"Exposition on Gospel of John 16:12-33"
"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.*
Sorrow Will Turn to Joy
"A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father." Then some of His disciples said among themselves, "What is this that He says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?" They said therefore, "What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is saying." Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Jesus Christ Has Overcome the World
"These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father." His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! 30 Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God." Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will* have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
JESUS in verses 7 through 11 reassures the disciples of the future. He assures us of that “prepared place” He will prepare for the believer spoke about in Chapter 14; that we will live in with Him when He comes back from glory. He told us that one of the assignments the Holy Spirit will have will be to judge the world (Israel and the Gentile nations) of righteousness because of the way they treated Jesus Christ while He was here on earth. He then gave us the assurance that the Devil, with his angels (demons) and those who continue to serve him have already been judged and one day all of the wicked being banished into hell by the last judgment along with those wicked living people who will die in their sin and refuse to turn from their sin and turn to Christ.
So, in the Christian revelation, we are made acquainted with three grand truths, which gives us the summary of the condition and substance of all true religion.
Jesus: More Things to Say…..”But you can’t bear them now”(Verses 12-15)
There were several reasons Jesus said this:
More Concerning the Work of the Holy Spirit (Verse 13-14)
When “HE” the “Spirit of Truth” comes:
- The Holy Spirit is called this because of His “mission of revelation” – the revealer of all truth…. That is, all that truth which pertained to the establishment of the Christian faith, those things Jesus said they were not then prepared to hear or the many changes they would experience in the near future. Jesus’ death, burial resurrection and ascending in to heaven and Great Commission would open their eyes, and the Holy Spirit, reminding them of the striking and impressive scenes of his death and ascension, would carry them forward with that commission. According to the first and second chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, they learned more of the true nature of the Christian plan than they would have done in months or years even under the teaching of Jesus himself….(vs. 13)
- He shall not speak of Himself: The Holy Spirit will convey (communicate) everything He has heard from God the Father and God the Son Refer to John 5:30 and John 7:18. Whatever the Holy Spirit heard would come directly from God and Jesus. (Therefore faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of God) He would bring back to their remembrance (explain all that Jesus had said to them) and explain all those things that came to past and were said to come to past in the future.
- The Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus, That is, the Holy Spirit will honor Jesus and exalt the Lord’s character. He will be God’s ambassador and convey God’s wishes, complete His part of God’s mandate, as well as communicate our assignment s to us as mandated by God.
Note: This is always the work of the Holy Spirit Everything He does will point to Jesus Christ. If we have been truly convicted of sin and renewed by the Holy Spirit, the tendency of all his influences has been to lead us to the Savior; to show us our need of him; to reveal to us the loveliness of his character, and the fitness of his work to our needs; and to incline us to cast our eternal interests on his almighty arm, and commit all to his hands.
- Jesus: “All things the Father has are mine.
This is the reason the Holy Spirit will take what is mine and reveal it to you. This is further evidence of the Trinity. Jesus said I and the Father are one. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God operating in this dispensation as our Guide and Intercessor. Guide because His responsibility is to guide us in our Christian walk to walk according to the principles, precepts, and truth of the Word of God. (Vs. 15)
Jesus Speaks: Concerning His Death…Resurrection…Second Coming
Jesus makes a “Doctrinal Statement” in John 16:7-11. Jesus reminds them again of the advantage they will have after Jesus ascends to God…the Holy Spirit descending from God (verses 16-18)
- “A little while” you shall not see me (death and burial in Joseph’s tomb) “a little while”(in 3 days) you shall see me” (resurrection from the grave) because I go to the Father. (ascending to Heaven) This was part of the plan of salvation and redemption(vs. 16)
- Confusion and misunderstanding: What is this Jesus is saying to us? We don’t understand….(vs. 17-18)
Jesus explains again His Ascending and Second Coming: (Verses 19-22)
It is here in verses 19 through 28 the 39th New Testament prophecy is fulfilled and being fulfilled. (Luke 23:27 and 24:41) [This actually happened while Jesus carried the cross bruised, whipped and battered walking down the Via Delarosa toward Calvary.]
- You will cry and be sorrowful while the world (those who were crying crucify Him and reveling at His demise) will be rejoicing….but your tears and sorrow will turn into joy (after His resurrection) and time spent with them before He ascends to Heaven. (Vs. 20)
- An illustration of their sorrow (vs. 21-22)
The Christian Power of Attorney: “A New Law on Prayer” (Verses 23-28)
All the while Jesus was with them, they had been accustomed to depending on him for everything they needed and for those things they may have desired. As his chosen vessels, they were to depend and expect His aid. Read Matthew 8:25 and John 11:3.
They were to depend on Jesus personally instructing them, explain to them the mysteries of his religion, and doctrines and to remove any cloud of confusion on any subject concerning the Word (as they had it then and would see it further written and revealed by men designated by the Holy Spirit on script) that had them perplexed Remember, beforehand, they had not sought God the Father through Jesus as the Mediator, they had gone to Jesus directly. He now tells them from this time forward all of their requests were to be made to God in Jesus’ name, and God, by the influences of his Spirit, would make known to them what Jesus would do if he was physically present. That is…when you now pray, your prayer should resemble something like the following: “Father God…in the name of Jesus”… and end something like “IN the name of Jesus I pray…Amen!”
Hitherto (beforehand during Jesus’ earthly ministry) you asked nothing in my name. But now ask and you shall receive that your joy might be full
Now they had the assurance that they might approach God in his name; and, amid all their trials, they, as well as all Christians since, might draw near to God, knowing that he would hear and answer their prayers.(vs. 24)
Jesus: Speaks: I’m speaking these things in proverbs: (In a manner that appears obscure, enigmatical, and difficult to be understood. His declarations in these chapters about his death and resurrection appear to us to be plain, yet to the apostles, filled with Jewish prejudices, and unwilling to believe that he was about to die, they would appear exceedingly obscure and perplexed. but the time will come (After Jesus has ascended and the Holy Spirit has come to earth to rest on them) when I will not speak in proverbs, but I will show you (through the Holy Spirit) plainly of the Father. The Holy Spirit will reveal all to you concerning the will and plan of the Father; particularly his plan in the establishment and spread of the Christian religion to the Gentiles, and in organizing the church. This was fulfilled in Acts 10th chapter. (vs. 25)
- God the Father loves you Himself because you love me and you believe that I came out from God. (God the Father sent Me to you.)
- I (physically) came to this world. (as a baby born to Mary in Bethlehem)
Disciples Response: “Now we Understand!” (verses 29-30)
Here were the reasons for their ability to understand Jesus now:
- You’re speaking plainly to us! (No proverbs)
- Now we are sure: You know all things…therefore…no man needs not to ask you this..We believe you came from God
The 40th New Testament Prophecy: The Suffering and Persecutions of Christians (verses 31-33) Question and Declaration from Jesus
- Jesus: “Do you believe now?”
- Behold: “The Hour is coming…..The Hour (time) is now Here!” (the next day)
- You shall be scattered! (He prophesized this to them in the upper room in Matthew 26:31)
- Every man to his own (except John) and shall leave ME alone. Everybody either went back to their homes in Galilee or went back to their profession (fishing) before Jesus first called them into discipleship.
- You will leave me alone yet, I’m not alone because the Father is with ME.
Something to remember: It matters little who else forsakes us if God be with us in our hour of pain and of death; and though poor, forsaken, or despised, yet, if we have the consciousness of his presence and his favor, then we may fear no evil. His rod and his staff, they will comfort us. Without his favor then, death will be full of horrors, though we are surrounded by weeping relatives, and by all the honor, and splendor, and wealth which the world can bestow. The Christian can die saying, I am not alone, because the Father is with me. The sinner cant’ say this because he or she dies without that only friend that can alleviate his or her sufferings. Without Jesus Christ, they will die without the one source of real joy. (vs. 32)
Jesus Speaks: The reason : “These things I have spoken unto you….”
- “That you might have peace in ME. (and with the aid of the Holy Spirit)
- In the world, (among the people you will be going back to) you shall have tribulation, (You can expect them to persecute you, revile you, torment you, afflict you and say all manner of evil against you)
- But be of good cheer….I have overcome the world”. (vs.33)
He overcame the prince of this world (Satan) by his death, (John 12:31). He vanquished the great foe of man, and triumphed over all the powers of darkness that would work to ruin us in every way. He brought down aid and strength from above by his death; and by obtaining for us the friendship of God and the influence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did it by his own instructions and living them by example. He did it by revealing to us the glories of heaven, and opening our eyes to see the excellence of heavenly things. He has provided us with the means of overcoming all our enemies, and the means to triumph and overcome all our temptations.
Martin Luther said it best: “The world is a vanquished enemy; Satan is a humbled foe; and all that believers have to do is to put their trust in the Captain of Our Salvation, put on the whole armor of God, with the assurance that the victory is ours and that the church shall yet shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.
Rev Dr. William Edward Boddie