Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Warnings About What Was To Come
“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 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.” (John 16:1-4)
Jesus had begun telling his Apostles about the Holy Spirit’s coming and his crucifixion so that they would not give up hope and turn away when it happened. The day would come when they would not be allowed in the Jewish churches, and people would believe they were serving God by killing them, because, although they are very religious, they do not know God. He hadn’t told them these things earlier, because he was there with them and they would have simply forgotten it. Now his death was near and they would remember that he had warned them these things were going to happen.
“But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 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. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 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 show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. 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.” (John 16:5-16)
The apostles were finally understanding Jesus was going to die and were no longer asking where he was going, but they were upset by the warnings of his impending death. He had promised that he would send the Holy Spirit to them, but he couldn’t come while Jesus was still here. When he came he would make the world aware of their sin for refusing to believe on Christ. He set the standard for righteousness, and they would constantly be reminded they didn’t measure up. They would be reminded how flawed their judgments were that they had Jesus punished even though both Pilate and Herod ruled he was innocent.
There were many things Jesus needed to teach them, but teaching takes time and concentration, and there was not enough time nor would they be able to focus for the next few days. When the Holy spirit came, he would guide the believers into all truth. He would always focus on the things of Christ rather than on himself, teaching them the things God said, and enabling them to understand the things that were to come. Everything that belongs to God also belongs to Christ, and the Holy Spirit teaches those things. In the meantime Jesus would go to the father, but after a time return.
“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? They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.” (John 16:17-18)
Having figured out that Jesus was going to die and go to heaven, they were confused as to how they were going to see him again after a little while. John 20:9 explains, “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” They still didn’t understand the prophecy in Psalm 16:10, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
“Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire 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? 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. 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. 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.” (John 16:19-22)
Though they hadn’t asked, Jesus knew the disciples were wondering what he meant that, that they would see him again and that their sadness would be turned to joy. He used the illustration of a pregnant woman. During the birth she goes through intense pain and struggle, but when the baby is placed in her arms, all the suffering is forgotten in the joy of having the baby. He said he would see them again and they would experience that same kind of joy.
“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. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 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 show you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” (John 16:23-28)
When that time came they would no longer ask Jesus for what they needed, but would ask God on Jesus’ authority. Up to this point they had not prayed claiming Jesus’ authority, but at that time they should expect their prayers to be answered. He would no longer use stories, but explain things clearly, and when the time came they could ask God directly, and not have to depend on Jesus to pray for them. God himself would love them because they loved and believed in Jesus, and would answer their prayers.
“His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 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.
Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 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. 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.” (John 16:29-33)
The disciples were amazed that he knew what they were thinking and said that they fully believed he was the Messiah and that he knew what they needed to know without their asking. Jesus said they thought they believed, but that very shortly they would be scattered and full of doubt again, deserting him. He was telling them these things so when it all happened they would not be caught completely by surprise. They needed to understand, that as long as we live in this world there are going to be problems. As Job 5:7 says, “…man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Anyone who doesn’t have problems better check his pulse to make sure he is still alive. We can rejoice in our trouble knowing we are still alive and that Christ has overcome the world so they can’t destroy us.