Jesus says he’ll die soon
“You need to know this now”1 Jesus said, “I’m telling you this so you’ll know what’s coming, and you won’t give up. 2 They’re going to banish you from the synagogues. And I’m warning you, the time is coming when people will kill you. And they’ll think that’s what God wanted. 3 They’ll do this because they don’t know me or my Father. 4 But I’ve told you all of this so you’ll remember it when it happens. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was still with you.
Jesus will go, the Spirit will come5 But now, I’m going back to the one who sent me here. Yet not one of you asks, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 You’re sad, because of everything I’ve just told you. 7 My going away is a good thing for you. It’s the truth. If I don’t go away, the Spiritual Guide won’t come. But if I leave you, I’ll send him to you. 8 When he comes, he’ll teach people the truth about right and wrong and about taking responsibility when they’ve done something wrong. 9 He’ll teach them how wrong they were not to believe in me. 10 He’ll teach them that I was right, since I’m returning to the Father and you won’t see me here anymore. 11 He’ll teach them that they misjudged me after they realize that Satan, the king of this world, is doomed.
12 I have a lot more I could tell you, but you can’t handle it yet. 13 I’ll tell you this, though. The Spiritual Guide is coming, loaded with nothing but the truth, for he is the Spirit of Truth. He will teach you the difference between what is true and what is a lie. The Spirit won’t write his own script. He’ll say only what he’s told to say. And he’ll tell you some of what’s going to happen ahead of time.
14 What I have for you, I’ll give to the Spirit and he’ll tell you about it. People will honor me when he does this. 15 Everything that belongs to the Father belongs to me, too. That’s why I’m saying ‘What I have for you, I’ll give to the Spirit and he’ll tell you about it.’
Jesus says he’s leaving in a bit16 In a bit, you won’t see me because I’ll be gone. But I’ll be back in a short while, and you’ll see me again.”
17 His disciples started talking among themselves. They said, “What’s he talking about when he says, ‘I am going to the Father’ and ‘In a bit, you won’t see me because I’ll be gone. But I’ll be back in a short while, and you’ll see me again’?” 18 And they asked, “What does he mean by ‘In a bit’?”
19 Jesus knew the disciples were trying to work up the courage to ask him questions. So he asked them, “Are you putting your heads together and trying to figure out what I mean by ‘In a bit, you won’t see me. But I’ll be back in a short while’? 20 Here’s the truth about what’s going to happen. You’re going to cry and grieve, while the world celebrates. Sorrow will hit you hard. But joy will come to your rescue.
21 It’s a sad moment for a woman when she realizes her time has come, and she needs to deliver her baby. But when that baby is born, the mother instantly forgets how terrified she was, and how much it hurts to push a baby out of her body. That’s because of the joy in seeing the child, safely arriving into the world.
22 For the moment, you’re feeling sad. But I’ll see you again. When that happens, your heart is going to do backflips for joy. No one will ever take that joy from you.
“I have conquered the world”23 You won’t be asking me any questions then. Here’s the truth. The Father will give you whatever you ask for, when you ask on my behalf. 24 So far, you haven’t asked for anything on my behalf. Ask for something and you’ll get it. You’ll fill up on joy, too. 25 I’ve told you about all of this in cloaked messages. I had to. But the time is coming when I won’t do that anymore. I’ll tell you about the Father in words plain and simple. 26 When that happens, you’ll invoke my name when you pray. I’m not saying that I’ll serve as a go-between who takes your message to the Father.
27 He’s your Father, too, and he loves you. He loves you for loving me and for believing that I come from the Father. 28 I came to this world from the Father. Now I’ll be leaving this world and going back to the Father.”
29 His disciples said, “Wow, that’s putting it in plain words, finally. 30 Now we get it. You know whatever there is to know. And there’s no reason for anyone to question you. We believe you came from God.”
31 Jesus answered, “Finally, you believe? 32 Look, there’s a moment that’s coming—in fact it’s already here—when you’ll scatter. You’ll abandon me and leave me alone. Yet I won’t really be alone. The Father is with me. 33 Here’s what I’ve been trying to say. I’m giving you the gift of peace. In this world, there’s trouble. But take courage in this one fact. I have conquered the world.”
The Greek word is paraclete. It can mean someone who helps another, as an intermediary or an advocate. It’s a word New Testament used to describe the Holy Spirit.
Jesus seems to be implying vindication—that his return to the Father proves he is who he said he is.
Jesus doesn’t say “Satan,” but John here and elsewhere seems to be describing Satan as someone who runs the world like an evil king (John 12:31; 14:30).
Literally, “in my name.”
Some ancient copies of the Gospel of John say “God” instead of “the Father.”
Jesus gives his disciples some bad news “so you’ll know what’s coming, and you won’t give up” (16:1). They’re going to get banned from the synagogue—the Jewish version of excommunication from church. So, they’ll get kicked out. Then they’ll get charged as heretics. Then some of them will get killed. How do you think it helped to know that?
Jesus’ disciples were sad to hear he was leaving. Do you think Jesus consoled them when he said the following? “My going away is a good thing for you. It’s the truth. If I don’t go away, the Spiritual Guide won’t come. But if I leave you, I’ll send him to you” (16:7).
Let’s assume Jesus wasn’t just talking to his disciples about the Holy Spirit. Let’s assume he was talking to all his followers throughout the ages to come. What can you think of to show that Jesus got it right when he said the Holy Spirit will “teach people the truth about right and wrong and about taking responsibility when they’ve done something wrong” (16:8)?
Jesus told the disciples, “In a bit, you won’t see me because I’ll be gone. But I’ll be back in a short while, and you’ll see me again” (16:16). Let’s ask the same question the disciples asked: “What’s he talking about?”
Jesus said to his disciples, “I’ve told you about all of this in cloaked messages. I had to. But the time is coming when I won’t do that anymore. I’ll tell you about the Father in words plain and simple” (16:25). What on earth could Jesus possibly mean by that?
LIFE APPLICATION. Perhaps the most memorable line in John 16 comes at the very end of the chapter. “I’m giving you the gift of peace. In this world, there’s trouble. But take courage in this one fact. I have conquered the world” (16:33). Jesus offers us peace and tells us to take courage. In what ways do we experience his gift of peace and find courage in this troubled world? Where do we see that taking place?