on John 14 :28
I go away - To the Father by my death:
And come again unto you - By my resurrection.
Ye would rejoice - Because, as the Messiah, I am going to receive a kingdom, and power, and glory, for ever. Therefore as my friends ye should rejoice in my elevation, though for a while it may put you to the pain of being separated from me: besides, I am going that I may send you the Holy Spirit, which shall fill you with the fullness of God: on your own account, therefore, ye should have rejoiced and not mourned.
My Father is greater than I-- In John 14:24, Christ tells his disciples that the Father had sent him: i.e. in his quality of Messiah, he was sent by the Father to instruct, and to save mankind. Now, as the sender is greater than the sent, John 13:16, so in this sense is the Father greater than the Son; and in this sense was the passage understood by Origen, Jerome, Novatian, and Vigilius, who read the text thus: The Father, ὁ πεμψας, who sent me, is greater than I. It certainly requires very little argument, and no sophistry, to reconcile this saying with the most orthodox notion of the Godhead of Christ; as he is repeatedly speaking of his Divine and of his human nature. Of the former he says, I and the Father are one, John 10:30; and of the latter he states, with the same truth, The Father is greater than I.
on John 14 :28
Ye have heard ... - John 14:2-3.
If ye loved me - The expression is not to be construed as if they had then no love to him, for they evidently had; but they had also low views of him as the Messiah; they had many Jewish prejudices, and they were slow to believe his plain and positive declarations. This is the slight and tender reproof of a friend, meaning manifestly if you had proper love for me; if you had the highest views of my character and work; if you would lay aside your Jewish prejudices, and put entire, implicit confidence in what Isay.
Ye would rejoice - Instead of grieving, you would rejoice in the completion of the plan which requires me to return to heaven, that greater blessings may descend on you by the influences of the Holy Spirit.
Unto the Father - To heaven; to the immediate presence of God, from whom all the blessings of redemption are to descend.
For my Father is greater than I-- The object of Jesus here is not to compare his nature with that of the Father, but his condition. Ye would rejoice that I am to leave this state of suffering and humiliation, and resume that glory which I had with the Father before the world was. You ought to rejoice at my exaltation to bliss and glory with the Father (Professor Stuart). The object of this expression is to console the disciples in view of his absence. This he does by saying that if he goes away, the Holy Spirit will descend, and great success will attend the preaching of the gospel, John 16:7-10. In the plan of salvation the Father is represented as giving the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the various blessings of the gospel. As the Appointer, the Giver, the Originator, he may be represented as in office superior to the Son and the Holy Spirit. The discourse has no reference, manifestly, to the nature of Christ, and cannot therefore be adduced to prove that he is not divine. Its whole connection demands that we interpret it as relating solely to the imparting of the blessings connected with redemption, in which the Son is represented all along as having been sent or given, and in this respect as sustaining a relation subordinate to the Father.
on John 14 :28
14:28 God the Father is greater than I - As he was man. As God, neither is greater nor less than the other.