The Way - Day 197 (John 16)

Daily Reading:
John 16
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
What are some of the many troubles you are currently facing (John 16:33)? How might coming to see these troubles as inevitable, predicted aspects of life change your approach to them when they come? How might Jesus' follow-up statement , that He has overcome the world, enable you to take heart as He commands?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 96:2-3
OPTION 2: Proverbs 23:13-14
OPTION 3: Matthew 7:3-4
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for John 16 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
JOHN 16:5-33
As Jesus instructed His disciples about His soon coming departure, He provided some guidelines for conducting all the major relationships in their lives. In their relationship with God, His followers were supposed to remain obedient to His words (15:1-11). Regarding their interaction with others, they should always practice loving selflessly (15:12-17). Finally, Jesus commanded them to be courageous before those who do not believe in Him (15:18-16:4). How would the disciples be able to obey God, love others, and stand firm during opposition? Jesus had promised that He would send another who was like Him, the Holy Spirit. This third person of the Godhead, whom Jesus often referred to as the Helper or Comforter (14:16, 26; 14:26), would come to dwell within those who believe to equip them to do the will of God (14:12-18).

Jesus had already spoken to them about the Holy Spirit's power (14:12-14), presence (14:16-18), and guidance (14:25-26) but now He revealed the Spirit's work in the hearts of individuals.

"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" (16:8-11).

Jesus revealed that the Holy Spirit would convince (convict) people of their need for a Savior and expose the lies of Satan. Although Jesus still had much to say to His disciples, He knew they could not handle all of it. So, He promised that the Holy Spirit would "…guide you into all truth because He would speak with the Father's authority (16:12-15).

Jesus would soon be put to death and then resurrect three days later, but He also warned them about what would occur after His resurrection. "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" (16:16). The disciples were confused by Jesus' saying, but did not verbalize their confusion (16:17-18). But, He knew their hearts.

"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" (16:19-20).

The approaching death of Jesus would bring grief to His disciples, but through the Spirit's illumination they would understand the significance of His death and resurrection (16:21-23). His death would bring payment for sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and His resurrection would be the guarantee of eternal life for all who would believe in Him as Savior (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).

In His words to follow, Jesus was attempting to teach them how His departure would change their relationship with God. Instead of asking Jesus so He could ask the Father, the disciples would have direct access to God through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. On the basis of His earlier promise (14:12-14), Jesus reminded them to pray and ask for anything in His name and it would be given to them by the Father (16:24). Jesus recognized that His words were slightly confusing, but He knew that they would soon understand. Rather than asking Jesus to do things, they would be able to ask the Father directly in the name of Jesus. Jesus explained it like this.

"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. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father" (16:26-28).

The way Jesus explained His teaching seemed to connect with the disciples and they responded by saying –

"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" (16:29-30).

The disciples verbally exercised their faith in Jesus, but He knew they would struggle to be bold in the face of upcoming opposition. For this reason He says to 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" (16:31-32).

Their verbal cries of belief would soon turn to words of denial as they would abandon Jesus in His greatest time of need (Matthew 26:56; John 18:17, 25-27). Jesus warned them of this upcoming reality so they could remember His love for them, even when they had abandoned Him. The world would throw all kinds of challenges and trials their way following His death and resurrection, but Jesus commanded them to "be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (16:33). Jesus' death and resurrection brought victory to all who would believe and there is no need to fear what the world can bring against them!

Dear God, it is easy to lose heart when the world persecutes and opposes the very One who brought salvation. Help me to be reminded that You have already overcome the world and no one can take away the hope which has been provided through Your Son, Jesus Christ.