The Agora
Bible Commentary

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John 16

Joh 16:1

GO ASTRAY: Gr "skandalizo" = to be tripped up, surprised, "offended" (AV).

Joh 16:2

WILL THINK HE IS OFFERING A SERVICE TO GOD: As though he were offering sacrifice to God: "Everyone who sheds the blood of the impious is as if he offered sacrifice" (Midrash on Num 25:7,8,13) (cp Rom 8:36; Act 26:9-11).

Joh 16:4

THAT I WARNED YOU: Joh 13:19; 14:29.

AT FIRST: Or, "from the beginning".

Joh 16:7

A basic truth: A believer can only grow into mature discipleship away from Christ -- through struggle and trial.

COUNSELOR: Paraklete: Used 5 times, all in John's writings: Joh 14:16,26; 15:26; here; 1Jo 2:1. The one who is called alongside, as a legal counselor ("Advocate") or personal "Comforter". Personified as "him" because an Angel is the agent by which the Holy Spirit of truth (v 13) is conveyed to apostles.

Joh 16:8

WORLD: "Kosmos", esp the Jewish "world" (Joh 15:18,19).

Joh 16:9

All sin originates from a lack of faith. Unbelief invalidates every other virtue. In apostles' subsequent preaching, "belief" and repentance were all-important (Act 2:37,38; 3:14,15,19).

Joh 16:10

WHERE YOU CAN SEE ME NO LONGER: Positively: Christ as the Mediator, by which men may come into presence of God, and obtain the righteousness which is forgiveness of sins. Negatively: Christ's death and resurrection sealed the fate of the nation of Israel, with its Temple worship.

Joh 16:11

THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD: Ref Caiaphas and religious leaders of Israel -- "archon" in Joh 3:1; 7:26,48; 12:31,42; 14:30; 16:11 -- whose offices would be effectively ended by the sacrifice/resur of Christ (Joh 12:32). He and his lieutenants were responsible for crucifixion (1Co 2:8). But the death of Christ put an end to this whole system (Col 2:14).

Joh 16:12

See VL, Disciples, slow comprehension.

Joh 16:13

ALL TRUTH: Not the truth about all subjects. But instead, all the (saving) truth about Jesus.

TELL: Anangellein: to declare again, as in interpreting dreams and visions already seen. A ref to the Apocalypse declaring again, or interpreting, the Olivet Prophecy?

WHAT IS YET TO COME: The Holy Spirit "Counselor" is the agent of inspiration (cp Joh 15:26), and also of prophetic interpretation ("what is yet to come": Rev 1:1).

Examples of personification: riches (Mat 6:24); sin (Joh 8:34; Rom 5:21; 6:16); spirit (Joh 16:13); wisdom (Pro 3:13-15; 9:1); Israel (Jer 31:4,18); people of Christ (Eph 4:4,13; 5:23; Rev 19:7; 1Co 12:27; 2Co 11:2; Col 1:18,24).

Joh 16:17

Vv 17-19: See VL, Disciples, slow comprehension.

Poss: 'For a little while (death, burial) you will not see me. Then for a little while (only 40 days) you will see me. Then I will go to the Father (in heaven).' Or... 'because I go to the Father (in sacrifice)...' as in Joh 14.

Joh 16:20

Loud wailing and lamentation were customary reactions to death in Middle East: Jer 22:10; Mar 16:10; Luk 23:27.

Joh 16:21

PAIN: Cp Peter's use of "birthpangs of death" in Act 2:24. Also see Col 1:15,18; Isa 66:5,7,8,10,14. (This "world" is the "womb"!)

JOY: "Weeping may remain for A night, but rejoicing comes in THE morning" (Psa 30:5).

Joh 16:23

YOU WILL NO LONGER ASK ME ANYTHING: Have we not all had the pestering little thoughts, of the right or wrong of some complex moral tangle, or perhaps of some puzzling verse that seems to defy exposition? Or perhaps spent countless hours with some of those favorite Christadelphian time-killers: as, for example, who were the angels that sinned? is Elijah dead, or alive? or who, if anyone, was the tempter in the wilderness? Then we tell ourselves, "Someday, when Christ comes, we'll know all those things!"

But what does Jesus say? "In that day (when the glorified Jesus reveals himself to his disciples)... your hearts shall rejoice... and ye shall ask me nothing." There is a profound reassurance in his words: not that our perplexing questions will be answered, but that they will disappear. Nothing else will matter when that day comes. At that time we might have anything we desire from the Father, but no matter! We will already have everything we need: we will have Christ!

WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME: Joh 14:13; 15:16.

Joh 16:25

I HAVE BEEN SPEAKING FIGURATIVELY: See Lesson, John's figurative language.

Joh 16:29

CLEARLY: But do they understand even now?

Joh 16:31

A question in AV: "Do you NOW believe?" Expressing skepticism: 'Can you poss believe so soon? Your present "belief" will surely prove to be superficial!'

Joh 16:32

See Zec 13:7; Mar 14:27: like sheep without a shepherd.

Joh 16:33

TROUBLE: As in Joh 15:19-21.

I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD: Which is accomplished by faith (1Jo 5:4; cp 1Jo 4:4), and finalized in his crucifixion (Gal 6:14). Such an amazing thing to be spoken by a man who is about to die!

THE WORLD: Or the prince of this world (Joh 12:31; 16:11n). Or all the trials of the world which threaten to turn us away from God (Rom 8:35-39).

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