I’m teaching Sunday School tomorrow, here is my study.
Vs 1-4 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.”
Here in vs 1-4 Jesus prophetically warns His disciples that they will be persecuted by people who think they are doing God a favor or that they are doing God’s work. It is believed that most of the apostles died as martyrs with the exception of John. Jesus even says to them “whoever kills you” not “someone might come kill you”. He tells them ahead of time that they will be executed!
He warns them here so that when the persecution comes, they will remember that Jesus told them ahead of time. In this way, they could know in their hearts that this was something God knew was coming and had to happen. When we go through difficult situations in our lives, it is such a comfort to know that, while we don’t know the reasons for the difficulty, God is still in control and sitting on the throne as King. Let’s say your teacher, mom, dad, or boss came to you ahead of time and said “There is something coming up that I want to warn you about, it’s going to be tough for you, but I want you to know its coming and that I knew it was coming.” That warning makes all the difference in preparing you for what is coming.
Vs 5-7 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
Jesus tells them He is going away. Where is He going? Vs 10 tells us “because I go to My Father”. Jesus is going to heaven to be with God. Who is the Helper He sent to all of us to help us? It is God’s Holy Spirit, one part of the Trinity, that remains here with us.
He also tells them “It is to your advantage that I go away”. How does Jesus leaving them become an advantage for them? It would seem a ridiculous thing to say!
From David Guzik’s commentary:
“After all, if the disciples really understood what was about to happen, it would be even harder for them to believe.
To your advantage that Jesus is arrested?
To your advantage that Jesus’ ministry of teaching and miracles is stopped?
To your advantage that Jesus is beaten?
To your advantage that Jesus is mocked?
To your advantage that Jesus is sentenced for execution?
To your advantage that Jesus is nailed to a cross?
To your advantage that Jesus dies in the company of notorious criminals?
To your advantage that His lifeless body is laid in a cold grave?”
Where is the “advantage” in all of that? In His persecution, criminal trial, and His execution, Jesus teaches us as believers an enormous amount about humility, servanthood, sacrifice, love, compassion, mercy, and grace, but also that He is God. That’s an advantage right there! But then He also tells us He will be sending us a helper, an assistant.
Of the Holy Spirit, (Helper) Jesus says: ”
Vs 8-14 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
There is so much we can discuss here in this short 7 verses!
On the verse “He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment” more from Guzik: “Sin is the truth about man, righteousness is the truth about God, judgment is the inevitable combination of these two truths….Men cannot come to an understanding of sin, righteousness and judgment apart from the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit “will guide you into all truth”. He does that for us today through God’s Word – as we read and study it His Holy Spirit teaches us, and as we hear it preached He opens our hearts and minds to what He wants us to know.
He says “He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come”. Jesus is also letting them know that the Holy Spirit will be speaking to each of them directly and will even tell them “things to come”, or events coming in the future. The New Testament was written by these very men as they were guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that includes some prophecy in the Bible about the future of the world. It’s worth knowing what’s coming!
Vs 15-18 “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.” Then some of His disciples said among themselves, “What is this that He says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” They said therefore, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying.”
We have the benefit of the whole, complete Word of God at our fingertips. Genesis to Revelation is one book made up of 66 smaller books written by many, many men – yet it all fits together into one masterful piece. We can read a passage in the New Testament that is a direct quote from the Old Testament, and quickly and easily turn to that same verse in the Old Testament and find its context. We have study notes, commentaries, sermons and books – all written to explain to us what the Bible means. Yet for all of those resources, my lame human mind many times still has a hard time understanding the Word of God. There are times when I have to dig deep to understand what God is saying or what He means.
The disciples of Jesus had none of those resources. They had Jewish tradition that they were raised in, and certainly each of them were taught the Old Testament as they grew up going to the temple and the synagogue. But they didn’t have the written Word of God accessible to them. There may have been one Old Testament scroll in the local synagogue, certainly there was one in the temple. But they probably never came near it.
So it’s no wonder they got confused so often when Jesus spoke in “figurative language” as Jesus tells us in vs 25 below. Here He is, predicting His death and resurrection and they don’t have a clue yet what He is saying.
Vs 19-22 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”
Childbirth can be difficult and painful. But the outcome (a new baby!) is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Again, he is speaking figuratively, but He paints a great picture. “You guys are going to have a rough time, it’s going to be painful. But in the end, it will be a beautiful and wonderful thing! We’ll be together in heaven forever!
Vs 23-27 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.”
We talked last week about how we ask God for what we desire. If we are believers living in Christ, and we are living out His Word in us and we read and study His Word and desire His Will, when we ask for what we desire, it will be that which God has put on our hearts. (see last week’s study “Jesus, the Vine, and the nation of Israel”)
Vs 28-33 “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus predicts that they will all scatter and leave Him alone at His trial. They certainly did do that, every single one of them left Him to be tried alone. He is telling them this ahead of time, again so that they would know that He knows and holds the future. He follows up with a reassurance: “you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
He says He has overcome the world. He also says that if we are believers, we can have peace. “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are a believer, don’t worry – He’s got this! He has overcome the world, and He gives us peace!
North Korea? Got it.
That big city bombing? Got it.
Middle East trouble? Got it.
Economy? Got it.
Job loss? Got it.
Foreclosure? Got it.
Sickness? Got it.
Medical bills? Got it.
Death? Totally got it.