Journey Through John – Chapter 16

16 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

  • The chapter break between 15 and 16 is somewhat unfortunate, because the discussion on persecution continues until 16:5.
  • v1 – Echoes Jesus’ earlier statement from Chapter 14.29, where Jesus foretells his upcoming death to the disciples and the coming of the Holy Spirit, “And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.” The earlier reference seems focused on building faith. Here Jesus focuses on persevering faith. Both of these aspects are important when believers encounter trials. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4
  • v2 – Jesus becomes more specific about the types of persecution the disciples will face, religious persecution to the point of martyrdom. Being “put out of the synagogue” carries little trouble for our ears, but in New Testament culture, this would carry profound social and familial ramifications. The disciples would become social orphans, disowned by their own families. The last part of verse 2 is troublesome, but we see this pattern of behavior towards God and his children in scripture and in modern times (Acts 9:1,2).
  • v3 – Jesus provides the reason behind the world’s persecution of the disciples. They do not know God the Father or Jesus Christ. The spiritual blindness of the world is made evident through the contrast of verses 2 and 3. They think they are serving God, but they actually persecute His kingdom because they do not know Him.
  • “We are reminded that man’s greatest need remains the miracle of grace. Orthodoxy without a heart transformed by God’s grace can result in a mean and cruel disposition.” William Cook. John: Jesus Christ is God. p. 240.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

  • 4b – ties the conversation back to Jesus’ teaching on the Holy Spirit’s coming. Why didn’t he mention this earlier? Because he was still with them.
  • In these verses, and all of the surrounding verses for that matter, Jesus is attempting to point the disciples to the impending relationship change they would encounter. Jesus would return to the Father, they (all believers) would be indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
  • 5b – They last part of verse 5 is a bit problematic. Peter has recently inquired about where Jesus would be going (13.36) and so has Thomas (14.5). Two points may help resolve some of this apparent inconsistency. 1) John isn’t as concerned with chronology as some of the other gospels or our English minds would be. 2) The context, especially verse 6 stresses the fact that Jesus IS going away, not on where, but on the definiteness of his departure. Jesus is trying to reassure them and comfort them with the promise of the Holy Spirit, but they can’t get past his leaving.
  • v7 – The first part of this verses would seem highly unbelievable when it first fell on the disciples’ ears. However, John includes this after the fact and probably looks upon this statement now with better understanding. Not only would it benefit the disciples for Jesus to go away, it was also a necessity. “it is to your advantage…for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come…”
  • v8 – “In these verses, however, I believe the meaning of the verb is even more focused so as to suggest something akin to a courtroom procedure. It is a fascinating picture in which one can imagine three elements of the procedure being presented. The first appears to be like a charge for which the defendant has been indicted. The second can be envisioned as the standard to which the defendant is required to conform, and the third can be viewed as the rationale the presiding judge uses to render the verdict. All of these elements can come within the basic meaning of this Greek verb, which is “bring to light, expose, set forth.” Gerald L. Borchert, John 12–21, vol. 25B, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002), 165.
  • v9 – “concerning sin” – Certainly all have sinned and stand guilty before God (Rom. 3.21-ff; 6.23; Eph. 2.1-10). Without justification from Christ, sin brings a guilty verdict in God’s courtroom. “
  • v10 – “concerning righteousness” – the standard in which the charges are brought is the righteousness of Christ, proven in the resurrection. See. Matt. 5. 48.
  • v11 – “concerning judgment” – Not only does judgment come to people who reject Christ, judgment has come through the cross to Satan as well.

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

  • Not only does the Spirit lead in conviction, he leads God’s people in truth. Jesus assures His disciples that the Spirit will lead in the same fashion as he does and as the Father does.
  • The Spirit’s role in the life of the believer is somewhat summarized by the use of the word “guide”.

Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy

16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.”19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

  • Just like us, the disciples struggles with God’s time table.
  • They are confused, and worried about the length of time they would be separated from Jesus.
  • Jesus, knowing the upcoming events and time table spoke about his death and resurrection as one event.
  • v20-22 – Provide us with a great theological truth concerning the suffering of God’s people. It is temporary. Joy is eternal. There may very well be some eschatological overtones in Jesus’ words, but it is perhaps best to understand them as a reference to the next few days.
  • v23-24 – The arrival of the Holy Spirit would also change the disciples’ prayer life. Right now, they are currently asking Jesus about things they do not understand and they lean upon him for direction. Soo they will be able to speak directly to the Father. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Heb. 4.14-16

I Have Overcome the World

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

  • THEO: We do not always have the best capacity to discern theological information.
  • v27 – Not only is Jesus the way, the truth, and the life. He is access to experiencing a special loving relationship with the Father. APP: We are not all “children of God” we do not all “give off God’s light”.

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  • v29 – Once again, the disciples remain confused about the impending death and resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
  • v31 – my paraphrase: “We’ve been at this for 3 years and your just now getting this?!”
  • v32 – Jesus is not fooled by their vote of overconfidence. He repeats himself again, the firs times centered on building and persevering faith, Now he focuses on peace.”The glue of Christianity is not the disciples; it is Jesus, who will not abandon the disciples or let them become orphans (14:18) even though they would leave Jesus when the pressures come to them (16:32).” Gerald L. Borchert, John 12–21, vol. 25B, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002), 181.
  • v33 – In our times we flee tribulation, but we should be more concerned about pursuing the Overcomer.