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

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on John 14:21-26

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 21, 2011

Jn 14:21. “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me.”

It is not enough merely to have them, we need also an exact keeping of them. But why doth He frequently say the same thing to them? as, “If ye love Me, ye will keep  My commandments” (Jn 14:15); and, “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them”; and, “If any one heareth My word and keepeth it, he it is that loveth Me—he that heareth not My words, loveth Me not.” (Jn 14:24). I think that He alluded to their despondency; for since He had uttered many wise sayings to them concerning death, saying, “He that hateth his life in this world shall save it unto life eternal” (Jn 12:25); and,“Unless a man take 12 his cross and follow Me, he is not worthy of Me” (Matt 10:38); and is about to say other things besides, rebuking them, He saith, “Think ye that ye suffer sorrow from love? The not sorrowing would be a sign of love.” And because He wished all along to establish this, as He went on He summed up His discourse in this same point; “If ye loved Me,” He saith, “ye would have rejoiced, because—I go to My Father” (Jn 14:28), but now ye are in this state through cowardice. To be thus disposed towards death is not for those who remember My commandments; for you ought to be crucified, if you truly loved Me, for My word exhorteth you not to be afraid of those that kill the body. Those that are such both the Father loveth and I. “And I will manifest Myself unto him.  Then saith Judas,

Jn 14:22. “How is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us?”

Seest thou that their soul was close pressed  with fear? For he was confounded and troubled, and thought that as we see dead men in a dream, so He also would be seen. In order therefore that they might not imagine this, hear what He saith.

Jn 14:23. “I and the Father will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.”

All but saying, “As the Father revealeth Himself, so also do I.” And not in this way only He removed the suspicion, but also by saying, “We will make Our abode with him,” a thing which doth not belong to dreams. But observe, I pray you, the disciple confounded, and not daring to say plainly what he desired to say. For he said not, “Woe to us, that Thou diest,and will come to us as the dead come”; he spake not thus; but, “How is it that Thou wilt show Thyself to us, and not unto the world?” Jesus then saith, that “I accept you, because ye keep My commandments.” In order that they might not, when they should see Him afterwards,  deem Him to be an apparition, therefore He saith these things beforehand. And that they might not deem that He would appear to them so as I have said, He telleth them also the reason, “Because ye keep My commandments”; He saith that the Spirit also will appear in like manner. Now if after having companied with Him so long time, they cannot yet endure that Essence, or rather cannot even imagine It, what would have been their case had He appeared thus to them at the first? on this account also He ate with them, that the action might not seem to be an illusion. For if they thought this when they saw Him walking on the waters, although His wonted form was seen by them, and He was not far distant, what would they have imagined had they suddenly seen Him arisen whom they had seen taken 19 and swathed? Wherefore He continually telleth them that He will appear, and why He will appear, and how, that they may not suppose Him to be an apparition.

Jn 14:24. “He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings; and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.”

“So that he that heareth not these sayings not only doth not love Me, but neither doth he love the Father.” For if this is the sure proof of love, the hearing the commandments, and these are of the Father, he that heareth them loveth not the Son only, but the Father also. “And how is the word ‘thine’ and ‘not thine’?” This means, “I speak not without the Father, nor say anything of Myself contrary to what seemeth good to Him.”

Jn 14:25. “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.”

Since these sayings were not clear, and since some they did not understand, and doubted about the greater number, in order that they might not be again confused, and say, “What commands?” He released them from all their perplexity, saying,

Jn 14:26. “The Comforter, whom the Father shall send in My Name, He shall teach you.”

“Perhaps these things are not clear to you now, but ‘He’  is a clear teacher of them.” And the, “remaineth with you” (Jn 14:17), is the expression of One implying that Himself will depart. Then that they may not be grieved, He saith, that as long as He should remain with them and the Spirit should not come, they would be unable to comprehend anything great or sublime. And this He said to prepare them to bear nobly His departure, as that which was to be the cause of great blessings to them. He continually calleth Him “Comforter,” because of the afflictions which then possessed them. And since even after hearing these things they were troubled, when they thought of the sorrows, the wars, His departure, see how He calmeth them again by saying, “Peace I leave to you” (verse 27).

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3 Responses to “St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on John 14:21-26”

  1. […] St John Chrysostom on Today’s Gospel (John 14:21-26). […]

  2. […] St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 14:21-26). […]

  3. […] St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 14:21-26). […]

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