Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Yet a little while.—Comp. John 13:33; John 16:16.
But ye see me—i.e., in the spiritual presence of the Paraclete. The words may indeed have their first fulfilment in the appearances of the forty days (comp. Acts 10:41), but these appearances were themselves steps in the education which was leading the disciples from a trust in the physical to a trust in the spiritual presence. (Comp. John 20:17.) To the world the grave seemed the closing scene. They saw Him no more; they thought of Him as dead. To the believers who had the power to see Him He appeared as living, and in very deed was more truly with them and in them than He had been before.
Because I live, ye shall live also.—Better, for I live, and ye shall live. Our Lord speaks of His own life in the present. It is the essential life of which He is Himself the Source, and which is not affected by the physical death through which He is about to pass. They also who believe in Him shall have even here this principle of life, which in them too shall be affected by no change, but shall develop into the fulness of the life hereafter. Because He lives, and because they too shall live, therefore shall they see Him and realise His presence when the world seeth Him no more.
Seeth me no more - No more until the day of judgment. The men of the world would not see him visibly, and they had not the eye of faith to discern him.
But ye see me - Ye shall continue to see me by faith, even when the world cannot. You will continue to see me by the eye of faith as still your gracious Saviour and Friend.
Because I live - Though the Saviour was about to die, yet was he also about to be raised from the dead. He was to continue to live, and though absent from them, yet he would feel the same interest in their welfare as when he was with them on earth. This expression does not refer "particularly" to his "resurrection," but his "continuing to live." He had a nature which could not die. As Mediator also he would be raised and continue to live: and he would have both power and inclination to give them also life, to defend them, and bring them with him.
Ye shall live also - This doubtless refers to their future life. And we learn from this:
1. That the life of the Christian depends on that of Christ. They are united; and if they were separated, the Christian could neither enjoy spiritual life here nor eternal joy hereafter.
2. The fact that Jesus lives is a pledge that all who believe in him shall he saved. He has power over all our spiritual foes, and he can deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and from all temptations and trials.
me no more, but ye see—behold.
me—His bodily presence, being all the sight of Him which "the world" ever had, or was capable of, it "beheld Him no more" after His departure to the Father; but by the coming of the Spirit, the presence of Christ was not only continued to His spiritually enlightened disciples, but rendered far more efficacious and blissful than His bodily presence had been before the Spirit's coming.
because I live—not "shall live," only when raised from the dead; for it is His unextinguishable, divine life of which He speaks, in view of which His death and resurrection were but as shadows passing over the sun's glorious disk. (Compare Lu 24:5; Re 1:18, "the Living One"). And this grand saying Jesus uttered with death immediately in view. What a brightness does this throw over the next clause, "ye shall live also!" "Knowest thou not," said Luther to the King of Terrors, "that thou didst devour the Lord Christ, but wert obliged to give Him back, and wert devoured of Him? So thou must leave me undevoured because I abide in Him, and live and suffer for His name's sake. Men may hunt me out of the world—that I care not for—but I shall not on that account abide in death. I shall live with my Lord Christ, since I know and believe that He liveth!" (quoted in Stier).
but ye see me, or shall see me; so they did often after his resurrection with their bodily eyes; or it may be understood of a spiritual sight by the eye of faith, or of a sight of experience; as seeing often in Scripture signifieth enjoying.
Because I live, that is, I shall live by my resurrection from the dead, and by my glorious ascension into heaven, you also shall live the life of grace here; and though your bodies must die, because of sin, yet your souls shall upon the death of your bodies live; and in the resurrection, both your souls and bodies shall live, and together be glorified with the: all this grace and mercy shall flow out to you from me as Mediator, and because I live.
but ye see me; ye see me now, and shall see me after my resurrection, as they did; for then he appeared alive and conversed with them for forty days; and when he ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God, they saw him by faith crowned with glory and honour; and will see him as he is when he comes a second time to take them to himself in glory.
Because I live, ye shall believe also: Christ lives as God, as man, and as Mediator: as God, he lives the same life his Father does, partaking of the same nature, and possessing the same perfections; so he lived from everlasting, and will live to everlasting; as man, he lived first a private, and then a public life, attended with meanness, reproaches, sorrows, and sufferings; a life which was filled up with acts of devotion and piety to God, and with doing good to the bodies and souls of men; he lived in all obedience to the law of God, and at last endured the penalty of that law, in the room and stead of his people; when his life was taken away for a while, and then taken up by him again; and now, as man, he lives, and lives for evermore. As Mediator, he has his life from the Father, which is dependent upon him, by whom he was set up in an office capacity from everlasting; and as such will live to everlasting, to see the travail of his soul, the fruit of his sufferings, to make intercession for his people, and to rule until all enemies are made his footstool. And his people "live also", which is to be understood, not of the preservation of his disciples from dying with him, when he died; for then it should rather have been said, "because I die, ye shall live": nor of the continuance of their natural life in this world; for the saints are not to live always here; nor do they desire it, nor is it proper they should; death is for their advantage; it is a blessing to them. Though these words may be understood of a corporeal life, which they shall live after the resurrection; for though they die, they shall live again, and never die more; they shall not only live and reign with Christ a thousand years, but to all eternity. They also live a spiritual life now; a life of grace and holiness from Christ; a life of faith on him, and sometimes of communion with him, and desire to live to his honour and glory; and shall hereafter live an eternal life of perfection and pleasure, with Father, Son, and Spirit, for evermore. Now between these two lives, the life of Christ, and his people, there is a close connection; the one is dependent on the other, and secured by the other: "because I live, ye shall live also"; the spiritual life of a believer is from Christ, and is maintained by him; the same which is in the head, is in the members; yea, it is not so much they that live, as Christ that lives in them, and therefore their life can never be lost; it is bound up in the bundle of life with Christ, and is hid safe and secure with him in God, and so out of the reach both of men and devils. The corporeal life of the saints after death, in the resurrection morn, springs from, and is secured by the life of Christ: his resurrection from the dead is the pattern and pledge of theirs; he undertook to raise them from the dead, and will do it; as sure as his dead body is raised and lives, so sure shall theirs; their bodies, as well as their souls, are united to Christ; and by virtue of this union, which death does not, and cannot dissolve, they shall be raised and live again. They are in Christ whilst they are dead; and because they are "the dead in Christ", they shall "rise first". Their eternal life is in the hands of Christ, and when he, who is the true God, and their eternal life, shall appear, they shall appear with him in glory.Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 14:19. Ἔτι μικρ.] sc. ἐστι. Comp. John 13:33, John 16:16; Hebrews 10:37; Hosea 1:4; Psalm 37:10.
οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ] Corporeally. Comp. also Acts 10:41.
θεωρεῖτε] But you, whilst the world no more beholds me, do behold me, although corporeally I am no more present, through the experience of my spiritual presence; you behold me spiritually, in that you experience my presence and my communion with you, in the communication of myself, and in my working upon you by means of the Paraclete. The terminus a quo of the present tenses, which represent the near future as present, is, indeed, not quite the same in θεωρεῖ and θεωρεῖτε, since the ὁ κόσμος με οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ already begins with the death of Jesus, but the ὑμεῖς δὲ θεωρ. με first after His return to the Father; this distinction, however, disappears before the Johannean view of the death of Jesus as a departure to God.
ὅτι ἐγὼ ζῶ, κ. ὑμ. ζήσεσθε] Not: because I live, you also will live (Nonnus, Beza, Godet), but, corresponding to the progress of the discourse (comp. John 14:17), a statement of the reason of what precedes: for I live, and you shall live. Note the change from the present to the future, and that ζῶ and ζήσεσθε cannot without arbitrariness be taken as essentially different in idea, but that ζῶ manifestly, since it exists without interruption (present), denotes the higher life of Christ independent of death, of Christ, who, by His departure to the Father, becomes a partaker of the heavenly glory. Christ lives, for He is, indeed, Himself the Possessor and bearer of the true ζωή (comp. John 5:26); death, which translates Him into the glory of the Father, by no means breaks off this true and higher life of His (although His life ἐν σαρκί ceases), but is only the medium of the consummation and transfiguration of this His ζῆν into the everlasting heavenly ζωή and δόξα (comp. Colossians 3:3-4). Out of this consciousness the Lord here utters the words: ἐγὼ ζῶ. And He adds thereto: καὶ ὑμεῖς ζήσεσθε: and you shall live, i.e. you shall be partakers (in its temporal development on to its glorious consummation) of the same higher ζωή, liable to no death (John 11:26), under the life-giving (John 6:33) influence of the Spirit. “Stat enim illud fixum, nullam fore ejus vitam membris mortuis,” Calvin. Thus the life is in both essentially alike, only with this difference, that it is original in Jesus, and with His approaching departure is already at its glorious consummation; but in the case of the disciples, being imparted by Christ in the Holy Spirit, who is the πνεῦμα τῆς ζωῆς (Romans 8:2), it is, in the first instance, to be unfolded within (before the Parousia as the living fellowship with the exalted Christ), in order to become, at the Parousia by means of the resurrection (Romans 8:11) and relative transformation (1 Corinthians 15:51-52), the participation in His δόξα. Comp. the idea of the συζῆν τῷ Χριστῷ in Paul, Romans 6:8; 2 Corinthians 7:3; 2 Timothy 2:11. The moment which assigns the reason (ὅτι) lies simply in this, that the above two-sided ζῆν is the necessary condition of the promised θεωρεῖτέ με. If the higher ζωή, that is meant, were to be the lot only of Christ, and not also thereafter (through the working of the Spirit) that of the disciples, there could be no mention of a beholding of the Lord on the part of the disciples. The paritas rationis for the mutual relation would be wanting, and thereby the disciples would lose the capacity (the eye, as it were) to see Christ. But thus the living behold the Living One. The reference to the resurrection of Jesus has led to interpretations like that of Grotius (comp. Euth. Zigabenus): you shall see me actually alive (“non spectrum”) and remaining in life amidst the impending dangers; or (so Theophylact, comp. Kuinoel): I shall, as having risen, be alive, and you shall be as newly made alive for joy! or: I rise again, and you shall (at the last day) arise (so Augustine). Again the interpretation of ζήσεσθε in Weiss (Lehrbegr. p. 70) of the new life, which arises in the disciples through the reappearance of the Risen One, who is recognised by them (as in the case of Thomas, John 20:28), is a forced expedient, proceeding from an erroneous assumption, and is not appropriate, moreover, to ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, John 14:20, which is definite and valid for all disciples, nor to the intimate reciprocal confidence of John 14:20-21; wherefore Weiss again, adding violence to violence, explains John 14:21 of the further unfolding of the new communion begun with the appearances of the Risen One (p. 276). Had the resurrection been spoken of, the simplest explanation would be that of Kaeuffer, p. 136: “quae instat fortunae vicissitudo nec me nec vos poterit pessumdare,” according to which, however, a thought of much too small importance would result, and, besides, the change of tense is overlooked. But if, according to the above, both ζῶ and ζήσεσθε must embrace time and eternity, then De Wette has incorrectly limited ζήσεσθε to the life of faith with its joyous victory over death and the fear of death; on the other side again, Luthardt has erroneously understood it only of the life of transfiguration after the Parousia, because ἐγὼ ζῶ can only denote the glorified life,—an assumption, however, which is unsupported, since the expression used is not ἐγὼ ζήσομαι.
 Not: through the being caught away to me at the Parousia (Luthardt). The οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ and the θεωρεῖτε must certainly he contemporaneous. Invisible for the world (comp. John 7:33-34), Christ is beheld by His own.John 14:19. In a short time, ἔτι μικρόν, the world would no longer see Him, but His disciples would be conscious of His presence, ὑμεῖς δὲ θεωρεῖτέ με, present for immediate future. His presence would be manifested in their new life which they would trace to Him, ὅτι ἐγὼ ζῶ, καὶ ὑμεῖς ζήσεσθε. This is confirmed by Paul’s “No longer I, but Christ liveth in me”. Galatians 2:20. The grand evidence of Christ’s continued life and presence is the Christian life of the disciple.19. a little while] Comp. John 13:33, John 16:16.
but ye see me] In the Paraclete, ever present with you.
because I live, ye shall live also] i.e. that higher and eternal life over which death has no power either in Christ or His followers. Christ has this life in Himself (John 5:26); His followers derive it from Him (John 5:21).John 14:19. Οὐκ ἔτι, no longer) Acts 10:41, “God showed Him openly (after the Resurrection), not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God.”—θεωρεῖτέ με) ye see Me, and shall see Me, namely, alive. For even the force of the antithesis in οὐκ ἔτι, no longer, carries with it the need of supplying the Future [Whereas the world both seeth and shall see Me no more, ye both see and shall see Me].—ὅτι, because) The cause why they shall see Him.—ζῶ, I live) Not only I shall live, but I live: Revelation 1:18, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.”—ζήσεσθε, ye shall live) The future: for the life of believers follows the life of Jesus; and it is not of themselves, but by (of) Him that they live. Comp. ch. John 6:57, “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.”Verse 19. - Yet a little while - a few hours only - and the world - which cannot take from you (or even appreciate or receive) the Holy Spirit - beholdeth me no more. Their power of beholding me will be gone by their own act, they will have cursed and driven me away with the hellish cry, "Crucify him!" they will have slain and buried me out of their sight; but, notwithstanding this, you, by my coming to you in the power of the Spirit, will veritably behold me. Even more than this, because I live though I die, ye shall live also, in your intense spiritual apperception of my continuity of life, of which you will have ocular and spiritual guarantee. Jesus here passed over the concrete fact of the Resurrection, to return to it afterwards. We know that the resurrection of his body and his victory over death became
(1) the condition of his sending the Spirit,
(2) the proof of his being the living One whom death could not hold, and
(3) the ground of the higher appreciation of the relation they sustained to him. But he fixed their attention on his continuous life (in spite of death), and their consequent life under the shadow of his Divine protection, without specifically mentioning the Resurrection, of which he had (in synoptic narrative) given them explicit but misapprehended prophecies. This version seems to be preferable to making the last clause ὅτι, etc., a reason of the θεωρεῖτέ με - a view advocated as possible by Meyer and Luthardt; or than the view which limits the ὅτι ζῶ to the θεωρεῖτέ: "Ye see me because I live, and as a consequence of this vision ye shall live also."
This may also be rendered, and ye shall live, explaining the former statement, ye behold me. So Rev., in margin. This is better. John is not arguing for the dependence of their life on Christ's, but for fellowship with Christ as the ground of spiritual vision.
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