John 16:1-33 - Outline of John (Book Notes menu page)
16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues:
yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
16:3 And these things will they do unto you,
because they have not known the Father, nor me.
16:4 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.

Verses 1-4 close the thought of the previous chapter. (Return to Notes for John 15:17- 16:4.)
16:5 But now I go my way to him that sent me;
and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
16:6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
16:7 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.
none of you asks me, Where are you going? -
They had asked, but, like little children, without understanding. cp. Joh 13:36,37; 14:5
Their questions were self-centered: 'Why can't I come also?'...
rather than substantive: eg., 'What will you do there?' 'Why must you do it alone?'
They understood neither the significance nor the timing ('now') of what He was about to do.
sorrow hath filled your heart.- cp. Mat 17:22,23
They sorrowed in anticipation of their loss, understanding neither the sorrow that He would endure, nor the joy that He was preparing for them.
it is expedient for you...- ie., profitable, advantageous. (cp. word use in Joh 11:49-52; 18:14)
He was going away in order...
  • to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45
  • to be with them in a new way, unlimited by time and space, in the person of the Holy Spirit, who would indwell the redeemed. Joh 14:16-18
if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you... I will send Him...-
cp. 15:26; Luk 24:49; Acts 1:4,5; Psa 68:18; Eph 4:8
The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ (Joh 15:26) -
  1. to the world (v.8-11). He brings unbelievers under conviction of the Truth concerning Christ.
  2. to the believer (v.12-15). He enables believers to understand the Truth. He reveals Christ to them.
16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin,
and of righteousness, and of judgment:
He will 'reprove' the world - ie., convict the facts, convince of the truth. [TBKC]
     (cp. this word in 8:9,46)
The Holy Spirit's convicting ministry is essential if the witness of believers is to be effective.
     cp. 15:26,27; Acts 1:4,8; 2:36,37; 7:54
The Holy Spirit convicts the unbelieving world of three things...
16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Christ bore the dreadful curse of our sin (Gal 3:13).
  • His substitutionary sacrificial death, was sufficient to take away the sin of the world. He paid the price of sin for everyone. Joh 1:29; 1Joh 2:2
  • Yet, His blood provides remission of sins for 'many', not all (Mat 26:28), because it is effective only for those who personally turn to Him in faith. Joh 1:11-13
  • Thus, those who reject the Savior, have no remedy for sin (Joh 3:18; 5:40; 8:23,24; 12:47,48)
  • The Holy Spirit uses God's Word to convict men of their sinful condition, and of their need for the Savior, so that 'the many' might believe in Him. Rom 3:19-24; 2Cor 5:20,21; 6:1,2
16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
While He was in the world...
When He went to the Father...
16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world {ie., Satan} is judged.
judgment- GK= krisis, condemnation. cp. Joh 3:18,36
The guilty verdict has been rendered. The sentence for sin has already been determined.
All that remains for the future judgment day is the execution of the sentence.
Christ, in His victory over sin and death, has...
  • determined the judgment of...
    1. Satan. Joh 12:31; 14:30; Heb 2:14; Rev 20:2-3,7-10
    2. unbelievers. Rev 20:11-15
  • taken the judgment of sin upon Himself (thus, releasing believers from sin's sentence & power).
    Gal 3:13; 1Pet 2:24; Joh 5:24
    There is hope for the sinner whose heart is convicted of these things. Rom 6:23
    But, apart from the Holy Spirit's convicting work, no man can be saved. Joh 6:44
    Surely, the Lord expects believers to pray for those, to whom we declare God's Word, that they will be convicted of the Truth. Joh 15:7,8,16
16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you,
but ye cannot bear them now.
16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of
{the} truth, is come,
he will guide you into all
{the} 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.
16:14 He shall glorify me:
for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.
16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine:
therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.
I have yet many things to say unto you...- cp. 1Cor 3:1,2; Heb 5:11-14
Because His disciples were not prepared to understand further teaching,
He would reveal more to them later, as their hearts were opened by the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of {the} Truth...
  1. will guide you into all the Truth (v.13).- This work would include:
    1. The inspiration of the New Testament, which consists of...
      1. history - "bring all things to your remembrance," Joh 14:26
      2. doctrine - "teach you all things," v.14; 14:26
      3. prophecy - "show you things to come," v.13
    2. The illumination of the believer's heart to receive the things of God. 1Cor 2:9,10
  2. will not speak of {from} Himself.- That is...
    1. not of His own initiative, "but whatever He shall hear" (v.13). cp. Joh 5:30
      The Persons of the Godhead do not act independently of one another.
    2. not to glorify Himself, but rather, He...
  3. shall glorify Me (v.14). 15:26
    The Spirit of {the} Truth reveals the One who is "the Truth" to His bride. cp. 14:6; 1Joh 2:27,28
  4. shall receive of mine and shall show {declare} it unto you.-
    • "All the attributes of God belong to Christ (v.15); and it is the Spirit's joy to declare and reveal these attributes." [GWms]
      cp. Joh 1:1,2; 10:30; Mat 28:18; Col 2:3,9
    • In this regard, the Holy Spirit's ministry to Christ's bride is illustrated by the work of Abraham's servant who spoke not of himself, but of Abraham's wealth and of Isaac's heirship, as he prepared Rachel to be Isaac's bride, though she had not yet seen him. Gen 24:34-36
"Such being the nature and the limits of the Spirit's ministry,
all pretended revelations of the Spirit which do not throw light upon the Person of Christ as the Incarnate Word, and upon the Bible as the Written Word are vain; and such pretended revelations are from the spirit of evil and lead men into darkness, bondage and death." [GWms]
16:16 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.
16:17 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?
16:18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while?
we cannot tell what he saith.
a little while... ye shall not see me.-
In a matter of hours, He would be taken away to be crucified and buried.
a little while... ye shall see me.-
In a matter of days, He would rise and show Himself to them.
But to the disciples, His words seemed self-contradictory and beyond comprehension.
16:19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him,
and said unto them, Do ye enquire 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?
16:20 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.
16:21 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.
16:22 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.
Verily, verily...- Jesus did not attempt to clear up their confusion.
He knew that they could not understand until they were taught by the Holy Spirit. v.12,13
Meanwhile, He emphasized the truthfulness of His words and foretold the emotional upheavals that the disciples were about to experience. If they would trust Him, all would be well. Joh 14:1
you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.-
Actually, the disciples were to know two periods of sorrowful separation from Christ:
  1. for three days, He was in the grave.-
    • They would "weep and lament" (words used of mourning for the dead). Mark 16:10
    • They would be filled with joy, at His resurrection. Luk 24:32,41
  2. for 2000 years (so far), He has been in Heaven.-
    "I go to the Father" (v.16). Joh 14:2; Luk 24:51
16:23 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.
16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name:
ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
16:25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs:
but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs
but I shall shew you plainly
{clearly, openly, unreservedly} of the Father.
16:26 At that day ye shall ask in my name:
and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
16:27 For the Father himself loveth you,
because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
in that day (v.23,26)... the time {GK= hora, hour} cometh (v.25, cp. Joh 12:23,24)-
ie., during the period after His death, resurrection (v.22), and ascension (v.5-7,16) -
  1. Believers are given new privilege and responsibility in prayer...
    1. directly to the Father (without the intervention of priest, saints, or Mary).
      The believer has direct access to the Father, through Christ's one sacrifice (Heb 10:19-23; Eph 2:18). This access is augmented by Christ's presence with the Father, where He, as our advocate, intercedes (prays) for us (Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25).
    2. in the name of Christ.- To pray in this way, the believer must be abiding in Him, obedient to Him, and seeking His purposes.
      cp. Joh 14:13; 15:7,16; (see note at 14:13,14)
    3. that your joy may be full.- cp. Mat 7:7,8; Joh 15:10,11,16 (also note at 15:11); Eph 3:14-19
  2. Believers are given new understanding.-
    1. ye shall ask me nothing (v.23) - Jesus would no longer be physically present to answer their questions.
      (This does not imply that it is wrong to address God the Son in prayer.)
    2. I shall show you plainly of the Father (v.25) - By the Holy Spirit's ministry, believers would come to understand the "many things" that Christ desires to make known to His own. cp. v.12-15; Joh 17:26; Acts 1:3; Luk 24:36-48
16:28 I came forth from the Father,
and am come into the world:
again, I leave the world,
and go to the Father.
Here, Jesus summarizes His Person and work, with four statements, in one verse:
  1. His Deity - He came out from the Father, with whom He is eternally One. Joh 1:1-4
  2. His Incarnation - The eternal God became a son of man. Joh 1:14
       He came into the world, voluntarily, to accomplish the Father's purposes, including:
  3. His Completion of the Father's purpose - (He would leave only after finishing the work.)
  4. His Glorification - He ascended to His rightful place (Joh 17:5), from where...
(These points are also encapsulated in 1Tim 3:16.)
16:29 His disciples said unto him,
Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
16:30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things,
and needest not that any man should ask thee
{or, that any man should question thee}:
by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
now speakest thou plainly...- cp. v.25. The disciples thought they understood.
They were sure He was the Messiah who was sent from God.
But they did not yet understand His Deity, His redemptive death, His resurrection and ascension, or His second coming.
16:31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come,
that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own,
{cp. Zech 13:7; Mat 26:31,56}
and shall leave me alone:
and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
alone... yet I am not alone.- Here is a mystery that no believer can fully fathom...
the Father is with me.- "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself..." 2Cor 5:19
Yet, on the cross, He would be forsaken by the Father (Psa 22:1,2; Mat 27:46), when He took our sin upon Himself (2Cor 5:21).
16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
these things I have spoken unto you...- ie., the things of ch. 13-16.
Jesus had warned of His separation from them, and announced the new and closer relationship which He was about to make possible.
in me... peace.- The believer's eternal condition & expectation (Joh 14:1,27) includes...
in the world... tribulation.- The believer's temporary experience. Joh 15:19-21
Yet, His Peace prevails in the hearts of persecuted believers.
  • Be of good cheer {GK= tharseo, be confident, be courageous}.
    cp. 'confident' {GK= tharrheo, exercise courage} in 2Cor 5:6-8.
  • I have overcome the world.- Joh 12:31; Rom 8:35-37; 1Joh 5:4,5
    He spoke prophetically of his victory as accomplished fact, while it was yet in the future.
    As He faced the cross, committing Himself to the Father, He had perfect peace.
    Our peace is as solid as our confidence in Him. Joh 14:27-29; cp. 1Cor 15:17-26

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