John 14:7
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
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(7) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.—The thought here is made quite plain by what has preceded; but the form in which it is expressed demands attention. The emphasis of the first part of the sentence is not upon “Me” as is generally supposed, but upon “known.” In the second part the emphatic words are “My Father.” The English word “known” represents two Greek words in the better text which are not identical in meaning. The former means, to know by observation, the latter to know by reflection. It is the difference between connaître and savoir; between kennen (ken, k(e)now), and wissen (wit, wisdom). We may express the meaning more exactly thus, “If ye had recognised Me, ye would have known My Father also.” If ye had recognised who I really am; ye would have known that I and My Father are one.

And from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.—Comp. John 13:31, where the glorifying of the Son of Man is regarded as in the future which is immediately present. He can, therefore, say that from this time onwards, after the full declaration of Himself in John 14:6; John 14:9 et seq., they know and have seen the Father.

John 14:7. If ye had known me — As ye might and ought to have known me. If ye had earnestly sought and obtained that knowledge of me which is communicated by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, (Ephesians 1:17,) ye would have known my Father also — In his various perfections, and in those blessed relations in which he stands to such as believe on Christ with a living faith, and are accepted through him, the beloved. “If you had had an adequate idea of my character, from the miracles I have performed, and from the marks of goodness, justice, and wisdom, which have manifested themselves in my life and doctrine; you could not have been ignorant of my Father; because his attributes are the same.” And from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him — As it may be truly affirmed, considering the discoveries that I have made of him, and the manifestation of the divine perfections which you have seen in me.

14:1-11 Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so. Christ's disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet. Here is the remedy against this trouble of mind, Believe. By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort. The happiness of heaven is spoken of as in a father's house. There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory. Mansions are lasting dwellings. Christ will be the Finisher of that of which he is the Author or Beginner; if he have prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it. Christ is the sinner's Way to the Father and to heaven, in his person as God manifest in the flesh, in his atoning sacrifice, and as our Advocate. He is the Truth, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Saviour; believing which, sinners come by him the Way. He is the Life, by whose life-giving Spirit the dead in sin are quickened. Nor can any man draw nigh God as a Father, who is not quickened by Him as the Life, and taught by Him as the Truth, to come by Him as the Way. By Christ, as the Way, our prayers go to God, and his blessings come to us; this is the Way that leads to rest, the good old Way. He is the Resurrection and the Life. All that saw Christ by faith, saw the Father in Him. In the light of Christ's doctrine, they saw God as the Father of lights; and in Christ's miracles, they saw God as the God of power. The holiness of God shone in the spotless purity of Christ's life. We are to believe the revelation of God to man in Christ; for the works of the Redeemer show forth his own glory, and God in him.If ye had known me - By this Jesus does not intend to say that they were not truly his disciples, but that they had not a full and accurate knowledge of his character and designs. They still retained, to a large extent, the Jewish notions respecting a temporal Messiah, and did not fully understand that he was to die and be raised from the dead.

Ye should have known my Father also - You would have known the counsels and designs of my Father respecting my death and resurrection. If you had been divested of your Jewish prejudices about the Messiah, if you had understood that it was proper for me to die, you would also have understood the purposes and plans of God in my death; and, knowing that, you would have seen that it was wise and best. We see here that a correct knowledge of the character and work of Christ is the same as a correct knowledge of the counsels and plans of God; and we see, also, that the reasons why we have not such a knowledge are our previous prejudices and erroneous views.

From henceforth - From this time. From my death and resurrection you shall understand the plans and counsels of God.

Ye know him - You shall have just views of his plans and designs.

Have seen him - That is, they had seen Jesus Christ, his image, and the brightness of his glory Hebrews 1:3, which was the same as having seen the Father, John 14:9.

7. from henceforth—now, or from this time, understand. If ye had known me as you ought to have known me, as I am indeed the eternal Son of God, sent by my Father into the world, you should have known my Father, with whom I am equal, and one and the same God, so as in knowing one of us, you must have known both: but you stick in my outward form and appearance, while I appear to you in the form of a man; and you stick in your prejudices sucked in from the notion you have of the Messiah, expecting I know not what temporal prince: these things blind you as to my Divine nature, (personally united to my human nature), that you see nothing of my Godhead, which if you had clearly known and believed, you would not have been at a loss to know the Father, the brightness of whose glory, and the express image of whose person, I am, though my glory be veiled by my human nature. And if you will yet believe what I say, from henceforth you do know the Father, and you have seen the Father so oft as you have seen me.

If ye had known me,.... Christ having made mention of his Father's house, and of himself, as the way thither, and the way of access to the Father, was willing to inform his disciples better concerning him before his departure from them, which he introduces, saying: "if ye had known me"; that is, more fully and perfectly; for that they knew Christ to be the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, and true Messiah, is certain, though they were not so thoroughly acquainted, as afterwards, with his person, power, and office:

ye should have known my Father also; for the knowledge of the Father, and of Christ, go together; he that sees the one, sees the other; he that believes in the one, believes in the other; and the knowledge of both is necessary to eternal life; and as a person increases in the knowledge of the one, so of the other. The disciples had some knowledge of them both, but what was very small and obscure, in comparison of what they afterwards had:

and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him; some read these words, "henceforwards ye shall know him, and see him"; that is, in a very short time, when the Spirit is poured down from on high upon you, and you have received the gifts of the Holy Ghost, you shall then have an enlarged knowledge both of me and my Father. Others render them, as an exhortation, "henceforward know ye him"; acknowledge the Father in all that I have done, believing that you see the Father in me, and in all my works; though they are rather to be considered as an assertion, declaring, that they then had some knowledge of the Father; "and now ye know him, and", or "because ye have seen him"; in me, who am "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person".

{e} If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

(e) It is plain by this verse that to know God and to see God is the same thing. Now whereas he said before that no man saw God at any time, it is to be understood in this way: without Christ, or were it not through Christ, no man could ever see God, nor ever saw God, at any time: for as Chrysostom says, the Son is a very concise and plain setting forth of the Father's nature to us.

John 14:7. Had you known me (for they had indeed not known that He was the Way), you would also have known the Father (of their non-acquaintance with whom their οὐκ οἴδαμεν, ποῦ ὑπάγεις, John 14:5, had testified).

The emphasis changes (otherwise in John 8:19); it lies in the protasis on ἐγνώκ., not on the enclitic μέ; in the apodosis on τ. πατ. μον.

καὶ ἀπʼ ἄρτι, κ.τ.λ.] and—which I can nevertheless now add—from henceforward (after I have told you in John 14:6 so definitely and fully what I am) you know Him, and have (in me, John 14:9) beheld Him. This view of the meaning, which flows immediately out of the context, John 14:6; John 14:9, the point of which is the idea of the adequate self-revelation of God in Christ, entirely excludes any interpretation of the two verbs in a future sense (Chrysostom, Kuinoel, and many others), and the reference to a future terminus a quo (Chrysostom, Lücke, Ewald, and several others), which is wont to be assumed as the time of the communication of the Spirit, nay, even a mentally supplied “I hope” (De Wette) with ἀπάρτι. The reference of ἀπάρτι to the whole time of their fellowship with Christ since their conversion (Hengstenberg), is, even in a linguistic point of view, impossible. See on John 13:19, John 1:51. In that case only νῦν could stand. Godet’s remark is also incorrect: “at the point at which my teaching has now arrived,” as if ἄρτι merely were expressed.

On καί, which, without altering its meaning, significantly subjoins an adversative clause (and … i.e. and nevertheless), see on John 7:28.

John 14:7. He is the essential knowledge, εἰ ἐγνώκειτέ με … Some press the distinction between ἐγνώκειτε and ἤδειτε, “the first representing a knowledge acquired and progressive; the second a knowledge perceptive and immediate”. But this discrimination is here inappropriate. The clause explains the foregoing. The Father is in Jesus, and to know Him is to know the Father. They had unconsciously been coming to the Father and living in Him. Now they were to do so consciously: ἀπʼ ἄρτι γινώσκετεαὐτόν. The repeated αὐτόν brings out the point, that it was the Father that was henceforth to be recognised by them when they saw and thought of Jesus: “ye know Him and have seen Him”.

7. If ye had known me] In the better MSS, we have here again two different words for ‘know’ (see on John 7:26, John 8:55, John 13:7), and the emphasis in the first clause is on ‘known’ in the second on ‘Father.’ Beware of the common mistake of putting an emphasis on ‘Me.’ The meaning is: ‘If ye had recognized Me, ye would have known My Father also.’ The veil of Jewish prejudice was still on their hearts, hiding from them the true meaning both of Messianic prophecy and of the Messiah’s acts.

from henceforth] The same expression as is mistranslated ‘now’ in John 13:19 : it is to be understood literally, not proleptically.

ye know him] Or, recognise Him. From this time, onwards, after the plain declaration of Himself in John 14:6, they begin to recognise the Father in Him. Philip’s request leads to a fuller statement of John 14:6.

John 14:7. Εἰ, if) This if does not altogether deny [that they knew Him], but it draws their souls to onward progress: John 14:28.[345] [So Luke 17:6. “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed:” after they had said, “Lord, increase our faith.”]—ἑωράκατε, ye have seen) The preterite: ye have begun to see, and see Him.

[345] “If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice:” not denying wholly that they loved Him, but inciting them to greater love.—E. and T.

John 14:7Had known (ἐγνώκειτε)

Rather, had learned to know, through my successive revelations of myself.

Ye should have known (ἐγώκειτε ἄν)

The same verb as above. Some editors, however, read ᾔδειτε, the verb signifying absolute knowledge, the knowledge of intuition and satisfied conviction. If this is adopted, it marks a contrast with the progressive knowledge indicated by ἐγνώκειτε. See on John 2:24.

My Father

Not the Father, as John 14:6. It is the knowledge of the Father in His relation to the Son. Through this knowledge the knowledge of God as the Father, "in the deepest verity of His being," is attained. This latter knowledge is better expressed by οἷδα. See on John 4:21.

Have seen

See on John 1:18.

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