John 14:28
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

New Living Translation
Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am.

English Standard Version
You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

New American Standard Bible
"You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

King James Bible
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You have heard Me tell you, I am going away and I am coming to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.

International Standard Version
You have heard me tell you, 'I'm going away, but I'm coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I'm going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.

NET Bible
You heard me say to you, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“You have heard that I said to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you'; if you had loved me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to join my Father, for my Father is greater than I.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You heard me tell you, 'I'm going away, but I'm coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I'm going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I.

King James 2000 Bible
You have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

American King James Version
You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

American Standard Version
Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I.

Douay-Rheims Bible
You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I.

Darby Bible Translation
Ye have heard that I have said unto you, I go away and I am coming to you. If ye loved me ye would rejoice that I go to the Father, for [my] Father is greater than I.

English Revised Version
Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I.

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye have heard that I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Weymouth New Testament
"You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and yet I am coming to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced because I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I am.

World English Bible
You heard how I told you, 'I go away, and I come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I said 'I am going to my Father;' for the Father is greater than I.

Young's Literal Translation
ye heard that I said to you -- I go away, and I come unto you; if ye did love me, ye would have rejoiced that I said -- I go on to the Father, because my Father is greater than I.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

14:28-31 Christ raises the expectations of his disciples to something beyond what they thought was their greatest happiness. His time was now short, he therefore spake largely to them. When we come to be sick, and to die, we may not be capable of talking much to those about us; such good counsel as we have to give, let us give while in health. Observe the prospect Christ had of an approaching conflict, not only with men, but with the powers of darkness. Satan has something in us to perplex us with, for we have all sinned; but when he would disturb Christ, he found nothing sinful to help him. The best evidence of our love to the Father is, our doing as he has commanded us. Let us rejoice in the Saviour's victories over Satan the prince of this world. Let us copy the example of his love and obedience.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 28. - Now, however, he leads them a step further. The disciples are to dismiss their trouble and fear, because

(1) of the many mansions that he is going to prepare;

(2) because he was the "Way" to the Father;

(3) because they have had a theophany in him;

(4) because they shall carry on the work of Christ and fulfill all the prophecies,

(5) and do all this under the power of another Advocate or Helper;

(6) because he, the Holy Spirit, will indeed reveal him as he (Christ) had revealed the Father; and

(7) because the Father and Son would come and take up their abode in the loving and obedient heart. But the Lord does more - he bids them not only to dismiss their fear and harassment, but even to "rejoice." Ye heard that I said, I am departing, and, in that very act, I am coming to you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced - a supposition involving uncertainty with a prospect of decision. Perfect love would cast out fear. But why? Because I go to the Father, the theme of the whole discourse. But why should this cause you to rejoice? Because the Father is greater than I! It is not easy adequately to explain this memorable saying. The Arians made use of it to prove, from bur Lord's own lips, that his Person, even his pre-existent Divinity, was less than the Father's; that his essence, admittedly generated by the Father, was created by him, and was not the same as that of the Father. The same view has been held by the rationalistic school. The Socinians and modern Unitarians have insisted on the entire dependence and purely human character of our Lord. The Son of man and Son of God are to many merely the self-chosen titles of the greatest of the sons of men, who thus is supposed to put himself on a level with ordinary men who may learn to call God their Father. But is it? Could any man, unconscious of a far closer relation with God than that of the greatest saint, dare to say, as if to relieve anxiety on that head, "My Father is greater than I"? Is there not in the very phrase a suggestion of Divine sufficiency and relation to the Father which altogether precludes the purely humanitarian position?

(1) A theological view which has largely prevailed among those who have held the homoousia of the Father and the Son, is that the Lord was here speaking of his human nature only. The Athanasian symbol says," Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood." But the "I" is here used of his whole Personality, as in John 8:58; John 10:30, and throughout the discourse he is speaking of himself in the Divine-human Person in which the eternal and temporal, the infinite and finite, are indissolubly blended.

(2) Others have supposed that he referred to himself as in a state of humiliation. Hengstenberg says the Lord was speaking of the pre-eminent greatness of the Father, which came to an end at his departure. Cyril, Luther, Melancthon, De Wette, Tholuck, Luthardt, and Alford think that Jesus spoke these words of the humiliated Christ in his condition of a servant - obedient unto death. The Son, the Logos of God, was that Mode or Personality of Deity by which "God" created the universe, governed mankind, and proceeded by special manifestation - incarnation, life, and death - to redeem the world. Calvin had said, while the Arians have abused this testimony, the orthodox solution of the Fathers was neither harmonious nor sound; the true signification of the passage, according to him, being found in the mediatorial office of the Christ, and in his status exinanitionis. But this would not exhaust the meaning, for in this very passage he does describe the Father as greater even than the exalted Christ; and in John 1:1-3 as greater even than the pre-existent Logos. And so

(3) we are led to see that there is indeed a subordination of rank and order in the Son, involved in the very notion even of an eternal generation; and compatible with the equality of Being and of essence which he shared with the Father. This is undoubtedly confirmed by John 17:3, 5; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3; and has been through the whole history of Christological speculation conceded (Bishop Bull, in his three chapters on the "Subordination of the Son," has shown, by abundant proof, that before and after the Council of Nicaea, the Fathers held "that the Son has indeed the same Divine nature in common with the Father, but communicated by the Father in such sense, i.e., that the Father alone hath the Divine nature from himself, but the Son from the Father; that the Father is the Fountain, Origin, and Principle of the Divinity which is in the Son"). This is abundantly, needful to avoid at once the errors of tritheism, and to maintain the real unity of the Divine Being. Christ's going to the Father was a ground of rejoicing, because his exaltation through death and resurrection to the position of power and majesty unutterable, and the lifting up of his Divine-human Personality to the midst of the throne, gives to him, in his relations with his disciples, the efficacy of the greatness of that Divine nature which, by its own characteristics, could not have become incarnate. The unrevealed God is greater than the revealed. The lifting up of perfect humanity into the glory which the Son had with the Father before the world was, should have been the cause of joy to the disciples. It is the wellspring of joy to the Church (see Suicer, 'Thesaurus,' art. Μειζονότης; Bull's 'Defense of the Nicene Creed,' bk. 4; Westcott's catena of passages in 'Additional Note to John 14;' Lange and P. Schaff, 'Comm. on John').

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Ye have heard how I said unto you,.... Christ had not only told his disciples that he should depart from them in a little time, but also that he should return again to them, and comfort them with his presence, and receive them to himself, to be with him in his Father's house for ever: and this he again suggests,

I go away, and come again unto you; so that they had not so much reason to be troubled and afraid, as they were: had he only said to them that he should go away, without giving any hint of his coming again, they might well have been uneasy; what made the friends of the Apostle Paul so sorrowful at his departure, was most of all, because he had signified to them they should see his face no more; but Christ assured his disciples that in a little time they should see him again, to their unspeakable joy and comfort:

if ye loved me, adds he,

ye would rejoice; not but that the disciples did truly love Christ, and their concern for the loss of his bodily presence is a proof of it; nor was their love unknown to him, nor does he call it in question, only corrects it, or rather uses means to increase it, to draw it forth aright, that it might move and run in a proper channel; they loved him, and therefore were unwilling to part with him, but this was not a pure expression of love to him, it showed too much a regard to themselves, than to the object loved; whereas had they considered things aright, since it was to his greater advantage to remove, they should rather have discovered a willingness to it, and have rejoiced at it; this would have shown pure love and unbiased affection to him: two reasons our Lord gives why they should have rejoiced at his departure; one is,

because, says he,

I said, I go unto the Father; who was not only his, but their Father also; at whose right hand he was to sit, an honour which no mere creature ever had; where he was to be glorified and exalted above all created beings; and besides, his glorification would secure and bring on theirs; as sure as he lived in glory, so sure should they; yea, they should immediately sit down in heavenly places in him, as their head and representative, and therefore had good reason to rejoice at his going away: the other is,

for my Father is greater than I: not with respect to the divine nature, which is common to them both, and in which they are both one; and the Son is equal to the Father, having the self-same essence, perfections, and glory: nor with respect to personality, the Son is equally a divine person, as the Father is, though the one is usually called the first, the other the second person; yet this priority is not of nature, which is the same in both; nor of time, for the one did not exist before the other; nor of causality, for the Father is not the cause of the Son's existence; nor of dignity, for the one has not any excellency which is wanting in the other; but of order and manner of operation: these words are to be understood, either with regard to the human nature, in which he was going to the Father, this was prepared for him by the Father, and strengthened and supported by him, and in which he was made a little lower than the angels, and consequently must be in it inferior to his Father; or with regard to his office as Mediator, in which he was the Father's servant, was set up and sent forth by him, acted under him, and in obedience to him, and was now returning to give an account of his work and service; or rather with regard to his present state, which was a state of humiliation: he was attended with many griefs and sorrows, and exposed to many enemies, and about to undergo an accursed death; whereas his Father was in the most perfect happiness and glory, and so in this sense "greater". That is, more blessed and glorious than he; for this is not a comparison of natures, or of persons, but of states and conditions: now he was going to the Father to partake of the same happiness and glory with him, to be glorified with himself, with the same glory he had with him before the foundation of the world; wherefore on this account, his disciples ought to have rejoiced, and not have mourned.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

28. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father, for my Father is greater than I—These words, which Arians and Socinians perpetually quote as triumphant evidence against the proper Divinity of Christ, really yield no intelligible sense on their principles. Were a holy man on his deathbed, beholding his friends in tears at the prospect of losing him, to say, "Ye ought rather to joy than weep for me, and would if ye really loved me, "the speech would be quite natural. But if they should ask him, why joy at his departure was more suitable than sorrow, would they not start back with astonishment, if not horror, were he to reply, "Because my Father is greater than I?" Does not this strange speech from Christ's lips, then, presuppose such teaching on His part as would make it extremely difficult for them to think He could gain anything by departing to the Father, and make it necessary for Him to say expressly that there was a sense in which He could do so? Thus, this startling explanation seems plainly intended to correct such misapprehensions as might arise from the emphatic and reiterated teaching of His proper equality with the Father—as if so Exalted a Person were incapable of any accession by transition from this dismal scene to a cloudless heaven and the very bosom of the Father—and by assuring them that this was not the case, to make them forget their own sorrow in His approaching joy.

John 14:28 Additional Commentaries
Context
Peace I Leave with You
27"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28"You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29"Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.…
Cross References
John 7:33
Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me.

John 10:29
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

John 14:2
My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

John 14:3
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

John 14:12
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Philippians 2:6
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
Treasury of Scripture

You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

heard.

John 14:3,18 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive …

John 16:16-22 A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, …

If.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I …

Psalm 47:5-7 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet…

Psalm 68:18,9 You have ascended on high, you have led captivity captive: you have …

Luke 24:51-53 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, …

1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, …

I go.

John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that …

John 16:16 A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, …

John 20:17 Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my …

Father.

John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only …

John 10:30,38 I and my Father are one…

John 13:16 Truly, truly, I say to you, The servant is not greater than his lord; …

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be to you: as my Father has …

Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; …

Isaiah 49:5-7 And now, said the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, …

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: …

Matthew 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul …

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; …

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 Then comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to …

Philippians 2:6-11 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God…

Hebrews 1:2,3 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed …

Hebrews 2:9-15 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for …

Hebrews 3:1-4 Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the …

Revelation 1:11,17 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you …

Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever …

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