I’m distinctly unqualified to do this, but here’s how I parse what was said:
"Dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! Then, though you search for me, you cannot come to me – just as I told the Jewish leaders. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
“Soon, leave you I will.” (Sorry; couldn’t help it!) *"When I go, you will not be able to follow me; just as I told the Jewish leaders they could not. So I’m telling you now that there is one thing you must do: Love each other just as I have loved each of you. This will show the world that you *are my followers."
"Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know where I am going and how to get there."
“Don’t be disturbed by this. You must believe that there is a meaning here. There are many ways to be with God, and what I am about to do will clear those ways for you. If there were no way to be with God, I would tell you now. When each way is open, I will come to you and make it so that you will always be with me where I am. Each of you already knows where I am going, and how to be with me.”
**“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We haven’t any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!”**
“I am your road map. As you have seen me be, so should you be, for living as I am is the true way of living. If you had lived as I am, then you would know who God is. From this time on, know that you have seen God, and that you can live as I am.”
**Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.”
Jesus replied, “Philip, don’t you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of what you have seen me do.”**
“Philip, after all this time I have been with you, can you not believe that I am the way to God? You have seen me live, so you have seen God. Do you question this because you doubt that I am in God, and that God is in me? God is speaking to you now through me; because God lives in me, his work is done through me. Believe that God lives in me and I in him, at least because you have seen me live.”
"The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father."
*"Here is the truth of what I am about to do: anyone who believes that I am the way to God will do as I have done, and even greater. You can desire anything from that belief, and *I *will do it, because it is God’s greatest wish that *you be as I am."
This is a profound final message from a man who knows he is about to be destroyed. I think it is no less profound for the atheist who opens his heart than it is to the devout theist, nor is the philosophy incompatible with materialistic beliefs.
Thank you for this exercise, Polycarp.