John 16 Bible Study

Bible Study of John Chapter 16

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John 16 Bible Study


JOHN 16:1-4  1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 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.

What did Jesus mean by their being " put out of the synagogues" (John 16;2)?
They will be rejected religiously, socially and economically not just in one town but everywhere (notice the plural) they go to preach the Gospel.

What else is Jesus saying will happen to them in John 16:2?
They won’t lose just their social and economic lives, but eventually their physical lives as well.

Is that what really happened to them?
Based on oral historical commentary, Andrew was crucified. Bartholomew was flayed alive. James the Greater was stabbed to death. James the Lesser was stoned to death. Jude was clubbed to death. Matthew was burned alive. Peter was crucified, presumably upside down, Thomas was speared to death and Simon was sawn in half.

Is it true that their killers thought that they were offering "God service" (John 16:2)?
While we don't have records of the the mindset of their respective killers, history is full of people who killed thinking that they were offering God service. During the Dark Ages, the Crusaders killed untold numbers of Jews and Arabs in the name of God. During the Middle Ages, the Catholics killed untold numbers of Protestants and Jews in the name of God. And more recently, the self-declared Protestants of Nazi Germany killed 6 million Jews while wearing uniforms whose belt buckle bore the inscription, "Got Mit Uns", which means, "God With Us".

Why?
A couple of reasons. For one, Satan kills three birds with one stone: instigate mayhem, dishonor God's name, and make people want to have nothing to do with what they think is the cause such mayhem. The other reason is that the people who were instigated "have not known the Father nor Me" (John 16:3), who is the Word of God. Had they read the Bible for themselves instead of blindly trusting their national and/or religious leaders who supposedly had read the Bible, they would have known that such killings go against everything Jesus did and taught.

JOHN 16:5-7  5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 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.

Why would "sorrow" have "filled" (John 16:6) the disciples' hearts?
After having told them just before that one of them will betray Him, Peter will deny Him, and that He will leave them, which had already troubled them, Jesus was now saying that they will be rejected everywhere they go and end up getting killed.

Who is the "Helper" (John 16:7) Jesus will send after His departure?
The Holy "Spirit of truth" (John 16:13)

By "Helper", is Jesus calling the Holy Spirit His assistant, or someone who will help the disciples?
Parakletos, the Greek word translated, "Helper" in John 16:7 means someone who gives comfort or counsel, so Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit's role to the disciples, not His position vis a vis Jesus. Jesus referring to the Holy Spirit as the "Helper" is all the more appropriate now since "sorrow has filled" the disciples' "heart" and they need to be comforted, and that need will increase in the coming hours.

How is it to the disciples' "advantage" (John 16:7) that Jesus goes away and the Holy Spirit comes?
"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16) Having God dwell "in you" is even better than having Him next to you.

JOHN 16:8-11  8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

What impact will the Holy Spirit have on the world?
"He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." (John 16:8)

How will the Holy Spirit have that impact?
Through Christians whom He will indwell, empower and lead.

What did Jesus mean by convicting the world "of sin, because they do not believe in Me" (John 16:9)?
The Holy Spirit will lead Christians to preach Jesus' gift of salvation, which delivers people from their sins (plural). When people reject that, they will be convicted of the "sin" (singular) of not believing that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross paid for their sins, and therefore remain guilty of them.

How about, "of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more" (John 16:10)?
When Jesus walked the earth, He was accused of being a lot of things, including a deceiver: "And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” (John 7:12); a blasphemer: "The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." (John 10:33); and even demon-possessed: "And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons." (Mark 3:22) When His resurrection and return to the "Father" (John 16:10) in heaven is preached, the world will be convicted that His claim of being God was true and righteous.

And convicting the world "of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged" (John 16:11)?
You'd expect "the ruler of this world" to be the one passing judgment. But because Jesus crushed Satan's grip on humanity's sin on the cross, Satan is judged as having been defeated, and that news will also be preached by Christians led by the Holy Spirit.

JOHN 16:12-15  12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 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. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Why couldn't they "bear" the "many things" that Jesus still had "to say" to them (John 16:12)?
They were devastated by what Jesus had already told them, and their understanding won't be fully opened until the Holy Spirit comes upon them

What will the Holy Spirit tell the disciples?
What He hears from Jesus: "He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak... He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." (John 16:13-14)

What will Jesus tell the Holy Spirit?
What He hears from God the Father: "All things that the Father has are Mine." (John 16:15) Therefore, there is complete unity and consistency in the message from God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Whom will the Holy Spirit glorify?
He will glorify Jesus: "He will glorify Me." (John 16:14)

Will Jesus glorify the Holy Spirit?
No, Jesus glorifies the Father, and the Father glories Jesus, but neither the Father nor Jesus nor the Holy Spirit glorifies the Holy Spirit. This is important to bear in mind when we encounter people who attribute supernatural things to the Holy Spirit. In those situations, ask if those things glorify Jesus or anyone else. If anyone else, it may be a spirit, but not the Holy Spirit.

Until when did the Holy Spirit spirit speak the "many things" (John 16:12) that Jesus wanted to tell the disciples?
Until the end of the first century AD when Revelation, the last book of the Bible was written and closed with a stern warning: "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18-19

Does the Holy Spirit still speak today?
Yes, but far less frequently than is claimed by people. Whenever someone claims to have heard from the Holy Spirit, what they claim to have heard must be tested against the Bible. If it contradicts, "adds to" or "takes away from" the Bible, it isn't from the Holy Spirit

JOHN 16:16-20  16 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.” 17 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’?” 18 They said therefore, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying.” 19 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? 20 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.

What did Jesus mean in John 16:16?
His impending death and resurrection.

What will the disciples do upon His death?
They will "weep and lament, and... be sorrowful." (John 16:20)

What will happen upon His resurrection?
Their "sorrow will be turned into joy." (John 16:20) and their hearts "will rejoice." (John 16:22)

JOHN 16:21-24  21 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. 22 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. 23 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. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

A woman's labor results in birth to a new life. What does Jesus’ death on the cross accomplish?
Eternal life to billions of people.

Why does Jesus refer to the "sorrow" (John 16:21) of a woman in labor?
The translated Greek word is lupe, which can mean either "pain" or "sorrow".

What doesn't Jesus mention?
The far greater pain that He will suffer in the coming hours.

Why?
He will talk to God the Father about that in private shortly. Here, He is using this analogy is to give them hope of what lies beyond their sorrow.

Why do Christians pray in Jesus' name?
Because He said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you." (John 16:23) Of course, this is conditional on their request being in God's will.

JOHN 16:25-28  25 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. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”

When will Jesus "no longer speak to" them "in figurative language, but... plainly" (John 16:25)?
When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in them 53 days later (50 days after Jesus' resurrection), He will help them understand all things, so there will be no need for figurative language to help them understand.

What is Jesus saying about prayer in John 16:26-27?
That it is to be directed at God "the Father".

Is the right to pray directly to God the Father given only to the 11 disciples or Christian leaders today?
No, it's given to all Christians. The right to pray directly to God the Father isn't vested in a human being or their status but in the name of Jesus. Everyone who loves and believes that Jesus "came forth from God... the Father" (John 16:28) is to pray directly to God the Father in Jesus' name.

What about praying to dead Christians or biblical figures and asking them to pray to God for us?
Praying to anyone else besides God - even to likeable dead Christians and biblical figures -  is idolatry. It contradicts what Jesus said above and elsewhere in the Bible, and is strictly forbidden.

JOHN 16:29-33  29 His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! 30 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.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 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. 33 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.”

What do the disciples really believe at this point?
Their actions in the next few hours will prove them not to have understood all that much.

Doesn't Jesus say in John 16:31 that they do believe?
Actually He questions it, and them tells them that they are about to scatter and desert Him.

What does "the world" (John 16:33) have in store for Christians?
"Tribulation." (John 16:33)

How are Christians to deal with it?
Seek "peace" (John 16:33) in Jesus, taking heart in the fact that He overcame Satan on the cross, and what that means for life in eternity.

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