John 16

Jesus' Warning

1 "1These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from 2stumbling.
2 "They will 3make you outcasts from the synagogue, but 4an hour is coming for everyone 5who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.
3 "These things they will do 6because they have not known the Father or Me.
4 "But these things I have spoken to you, 7so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you 8at the beginning, because I was with you.

The Holy Spirit Promised

5 "But now 9I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, '10Where are You going?'
6 "But because I have said these things to you, 11sorrow has filled your heart.
7 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the 12Helper will not come to you; but if I go, 13I will send Him to you.
8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
9 concerning sin, 14because they do not believe in Me;
10 and concerning 15righteousness, because 16I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
11 17and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12 "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot * bear them now.
13 "But when He, 18the Spirit of truth, comes, He will 19guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14 "He will 20glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15 "21All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore * I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Jesus' Death and Resurrection Foretold

16 "22A little while, and 23you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and 24you will see Me."
17 Some of His disciples then said to one another, "What is this thing He is telling us, '25A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because 26I go to the Father '?"
18 So they were saying, "What is this that He says, 'A little while '? We do not know what He is talking about."
19 27Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, "Are you deliberating together * about this, that I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me'?
20 "Truly, truly, I say to you, that 28you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but 29your grief will be turned into joy.
21 "30Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.
22 "Therefore 31you too have grief now; but 32I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.

Prayer Promises

23 "33In that day 34you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, 35if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
24 "36Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your 37joy may be made full.
25 "These things I have spoken to you in 38figurative language; 39an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father.
26 "40In that day 41you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf;
27 for 42the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and 43have believed that 44I came forth from the Father.
28 "45I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and 46going to the Father."
29 His disciples said, "Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using 47a figure of speech.
30 "Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we 48believe that You 49came from God."
31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?
32 "Behold, 50an hour is coming, and has already come, for 51you to be scattered, each to 52his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet 53I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that 54in Me you may have peace. 55In the world you have tribulation, but 56take courage; 57I have overcome the world."

Images for John 16

John 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

Persecution foretold. (1-6) The promise of the Holy Spirit, and his office. (7-15) Christ's departure and return. (16-22) Encouragement to prayer. (23-27) Christ's discoveries of himself. (28-33)

Verses 1-6 Our Lord Jesus, by giving his disciples notice of trouble, designed that the terror might not be a surprise to them. It is possible for those who are real enemies to God's service, to pretend zeal for it. This does not lessen the sin of the persecutors; villanies will never be changed by putting the name of God to them. As Jesus in his sufferings, so his followers in theirs, should look to the fulfilling of Scripture. He did not tell them sooner, because he was with them to teach, guide, and comfort them; they needed not then this promise of the Holy Spirit's presence. It will silence us to ask, Whence troubles come? It will satisfy us to ask, Whither go they? for we know they work for good. It is the common fault and folly of melancholy Christians to look only on the dark side of the cloud, and to turn a deaf ear to the voice of joy and gladness. That which filled the disciples' hearts with sorrow, was too great affection for this present life. Nothing more hinders our joy in God, than the love of the world, and the sorrow of the world which comes from it.

Verses 7-15 Christ's departure was necessary to the Comforter's coming. Sending the Spirit was to be the fruit of Christ's death, which was his going away. His bodily presence could be only in one place at one time, but his Spirit is every where, in all places, at all times, wherever two or three are gathered together in his name. See here the office of the Spirit, first to reprove, or to convince. Convincing work is the Spirit's work; he can do it effectually, and none but he. It is the method the Holy Spirit takes, first to convince, and then to comfort. The Spirit shall convince the world, of sin; not merely tell them of it. The Spirit convinces of the fact of sin; of the fault of sin; of the folly of sin; of the filth of sin, that by it we are become hateful to God; of the fountain of sin, the corrupt nature; and lastly, of the fruit of sin, that the end thereof is death. The Holy Spirit proves that all the world is guilty before God. He convinces the world of righteousness; that Jesus of Nazareth was Christ the righteous. Also, of Christ's righteousness, imparted to us for justification and salvation. He will show them where it is to be had, and how they may be accepted as righteous in God's sight. Christ's ascension proves the ransom was accepted, and the righteousness finished, through which believers were to be justified. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. All will be well, when his power is broken, who made all the mischief. As Satan is subdued by Christ, this gives us confidence, for no other power can stand before him. And of the day of judgment. The coming of the Spirit would be of unspeakable advantage to the disciples. The Holy Spirit is our Guide, not only to show us the way, but to go with us by continued aids and influences. To be led into a truth is more than barely to know it; it is not only to have the notion of it in our heads, but the relish, and savour, and power of it in our hearts. He shall teach all truth, and keep back nothing profitable, for he will show things to come. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit, all the preaching, and all the writing of the apostles, under the influence of the Spirit, all the tongues, and miracles, were to glorify Christ. It behoves every one to ask, whether the Holy Spirit has begun a good work in his heart? Without clear discovery of our guilt and danger, we never shall understand the value of Christ's salvation; but when brought to know ourselves aright, we begin to see the value of the Redeemer. We should have fuller views of the Redeemer, and more lively affections to him, if we more prayed for, and depended on the Holy Spirit.

Verses 16-22 It is good to consider how near our seasons of grace are to an end, that we may be quickened to improve them. But the sorrows of the disciples would soon be turned into joy; as those of a mother, at the sight of her infant. The Holy Spirit would be their Comforter, and neither men nor devils, neither sufferings in life nor in death, would ever deprive them of their joy. Believers have joy or sorrow, according to their sight of Christ, and the tokens of his presence. Sorrow is coming on the ungodly, which nothing can lessen; the believer is an heir to joy which no one can take away. Where now is the joy of the murderers of our Lord, and the sorrow of his friends?

Verses 23-27 Asking of the Father shows a sense of spiritual wants, and a desire of spiritual blessings, with conviction that they are to be had from God only. Asking in Christ's name, is acknowledging our unworthiness to receive any favours from God, and shows full dependence upon Christ as the Lord our Righteousness. Our Lord had hitherto spoken in short and weighty sentences, or in parables, the import of which the disciples did not fully understand, but after his resurrection he intended plainly to teach them such things as related to the Father and the way to him, through his intercession. And the frequency with which our Lord enforces offering up petitions in his name, shows that the great end of the mediation of Christ is to impress us with a deep sense of our sinfulness, and of the merit and power of his death, whereby we have access to God. And let us ever remember, that to address the Father in the name of Christ, or to address the Son as God dwelling in human nature, and reconciling the world to himself, are the same, as the Father and Son are one.

Verses 28-33 Here is a plain declaration of Christ's coming from the Father, and his return to him. The Redeemer, in his entrance, was God manifest in the flesh, and in his departure was received up into glory. By this saying the disciples improved in knowledge. Also in faith; "Now are we sure." Alas! they knew not their own weakness. The Divine nature did not desert the human nature, but supported it, and put comfort and value into Christ's sufferings. And while we have God's favourable presence, we are happy, and ought to be easy, though all the world forsake us. Peace in Christ is the only true peace, in him alone believers have it. Through him we have peace with God, and so in him we have peace in our own minds. We ought to be encouraged, because Christ has overcome the world before us. But while we think we stand, let us take heed lest we fall. We know not how we should act if brought into temptation; let us watch and pray without ceasing, that we may not be left to ourselves.

Cross References 57

  • 1. John 15:18-27
  • 2. Matthew 11:6
  • 3. John 9:22
  • 4. John 4:21; John 16:25
  • 5. Isaiah 66:5; Acts 26:9-11; Revelation 6:9
  • 6. John 8:19, 55; John 15:21; John 17:25; Acts 3:17; 1 John 3:1
  • 7. John 13:19
  • 8. Luke 1:2
  • 9. John 7:33; John 16:10, 17, 28
  • 10. John 13:36; John 14:5
  • 11. John 14:1; John 16:22
  • 12. John 14:16
  • 13. John 14:26
  • 14. John 15:22, 24
  • 15. Acts 3:14; Acts 7:52; Acts 17:31; 1 Peter 3:18
  • 16. John 16:5
  • 17. John 12:31
  • 18. John 14:17
  • 19. John 14:26
  • 20. John 7:39
  • 21. John 17:10
  • 22. John 7:33
  • 23. John 14:18-24; John 16:16-24
  • 24. John 16:22
  • 25. John 16:16
  • 26. John 16:5
  • 27. Mark 9:32; John 6:61
  • 28. Mark 16:10; Luke 23:27
  • 29. John 20:20
  • 30. Isaiah 13:8; Isaiah 21:3; Isaiah 26:17; Isaiah 66:7; Hosea 13:13; Micah 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:3
  • 31. John 16:6
  • 32. John 16:16
  • 33. John 14:20; John 16:26
  • 34. John 16:19, 30
  • 35. John 15:16
  • 36. John 14:14
  • 37. John 3:29; John 15:11
  • 38. Matthew 13:34; John 10:6; John 16:29
  • 39. John 16:2
  • 40. John 14:20; John 16:23
  • 41. John 16:19, 30
  • 42. John 14:21, 23
  • 43. John 2:11; John 16:30
  • 44. John 8:42
  • 45. John 8:42; John 16:30
  • 46. John 13:1, 3; John 16:5, 10, 17
  • 47. Matthew 13:34; John 10:6; John 16:25
  • 48. John 2:11; John 16:27
  • 49. John 8:42; John 16:28
  • 50. John 4:23; John 16:2, 25
  • 51. Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31
  • 52. John 19:27
  • 53. John 8:29
  • 54. John 14:27
  • 55. John 15:18f
  • 56. Matthew 9:2
  • 57. Romans 8:37; 2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:7f; 2 Corinthians 6:4f; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 12:11

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Or "They will have you excommunicated"
  • [b]. Or "will remember them, that I told you"
  • [c]. Gr "Paracletos", one called alongside to help; or "Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor"
  • [d]. Lit "grief"
  • [e]. Lit "human being"
  • [f]. Lit "proverbs;" or "figures of speech"
  • [g]. Lit "proverbs;" or "figures of speech"
  • [h]. Lit "saying a proverb"

John 16 Commentaries

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