John 16

#Joh 16:1| These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be caused to stumble. Jesus warned his disciples of coming persecutions in order that those persecutions might not shake their faith. (TFG 671) #Joh 16:2| They shall put you out of the synagogues. See TFG "#Joh 9:35|". On the synagogue, see TFG "Mr 1:39". Yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you shall think that he offereth service unto God. Persecutors would not only take away religious privileges, but even life itself, and they would do this as a religious act, esteeming Christians such enemies of God that God would take pleasure in their death. Paul gives us an illustration of this fanatical zeal (#Ac 26:9 Ga 1:13,14|). (TFG 671) #Joh 16:3| And these things will they do, because they have not known the Father, nor me. The disciples being but few, and finding the vast majority of the nation against them, and being but unlearned Galileans, and finding the leaders--the wise, the cultured, the mighty--against them, would be tempted to doubt the correctness of their course, and to ask, "May we not, after all, be mistaken: may not those who know more be better judges in this matter than we who are so ignorant?" To forestall and prevent such questioning, Jesus asserts that the ignorance is with the rulers. Knowledge of himself and of his Father is the great and supreme knowledge, and the apostles having this were wiser than those with all other learning. (TFG 671-672) #Joh 16:4| But these things have I spoken unto you, that when their hour is come, ye may remember them, how that I told you. It would also strengthen their faith to remember that the Lord's divine wisdom had foreseen all this trouble. And these things I said not unto you from the beginning, because I was with you. While he was with his disciples they were in no danger, for he himself bore the brunt of persecution. In the beginning, therefore, of his ministry he did not deem it expedient to dishearten his disciples by foretelling trials which were then remote. When he began to announce his approaching death, then he also began to declare that the disciple must be willing to lose his life if he would find it. See notes at Section LXX, Subdivision C, at #Mr 8:31-38|. Some think that #Mt 5:10-12| forms a contradiction to our Lord's statement here. While the words in Matthew were spoken early enough to be classified as "from the beginning," their import is to general to permit of their being brought into contrast with this direct and personal prediction of persecution. (TFG 672) #Joh 16:5| But now I go unto him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? The disciples had asked the Lord whither he was going (#Joh 13:36 14:5|), but their question had a very different meaning from that which Jesus here suggests to them. They asked it to ascertain whether his departure would involve a separation or whether it would be a withdrawal from the world in which they could accompany him. The question which he suggests has reference to the place to which he was about to journey, that place being the home and presence of his Father. The question asked was selfish, as if the apostles had asked, "What will your departure mean to us?" The question suggested was generous, intimating that the apostles should have asked, "What will this departure mean to you?" (TFG 672-673) #Joh 16:6| Because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Viewing his departure from a selfish standpoint filled their hearts with sorrow; but viewing it from a generous standpoint would have filled them with sympathetic joy, because of the supreme happiness which it would bring to their Master (#Joh 14:28|). But even from a selfish standpoint the apostles would have had reason to rejoice because of the advantage which would accrue to them through the Lord's departure, for that departure would result in the advent of the Holy Spirit. (TFG 673) #Joh 16:7| For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you. Space does not permit us to discuss why the Spirit could not come until the Lord had departed, but the verses which follow give us one good and sufficient reason, for they show that his work had to do with the conviction of human hearts through the preaching of a completed gospel, and the ascension or return of Christ to heaven, and his enthronement in glory there, are essential parts of that completed gospel. (TFG 673) #Joh 16:8| And he, when he is come, will convict the world, in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. It would be the work of the Holy Spirit to take the truths respecting Christ, and, using the apostles as mouthpieces (#Ac 2:1-37|), to convince the world as to these truths. This convincing work was entirely in relation to Christ, the sin of disbelieving him, the righteousness revealed in him, and the power of judgment conferred upon him. (TFG 673) #Joh 16:9-11| Of sin, because they believe not on me. Sin, righteousness, and a day of judgment with its reward upon one and its punishment upon the other, are three cardinal doctrines of the gospel. The Spirit convinces the world that disbelief in Christ is its fatal sin, for belief in Christ leads to forgiveness, and to the unbelieving there is no forgiveness. The least sin is a sin unto death, and is a sin eternal unless forgiven. The greatest sin, if forgiven, becomes harmless and is as if it had never been. Until the world is convinced of this great truth it feels no need of a gospel. (TFG 673-674) #Joh 16:10| Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye behold me no more. Again, Christianity teaches that righteousness is prerequisite to the attainment of the presence of God. Without righteousness we can never behold him, nor can we ever hope to stand before him. But this required righteousness was found in Jesus, for he returned to the Father, and abides with the Father, being seen by us no more. The Holy Spirit convinces the world that those who are found in Christ, having his righteousness, shall attain unto the presence of the Father (#Php 3:3-14|). (TFG 674) #Joh 16:11| Of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged. Lastly, the Spirit convinces the world that Jesus is commissioned as its judge. Our Lord's resurrection is the assurance of this fact (#Ac 17:31|). The resurrection is such an assurance because it is an evidence of the judgment and condemnation of Satan, the head and leader in sinful rebellion against God, and he that hath power to judge the head thereby shows he has power to judge the body. Satan held the power of death over humanity, but Jesus judged him and brought him to naught by taking away this power (#Heb 2:14,15|). The cross of Christ as the source of life asserted his superiority over all other powers (#Col 2:14,15|), which implies an ability to judge them. (TFG 674) #Joh 16:12| I have yet many things unto say to you, but ye cannot bear them now. The doctrines of the gospel were necessarily obscure and largely incomprehensible to the apostles until time had developed the gospel facts. Jesus, therefore, forbore to speak of many things at this time, lest by doing so he should confuse the minds of his followers. (TFG 674) #Joh 16:13,14| Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself. The Holy Spirit was to bring no absolutely new teaching. The Son of God here claims for himself all that the Spirit taught even to the declaration of things to come. (TFG 674) #Joh 16:14| He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you. The Spirit would bring to mind and republish in the minds of the apostles all the words which Jesus had spoken, and would add those things which, being now in the mind of Jesus, were really part of his teaching, but which he at this present forbore to utter, the apostles not being able to bear them. (TFG 675) #Joh 16:15| All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he taketh of mine, and shall declare it unto you. The Son's unity of interest with the Father made him possessor of all the Father's truth, as well as all the Father's counsel as to the future. As Jesus, therefore, might at this time have uttered all which the Holy Spirit subsequently taught, he rightfully claimed all the teaching of the Spirit as his. (TFG 675) #Joh 16:16| A little while, and ye behold me no more; and again a little while, and ye shall see me. Having finished his digression about the Holy Spirit, Jesus here returns to his point of departure, the theme of #Joh 16:5|. Of course the apostles would see Jesus after his resurrection, but the seeing here spoken of refers more especially to that spiritual communion with him previously mentioned (#Joh 14:19-23|). (TFG 675) #Joh 16:17,18| What is this that he saith unto us, etc. Having been unable to entertain the idea of our Lord's burial and resurrection, no wonder the apostles were mystified by these allusions to it. Because I go to the Father? #Joh 14:28|. (TFG 675) #Joh 16:19| Jesus perceived. By his divine insight (#Joh 2:24,25 6:61| #Mt 9:4|). (TFG 675) #Joh 16:20| Verily, verily. See TFG "#Joh 1:51|". But your sorrow shall be turned into joy. The death of Jesus truly brought gladness to his enemies (#Lu 22:5|), and sorrow to his friends (#Joh 20:11|), but the sorrow was indeed turned to joy (#Mt 28:8|). (TFG 675-676) #Joh 16:21| A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, etc. The simile here is very apropos, according with Scriptural ideals (#Col 1:18 Re 1:5|). (TFG 676) #Joh 16:22| And your joy no one taketh away from you. #Lu 24:52,53|. The joyful hopes which come to us through the resurrection of Jesus are beyond the reach of the despoiling hand of man. (TFG 676) #Joh 16:23,24| And in that day ye shall ask me no question. The coming of the Spirit would make all things clear, and the mysteries about which the apostles now questioned would then be fully explained. Verily, verily. See TFG "#Joh 1:51|". If ye shall ask anything of the Father, he will give it you in my name. Having spoken of his departure, and of what the Spirit would do during his absence, he now speaks of the work which he would himself do while absent. He entered heaven as our high priest (#Heb 9:24|), and part of his priestly office is to make intercession for his people (#Heb 7:24,25|). (TFG 676) #Joh 16:24| Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name. The use of Christ's name for intercessory purposes was new to the apostles, since it was only thus employed after his ascension. (TFG 676) #Joh 16:25| The hour cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in dark sayings, but shall tell you plainly of the Father. This closing discourse was full of dark sayings which the disciples did not understand, but when the gospel facts were completed and when the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, then Christ through the Spirit made all things plain to them. (TFG 676) #Joh 16:26| In that day ye shall ask in my name. Fullness of knowledge would lead them to look readily to Christ as intercessor. (TFG 676) #Joh 16:27| For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father. While the apostles did not believe in the voluntary exit of Jesus, it having not yet taken place, they did believe that he had come into the world as a divine being, and for this belief the Father loved them, and this love of the Father was not to be lost sight of in considering the mediatory work of Christ. In short, the Father must be looked upon as one who does not need to be interceded with because of a lack of love. Though, according to the divine plan and order, Jesus is intercessor (#1Ti 2:5| #1Jo 2:1,2|), yet the office is not self-assumed for the purpose of counteracting any spirit of severity in the Father, but is, on the contrary, undertaken by direct appointment of the Father, made because of the Father's love (#Joh 3:16|). Failing to recognize the Father as the fountain and source of grace, love and mercy has led the Roman Church into gross errors. The Father being suspected of undue rigor, a like suspicion arose also as to the Son because of his nearness to the Father. Therefore the Virgin Mary was called in to intercede with and soften the obduracy of the Son. Since the deification of the Virgin Mary in 1853, she also has been looked upon with growing distrust, and the tendency has been to call upon Joseph to intercede with Mary to intercede with the Son to intercede with the Father. Thus that wonderful love of God which passes all understanding is made less than that of mere mortals who never manifested a measure of philanthropy above what is common. Against such errors Jesus guards us by causing us to understand that, if the love of the Father alone were to be considered, there would be no need for him to intercede at all. (TFG 677) #Joh 16:28| I came out from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go unto the Father. Birth and death are alike beyond our control. That Jesus had a divine as well as a human nature is shown by the fact that his entrance into and exit from the world were both governed by his own violation, as was also his resurrection (#Joh 10:17,18|). (TFG 677) #Joh 16:29| Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no dark saying. They now clearly understood that as Jesus came from heaven so would he return to heaven, but they did not understand the process by which this return would be effected. (TFG 678) #Joh 16:30| Now know we that thou knowest all things . . . by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. The miraculous manner in which he had just read their thoughts caused them to boldly declare their faith in his divinity. (TFG 678) #Joh 16:32| Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. He contrasts the faith which his disciples then professed with that utter lack of it which they would manifest in a few hours. All their confidence in his divinity would vanish when they saw him arrested, etc., and they would seek their own safety, leaving him to his fate. Much as he would feel their desertion, he would not be left utterly comfortless, because the Father would be with him. Paul speaks in a similar strain (#2Ti 4:16-18|). (TFG 678) #Joh 16:33| These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. Christ's return to the Father and his throne is the Christian's source of peace. As none of the accumulations of evil which came upon Christ prevented him from attaining his goal, so the Christian feels that in the conquering power of Christ, he too shall rise superior to all his troubles, and this feeling brings him peace. (TFG 678)
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