John 13:1-16:33

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Home > The New Testament > John > Chapters 13-17 > Chapters 13-16
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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • John 13:14: A new commandment. In verse 34 Jesus commands his disciples to love each other even as he has loved them. Jesus has often quoted the commandment from Lev 19:18 to love our neighbor as ourselves (e.g. Matt 19:19, Matt 22:39, Mark 12:33). So what about the commandment to love one another is new?
One way in which this commandment is new is because whereas the previous command was to love others as we love ourselves, this command is to love others as the Lord loves us. As Jesus explains in John 15:13 the type of love that Jesus has for us is greater than any other love. Under this reading the new commandment is that we have the greatest love possible for one another.
  • John 14-15. Chapters 14-15 contain an extended discourse on dwelling with God--both in this life, and in the life to come. Christ does not seem to make a distinction between dwelling or abiding with God in this life, or the life to come--but those who abide with God in this life, are promised a dwelling place (Gr. mone = mansion) with God in the world to come.
  • John 14:2: Mansions. The Greek word translated here as "mansions" is the noun mone, which is later translated as "abode" in John 14:23. Rather than implying that Christ has prepared spacious homes for us in heaven, a modern interpretation of the word "mansion", the original Greek seems to imply that Christ has created dwelling places for us there. This noun comes from the Greek root meno, which refers to abiding or dwelling--and is used twelve times throughout the rest of Christ's discourse in John 14 and 15 (translated as dwell, abide, continue, present, and remain).
  • John 15:19: Chosen you out. The Greek word used here for chosen is eklegomai which means "to pick out". The preposition out would be redundant in Greek and is not included as a separate word in the text (cf. 3 Ne 19:20).

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • John 13:4-10. What were the local customs of the day with regard to the washing of feet?
  • John 14:2. What are the mansions Christ refers to in verse 2?

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • John 13:34. How is the commandment of verse 34 a new commandment? Wasn't this commandment already given?
  • John 14:16. In verse 16 the Jesus promises to send "another Comforter." Then in verse 18 he says "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." Are these two separate ways he promises to comfort us, indirectly by sending the Holy Ghost and directly by coming to us? If so, in what way is his promise to come to us directly fulfilled?
  • John 16:13. What does the Holy Ghost hear that He speaks? What does it mean for the Holy Ghost to not speak of Himself? Does this mean that the Holy Ghost only speaks what He hears Jesus say, or God the Father, or something else? How does the Holy Ghost guide one into all truth?
  • John 16:16. Why does Jesus tell the apostles that they will see him in a little while, because he goes to the Father? What is the relationship between seeing Jesus and Him ascending to Heaven? Would it not be possible without the ascension?


This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • John 14:16: Joseph Smith on the Second Comforter. Joseph Smith had this to say about the Second Comforter: "Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or to appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions--Isaiah, Ezekial, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 149-151).
  • John 14:18. Elder Bednar's conference address in April 2005 suggests that one way Jesus fulfills his promise to come to us in verse 18 is by sending his tender mercies (see 1 Ne 1:20).


Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

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