John Chapter 16
Joh 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
Here Jesus gives the reason for the last two chapters. He was looking out for the Apostles and those who would believe on him because of the Apostles (as we see in his prayer in the garden).
The word offended is more serious than we use it today. It can mean the utter ruin of the Christian.
Strongs defines is as: To “scandalize”; from G4625; to entrap, that is, trip up (figuratively stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): - (make to) offend.
See also Clark’s commentary:
Be offended - Ἱνα μη σκανδαλισθητε, That ye should not be stumbled. May not fall away from the faith, nor receive any injury to your souls, as that man does to his body who stumbles, or falls over a stone, or block, in the way which he has not discovered.
If we truly love the brethren and lay down our lives for them, and build them up, we should not be so easily shaken in our faith. We should all be going in the same direction, have the same goal. We need each other. We cannot go this race alone. If we think we don’t need the brethren, or we severely limit who we accept into our fellowship (like only those who believe exactly like us on all things)—we are neglecting the support line Jesus gave us and we will surely be offended sooner or later and leave the faith.
Joh 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.
Just read the book of Acts and you will see what Jesus was talking about. They formed lynch mobs. They dragged Paul and others out into the street or to prison. It wasn’t just the throwing you out of the synagogue and having nothing to do with you. We see in the next part of the sentence that they want to kill.
I find the phrase “will think that he doeth God service” interesting. Look at the Apostle Paul—he “breathed out threatenings and murder”—but he thought he was doing it all for God. According to the Law—anyone who worshipped other gods were put to death. So, Saul (Paul) thought he was obeying God’s Word.
We see in history how the faithful Fathers were persecuted, burned at the stake, racked, tortured, property seized and all sorts of “unchristlike things done---all in the name of Christ. Sponsored by ones who claimed to be God, Himself on earth.
In our so-called civilized world—we are not immune to this form of persecution. Now, we might get thrown out or disfellowshipped (for unscriptural reasons—like asking too many questions), and our friends and family turn on us. But we know from other scriptures the time is coming, and very soon, that what the Apostles and other pillars of the Church throughout history experienced, will be coming to our home as well.
We see brethren (fellow Christians) all across the world being imprisoned and tortured for Christ’s sake. We feel immune to such atrocities, but don’t fool yourself—it’s coming. And that is why we need the love of the brethren so badly, because everyone else will have turned on us.
It is not our true brethren that will turn on us in this verse, but those who are tares, or nominal Christians. Those who take the name of God in their mouth, but their hearts are far from Him. They follow the leaders and not God’s Word—because they don’t know God’s Word.
This is how the Inquisition was able to have its reign of terror. People didn’t know the Word. All they knew was what the priest told them and they believed the priests knew the Word—but they didn’t, or they didn’t care it was just a job like the Pharisees.
Know the Word, and make sure you are on the right side of what is coming!
Joh 16:3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Just because someone takes the name of Christ doesn’t mean is of Christ. Jude and Peter warn of false brethren who sneak in with hidden agendas. Love is a fruit of the Spirit. It is by their fruits that we know them. Look for love of the brethren. It has to be more than words—true love has action behind it. Abide in Jesus---those are our brethren—the ones “abiding in Jesus.
Joh 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.
See Clarke’s commentary
At the beginning - I would not trouble you by speaking of these things pointedly at first, when I chose you to be my disciples, but have referred them to the present time, lest you should be discouraged; and now only declare them because it is absolutely necessary that you should be put upon your guard.
Joh 16:5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
None of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? - In Joh_13:3, Peter had asked, Lord, thither goest thou? - and Thomas much the same in Joh_14:5, both of whom had received an answer. But now, at the time when Jesus was speaking this, none of them asked this question, because their hearts were filled with sorrow: Joh_16:6.
It is something to ponder that the Apostles never questioned that Jesus was sent to earth by the Father. Jesus, himself was an Apostle of God, just like the 11 were his Apostles.
The word “apostle” means one sent, a messenger. Jesus declares that he was sent.
Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Joh 16:6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
Joh 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.
It is expedient - that I go away - In other places he had showed them the absolute necessity of his death for the salvation of men: see Mat_20:19; Mat_26:2; Mar_9:31; Mar_10:33, Luk_9:44; Luk_18:32. This he does not repeat here, but shows them that, by the order of God, the Holy Spirit cannot come to them, nor to the world, unless he first die; and consequently men cannot be saved but in this way.
Because their ears were dull. They had such a full night with so many lessons their brains were full. Jesus is saying things over and over a few times to make sure, when the dust settles when he is gone, that they will remember—it will be another 40 days before the holy Spirit comes to them.
We see how saturated they are when they cannot even watch with him for an hour. Jesus understood their fallen humanity and its limitations. Because of his love for them and all of us who would believe on him through their word—he repeated himself, because it is that important.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
He will reprove - Ελεγξει, He will demonstrate these matters so clearly as to leave no doubt on the minds of those who are simple of heart; and so fully as to confound and shut the mouths of those who are gainsayers. See Act_2:1, etc.
The world - The Jewish nation first, and afterwards the Gentile world; for his influences shall not be confined to one people, place, or time.
Looking at the Jewish nation first we see in the book of Acts what happened when the holy Spirit came. Peter went outside and began to speak boldly. Everyone heard it in their own language. We see the people divided into three primary groups.
- The gainsayers who tried to say Peter was drunk.
- Those who were indifferent or uncommitted.
- Those who were just blown away by the miracles they saw and wanted to know more.
The first two would have been twinged in the conscience. Hence the holy Spirit reproved or convicted them—but their hearts were cold and became convinced of the error. While a great number became believers.
Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Joh 16:9Of sin - Of the sin of the Jews in not receiving me as the Messiah, though my mission was accredited by the very miracles which the prophets foretold: see Isa_35:3-6. This was literally fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was given; for multitudes of Jews were then convinced of this sin, and converted to God. See Act_2:37.
If we take this prediction of our Lord in a more general sense, then we may consider that it is one of the grand offices of the Holy Spirit to convince of sin, to show men what sin is, to demonstrate to them that they are sinners, and to show the necessity of an atonement for sin; and in this sense the phrase, περι ἁμαρτιας, may be understood, and in this sense it is used in multitudes of places in the Septuagint, but the words, because they believe not in me, restrict the meaning particularly to the sin of the Jews in rejecting Jesus as the Messiah.
Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
It will reprove the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. Then he goes into detail on how that will happen—because the world does not believe in Jesus.
We look at God’s Word and we see our sin, our short comings, our failures and our victories and our promises. The world doesn’t have God’s Word—they have us, the Christian.
So, our lives (if we are true and not a hypocrite) will reprove the world and be a witness to Jesus’ righteousness and the Word of God. We are a spectacle of men and angels.
1Co 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
So, how does the holy Spirit reprove the world of righteousness, because Jesus goes to his Father? Jesus paid the ransom price—the corresponding price for Father Adam and all who were in Adam. Jesus was tempted, but did not sin, he did not fail. He gave us commandments to live by, but he also lived them and showed us how to live them. So, our lives should reflect Jesus’ righteousness and his paying the ransom and redeeming the world through Adam is the most central doctrine to his ministry, it should also be to ours.
See Clarke’s comments on this verse:
Of my innocence and holiness, because I go away to my Father; of which my resurrection from the dead, and my ascension to heaven, shall be complete proofs. Christ was treated by the Jews as an impostor; as a magician; as one possessed by the devil; as a wicked person, seducer, and destroyer of the law. His vindication from these charges he chiefly referred to the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, who, by his influences on the minds of the people, and by his eloquence and energy in the ministry of the apostles, convinced both the Jews and the Gentiles that the sentence of the Jewish rulers was unjust and infamous, and that the very person whom they had crucified was both Lord and Christ - Lord, the great governor of the universe; and Christ, the Lord’s anointed, the promised Messiah. It was a matter of the utmost consequence to the Christian cause to have the innocence and holiness of its founder demonstrated, and the crime of the Jews in putting him to death made manifest to the world. This also has been literally fulfilled: the universe that has heard of him believes the righteousness and innocence of Jesus; and the Jews, his persecutors, are confounded and execrated throughout the habitable globe.
Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Jesus’ crucifixion at the hands of: the Romans, Jews and Satan, brings judgment on them all.
The Romans had the least knowledge of what they were doing and are less guilty. We have heard that Herod died shortly after that time, and Pilate’s wife warned him not to have anything to do with what was going on. He died in AD 39, the circumstances are unknown, but there is a lot of rumor.
The Jews were cast off from favor till the end of Gentile Times (that is till the Bride of Christ is complete—they lost the privilege to be of this class as a nation and the invitation went out to the gentiles)
Satan the arch-enemy of Jesus, the great Opposer sealed hid doom by orchestrating this event. Up until this point in time, there was hope that Lucifer could be saved, but by killing the Lord of Glory—he crossed the point of no return.
Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Ye cannot bear them now - In illustration of these three points, Christ had many things to say; but he found that his disciples could only bear general truths; yet, in saying what he did, he sowed the seeds of the whole system of theological knowledge, and heavenly wisdom, which the Holy Spirit of this truth afterwards watered and ripened into a glorious harvest of light and salvation, by the ministry of the apostles.
Joh 16:13 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.
While the holy Spirit guides into all truth—not all truth is due to be known at the same time.
End Times truth (i.e. prophetic truth) was not due in the days of the Apostles or even the Reformers, so that truth was not given by the Spirit. But certain doctrinal truths have been taught throughout the entire Gospel Age, though at times it seems to have been lost sight of. We know God is a god of Love, Jesus is His son, Jesus paid the ransom price for Father Adam and that all who are in Adam can now come into Christ and be made alive. We know of the resurrection of the dead in the last days. We know there is no such thing as purgatory or eternal torment. We know there is a coming Kingdom that we all pray for. We know Israel was cast off from favor, but we also know that they will again come back into favor once the Bride of Christ is complete.
Just as we have been guided into truth throughout the age, we will not be left in darkness in the End Times. There are a lot of scriptures pertaining to the End Times and it is our duty to study them. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Knock and it shall be opened to you.
This knowledge will be a gradual unfolding as certain events draw near.
Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Joh 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.
“The new teacher will not turn your minds from me to himself; but all of the teachings of the coming Comforter will be in harmony with my teachings, and to show you more fully that I am the Messiah.”
There was a recognized oneness of possessions clearly expressed by our Lord. The Apostle says, God hath appointed the son the "heir of all things." (Heb_1:2)
Joh 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.
This verse can be taken two ways.
- A little while and you shall not see me—because he would be killed and in Sheol for parts of three days , and then a little while and you shall see me—because he would be resurrected and with them for 40 days before his ascension.
- A little while and you shall not see me---after his ascension he would be gone for about two thousand years till the end of the age, and then a little while and you shall see me—at the first resurrection of the Bride class of the saints. When we meet him in the air.
God is not bound by the earth’s rotation around the sun or on its own axis, so when Jesus is with the Father in the heaven of heavens, he also is not bound to our measure of time and so “a little while” is a relative term.
Jesus is talking to his closest disciples and not the world. The world will never see Jesus in person again.
Joh 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
Joh 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?
Joh 16:18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
Jesus had told them that he was going to die. They were kind of dull of hearing and didn’t really grasp the fact, and his last statement only confused them the more. What he truly meant would not be appreciated until after his death and the coming of the holy Spirit.
Joh 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?
Joh 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.
He goes on to tell them how they are going to feel during and even after the crucifixion. While they are full of sorrow, the Scribes and Pharisees will be celebrating their victory. Their sorrow will be for a short time—three days in fact, then it will be turned to joy when they realize Jesus was raised from the dead.
If we look at these verses from a prophetic standpoint. Jesus is telling his disciples we will suffer persecution for the entire Gospel Age, but when we are raised to be with the Lord, our sorrow will be turned to joy.
Joh 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.
Joh 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.
Or, shall take away. Some excellent MSS. and versions read the verb in the future tense. Our Lord’s meaning appears to have been this: that his resurrection should be so completely demonstrated to them, that they should never have a doubt concerning it; and consequently that their joy should be great and permanent, knowing that the atonement was made, the victory gained, and the kingdom of heaven opened to all believers. Therefore it is said, Act_4:33, that with great power did the apostles give witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Joh 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.
Joh 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Jesus spent three and a half years with his disciples and was there to answer any question, the instruct and guide them. He fed them both spiritually as well as temporally. Now he will not be there directly for them. They will have to go to the Father directly, but ask in Jesus’ name.
God will supply their needs and that will increase their faith as well as their joy.
Joh 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 of the Father.
The Disciples could not understand the deeper things of God, which is why Jesus had to speak in parables and pictures. The natural mind can remember stories and pictures better and when they received the holy Spirit they could begin to make sense of what Jesus was talking about.
There are still things we don’t understand, but foundational doctrines and moral doctrines should not be among them. Some things like prophecy are time locked, that is not due to be understood until the Lord unlocks it for the appropriate generation of saints living.
Mary and Martha understood about the resurrection that doesn’t happen until the last days, but they didn’t know about Israel becoming a nation again, the future hour of power of the Beast—in fact they didn’t know much about the beast or the harlot because that facet of it was still in the distant future from them and not important to make their calling and election sure—but it is for us as that hour of power is coming soon upon us.
God promises those that knock and earnestly seek will be rewarded with the Truth they seek. Those who are not interested even though they profess to love the Lord will not get the understanding and development necessary as shown in the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins who find out too late they didn’t have enough oil to keep their lamps burning and hence missed out on the chief prize, to be of the Bride class.
Joh 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:
Even after Jesus ascends to be with the Father, he will continue to have a deep interest in his disciples and be their advocate. While Jesus is not our mediator and we do not go through Jesus to get to God, but have direct access to God—it is only because we have come to Christ that we have this access. When we end our prayers, “In Jesus’ name,” we are confirming that relationship with Jesus.
Joh 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
Joh 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
Jesus shows his separateness from the Father. He came out from the God—because God sent him to earth to be the ransom for Father Adam. Now that he has (or will in short order) paid that ransom price, his mission on earth is done and he can return to his Father, and sit in the throne beside Him.
It is interesting to note that there are only 2 thrones in heaven, one for God the Father and one for Jesus. Jesus has a separate throne which he will share with his body members (the Bride).
Joh 16:29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
Joh 16:30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
The Apostles understood clearly that Jesus was sent by God to save the world. They may not have understood all the fine details of the ransom, but they understood that Jesus was the son of the Living God, and not God himself.
Joh 16:31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
Jesus wanted to impress his relationship with God to them, because what was about to happen might shake that very belief, even though he told them time and again it was going to happen.
Joh 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now 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.
It is easy to say be believe something when there is no pressure, and to even as Peter said, all will forsake thee, but I will die for thee—but when we are under oppression and fear takes over, will we still be convicted of these truths and stand for them, of will we drop everything and run as fast as we can?
Joh 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.
Peace—not in the sense of no tribulation, no persecution, but peace in our heart and peace of mind.
Peace in that when they reflected on Jesus hanging on the cross they won’t lose faith. They did momentarily, but when the holy Spirit came, it reminded them of what Jesus told them and increased and strengthened their faith.
Isa 53:3-6 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.