In John 16 we have Jesus giving some final commands and information to his disciples. It’s a very powerful but overlooked chapter in John. It doesn’t have a lot happening except dialogue, but it states what will happen to them in the future.
John 16 is a continuation of the conversation in John 15. Check out my blog post there if you have read it yet.
Jesus knew what was going to happen, and I believe we can glean a lot of information from these verses. So let’s dig into John 16 and see what truth we can learn.
John 16: Jesus Strengthens His Disciples
16 “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. 2 For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. 3 This is because they have never known the Father or me.
4 Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.John 16: 1-4
What Does John 16 Teach Us?
I find it interesting that in previous verses Jesus talks about people wanting to kill us for his sake. He said we’ll be hated but it’s because they hate him.
I always felt that hate was from nonreligious people, it was people on the street and that was unavoidable.
But now I’m thinking the hate might come from another group of people as well, and it makes sense.
Jesus fought the religious people, and they hated him worse than anyone else. In fact, the religious ones are the ones who killed him. Paul the apostle used to be Saul, and he killed Christians before his conversion in Acts.
Even so, the same thing happens to Christians all over the world and is starting to happen here in America. Don’t get me wrong, we really aren’t persecuted here, I’d even say we’re fat and lazy. However I believe we need to get up and work, or that could change.
John 16: The Work of the Holy Spirit
5 “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.
8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’John 16: 5-15
Jesus Returned To The Father, So The Holy Spirit Could Come
Once Jesus died and rose again he had another job that needed to be done. He became our advocate sitting at the right hand of God. In John 16 this is something he’s trying to explain.
This means when we pray, Jesus’ blood covers our sins and through him, we have direct access to God. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. So without Jesus, we have no hope because he is the way.
In addition to that, Jesus sent us the Spirit of Truth, also called the comforter and the Holy Spirit. This is the part of God that lives and breathes within us. It’s the Voice of God we hear and listen to.
The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that he’s speaking to everyone around the world, and is with them during the exact same instance. The entire world can connect with God because he’s not a physical being.
He came to convict, draw us closer to Jesus, and give us power over sin. That is the meaning of John 16
John 16: Sadness Will Be Turned to Joy
16 “In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”
17 Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? 18 And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
19 Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.
21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.John 16:16-24
I often wonder if we lose a lot of biblical context through translation and cultural differences. These verses in John 16 are really deep and foreshadow a lot of what is going to happen.
But it seems clunky to me, maybe I’m just over-critical of it, or maybe there’s a beauty that’s missing when it’s not in the original language.
Either way, the meaning is clear, John 16 states that Jesus is going to die, and the disciples will mourn him before they see him again.
John 16: Jesus Continues
25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”
29 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. 30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this, we believe that you came from God.”
31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:25-33
John 16:15-33 Thoughts And Confusion On My Part.
I get really confused sometimes when Jesus speaks. In the past, I’ve wondered if he’s intentionally trying to speak differently and add some confusion to the disciples through processes.
However, I’ve come around to a different way of thinking. What Jesus was trying to teach them was a radical shift in their thought processes. And to change the way people think you really need to change the way they communicate so they think about everything.
I honestly wonder if this was one of the reasons Jesus spoke the way he did. To people who didn’t believe and had no interest in it, he seemed like a lunatic.
However to the people who wanted to believe, and saw him as the way. Anything he said was thought about, discussed, and mulled over.
With him stating things differently than they were used to, it opened up new ways of thinking. Not to mention brain synapse and things like that.
Either way, I honestly think that was part of what he was doing, and it still works today. We all have our own cultural mindsets. And it’s not just an American or European way of thinking. You can drill down to cultural norms in the next town over.
What Jesus wanted, was for us to have a kingdom mindset. A kingdom mindset is focused on the things of God regardless of cultural norms policies and procedures.
A kingdom mindset says God’s way is the way, and everything you do focuses on that goal.
John 15: The Kingdom of Heaven Mindset
I’m not sure why I’ve gotten onto this topic, but it’s burning in my heart so maybe somebody will read this someday and it’ll affect them.
John 15 and John 16 are very heavy on the kingdom of heaven, even if it doesn’t really say it. We are spiritual beings living in a physical world. The spiritual world, run by God, created the physical world. In effect, we live in a finite universe.
When we are saved, we are no longer a part of this world. Jesus saves us and we are plucked out of it, yet we still live in it. We live in the world because of the Great Commission. Jesus’ final command to his disciples was to go into the world and create disciples.
Notice it doesn’t say converts, but disciples.
In Matthew 13:44 Jesus tells us a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven, and it’s something you’ll discover as you follow him because the Holy Spirit will open it all up to you.
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