But if I do, though you believe not me, believe the works: that you may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works.—A higher faith would have believed Him. Had they truly known their own spiritual needs, and truly known the meaning of that great truth He had taught, they would have found in Him the true satisfaction of the mind’s cravings, and the faculty of faith would have rested in the object of its existence. For all this the Old Testament had been a preparation; but their minds had not been prepared by it. He will take therefore their own lower ground, and appeal to the sight of those who have not faith. (Comp. Note on John 20:29.) Let them test the works, think of their character, as some of them had already done (John 9:16), and see at least that these are of the Father.
That ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me.—The more probable text is, that ye may perceive, and may (permanently) know that the Father is in Me . . . Failing the intuitive faith-knowledge, He appeals to the intellectual perception, which is not immediate, but from which they may ascend to that knowledge, and may then really know that such works can be only of the Father; and that, therefore, the Father is present in Him who does them, and that He who does them is one with the Father John 10:30).
that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him—thus reiterating His claim to essential oneness with the Father, which He had only seemed to soften down, that He might calm their rage and get their ear again for a moment.John 14:10, The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works; and I work in and together with him. This phrase, The Father is in me, and I in him, teacheth us three things concerning Christ:
1. His oneness in nature and essence with the Father.
2. His personal distinction from his Father: here are two mentioned, the Father, and me: none can properly be said to be in himself.
3. The most perfect and intimate indwelling of one of the Persons in the Holy Trinity in the other.
though ye believe not me; what Christ said in his doctrine and ministry, though they paid no regard to that, and did not receive his testimony, on the credit of him the testifier, as they ought to have done:
believe the works; not only that they are true and real, and not imaginary and delusory; but for the sake of them believe the above assertion, that Christ is the Son of God, he and his Father being one; or take such notice of these works and miracles, consider the nature, evidence, and importance of them, and the divine power that attends them,
that ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him; or "in the Father", as one of Beza's exemplars; the Vulgate Latin, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read, or "in my Father", as read the Syriac and Arabic versions; that they are one in nature, distinct in person, equal in power, and have a mutual inhabitation and communion in the divine essence; all which is manifest, by doing the same works, and which are out of the reach and power of any mere creature.But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)38. believe the works] ‘Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed’ (John 20:29); but it is better to have the faith that comes with sight than none at all.
that ye may know, and believe] The better reading probably is, that ye may come to know and continually know; ‘attain to knowledge and advance in knowledge in contrast to your state of suspense’ (John 10:24). In the Greek it is the aorist and present of the same verb ‘to come to know, perceive, recognise:’ the aorist denotes the single act, the present the permanent growth. The apparent awkwardness of having the same verb twice in the same clause has probably caused a large number of authorities to substitute another verb in the second case. But the change of tense is full of meaning, especially in reference to the Jews. Many of them attained to a momentary conviction that He was the Messiah (John 2:23, John 6:14-15, John 7:41, John 8:30, John 10:42, John 11:45); very few of them went beyond a transitory conviction (John 2:24, John 6:66, John 8:31).
the Father is in me, and I in him] For ‘in Him’ read with the best authorities in the Father. An instance of the solemnity and emphasis derived from repetition, so frequent in this Gospel.John 10:38. Κἂν ἐμοί, even though Me) You ought to have believed in Me: even separating Me from the works.—γνῶτε καὶ πιστεύσητε, that ye may know and believe) Faith follows subsequently to knowledge with those that are of a rather dull susceptibility.—ἐν ἐμοὶ ὁ Πατὴρ, κἄγω ἐν αὐτῷ, the Father in Me, and I in Him) I am none else than the Father, in such a way, however, that I remain still the Son; and He none else than I, in such a way, however, as that He still remains the Father. And if any one shall have known Me, he knoweth the Father, and hath learned the Son. But if the power of One were less than that of the Other, the knowledge also would mislead; for in that case neither the essence nor the power of One can be learned by means of the Other.—Chrys. on this passage. These two sentences, I and the Father are one, and, the Father in Me and I in the Father, mutually explain one another. Comp. ch. John 17:11; John 17:21, “Holy Father, keep—those—that they may be one, as We are. As Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us.”Verse 38. - But if I do - if I am performing the works of my Father, if these acts of healing and helping, of mighty consolation and symbolic grace, are obviously such as you can recognize as the Father's, believe them; learn that much, - it is for your life - and if you make that acquisition, though ye believe not me - though you do not credit my assertion on my own authority, though you do not take me at once on my own word - believe the works; you may then take the further step, and both know and understand, or know broadly and completely, and then learn in details, that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. Between the assertion of ver. 30, "I and my Father are one," and that of this verse, "the works" are introduced - works that are recognized as Divine, "the Father's," but seen and known also to be Christ's own works. Why should they stone him for blasphemy if they have evidence so resistless as this, even if it comes short of proof, that he is absolutely one with the Father? The intuitive perception of the Divine in Christ is the highest and noblest spiritual experience. His word should be, might be, enough; but, suppose it should fail, miracles, "works," come in to link the Divine Personality of the Speaker with the supreme Father. The works may teach them that he is in the Father, and the Father in him. Not by a flash of light, but by growing intellectual conviction, they must come to a conclusion which the great assertion," I and the Father are one," finally confirms.
The best texts read ἐν τῷ πατρί, in the Father.
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