Who is Jesus saying this to?
Jesus is answering a question from a disciple who was wondering why Jesus was not speaking these heavy words out in the village square or another public place. Rather, Jesus was speaking these intimate details to his closest disciples in private. Here is the question:
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" (John 14:22)The translation of Jesus' answer uses the word "anyone," taken from the Greek word τις (tis), which actually means "a certain, a certain one" or "some" according to the lexicon.
There is a critical difference between the words "someone" and "anyone." "Anyone" implies no qualification. "Anyone" can mean any person, regardless of their consciousness, their motives or intentions - the construction of the sentence does indicate the qualification is loving Jesus.
In other words, Jesus is associating loving him with obeying his teachings.
Why? Jesus is explaining it here: It is because some of them have been following his teachings. Some have been showing him their love by committing their lives to following his teachings.
Just consider what some of Jesus' disciples did. They gave up their respective jobs, positions in the community, and acceptance by the various temple congregations - run by the Pharisees and/or Sadducees. Because Jesus was criticized and ostracized from the temple institutions for his teachings, so were his disciples. Thus we can also say that many also gave up their reputations within the community in order to follow Jesus.
Jesus did not speak plainly to everyone
We also know that Jesus did not speak many of his intimate teachings broadly to the masses. This is illustrated in this exchange:
The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand." (Matt. 13:10-13)This brings up the necessary question: How many of Jesus' intimate teachings taught to his disciples actually made it into the Gospels? It is obvious from the Gospels that many did not. While the four Gospels certainly contain a few intimate conversations with his disciples, most of them recant some of the same public speeches and public healings. There are only a small handful of private discussions between Jesus and his disciples in the Gospels.
It is obvious, noting the intensity with which his disciples followed him, that Jesus taught many things to his disciples that are not contained in the four Gospels. And this would be consistent with his desire to keep some of his more intimate teachings between him and serious students.
This particular conversation (John 14) reveals one of those private conversations. This is why many sectarian teachers who have interpreted and preached upon Jesus' words have misunderstood them: Because Jesus' statements were intended for those who followed Jesus' teachings.
For example, many sectarian teachers have taught that Jesus is the Supreme Being. Yet this is not what Jesus taught. This is offensive to Jesus, because not only did he specifically come to teach about God's existence, but his primary teaching was to love the Supreme Being.
Therefore, to deny God's separate existence as an individual is not to follow Jesus' teachings. Or to consider the Supreme Being a vague impersonal force - as many do in ecclesiastical sects - is to also deny God's personal existence. (How can someone love a vague force?)
Or to say that Jesus was the Supreme Being incarnated is to deny the love that existed between the Supreme Being and Jesus.
Ecclesiastical sectarians are also teaching that all we have to do to be saved is accept that Jesus died for our sins. This is not what Jesus taught. Jesus taught that God can forgive our sins by simply praying to Him. But he also taught that our focus should be on learning to love God and do God's will. These are Jesus' teachings.
A loving relationship with God
Loving and serving the Supreme Being are the core teachings of Jesus because he himself loved and served God. And this love between Jesus and the Supreme Being is illustrated in Jesus' statement here. His next statement relates to what happens to someone who does follow his teachings:
"My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."First, he says "My Father will love him..." This clearly states that the Supreme Being is a separate individual from Jesus. Why would Jesus bother to define the Father separately here if he were the Supreme Being?
From the previous phrase, we know that "My Father will love" the person who "will obey my teaching" (or better, "follow my teachings") This clearly means that the Supreme Being is pleased by someone who follows Jesus' teachings.
Then Jesus says, "and we will come to him and make our home with him." The phrase "we will come" is translated from the Greek ἔρχομαι (erchomai). This Greek word, however, means either "to come from one place to another" or "to appear, make one's appearance."
The reality is, regardless of whether ἔρχομαι (erchomai) is translated to "come" or "appear" - the meaning is the same: Jesus is speaking of being with the person - being there with him.
We should know by many of Jesus' statements that the Supreme Being does have a home in the spiritual realm - referred to as "heaven:"
"For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." (Matt. 18:10)
"And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and He is in heaven." (Matt. 23:9)In fact, Jesus repeated numerous times that not only was his Father - the Supreme Being - in heaven - the spiritual realm - but he was going there after he left his physical body:
“Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” (John 20:17)These clearly indicate that the Supreme Being does, in fact, dwell in the spiritual realm - so indeed He has a home. But this doesn't mean He is limited to being in one place. The Supreme Being can be anywhere and everywhere He wants to be. This is why He is the Supreme Being.
So what is Jesus talking about? Jesus is speaking of the fact that the Supreme Being can appear to us and be with each of us in the form of the Holy Spirit:
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26)There is nothing in the Greek text or the context of Jesus' statement that indicates "we." Rather, the context of the sentence illustrates that Jesus is referring to the Supreme Being, indicated by the first phrase of the sentence: "My Father will love him". The translators are incorrectly assuming "we."
This is confirmed by the use of μονή (monē), which does not mean "our home" as is currently (force) translated.* The word, meaning "an abode," was used by Jesus only one other time in the Gospels, in John 14:2:
"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2)Here, "rooms" (preceded by πολύς (polys) meaning "many") comes from μονή (monē), and according to Thayer's lexicon, the word means "a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode." It can also mean "mansion" or "abode," according to the lexicon, and its metaphorical use relates to the Holy Spirit.
And since Jesus has already described God's "abode" as having many rooms or sections, and Jesus has said multiple times that he will be "going to the Father" (John 14:12) in His abode after the death of his body, we can know that Jesus is not talking about him and the Father creating a physical "home" inside of someone who follows Jesus' teachings. What Jesus is referring to relates to the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, when a person refers to someone coming and being with someone else, they utilize the verb form of "abode" - to "abide".
This clarifies the relationship between Jesus, his teachings, and the Supreme Being. When someone follows Jesus' teachings - the primary being to love God and do the will of God - then Jesus is stating that God will come to that person and be with them. This is very clear and understandable.
The Holy Spirit
But how does the Supreme Being come and be with such a person, as Jesus teaches? This facility has been often referred to as the Holy Spirit (and translated to "Holy Ghost" in the Old King James Version). And what exactly is the Holy Spirit? Is it really a ghost?
Certainly not. The Supreme Being does not need to be a ghost to be with us. Rather, God has the ability to connect with each of us at any time, utilizing His spiritual technology. The Supreme Being is in the spiritual realm, but He is able to communicate anywhere at any time, and He can infinitely expand Himself as He desires.
Today we use communication technology to communicate with others from far away on an everyday basis through the internet and cell phones. Are we saying that God does not have a greater ability than this? The Supreme Being created the physical universe and has expanded Himself throughout it and within it. Yet He is still resident in the spiritual realm. This is not perceivable by the mind because the mind is a collection of inputs brought to it by the senses. The physical senses and mind cannot perceive the spiritual realm or the Supreme Being.
The Greek word ἔρχομαι (erchomai) relates to "appearance." What Jesus is referring to is not the Supreme Being coming as though God will have to travel to us and make a home with us, but rather, God is already here with us through His spiritual technology: the Supreme Being simply allows us to perceive Him. He "appears" before us by opening up our perception of Him.
God's presence through His spiritual outreach - the Holy Spirit - is with each of us no matter where we are - whether occupying a temporary physical body or not. The Supreme Being created us, and thus we have an eternal relationship. He never leaves our side from a spiritual context.
However, when we decided to reject our relationship with Him, and we turned our back on Him, He sent us to the physical world and gave us a temporary physical body to occupy. This physical body allows us to ignore His existence. This is why the physical eyes cannot see God and the physical mind cannot perceive God: It is part of the design.
Essentially, the reason we cannot see the Supreme Being now is that we don't want to see Him. We wanted to be away from Him. We wanted to chase our self-centered goals to enjoy life without Him. And part of that enjoyment includes wanting His kind of authority. We want to be famous. We want to be rich. We want to have authority. We want to enjoy others serving us and giving us attention. These things relate to His position. God is in this position: He owns everything, and He is the object of love and has all the authority and power.
But since we want those things, it would wreck our whole gig if we could see Him, as this would wreck our fantasy that we are so great. If we saw God's greatness, how could we honestly proclaim to be "the greatest" as many do?
The illusion that we are the greatest
This condition - of thinking that we are the greatest - is called ignorance, and the attractions of the physical world are all illusions. They might seem like they will make us happy, but they don't. We can see this in the lives of movie stars, sports stars or rock stars. They struggle for so many years to become famous, thinking that once they were famous they'd be happy. But once they achieved stardom they found that stardom does not bring happiness. They were still empty inside. While it might be a thrill to have screaming fans, they were over it pretty quickly, and now spend their focus seeking privacy from their fans. And many movie and rock stars illustrate this emptiness with so many drug and alcohol addictions and overdoses. Why do they need to escape into their drugs and alcohol if they are so fulfilled with their stardom?
Not only this, but their stardom is not permanent. At the time of death, all their stardom dissolves. Their pictures may still be looked at, but once their body dies, their fans will no longer recognize them. They leave all that stardom, just as wealthy people leave their wealth and politicians leave their positions and reputations at the time of death.
This is because stardom - or wealth or power - is not fulfilling to us. We are not stars by nature. We are not powerful by nature. We do not really own anything.
We might compare our current situation and God's presence next to us to a person who is sitting down at a computer terminal playing a video game, with a friend sitting next to them. The person who is operating the computer becomes engrossed in the video game to such a degree that they forget the friend sitting next to them. They become engrossed by their video game icon's situation and begin thinking that this icon is them. They start to think that the points their icon accumulates in the game are their points - not realizing that as soon as the game is over, the points will be erased and the computer will be shut down.
As we become engrossed in this virtual world - the physical world - we also forget our real identity. We forget who we are, and forget our connection with our Best Friend, God. This is called illusion.
By nature, each of us is spiritual, not physical. We are also each loving caregivers by nature. Our happiness comes when we please others - and our ultimate fulfillment comes when we love and please the Supreme Being. This is because we were created by the Supreme Being as His loving caregivers.
When we decide that we are finished with our illusory self-centered chase in the physical world, and we want to return to our relationship with God, the Supreme Being directs us back to Him through the teachings of His representatives. These teachings provide the methods to return to Him.
And what are the methods? Praising God. Praying to God. Serving God. Making offerings to God. These were the methods that Jesus, and John before him, and Abraham, Moses, David, Eli, Samuel, Joshua and all of God's representatives taught their serious students, according to the time and circumstance.
Because they do not see the presence of the Supreme Being, ecclesiastical sectarian teachers ignore the teaching to make offerings to God. And they say Jesus didn't teach offering to God. What was he doing when he "blessed" food on various occasions? And why did Jesus say at different times:
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." (Matt. 5:23-24)
"See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." (Matt. 8:4)With these instructions, Jesus obviously supported the method of offering to God. Why? Because an offering is a gift, and when someone gives a gift to someone they are extending their desire to have a relationship with that person. This is the meaning of making offerings. When we make an offering to the Supreme Being we are expressing our desire to have a relationship with Him. (If we offer the Supreme Being some water, a flower, or our foods before we eat them, He will accept those as gifts if they are offered sincerely with love and devotion).
While many ecclesiastical translators have made it seem that the offering is a self-centered thing done to cleanse one's sins, the real purpose of these teachings by Jesus is not about becoming cleansed of sins for self-centered purposes.
The real purpose of becoming "cleansed" or "purified" is to cleanse or purify one's consciousness. It is having a change of heart - changing our consciousness from being focused on ourselves to being focused on loving and pleasing the Supreme Being. This is the true meaning of becoming purified. It means our consciousness becomes pure: And in our pure state, we are loving and serving the Supreme Being out of love.
This is the substance of Jesus' teachings. Following Jesus' teachings means using our lives to reconnect with the Supreme Being. Wanting to do His will instead of our will. Wanting to please Him. Praising Him and loving Him. These were Jesus' teachings. And those who love Jesus follow these teachings.
*Here is the translation of Jesus' statement from the Gospels of Jesus:
Jesus answered, and said to him, “Someone who loves me will follow my teachings, and my LORD will love him and we will come to him and remain with him.” (John 14:23)