"I've told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead.
They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he's doing God a favor.
They will do these things because they never really understood the Father.
I've told you these things so that when the time comes and they start in on you, you'll be well-warned and ready for them.
But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, 'Where are you going?'
Instead, the longer I've talked, the sadder you've become.
So let me say it again, this truth: It's better for you that I leave. If I don't leave, the Friend won't come. But if I go, I'll send him to you.
"When he comes, he'll expose the error of the godless world's view of sin, righteousness, and judgment:
He'll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin;
that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control;
that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.
"I still have many things to tell you, but you can't handle them now.
But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won't draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said.
He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you.
Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I've said, 'He takes from me and delivers to you.'
"In a day or so you're not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me."
That stirred up a hornet's nest of questions among the disciples: "What's he talking about: 'In a day or so you're not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me'? And, 'Because I'm on my way to the Father'?
What is this 'day or so'? We don't know what he's talking about."
Jesus knew they were dying to ask him what he meant, so he said, "Are you trying to figure out among yourselves what I meant when I said, 'In a day or so you're not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me'?
Then fix this firmly in your minds: You're going to be in deep mourning while the godless world throws a party. You'll be sad, very sad, but your sadness will develop into gladness.
"When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there's no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain.
The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you.
You'll no longer be so full of questions.
Ask in my name, according to my will, and he'll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!
"I've used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I'll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language.
Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I've revealed to you. I won't continue making requests of the Father on your behalf.
I won't need to. Because you've gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly.
First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father."
His disciples said, "Finally! You're giving it to us straight, in plain talk - no more figures of speech.
Now we know that you know everything - it all comes together in you. You won't have to put up with our questions anymore. We're convinced you came from God."
Jesus answered them, "Do you finally believe?
In fact, you're about to make a run for it - saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me.
I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)