May 3rd John 16
1: These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2: They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3: And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4: But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
The Lord teaches – Holy Spirit
5: But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? 6: But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8: And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9: Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10: Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11: Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12: I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14: He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15: All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
The Lord teaches – Prayer
16: A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. 17: Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18: They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. 19: Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? 20: Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21: A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22: And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23: And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Christ gives this teaching so that the disciples will not be offended. First they will be excommunicated from the Jewish religious communities. In fact there will come a time when those who try to kill you will mistakenly think that they are doing Gods service. They will be mistaken because they do not know the Father or his son. The future ministry of the Apostles, at this time, is focused only on the Jewish communities of Israel. Then Christ said, l am going away yet none of you ask me where l am going. And because l have said this to you, an overwhelming sorrow has come upon you. However it is necessary for me to go away because if l do not go away the Holy Spirit will not come to you. But if l do go l will send the Holy Spirit to you. When the Holy Spirit comes he will convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. The sin that the Holy Spirit will convince the world of will be unbelief. The righteousness that the Holy Spirit will convince the world of will be the fact that Christ the righteous one has ascended to the Father. And the judgment that the Holy Spirit will convince of will be the judgment of the Prince of this world which took place at the cross. Then Christ said a strange thing. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. What would they be? Well at this time they could not even comprehend the Cross let alone the resurrection. They had no concept of a ministry to Gentiles. They had no concept of ‘the Church’; it remained at this time a mystery later to be unfolded by the Apostle Paul. The Later epistles of Paul – The prison epistles, would contain a body of truth that most believers in that future day would reject. Yet they were the teachings of Christ which at this time they were unable to bear now. We must never forget that some truth is difficult for people to understand or accept. The true Pastor understands where people are in their understanding of divine truth and teaches stage by stage, as the people are able to bear it. Then Christ says, when the Holy Spirit comes he will lead them into all these truths, stage by stage. He will take all the truth regarding Christ and reveal it to the disciples and he will tell them things to come – Prophesy. We must never apologise for teaching Prophesy. What is the matter with us if we do not have an interest or teach prophesy. The Holy Spirit will ‘show you things to come’. Christ then said l am only going to be away for a little while. The disciples asked him about this. And he said, of a truth, of a truth, I am telling you the ultimate truth, you will weep and mourn but the world will rejoice: and you will be full of sorrow, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. Like a woman who when she has given birth forgets the pain of childbirth because of the joy which fills her soul at the birth of a child. And now you will have bereavement but I will see you again and when l do see you your hearts will be filled with joy and nobody will be able to take your joy from you. In that day all you questions will be answered. Of a truth, of a truth, I tell you the ultimate truth. What ever you will ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. So far you have asked for nothing in my name: In that day - ask, and you will receive, and in that your joy may be indescribable.
- How does Christ prepare the disciples for persecution? And how did they react to this prophecy?
- What will the Comforter do when he comes?
- How does Christ encourage the disciples for the coming troubles?