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The Gospel of John: Chapter 16

Happy Friday! I hope you’re all having a great week. Today we are picking up in John chapter 16 with Jesus continuing to prepare his disciples for his coming departure from them.
He warns of the harsh realities they are bound to experience, yet gives them hope by reminding them of the joy and peace that is available through continued faith.

As always, the chapter and its headings below were taken out of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. Jesus’ words are in red and my own commentary and insight is in blue. I’ll have the video recording of today’s reading at the bottom of the page.


John Chapter 16

“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. 

Jesus knows that it will be a fight for his believers to keep the faith. As followers, they were the minority. When Jesus returns to heaven, the hatred and persecution that he endured will fall onto the laps of his believers – the ones preaching in his name.

It’s interesting to me that at the time when Jesus walked the earth, it was the strictly religious that hated the mission of Jesus the most. They believed the worst things of Jesus and killed him in the name of God – denying that we was the very God they claimed to follow.

I believe Christians still endure persecution all over the world, but to varying degrees. I have personally received hatred for my faith and know followers who have as well. However, I know that what I’ve experienced is nothing compared to what an outspoken believer faces in communist nations overseas. I’m so grateful for my freedom of speech.

None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

Jesus says we are more blessed to have the Holy Spirit with us than himself in the flesh. Why would that be?

Jesus submitted himself to our physical human limitations when he came down to save us. He could only be in one place at a time, and therefore was limited in his reach and personal relationships.

However, the Spirit that the Father sent us when Jesus left is able to reside in every single one of us at the same time. His omnipotence allows him to comfort, guide, and testify about Jesus to anyone who would receive him.

I dive into verses 8-11 a little deeper in today’s video, if you’d like to hear more on this part.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Jesus’ work is not finished. There is much more for him to teach us and reveal to us about the heart of God and the realities of Satan. But the Holy Spirit takes over the job, and continues the work of Jesus in each of us.

The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

The disciples do not know that Jesus is going to be killed. He will be away for three days in death while they grieve, but will rise back to life on the third, and their joy will abound.

The disciples have gotten used to Jesus directly meeting their needs. But when Jesus returns to heaven, it will be the Father that they go to for whatever they need.

I love what Jesus says in this next passage…

25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, 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 entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

I think it’s easy to look back through the Bible and think that the Father God is harsher and not as merciful and gracious as Jesus. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. God sent Jesus to save us because of his love. Remember John 3:16? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

It was the grace of the Father God that inspired Him to send His Son so that His wrath on the sins of the world could be poured out. This would allow us to live in relationship with Him, while still sinners.

So now when we want/need something of God, we ask the Father, in the name of the Son. We don’t need, as some have assumed, to ask Jesus to ask God for us. God is our good and gracious Father and is overjoyed to get to care for us.

29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus is hours from his arrest, and although he dreads the pain he will endure, he is not afraid of the outcome. He knows that he will raise from the dead and defeat sin and death eternally. So he can confidently say, before it takes place, that he has overcome the world.

It’s amazing how much peace I have experienced in the unpredictable and sometimes unnerving roller-coaster that was 2020. The world looks like a dark and scary place right now from my limited perspective. But the words of this book and the presence of God in prayer continue to remind me that the war is already won. The darkness has been defeated and is living out it’s last moments of glory.

Our victory now is in our peace and our joy that isn’t wavering. Our victory later will be an eternity spent in the presence of a perfect God- an eternity that we couldn’t earn and didn’t deserve, but was graciously given out of love. Praising God for that today!

I’ll see you all tomorrow for chapter 17!


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Hey friend, It's just me. A 23 year old female, sharing faith, lifestyle, and light while learning how to follow Jesus and love people well in a broken world. You too? Tag along!