηρῶν αὐτὰς ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν ὁ ἀγαπῶν με· ὁ δὲ ἀγαπῶν με ἀγαπηθήσεται ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός μου, κἀγὼ ἀγαπήσω αὐτὸν καὶ ἐμφανίσω αὐτῷ ἐμαυτόν. Λέγει αὐτῷ Ἰούδας, οὐχ ὁ Ἰσκαριώτης· κύριε, [καὶ] τί γέγονεν ὅτι ἡμῖν μέλλεις ἐμφανίζειν σεαυτὸν καὶ οὐχὶ τῷ κόσμῳ; ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἐάν τις ἀγαπᾷ με τὸν λόγον μου τηρήσει, καὶ ὁ πατήρ μου ἀγαπήσει αὐτὸν καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐλευσόμεθα καὶ μονὴν παρ᾽ αὐτῷ ποιησόμεθα. ὁ μὴ ἀγαπῶν με τοὺς λόγους μου οὐ τηρεῖ· καὶ ὁ λόγος ὃν ἀκούετε οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸς ἀλλὰ τοῦ πέμψαντός με πατρός. (John 14:18-24 NA27)
“I will not leave you orphans. I am coming to you. Yet a little time and the world sees Me no longer, but you will see; because I live you will live also. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in Me and I in you. The one having my commandments and keeping them, that one is who loves Me and I will love Him and will manifest Myself to him.” Judas, not Iscariot, said to Him, “Lord, and what has occurred that you are about to manifest Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, He will keep my Word and My Father will love him and we will come to him and will make a dwelling place with him. The one not loving does not keep my Words and the Word you hear is not Mine, but of the Father who sent Me.” (a personal translation of John 14:18-24 from the NA27 Greek text)
Again, we are told very clearly here that those who belong to our Lord are the ones who know and keep His commandments (James 1:19-27). Also, think of James 4:8 as we repent and draw near unto God. What does He do in response as we pray and go deep into His Word and obey Him by His grace? He draws near unto us. This is God dwelling close with us in this life as a preview of that much close intimate relationship we will have in Heaven. Can’t wait! Don’t forget, the world cannot know the Lord. He is revealed and understood only as He reveals Himself to people. We are to present the Gospel and make disciples of those whom God draws to Himself. These are the ones God blesses this way, we do not do that part.
Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν παρ᾽ ὑμῖν μένων· ὁ δὲ παράκλητος, τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, ὃ πέμψει ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν [ἐγώ]. Εἰρήνην ἀφίημι ὑμῖν, εἰρήνην τὴν ἐμὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν· οὐ καθὼς ὁ κόσμος δίδωσιν ἐγὼ δίδωμι ὑμῖν. μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία μηδὲ δειλιάτω. ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν· ὑπάγω καὶ ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. εἰ ἠγαπᾶτέ με ἐχάρητε ἂν ὅτι πορεύομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, ὅτι ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μού ἐστιν. καὶ νῦν εἴρηκα ὑμῖν πρὶν γενέσθαι, ἵνα ὅταν γένηται πιστεύσητε. οὐκέτι πολλὰ λαλήσω μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν, ἔρχεται γὰρ ὁ τοῦ κόσμου ἄρχων· καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα γνῷ ὁ κόσμος ὅτι ἀγαπῶ τὸν πατέρα, καὶ καθὼς ἐνετείλατό μοι ὁ πατήρ, οὕτως ποιῶ. ἐγείρεσθε, ἄγωμεν ἐντεῦθεν. (John 14:25-31 NA27)
“These things I have told you while abiding with you, but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of all things which I told you. Peace I leave to you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled nor be cowardly. You heard that I told you I am going and I am coming to you. If you were loving me you have rejoiced because I go to the Father for the Father is greater than Me. And now I have told you before it happens that when it happens you may believe. No longer will I speak many things with you for the ruler of the world is coming and he has no claim on me, but I obey the Father so that the world may know that I love the Father. Arise let us go from here.” (a personal translation of John 14:25-31 from the NA27 Greek text)
What a blessing it is that we have the Holy Spirit. As I work on preparing these posts, it is amazing how He brings to mind passages from other parts of Sacred Scripture that help in our study. Also, the peace our Lord gives us is not talking about the peace the world craves, which is just a absence of conflict and trouble. No, this peace has more to do with positive blessing, especially in terms of a right relationship with God especially when the world and apostates within the church visible attack us and God’s truth. We are in that time in which the world is ruled by the “ruler of the world” whom our Lord defeated at the Cross. However, he is still our enemy and those who are not the Lord’s belong to him and so we live a world of darkness. Therefore, we must reflect the light of truth from our Lord into the darkness regardless of the cost.
Soli Deo Gloria!