John 16:4

4 But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

John 16:4 Meaning and Commentary

John 16:4

But these things have I told you
Christ enlarged on this disagreeable subject, and was the more particular in enumerating the evils his apostles were to endure for his name's sake:

that when the time shall come;
some copies read it, "their time"; so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic render it; that is, the time when wicked men will be suffered to vent all their rage and malice:

ye may remember that I told you of them;
which might serve greatly to confirm them in the faith of him as the omniscient God, and the true Messiah, and encourage them to depend on his veracity and faithfulness in his promises; that since the evil things which he spoke of came upon them, so they might hope, believe, and expect, that all the good things he had assured them of, should be accomplished; and also to engage them to bear their sufferings with the greater patience, since they were appointed by God, and foretold by their Lord and master.

And these things,
adds Christ,

I said not unto you at the beginning;
when he first called them to be followers of him; for though when he ordained them, and sent them forth to preach the Gospel in the cities of Judea, which was some time after he had called them by his grace, he did acquaint them with some of the troubles and exercises they should meet with; as that they should be hated by all men, persecuted from city to city, beat in the synagogues, delivered up to councils, and brought before kings and governors; see ( Matthew 10:17-19 ) ; yet he did not so fully and distinctly speak of these things, as here and at this time: his reason for such a conduct was this,

because,
says he,

I was with you:
wherefore he never spoke so fully and distinctly of their troubles, because he was with them, and took them upon himself; and indeed, whilst he was with them, the rage and malice of the Jews were not so much against his disciples, as himself; nor did he for the same reason speak so largely of the Comforter, and of the comforts they should receive from him, because as they had not the exercises they should afterwards have, so they had him to be their comforter.

John 16:4 In-Context

2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God.
3 And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me.
4 But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.
5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, "Where are you going?'
6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.