I’ve been talking about Jesus’ “Farewell Discourse,” the long five-chapter discourse that is Jesus’ last speech (virtually a monologue) in the Gospel of John.  In the previous post we saw that in the speech Jesus discusses how he relates to the Father: he is in the Father and the Father is in him, so that even though the Father “is greater” than he, when someone sees him he sees the Father.  They are “one.”

That doesn’t mean they are the same person/thing; it’s more like when you tell a colleague or friend “you and I are completely unified in this” or “you and I are at one on this.”  There is no distance between you.  For Jesus it means that he has been given the authority of the Father and that his words are the ones the Father has given him to speak so that whatever he does and says has the full authority of the Father behind it.  There is no distance between him and the Father.  Not because they are the same but because he has been sent from the Father with all his authority and he says and does nothing on his own.  That view will change as later theologians developed the doctrine of the Trinity.

But Jesus introduces yet a third being in his speech, the Holy Spirit.  Recall: Jesus is delivering the speech to prepare the disciples for his imminent departure.  A good part of the speech is devoted to the idea that they will feel lost and forlorn without him.  Jesus, however, assures them that

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