John 16:20

20 Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.

John 16:20 Meaning and Commentary

John 16:20

Verily, verily, I say unto you
A strong asseveration, a way of speaking often used by him, when he solemnly affirms any thing, and would assure of the truth of it, as here:

that ye shall weep and lament;
meaning at his death, when he should be removed from them, so that they should not see him; when they should be filled with inward grief on account thereof, and express it by mournful gestures, and a doleful voice; and which was fulfilled in them, ( Mark 16:10 ) ; and how pensive the two disciples were that were going to Emmaus, it is easy to observe from the account given of them;

but the world shall rejoice;
the unbelieving Jews; and not only the common people, but the chief priests, with the Scribes and elders, mocked at him, insulted him, and triumphed over him when on the cross, being glad at heart they had got him there; imagining now, that it was all over, the day was their own, and they should be no more disturbed by Christ and his followers:

and ye shall be sorrowful;
Christ repeats it again, and uses a variety of words to express the greatness of their sorrow, and the many ways in which they would signify it:

but your sorrow shall be turned into joy;
as it was, when he was raised from the dead, which was so wonderful and surprising to them, that for joy they could scarce believe their own eyes; it being a mercy unexpected, though they had been told of it, and too great for them to enjoy; yea, that very thing which was the occasion of their sorrow, became the foundation of their joy; namely, the death of Christ, salvation, and all the benefits and blessings of grace coming to them in this way.

John 16:20 In-Context

18 They said, "What does he mean by this "a little while'? We do not know what he is talking about."
19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, "A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'?
20 Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.
21 When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.
22 So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.