Main Point: Jesus tells the disciples that they will have a new relationship between themselves and God – a direct relationship: “I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.”
New Light: Jesus is now saying in a forthright manner (admitting that previously his speech was indirect, and figurative) that each seeker has an opportunity to consciously access the same relationship with God that he has experienced. This message, simple and pure, is to me the essence Jesus’ teachings.
Truth: This matches my experience, and is one of the reasons I have been drawn to the Quaker tradition – from experience I know that a direct relationship with God is possible, and indeed, is the only authentic relationship that I can imagine.
Implications: As Jesus says in the final lines of this scripture, no matter where you are, scattered across the world, just as he is not alone because he is with God, likewise we are. Jesus acknowledges, that, yes there will be troubles, but seated within your heart is God, and this is a promise, or rather a certain potential, of great peace. This is not an intellectual matter – though historically God seemed to have been masked behind the facade of an intellectual endeavor. (Perhaps this is still true to some degree…)
Problems: I find the similar problems with these passages as others have mentioned. The way this scripture reads, it is as though a change is occurring – that up until now a direct relationship was not possible, but after the resurrection, if one trusts in Jesus and believes he was sent by God, that person could be promised this direct relationship. As David noted, it is as though a “a genuine transfer of spiritual authority appears to be taking place here.” I would argue that this direct connection with God for everyone has always been possible, indeed is happening, and has always been happening, and has little if anything to do with Jesus. I say this because of Jesus’ teachings – that God is within us, and loves us unconditionally (even the condition of loving Jesus). However, that being said, when one feels in a very real way that mystical love emanating one’s very existence, from this ‘isness’ we call God, our love will not stop – and will encompass Jesus as wholly as everyother lover of God.