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Bible Q

“I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:11), and “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20)

The context of John 14

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.


Part of Jesus’ answer to Philip

This forms part of Jesus’ answer to Philip’s request to show us the Father, which Jesus answers with saying that his own words and works show the disciples the Father acting in him. The passage then leads on to the promise of the Comforter, the Paraclete. The simplest way to see this as a telescoped relationship – in this case representing a telescope of the three sections, God – Jesus – believers. None of the language here implies any literal possession, like the rabbinical ideas of demon possession, or Greek pagan ideas about a daimon or a god like Python possessing another creature (Acts 16:16). This is allegorical Old Testament language, of God working in people. The implication is that the Comforter Jesus speaks of is his own activity in the church after the ascension.



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