The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 14:21-26

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 21, 2011

Joh 14:21  He that hath my commandments and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.

He that hath ( ο εχων) my commandments, and keepeth them, &c. Not only to the Apostles, but to all that love Him, Christ will manifest Himself, for in and with the Holy Ghost He and His Father will come and abide in them.

Joh 14:22  Judas saith to him, not the Iscariot: Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself to us, and not to the world?
Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said to him: If any one love me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him and we will come to him and will make our abode with him.

Asked by the Apostle Jude, brother to James the Less, who was also called Thaddeus, how He would manifest Himself to the Apostles, yet be unseen by the world, Christ replies that He will come and dwell in all that love Him, and thus manifest Himself, and be seen by them in a spiritual manner.

Joh 14:24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard is not mine; but the Father’s who sent me.

He had just said that those who love Him will keep His words and obey them, and now He adds that those who do not love Him will not keep His words. The reason why He here insists upon this observance of His words is, that such observance is necessary, before He will manifest Himself and make His abode in any heart. For, as is clear from verse 21, Christ will manifest Himself only to those who are loved by the Father; but they alone are loved by the Father who love Christ, and they alone love Christ who keep His commandments (verse 23).

And the word which you have heard, &c. Sermonem (Vulg.) ought to be sermo,  and the verb in the original is in the present (ακουετε). The sense, therefore, is: the words which you are wont to hear from Me are not Mine alone, but the Father’s also who sent Me. Is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me. This form of expression, which seems to declare that the words are in no way Christ’s, is a Hebraism, and means that they are not His alone. See above on 7:16. Of course the authority of Christ’s words was equal in every way to that of the Father’s, but since the Apostles did not yet fully realize His Divinity with all that it implied, He invokes the Father’s authority as having more weight with them.

Joh 14:25  These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you.
Joh 14:26  But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.

These things I have spoken to you while remaining with you; and if you fail to
understand them fully, yet be consoled with My assurance that the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all that you need know, and recall to your minds (υπομνησει) all that I said (ειπον) to you. This may be regarded as the seventh motive of consolation.

Here again, as in verse 16, we have mention of three distinct Persons: the Holy Ghost is to be sent by the Father in the name of the Son. And, as we remarked on verse 16, the fact that the Holy Ghost is to be sent by the Father, proves His procession from the Father.

The Holy Ghost is said to be sent in Christ’s name, most probably because He was sent in the place of Christ, another Advocate and Helper, to console the Apostles and carry on the work begun by Christ.

The infallible teaching authority of the Apostles follows from the fact that they were to be taught by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth (verse 17). And since they were endowed with this infallible teaching authority in order that they might teach the flock of Christ (Jn 15:16); since, moreover, there is still the same  need for an infallible teaching authority in the Church, if the work of Christ and His Apostles is to be continued without danger of failure, we are warranted in concluding that an infallible teaching authority still resides in the Church.

Hence, to use Christ s own words: The gates of hell shall not prevail against her (Matt 16:18), because in her office of teacher she has Christ with her, all days, even to the consummation of the world.  Euntes . . . docete . . . et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus usque ad consummationem saeculi (Matt 28:19, 20).

3 Responses to “Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 14:21-26”

  1. […] Fathers Nolan and Brown’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 14:21-26). […]

  2. […] Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 14:21-26). […]

  3. […] Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 14:21-26). […]

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