Berean Bible Study Notes

John 14:6-31



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Well, we've been speeding along in John 14 for awhile now. It's just one of those chapters that you could spend a very long time on. Last time, we got to verse 6:

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Again, this was the 6th of the seven "I am" statements of Jesus in John:

John 6:48
I am the bread of life.

John 8:12
I am the light of the world.

John 10:9
I am the door.

John 10:11
I am the good shepherd.

John 11:25
I am the resurrection and the life.

John 14:6
I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

John 15:1
I am the true vine.

 

You could study for a year on everything that Jesus meant in that one statement and still have more to learn. He is the Way. No matter what the problem is, no matter how lost you feel, Jesus is the one to follow. Here is the way. Walk in it! He is the Truth. When we, like Pilate, ask, "What is truth?" Jesus answers, I am the Truth. He is the Life. He is eternal life and He is life now. He says to us, I have come that (you) may have life, and...have it more abundantly (John 10:10) and Paul reminds us, When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

I'm sure you could say that verse in your sleep, but what does it really mean, to come to the Father through Jesus? If you were looking death in the eye this very day, if somehow you knew that in the next few seconds, you were going to die, what would you cling to? What would give you calm assurance that you'd be welcomed into heaven? "Father, I was in church every week!" or "I was baptized!!" or "I prayed for an hour today!" Those are all wonderful, but you could do all those things and still not have a true, living faith this moment. So, how do you come to the Father THROUGH Jesus? Paul tells us how in 1 Corinthians 15:

1 Cor 15:1 (NIV) Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

If you believe this, truly believe this - that Jesus died for YOUR sins (that means acknowledging that you have sinned and have repented of them), that He died, was buried and really rose again - then you are coming to the Father through Jesus. As we've gone through before, when we studied this verse thoroughly, it means that you believe that Jesus is truly God, because only God could suffer enough (eternally) to actually pay for your sins. And, yet He DIED, so He is also fully man, and still is to this day. If you'd like to review any of that, you can find the 4-part study of the Gospel here.

Jesus is the one who says, No one comes to the Father except through Me. You know, it doesn't get more exclusive than that. Are Christians exclusive? You bet. Do we think we have the only right answer? You bet! We don't say so - Jesus does! There is no other way.

Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

No one means no one. Unfortunately, even Christians can fall into error on this. Liberals will explain what Jesus REALLY meant, and why there are lots of ways to heaven. Even people you wouldn't think of as liberal can be a little wishy washy on this issue. Then, on the other side of the road, you've got some extreme Dispensationalists, who say this is true for everyone except Jews, and that Jews are saved under their own covenant. (That's not true for most Dispensationalists and not even true for most extreme Dispensationalists).

John 14:7 The Father Revealed

"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."

Jesus is still answering Thomas's question from verse 5: "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?", which has been prompted when Jesus said, "And where I go you know, and the way you know."

Now, you can kind of get a glimpse of what Jesus was really saying. When He said, "And where I go you know," He means "You know about where I'm going. The Scriptures tell about where I'm going," and when He says, "and the way you know," He means "You know Me. You've spent three years with Me."

Thomas didn't understand when he asked, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" So, Jesus is explaining more clearly:

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."

But, His answer causes another misunderstanding (we would have been no different. I would have misunderstood, too):

John 14:8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us."

At least Philip's heart was in the right place. Don't we all want to see God?

John 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

Some people deny the Trinity because they refuse to accept Jesus as God. Others deny the Trinity because they cannot accept that God exists in three persons. This is one passage that they use to support that. Now, I do think that sometimes we are guilty of making three Gods out of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, these verses are not saying that Jesus IS the Father. The Father is spirit. Jesus is saying, "If you want to know about the Father, look at me. If you want to know about the Father's character, His nature, His attributes, look at me."

John 14:12 The Answered Prayer

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Wow, how could you possibly do greater works than Jesus? What in the world does He mean? He's not really talking about miracles, although the disciples did do miracles. He's talking about the effectiveness of the Gospel. After Jesus' ascension, He sent the Holy Spirit (which we'll talk about in just a bit). The Holy Spirit, through the Gospel preached by the disciples (and everyone since then), reached thousands and then millions of people and made them believers.

John 14:12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Wow, that's quite a statement - and taken by itself, has lead to some interesting preaching. However, you can't take the first part of that sentence without the last part: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You ask for a million dollars in Jesus' name, and you're only going to get it if it brings glory to the Father through the Son. You also can't unhook verse 13 from verse 12. See that word "and?" That's the Greek word "kai," which hooks the last thought, And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son, to the first thought, greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And, of course, you can't eliminate the first criteria, he who believes in Me.

So, what is He saying? Specifically, He's talking about the works when He's speaking of asking in His name. When we pray for the work of the Gospel (and other works that God has given you to do) in Jesus' name, He will answer you, if you are praying in accordance with His will and for something that will bring glory to the Father. For example, if someone prays, "Lord, in your name we ask that you bring this neighborhood to Yourself. Make them part of your family. Let them hear and believe your Gospel," but inside, he's thinking, "so that this church will be known throughout the land, and I will be famous for my conversions," he's not really looking for the glory of the Father, but of himself and his church.

Jesus does seem to be suggesting that prayer is a very important part of spreading the good news. Even if you've had zero success in telling your loved ones about Jesus, you have this promise: And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you have the right motive for asking, Jesus promises to do it.

John explains more about prayer in his first epistle:

1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Some other verses:

Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Note that the asking here is mostly about seeking salvation)

James 4:2 You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have , because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

There's another thought here, too:

John 14:13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

This is more than just tacking on "In Jesus' name" to the end of your prayers. You are asking the Father for something while standing in the place of Jesus. You are to be bearing the name of Jesus when you come before the Father in prayer. You are acting as Jesus' representative. So, when you ask for the things that Jesus would ask for, He will do it. However, if you are not truly asking in His place, you can't expect a positive answer. It's kind of like when the President sends someone to act as his representative. When that person speaks, he is speaking for the president. You should expect that what he says is what the President believes and agrees to.

I believe that this commandment is somewhat the same thing:

Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

I think that means a whole lot more than using God's name as a swear word. If you take upon yourself the name of the Lord - if you are going to be known by His name - you had better be careful how you do that. Bearing the name of the Lord, which means bearing the name of Christian, has a responsibility that goes with it.

When I've been praying lately, I'm much more conscious of how I'm approaching God. "Lord, I'm coming to you in the name of my Savior and only in His righteousness. I know that I have sinned, that I keep on sinning. I'm sorry. I know that Jesus died for those sins, so clothed in His righteousness, I'm coming before You."

By dying for us and making us His children, our Savior has given us the right to come before His Father under His name. That's what it means to ask for something in Jesus' name.  

John 14:15 Jesus Promises Another Helper

"If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

 If you love me, keep My commandments. You can't say you love Jesus and then deliberately disobey Him. You're not going to be perfect, but if you really love Him, you will try. What commandments are those? He's not talking about the Law of Moses, but He is including the Ten Commandments, which He summarizes a couple of places:

Mark 10:19 You know the commandments : 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'"

Mark 12:29 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

The New Testament explains some of those commandments a bit more clearly. Whoever hates his brother is already a murderer. Whoever lusts in his heart is already an adulterer. The very spirit of the commandments is important, not just the letter of them. Do you remember the very first commandment?

Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me."

We are not likely to go set up a statue and start worshipping it - or start praying to Allah or Buddah or whoever. But, do we set up gods in our hearts? Do we worry about money more than we trust God's provision? That would be idolatry. Do we think about our husbands, children, houses, problems, what we have to get done - more than we think about God? That's also idolatry. Do we spend so much time and effort serving God that we don't spend time with God? That's also idolatry.

And, then, there are all those New Testament commandments, including the one Jesus just instituted:

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

So, just when you're ready to say, "How can Jesus expect us to do all that?", we need to look at the next verse:

John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

When you read that, it almost looks as though it's a conditional statement. You do this and I will do that. Verse 16 starts out with the word "and," which is that Greek word "kai," again. It's usually translated "and," but not always. And, it doesn't always mean "and" the same way as it does in English. Kai hooks things together, sometimes in a "this plus that" way, like two train cars - separate but joined. However, sometimes kai is used in cumulative way, and means more "indeed," where the second part intensifies the first part of the sentence. So, it's not "if you do this, I will do that." It's more "you do this, and I will do that to help you do it."

This is absolutely not saying that your works will save you and give you the Holy Spirit. No, the "saving" is already understood. The If you love Me implies salvation already happened. Jesus is saying, "Keep my commandments, and I will give you the Spirit to help you do that."

Now, the "another" is important. You can't see it in English, but in Greek, there are two kinds of "another." There is "allos," which is another of the same sort as the first kind and "heteros," which is another of something different. This is allos. Jesus is saying that the Father will send a Helper just like Jesus, the Spirit of truth. Who is truth? Jesus is truth. This is the Spirit of Jesus:

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

The New King James says "Helper," the NIV says "Counselor," and the King James says "Comforter." They are all correct. The Greek word is parakletos (par-ak'-lay-tos). It is "one who is summoned to one's side" or "called to one's aid." One who pleads another's case before a judge, an advocate. You could also say "Teacher" or any other descriptive term used of Jesus.

 

John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

The Holy Spirit is not for the world. He has been in the world, but now, for the first time, He will actually dwell inside believers. There are various views on the Holy Spirit and exactly how He worked in/on people before Jesus came, but the "will be in you" here is clearly future tense. As you read these verses, it's a little confusing as to whether Jesus is referring to Himself or to the Holy Spirit. He seems to jump back and forth. Read it carefully, though, and you start to see that it's kind of both. "You know Him," Jesus says. That "know" is intimate knowledge, to really know. "He dwells with you." Who do they know? Who dwells with them? Jesus, Himself. Jesus is referring to His Spirit in the third person. When Jesus was on earth, He could only be one place at a time, but through His Spirit, He can be in each believer:

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

What does that mean, exactly? Isn't the Holy Spirit a separate person? Well, yes, but we're still only talking one God, here, not three Gods. (Do you see how easy it is for us to get confused about the Trinity? We know the right words, but in order for our brains to understand, we are often guilty of making three Gods. Remember the "apple" analogy? One apple, yet there is the peel, the flesh and the core? It sounds good, but it's still not very accurate. Jesus is the whole apple. The Father is the whole apple. I don't think our unresurrected brains are capable of really understanding. Perhaps it's something we'll spend all eternity learning about)

Jesus tells us more:

John 14:19 Indwelling of the Father and the Son

"A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

Each of these statements could be expanded on greatly. After Jesus' resurrection, only friendly eyes saw Him. He did not appear to the world in general. The "see" there is not just "look at," but to see intensely, to see with understanding. Do we see Jesus in that way? We don't see Him with our physical eyes, but we see Him when we trust and believe in Him. When you "see" Him that way, with the eyes of faith, you have a saving faith. Therefore, you can look forward to eternal life. That's what He means when He ends with Because I live, you will live also.

At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. You could study your whole life and not fully appreciate that. Simple little words that you probably learned to read when you were six - yet the concepts are so profound. I am in My Father. When do you truly know that? When you truly believe that Jesus is God. You in Me is salvation. When we are "in" Jesus, we have been saved, justified. It is the salvation of our souls - the movement from death to life. It means you have a living faith, a faith that absolutely trusts that Jesus died for your sins and rose again. Do you have that true, living faith right now? Then you are "in" Jesus. I in you is sanctification, the Spirit of Jesus within us, making us more like Him.

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. Why does Jesus keep bringing this up? He doesn't want followers that are simply labeled "Christian." He doesn't want Sunday Christians, who sit in church and give their offerings, sing their hymns, take communion - and then go and live like the rest of the world the rest of the time.

This is another of those issues where Christians can fall off the fence on both sides. On one side is legalism - "Don't dance. Don't smoke. Don't drink. Don't this. Don't that." On the other side is easy grace - "Do whatever you want, because you are forgiven. Jesus died for those sins." You know that we will never keep the commandments perfectly. We will always mess up. I personally have trouble even praying without sinning. I have wrong attitudes, wrong motives, wrong desires even when I'm talking to God. Yet, we cannot use that as an excuse. We have the Spirit to help us:

Galatians 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

We are the bride, waiting for our bridegroom to finish our dwelling place so that He can come and get us. What are we to be doing as we wait? We need to learn what pleases the bridegroom and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, do it.

Back to the end of that verse:

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

 How does Jesus manifest Himself to us? Through helping us understand His word. He will bring the word to life for you. If you can read the Bible and suddenly see that "this goes with that" - and "Hey, I think the tabernacle is a picture of Jesus," and on and on - He is manifesting Himself to you. He said the volume of the book was of Him. Do you see it? Do you see Jesus in the Old Testament? In the sacrifices, in the cities of refuge, in the kinsman redeemer? Then He is manifesting Himself to you.

John 14:22 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 and said to 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 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.

At first reading, it doesn't seem like Jesus is answering Judas' question. It seems as though He's off on a totally different tangent. However, He is explaining exactly why He will not manifest Himself to the world. If you trust and believe in Jesus, then you are IN Jesus, and He is IN you, as He says, We will come to him and make Our home with him. And, if the Spirit is inside you, He will open God's word for you. He will take away the veil that keeps you from understanding. He will "manifest" Himself to you. However, the same is not true for the world. In fact, without the Spirit's help, you CANNOT understand.

1 Cor 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, (That "cannot" is one of those absolute negatives) because they are spiritually discerned.

2 Cor 3:14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

2 Cor 4:3 (NIV) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

John 14:25 The Gift of His Peace

"These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Right now, the disciples are struggling to understand all that is being said. However, the Spirit does not yet dwell inside them, and they are having a tough time "getting it." We'll come back to this again as Jesus says more about the Holy Spirit.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When you ask Jews why Jesus cannot be their long-awaited Messiah, they will respond, "Because he didn't bring peace. Messiah is supposed to bring peace." Of course, they mean political peace - no more wars, no more suicide bombers, no more worry about whether they can get on a bus without it blowing up.

Jesus brought a different kind of peace. He brought peace between God and men, the peace that says, "God loves me. God forgives me. God will take care of me." It's the peace that says you can't lose. The worst thing that this life can bring - your death - is the very entrance to heaven.

John 14:28 You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I.

This is more like, "Be happy for me, because I am going back to my Father." In His human "able to die" condition, He had taken a great step down. Jesus had set aside being God Almighty in order to take on human flesh and die. That "loved me" is the agapao form of love, the selfless, totally given over love that Jesus has for us. If the disciples could love Him that way, they'd be happy for Him to be returning. There is likely more meaning wrapped up in this verse, also.

John 14:29 "And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

Again, Jesus reassures them about the things that will soon happen, so that when they do, they will believe. This chapter ends with "Arise, let us go from here," so that some people think the following chapters were spoken while the disciples were walking. Others think He said this and then kept on talking there in the Upper Room. It doesn't really matter, in any case. What follows is still part of the same conversation, regardless.

OK, what did we learn so far?

 Jesus' teachings about life among believers in the spiritual kingdom

1. Humbly serve each other, helping each other wash away the sin of daily living.

2. Love each other as Jesus loved - with a greater love than you have for yourself.

3. When you have troubles in this world, remember that a specially-prepared place in heaven waits for you.

4. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life. He is the answer to all your worrying. Trust Him.

5. Pray in Jesus' name. Confidently come before the Father, dressed in Jesus' righteousness.

6. The Holy Spirit dwells in us to lead us, teach us, comfort us, open the Scriptures to us.

7. If you love Jesus, keep His commandments.

So, interesting that there were exactly seven. How did this chapter start out?

 John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And how does it end?

John 14:31 (NKJV) But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

John 14:31 (NIV) but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Come now; let us leave.

I just want you to notice something fun. Jesus begins this chapter with telling the disciples about heaven and the place He's going to prepare for them. He ends this chapter with the words " Arise, let us go from here." The NIV says "come now; let us leave" but that's not exactly what the Greek says. The word "arise" is egeiro (eg-i'-ro). It means to rise, especially from sleep. In the New Testament, it is often used of raising the dead:

John 5:21 For as the Father raises (egeiro) the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

It's probably not any big thing. It just seemed kind of fun to me that the beginning and end seemed kind of linked, and that the end hinted of resurrection after exactly seven teachings.