dwelling places: Or “abodes.” The Greek word mo·neʹ occurs only here and at Joh 14:23, where it is rendered “dwelling.” Although the term was sometimes used in secular literature to refer to a stop or a resting place for a traveler on a journey, most scholars agree that in this context, Jesus was promising permanent dwelling places in the house of his Father in heaven, where he was going. For Jesus to prepare a place for his disciples required that he appear before God and present to Him the value of his blood. (Heb 9:12, 24-28) Only after he did that could humans follow him to heaven.—Php 3:20, 21.
prepare a place for you: This would involve Jesus’ validating or inaugurating the new covenant by appearing before God and presenting to Him the value of his blood. The preparation would also include Christ’s receiving kingly power, after which the heavenly resurrection of his anointed followers would begin.—1Th 4:14-17; Heb 9:12, 24-28; 1Pe 1:19; Re 11:15.
I am the way and the truth and the life: Jesus is the way because it is only through him that it is possible to approach God in prayer. He is also “the way” for humans to be reconciled to God. (Joh 16:23; Ro 5:8) Jesus is the truth in that he spoke and lived in harmony with truth. He also fulfilled scores of prophecies that show his central role in the outworking of God’s purpose. (Joh 1:14; Re 19:10) These prophecies became “‘yes’ [or were fulfilled] by means of him.” (2Co 1:20) Jesus is the life because by means of the ransom, he made it possible for mankind to gain “the real life,” that is, “everlasting life.” (1Ti 6:12, 19; Eph 1:7; 1Jo 1:7) He will also prove to be “the life” for millions who will be resurrected with the prospect of living in Paradise forever.—Joh 5:28, 29.
show us the Father: Apparently, Philip wanted Jesus to provide for his disciples a visible manifestation of God, such as was granted in visions to Moses, Elijah, and Isaiah in ancient times.—Ex 24:10; 1Ki 19:9-13; Isa 6:1-5.
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also: Philip’s request recorded at Joh 14:8 suggests that he wanted Jesus to provide his disciples with a visible manifestation of God, such as was granted in visions to Moses, Elijah, and Isaiah. (Ex 24:10; 1Ki 19:9-13; Isa 6:1-5) In such visions, God’s servants saw symbolic representations of God, not God himself. (Ex 33:17-23; Joh 1:18) Jesus’ reply indicated that Philip had already seen something better than such a vision of God. Because Jesus perfectly reflected the personality of his Father, seeing Jesus was like seeing God himself. (Mt 11:27) The disciples had “seen the Father” by perceiving God’s personality, will, and purpose through what Jesus said and did. So when the Bible describes Jesus—his love for his friends, his compassion that moved him to heal others, his empathy that caused him to give way to tears, and his powerful teaching—the reader might well picture his Father, Jehovah, saying and doing those very things.—Mt 7:28, 29; Mr 1:40-42; Joh 11:32-36.
of my own originality: Or “on my own.” Lit., “from myself.” As God’s Chief Representative, Jesus always listens to Jehovah’s voice and speaks what Jehovah directs.
works greater than these: Jesus is not saying that the miraculous works his disciples would perform would be greater than his own miraculous works. Rather, he humbly acknowledges that the extent of their preaching and teaching work would be greater than his. His followers would cover more territory, reach more people, and preach for a longer period of time than he would. Jesus’ words clearly show that he expected his followers to continue his work.
whatever you ask in my name: Jesus here introduced a new feature to prayer. Never before had Jehovah required that people pray in someone’s name. For instance, even though Moses had been a mediator between the nation of Israel and God, Jehovah did not say that the Israelites should use Moses’ name when praying. However, on the last evening with his disciples before his death, Jesus revealed this new way to pray, mentioning the expression ‘ask in my name’ four times. (Joh 14:13, 14; 15:16; 16:23, 24) Since Jesus purchased the human race when he gave his perfect life as a ransom, he is the only channel through which God’s blessings are extended to mankind. (Ro 5:12, 18, 19; 1Co 6:20; Ga 3:13) That act made Jesus the only legal Mediator between God and man (1Ti 2:5, 6), the only one through whom a person can be freed from the curse of sin and death (Ac 4:12). Appropriately, then, Jesus is the only channel of approach to God. (Heb 4:14-16) Those who pray in Jesus’ name acknowledge the vital role he plays.
another helper: This wording indicates that the disciples already had a “helper” in Jesus. In fact, 1Jo 2:1 used the same Greek term for “helper” (pa·raʹkle·tos) regarding the role of Jesus. But here Jesus promises that God’s spirit, or active force, would provide further help after his departure from the earthly scene.
helper: Or “comforter; encourager; advocate.” The word rendered “helper” (pa·raʹkle·tos) is used in the Bible to describe the roles of both the holy spirit (Joh 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) and Jesus (1Jo 2:1). It could literally be rendered “one called to someone’s side” to give help. When Jesus spoke of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, as a helper and referred to this helper as ‘teaching,’ ‘bearing witness,’ ‘giving evidence,’ ‘guiding,’ ‘speaking,’ ‘hearing,’ and ‘receiving’ (Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15), he used a figure of speech called personification, that is, referring to something impersonal or inanimate as if it were alive. In the Scriptures, it is not unusual for something that is not actually a person to be personified. Some examples are wisdom, death, sin, and undeserved kindness. (Mt 11:19; Lu 7:35; Ro 5:14, 17, 21; 6:12; 7:8-11) It is obvious that not one of these things is an actual person. God’s spirit is often mentioned together with other impersonal forces or things, further supporting the fact that it is not a person. (Mt 3:11; Ac 6:3, 5; 13:52; 2Co 6:4-8; Eph 5:18) Some argue that the use of Greek masculine pronouns when referring to this “helper” shows that holy spirit is a person. (Joh 14:26) However, Greek grammar requires masculine pronouns when the activity of “the helper” is described, since the word for “helper” is in the masculine gender. (Joh 16:7, 8, 13, 14) On the other hand, when the neuter Greek word for “spirit” (pneuʹma) is used, neuter pronouns are used.—See study note on Joh 14:17.
spirit: Or “active force.” The Greek term pneuʹma is in the neuter gender and therefore neuter pronouns are used when referring to it. The Greek word has a number of meanings. All of them refer to that which is invisible to human sight and gives evidence of force in motion. (See Glossary.) In this context, “spirit” refers to God’s holy spirit, which is here called the spirit of the truth, an expression that also occurs at Joh 15:26 and 16:13, where Jesus explains that “the helper” (Joh 16:7), that is, “the spirit of the truth,” will “guide” Jesus’ disciples “into all the truth.”
sees it . . . You know it: The two occurrences of “it” render the Greek pronoun au·toʹ, which is in the neuter gender and refers to the Greek word for spirit (pneuʹma), which is also in the neuter gender.—See study note on Joh 14:16.
bereaved: Or “as orphans.” At Jas 1:27, the Greek word for “orphan,” or·pha·nosʹ, is used in the literal sense of someone being without parents. Here it has the figurative meaning of someone left without the support and protection of a friend, caretaker, or master. Jesus is promising his disciples that he will not leave them abandoned, helpless, or unprotected.
Judas, not Iscariot: Referring to the apostle Judas, also called Thaddaeus.—See study note on Mt 10:3.
dwelling: Or “abode.”—See study note on Joh 14:2.
helper: Or “comforter; encourager; advocate.”—See study note on Joh 14:16.
for the Father is greater than I am: On numerous occasions, Jesus acknowledged his Father’s greatness, authority, and superior position. (Mt 4:9, 10; 20:23; Lu 22:41, 42; Joh 5:19; 8:42; 13:16) Even after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, his apostles described the Father as having a separate and superior position in relation to Jesus. (1Co 11:3; 15:20, 24-28; 1Pe 1:3; 1Jo 2:1; 4:9, 10) The Greek word here rendered “greater” (meiʹzon) is the comparative form of the word for “great” (meʹgas), and it is used in many contexts where one person or thing is said to be superior to another.—Mt 18:1; 23:17; Mr 9:34; 12:31; Lu 22:24; Joh 13:16; 1Co 13:13.
the ruler of the world: A similar expression occurs at Joh 12:31 and 16:11 and refers to Satan the Devil. In this context, the term “world” (Greek, koʹsmos) refers to human society that is alienated from God and whose behavior is out of harmony with his will. God did not produce this unrighteous world; it is “lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1Jo 5:19) Satan and his “wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places” act as the invisible “world rulers [form of the Greek word ko·smo·kraʹtor] of this darkness.”—Eph 6:11, 12.
he has no hold on me: Or “he has no power over me.” Lit., “in me he has nothing.” Jesus had no imperfection or wrong desire that Satan could take advantage of so as to turn him away from serving God. The Greek expression rendered “has no hold on me” may reflect a Hebrew idiom used in legal contexts with the meaning “he has no claim on me.” By contrast, the Devil was able to enter into Judas and get a hold on him.—Joh 13:27.