By Tyson Thorne

September 26, 2019

John 46 Large

We spent an entire article on the first four verses of chapter sixteen because I felt it warranted it. Today, we'll finish our observations on this chapter. The rest of the chapter is written in a style that repeats questions and motifs, used as a method to assure the reader remembers key points. The passage holds true to a Jewish style of story-telling. So that our Western minds are not confused by stylistic choices we'll concentrate on the actual teachings of the text itself. These teachings are important as they are the things Jesus wants his people to know before he leaves them.

Jesus begins by showing empathy for the disciple's sorrow, but tries to cheer them up by explaining that his departure is for their benefit. Yep, Jesus is going to talk about the Holy Spirit again. He knows that the permanent indwelling of the Spirit of God in believers is a game changer. He knows how it will improve their lives, their faith and strengthen them so they can live in victory over sin and Satan. What we often take for granted was a nearly incomprehensible joy to those who grew up without this stable presence of God in their lives. Jesus focuses on this in several teachings on this last night of his freedom and its something we ought to pay more attention to.

The Holy Spirit's role isn't just to teach and empower believers by guiding them into all truth (verse 13), however, he proves by his mere existence that the world is wrong about three very important topics (verses 8-11): sin, righteousness and judgment. Jesus explains this for us: "concerning sin, because they do not believe in me" (this is what is known as the unforgivable sin, for one cannot be forgiven unless they put their faith in Jesus), "concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer" (the life Jesus lived among us was so perfect that it shames those who claim we should be acceptable to God because we're not that bad), "and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned" (the god they follow has been overthrown and judged). The Spirit also brings glory to Jesus (verse 14) in this world through his work in the lives of believers and in his restraining hand (2 Thessalonians 2.6).

Yesterday we talked about persecution, but the world's hatred runs deeper. Jesus lives in two worlds (verses 27-28), the natural world we know and the spiritual world of angels and demons. When Jesus says the world will rejoice (verse 20) when he is put to death he wasn't speaking about the human world, most of whom knew nothing about this prophet of Israel. He was speaking of the fallen, spiritual beings who claimed this world as their own. Do you remember the news footage of people across the Middle East cheering on September 11, 2001? Think of that, only with demonic hordes doing the cheering. Chilling, I know. This is the reality of the world we live in but rarely see.

As bad as things may get, believer's will have their time to rejoice when Jesus appears again (verses 21-22). In the mean time know that the Father loves you (verse 27) and that a day is coming that your joy will be made complete (verse 24). Until that day comes, ask what you will of the Father and he will answer in the most loving way possible. Jesus uses this opportunity to give them a glimpse into his worldview. Though it may appear that he must face the cross alone (as the disciples will scatter), the Father is always with him. This is also true for believer's. We are never truly alone. God is with us. No matter the hardships this world brings our way, God has conquered the world and lavishes his love on us (verses 32-33).

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