John 14:23
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
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(23) If a man love me, he will keep my words.—Our Lord repeats the condition necessary on the part of man in order that the manifestation of God to him may be possible. This is an answer to the question of Judas, the world in its unbelief and rejection of Christ’s words, and without the spirit of love, could not receive this manifestation.

We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.—For the plural, comp. Note on John 10:30. For the word “abode,” comp. Note on John 14:2. The thought of God as dwelling in the sanctuary and among the people was familiar to the disciples from the Old Testament Scriptures (see, e.g., Exodus 25:8; Exodus 29:45; Leviticus 26:11-12; Ezekiel 37:26), and the thought of the spiritual temple in the heart of man was not unknown to contemporary writers. Philo has a remarkable parallel in his treatise, De Cherubim, p. 124, “Since therefore He (God) thus invisibly enters into the region of the soul, let us prepare that place, in the best way the case admits of, to be an abode worthy of God; for if we do not, He, without our being aware of it, will quit us and migrate to some other habitation which shall appear to Him to be more excellently provided” (Bohn’s ed., vol. i., p. 199. See the whole of chap. 29). Schöttgen, in his note, quotes from a Rabbinical writer who says, “Blessed is the man who strives daily to make himself approved unto God, and prepares himself to receive the divine guest.” (Comp. 1Corinthians 3:16; 1Corinthians 6:19; and Revelation 3:20.)

14:18-24 Christ promises that he would continue his care of his disciples. I will not leave you orphans, or fatherless, for though I leave you, yet I leave you this comfort, I will come to you. I will come speedily to you at my resurrection. I will come daily to you in my Spirit; in the tokens of his love, and visits of his grace. I will come certainly at the end of time. Those only that see Christ with an eye of faith, shall see him for ever: the world sees him no more till his second coming; but his disciples have communion with him in his absence. These mysteries will be fully known in heaven. It is a further act of grace, that they should know it, and have the comfort of it. Having Christ's commands, we must keep them. And having them in our heads, we must keep them in our hearts and lives. The surest evidence of our love to Christ is, obedience to the laws of Christ. There are spiritual tokens of Christ and his love given to all believers. Where sincere love to Christ is in the heart, there will be obedience. Love will be a commanding, constraining principle; and where love is, duty follows from a principle of gratitude. God will not only love obedient believers, but he will take pleasure in loving them, will rest in love to them. He will be with them as his home. These privileges are confined to those whose faith worketh by love, and whose love to Jesus leads them to keep his commandments. Such are partakers of the Holy Spirit's new-creating grace.Will keep my words - See John 14:15.

We will come to him - We will come to him with the manifestation of pardon, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Spirit. It means that God will manifest himself to the soul as a Father and Friend; that Jesus will manifest himself as a Saviour; that is, that there will be shed abroad in the heart just views and proper feelings toward God and Christ. The Christian will rejoice in the perfections of God and of Christ, and will delight to contemplate the glories of a present Saviour. The condition of a sinner is represented as one who has gone astray from God, and from whom God has withdrawn, Psalm 58:3; Proverbs 28:10; Ezekiel 14:11. He is alienated from God, Ephesians 2:12; Isaiah 1:4; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21. Religion is represented as God returning to the soul, and manifesting himself as reconciled through Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:21.

Make our abode - This is a figurative expression implying that God and Christ would manifest themselves in no temporary way, but that it would be the privilege of Christians to enjoy their presence continually. They would take up their residence in the heart as their dwelling-place, as a temple fit for their abode. See 1 Corinthians 3:16; "Ye are the temple of God;" 1 Corinthians 6:19; "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost;" 2 Corinthians 6:16; "Ye are the temple of the living God." This does not mean that there is any personal union between Christians and God - that there is any special indwelling of the essence of God in us for God is essentially present in all places in the same way; but it is a figurative mode of speaking, denoting that the Christian is under the influence of God; that he rejoices in his presence, and that he has the views, the feelings, the joys which God produces in a redeemed soul, and with which he is pleased.

23. we will come and make our abode with him—Astonishing statement! In the Father's "coming" He "refers to the revelation of Him as a Father to the soul, which does not take place till the Spirit comes into the heart, teaching it to cry, Abba, Father" [Olshausen]. The "abode" means a permanent, eternal stay! (Compare Le 26:11, 12; Eze 37:26, 27; 2Co 6:16; and contrast Jer 14:8). If any man love Christ, he will keep Christ’s words; that is, he will study and endeavour to keep the commandments of Christ; for if nothing evidenced a true love to Christ but a perfect obedience to his will, none could comfort himself from his obedience, or conclude his love to Christ from it; but he that loveth Christ, will make it his business to be obedient to him in those things first he hath commanded, and are within his power.

And my Father will love him; and my Father will manifest his love to him in further dispensations of his grace; for it cannot be understood of God’s eternal love, nor yet of his love in justification and regeneration; for till the man or woman be justified and regenerated, he will never study and endeavour obedience to the will of God. This love of God is the cause, not the effect of our obedience; but love in this verse must be expounded by manifesting in the former verse; and this is certain, that the manifestations of Divine love to our souls depend upon our walking with God. This is also meant by God the Father and Christ’s coming to those that love him, and keep his commandments; viz. a coming in the sweet influences of Divine grace, suited to the soul’s various necessities: nay, our Lord promises, not only his and his Father’s coming to, but their making an abode with such as love him, and keep his commandments. Here the abiding of the First and Second Person in the Trinity with believers; the abiding of the Third Person with them is also promised, John 14:16; which all make that presence of God with them, so often promised to them in holy writ. Thus our Saviour answereth one part of what Judas said, How is it that thou wilt manifest thyself to us? Because, saith our Saviour, you love me, and keep my words: for though no love, no works of ours, foreseen or seen, be the cause of eternal love, or the first grace; yet it is so much a cause of further grace, especially in the sensible manifestations of it, that no soul must expect it that doth not love Christ, and keep his words. He also further gives them a reason, as to the second thing he asked, why he did not manifest himself to the world?

Jesus answered and said unto him,.... This answer is returned, and these words are spoken, for the further confirmation and explanation of what was before said:

if a man love me, he will keep my words; by his "words" are meant not his doctrines, but his ordinances; the same with his commandments, John 14:21, which he has said, ordered, and commanded to be observed, and which are observed by such who truly love him, and that from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory: and for the encouragement of such persons as before, he says,

and my Father will love him: which is to be understood not of the love of the Father, as in his own heart, which is not taken up in time, but was in him from all eternity; nor of the first discovery of it to his people, but of greater manifestations of it to them, and a quicker sense of it in their hearts, and also of some other effects of it, to be enjoyed by them in an higher manner; such as larger measures of grace, more communion with him here, and eternal honour and glory hereafter:

and we will come unto him: I who am now going away, and my Father to whom I am going, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, I have promised to pray for: hence a proof of a plurality of persons in the Godhead, of a trinity of persons, of there being neither more nor fewer than three; since neither more nor less can be collected from the context; and of their distinct personality, or it could not be said with any propriety, "we" each of us "will come unto him"; not locally and visibly, but spiritually, by affording our gracious and comfortable presence, the continuance of which is promised next:

and make our abode with him; which denotes habitation; for the saints are the dwelling places or temples of the living God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and the constancy and perpetuity of their residence in them, not as a wayfaring man, but always, though this may not be always discerned by believers; and is a wonderful instance of the grace and condescension of God to dwell on earth with sinful men; and a far greater one it is, than if the most mighty potentate on earth should take up his abode in a poor despicable cottage with the meanest of his subjects.

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14:23-24. Jesus repeats—and that was sufficient for the removal of such a misunderstanding—substantially, yet now at once placing love as the principal matter in the immediate foreground, the condition to which His self-revelation, John 14:22, is attached, by more closely defining it according to its divine and blessed manner of existence; and shows from this, and from the antithesis added in John 14:24, that the κόσμος—this κόσμος which hates Him and is disobedient to Him—is quite incapable of receiving that self-revelation. The more precise explanation, πρὸς αὐτ. ἐλευσόμ. κ. μονὴν παρʼ αὐτῷ ποιησόμεθα, is intended to make this very incapacity still more distinctly and deeply felt. At the foundation of the expression lies the theocratic idea, realized in this spiritual fellowship, of the dwelling of God amongst His people (Exodus 25:8; Exodus 29:45; Leviticus 26:11-12; Ezekiel 37:26 ff.), with which also the later representation of the dwelling of the Shekinah with the pious (Danz in Meuschen, N. T. ex Talm. ill. p. 701 ff.) is connected. This representation, however, is not to be assumed here, since Jesus means an invisible presence. In the plural of communion, ἐλευσόμεθα is the clear expression of the divine-human consciousness, John 10:30.

On the genuinely Greek expression μονὴν ποιεῖν, see Kypke, I. p. 404. The Middle (see critical notes): we will make to ourselves.

παρʼ αὐτῷ] The unio mystica, into which God and Christ enter with man by means of the Paraclete,[155] is presented in the sensuous form of the taking up an abode with Him (comp. John 14:17; John 14:25), i.e. in His dwelling (comp. John 1:40, Acts 21:8, et al.), under His roof. They come, like wanderers from their heavenly home (John 14:2), and lodge with Him, “will be daily His guests, yea, house and table companions,” Luther.

The λόγοι, discourses, are the individual parts of the collective λόγος, and the ἐντολαί are the preceptive parts of the same, and form, therefore, a more special conception than the λόγοι.

καὶ ὁ λόγος ὃν ἀκούετε, κ.τ.λ.] and—from this you may infer how unfitted such a man is to experience that visitation—the word which ye hear (now, still!), etc. Comp. John 7:16, John 8:28, John 12:49-50, John 3:34. He therefore rejects God Himself. The second person (ἀκούετε) is individualizing (not to be limited to what was said in John 14:23-24, as Godet takes it), and makes the expression at the close of this portion of the address more lively.

[155] Not: “in the divine elevation above space and time” (Weiss, Lehrbegr. p. 276), which introduces here a speculative idea which is very remote from the meaning.

John 14:23. To this Jesus replies ἐάν τιςποιήσομεν. The answer explains that the manifestation, being spiritual, must be individual and to those spiritually prepared. “It contemplates not a public discovery of power, but a sort of domestic visitation of love.” Bernard, πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐλευσόμεθα, “to him we will come”; Jesus without scruple unites Himself with the Father. μονὴνποιησόμεθα, a classical expression see Thuc., i. 131, μονὴνποιούμενος. “We will make our abode with him, will be daily his guests, yea, house and table companions.” Luther in Meyer, μονή is here used in a sense different from that of John 14:2, where it means a place to abide in.

23. Judas] Excluding the genealogies of Christ we have six persons of this name in the N.T.

23. Jesus answered] The answer is given, as so often in our Lord’s replies, not directly, but by repeating and developing the statement which elicited the question. Comp. John 3:5-8, John 4:14, John 6:44-51; John 6:53-58, &c. The condition of receiving the revelation is loving obedience; those who have it not cannot receive it. This shews that the revelation cannot be universal, cannot be shared by those who hate and disobey (John 15:18).

my words] Rather, My word; the Gospel in its entirety.

we will come] For the use of the plural comp. John 10:30.

abode] See on John 14:2. The thought of God dwelling among His people was familiar to every Jew (Exodus 25:8; Exodus 29:45; Zechariah 2:10; &c.). This is a thought far beyond that,—God dwelling in the heart of the individual; and later Jewish philosophy had attained to this also. But the united indwelling of the Father and the Son by means of the Spirit is purely Christian.

In these two verses (23, 24) the changes ‘words’ … ‘sayings’ … ‘word’ give a wrong impression: they should run—‘word’ … ‘words’ … ‘word.’ In the Greek we have the same substantive, twice n the singular and once in the plural.

John 14:23. Τὸν λόγον μου, My word) [Not as Engl. Vers., words]. The word is represented as one (Singular) in this verse, in reference to believers, who keep it whole: in John 14:24 (τοὺς λόγους μου) more words than one (Plural) are mentioned, in reference to unbelievers, who rend them in sunder: “keepeth not My words.” Comp. ch. John 15:12, note [“This is My commandment (ἡ ἐντολὴ), That ye love one another.” He had previously used the Plural, commandments. All of them are comprised in the one, love]; and 1 John 2:4-5, “He that keepeth not His commandments (Plur.), etc.; but whoso keepeth His word” (Sing.), etc.—τηρήσει, he will keep) Keeping His commandments is put before love in John 14:21, “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me:” now love is put before keeping His word. Love, in a certain respect, and that a primary one, goes before keeping of the commandments; see John 14:15, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments;” but in a certain respect it also follows, since by keeping of the commandments love the more in proportion increases, and acquires new vigour. Therefore to keep His word is a middle term between the love towards Jesus Christ, and the love of the Father towards him who loves Jesus Christ.—ἐλευσόμεθα, We will come) I and the Father. The Singular number ἐμφανίσω, I will manifest, advances onward to the Plural, we will come.—μονὴν, abode) See the correlative to this in John 14:2, μοναἰ, mansions.[352] Comp. Revelation 3:20, at the end, “I will come into him, and sup with him, and he with Me.”—μονὴν ποιήσομεν, We will make our lasting abode [mansion]) Either the architect or the inhabitant is said to make an abode (mansion): but in this place it is restricted to the inhabitants (the indwelling Father and Son). This is a very sublime view. It is therefore cut short at John 14:25.

[352] He now makes His mansion (lasting abode) with believers: and they hereafter shall have their mansions with Him: ver. 2, 23.—E. and T.

Verse 23. - Jesus answered and said to him, If a man, let him be whosoever he may, love me - there is the germ and root of all - he will keep my Word (λόγον). In Ver. 21 we see the complementary statement, "He that has and keeps my commandments loves me;" here, "He that loves me keeps my Word." In Ver. 21 obedience proves inward love, and may indicate to the world the fact of the Father's love and my own response. Here our Lord is laying down the principle of relation - the law of close intimacy, the conditions of higher knowledge. The keeping of the Word is a certain consequence of holy love. And my Father will love him. So far Christ has only reiterated the great statement of Ver. 21, but instead of saying, "I will love him, and manifest myself," he added, We will come - the Father and I - to him, and take up our abode, make for ourselves a resting-place in his dwelling (πἀρ αὐτῳ); cf. the analogous and wonderful parallel in Revelation 3:20. There is a clear utterance of Divine self-consciousness. It is worthy of note that such an expression as this sounds a profounder depth of that consciousness than any phrase (λόγος) already delivered. Apart from the stupendous corroborative facts elsewhere on record, this seems, to mere human experience, either awfully true or infinitely blasphemous. The Father add g will come together in the power of the Spirit, and we will dwell within the loving and obedient soul. This phrase suggests the mystical union of the Divine Personality with that of those who have entered into spiritual relation with Christ through love and obedience. John 14:23My word (λόγον μου)

The entire gospel message, as distinguished from its separate parts or commandments.

We will come

Compare John 10:30; Revelation 3:20.

Abode (μονὴν)

See on John 14:2. Compare 1 John 2:24; 1 John 5:15.

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