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John's Gospel 16: 24-33 Jesus speaks plainly of his Death

Jesus speaks plainly about his death

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

29His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! 30Now 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."

31Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? 32Indeed 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. 33These 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."

 John 16:25 to 33 (NKJV)

Introduction

Here we have the last few verses of Jesus' last discourse - the conclusion to all what He has said. But is also contains the most profound of all the disciples' statements:

30Now 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."

The disciples in these verses utter their confession of faith in Jesus, that:

  • Jesus was all knowing (30), and
  • Jesus is Messiah.

Part 1

(25a) in this verse we see that Jesus up to this time had been talking figuratively but now he talks plainly. Hence, our understanding of these passages in terms of an epoch of time rather than just a few days is laid on a sound foundation. Remember that Jesus has gone for a little while - this is the time we live in now - the Holy Spirit has come to convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: John 16:8

After which Christ will return - For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

(25b) Jesus says he will talk plainly about the Father: Jesus spent a number of weeks with the disciples until His ascension, and most likely in this time He taught the disciples much, including plainly about the Father.

(26) Jesus again reiterates what He already said in (28). The day was coming when they would need to pray the Father through Jesus the Son. The disciples were not being left without wherewithal to accomplish the will of the Father. Nor are we. We only need to rest on the Fathers provisions for us - "the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" James could proclaims.

There was no need for the Son to pray the Father for them - he was ascending to the Father and would be their and our advocate. Indeed, to glorify the Son we pray in Jesus name:

13And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13 (NKJV).

(27) It was love that drove the Father to send the Son to save us. Notice however the grace in which God loves us. Even in our poor weak state, he acknowledge the love of the disciples for Jesus, although, Peter was to deny him thrice in a few hours time and all were to forsake him, Jesus still was able to state: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23.

(28) Jesus came from the Father - He was part of the Godhead, but choose to 'empty' himself, as Paul writes, so the Son of God he could lay down His life for us.

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation [poured himself out], and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:6 - 8 (KJV).

Jesus stated a number of times that his Father had sent him. He came to do his Father's will, and it was the obedience of the Son that glorified the Father.

(29-30) The disciples clearly understand and utter the profound statement: "By this we believe". Jesus did know all things and this we need to recognise just as the disciples did. There is a great tendency to rely on ourselves - however it is the reliance on God is what gives Him glory: And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 1413.

(31-32) Jesus now gives a solemn warning, which applied to His disciples and to the children of Israel - all would be scattered. Each disciple would be scattered "each to his own place" - they would go home miserable and downcast, leaving Christ hanging on the cross, alone. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled Matt 2656 (NKJV).

Israel was scattered in about 70 AD only to reform as a fledgling nation in 1948. However, the scattered remnant would regroup and we see the solid awakening in the birth of the Church in Acts. Zechariah chapter twelve also promises a similar awakening when the remnant will be powerfully used by God.

(33) The conclusion to all these words is that they may have peace, because Jesus has overcome. We obtain peace by resting entirely on Christ and being in close communion with Him. Hence, the construct of the discourse is made clear - the leaving of Jesus from this world and the need for prayer, are underscored by the overcoming of the world. It is not just the fact that Jesus had overcome all temptations but he had overcome the prince of this world, who is Satan: Jesus had already stated in John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. John 12:31 (KJV). This the cross would do.

Part 2

This passage again shows us the place of the Father in that Jesus:

  • Was to speak plainly of the Father, (25)
  • Intercede for us to the Father(26)
  • Glorifies the Father in His obedience.

The disciples respond, weakly here, but with power and strength later (see Acts) that they now know that Jesus was all knowing and is Messiah.

The Father should be the object of all our affections. It takes us right to the Godhead. The name Father sums up all what the old testament revealed, in that it is inseparable from the Son and the Holy Spirit. Hence we see the great commission:

go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 (NIV).

As one could write "For He is still amongst us, and by His Spirit can yet make know His name (John 17:6), that our hearts being comforted and knit together in love (Col 2:2)"[2].The consequence of this is plain: it is the riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; Colossians 2:2 (KJV)

How do we know the name? Jesus declares His name - John 1726 I have declared to them Your name. Further, it is His will that we should know Him. We also are to partake of His very nature as Peter points out: "be partakes of the divine nature" (2 Peter 14).

Part 3

Consider that name of the Father. Note that there is one name - the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Scripture uses the singular - one name - the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit into which they would baptize. There is only one Lord - Jesus says "the Lord our God is one Lord" (Mark 1229) which is a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 6:3. Therefore, we declare one God when we declare the Father, each with his respective role - the Holy Spirit pointing the way to Christ, who is the mediator between the Father and us.

Our desire in life is to have a true relationship with the Father. Since God is love and love requires a two-way communion, for such is true love, our true character must be a life of communion with the Father. Indeed, it is in whom we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28) - and as Paul notes on this case, even the Greeks understood we could be the off-spring of God: in this case they did not know which God, but Paul goes on to show them - we are God's divine off-spring being sons:

Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ Gal 47

This is all revealed in Christ the Son, and only by Him can this relationship be established. We have no other ground to approach the Father except by the blood of Christ. In fact it is the blood of Christ which took us, who were afar of - a great distance from God - and brought us near to Him (Eph 213).

Part 4

If there is a Father, there must be a Son. This terminology makes it clear in our minds the sort of relationship that exists between the Father and the Son: "I and the Father are One", Jesus could state, emphatically. This Son is the Only-begotten Son, whose glory we behold - he come full of grace and truth (John 114). Hence we have who was begotten - the Son, and the one who begets - the Father, with an indissoluble relationship.

Too often we like to pull apart the Godhead and have Jesus as our friend (or more colloquially, our best mate) and in so doing, push God the Father aside. Yet the command to man is to glorify God, and to do this we must behold the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Further, God is declared by the Son who is at the Fathers side, or as the KJV puts it, in the bosom of the Father. We therefore see the closeness of the relationship, for it is a son that gets to be in the bosom of a parent.

Part 5

The characteristic of God therefore can be described in terms of a father. It is a father that chastens (disciplines) his children; it is a father that knows what his children needs, and more, he will give fish if asked, not a stone (Luke 1111); it is the father that works for the children and not the children for the father (2 Cor 1214); it is the Father that has perfect love for his children.

And it was the Father that sent his only begotten son to die for us - so that if we believe we will have eternal life. What father sends his son to die for those that are distant from him - those that are a far off, un-righteous and clothed in filthy rags? It can only be our heavenly Father!

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will Ephesians 1:4 - 5 (NIV).

It was in love he predestined us - that is before we even pondered a relationship with Him, He had put in process a means by which we could be reconciled to Him, and further, you O believer were chosen by Him to become a son or daughter of Him.

Hence, God himself, in figurative speech, stooped down to us, to become our curse for us (for whoever dies on a tree is accursed), and Himself became sin, so that He might abolish death, and therefore be the creator of a new creation (all must be born again to enter the kingdom of God), where sin and death shall be no more.

It is the Father who took the unclean - the untouchable - and cleansed them with the blood of his own precious Son.

Part 6

God the Father is more than great, almighty, all hearing, wise, eternal counsellor. Often our thoughts get no further than these.

It is God the Father:

  • That is the justifier of the sinner who believes in Jesus. We are placed in a position "just as if we had never sinned". This reveals the extent of Gods grace toward us, made possible by Jesus Christ.
  • Who sent His only begotten son into the World to die for us (John 316).
  • Through Christ who is reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor 519).
  • Who is well pleased with the atoning sacrifice of His Son. It is by this the law of God is honoured.

Part 6

1.     This chapter concludes a lengthily a deeply meaningful discourse of Jesus. In particular we see that Christ has ascended to His Father and the Holy Spirit now dwells in us.

2.     We have the responsibility in the communion with the Father through Christ the Son. How have you acted on this responsibility this week?

3.     Prayer is the vessel we commune with God. We need to avail ourselves of it. For effective and fervent - his does not mean long and wordy prayers, but from the bottom of our heart - will accomplish much. Indeed Jesus says it can move mountains.

4.     Can you, in all truth respond as the disciples did "we believe that you (O' God) came forth from God", that is Jesus is the Messiah, come to die for you?

5.     Do you have inner peace - be of good cheer Jesus commands. There is only one fountain peace can be found - yes fleeting happiness may be found in this world - but peace - never, that is at the cross of Jesus.

 

Endnotes

[1] These are brief notes used for a short meditation on the given passage. By no means are they an in-depth discussion on the fullness of the words of Jesus. (Bible Truth). Furthermore, the author expects that the grammar could be somewhat better represented. The readers attention is drawn to the execellent expository by Bisphop Ryle: Ryle J.C. (1982 reprint) Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospels. John. Volume 4, Baker House, Michigan, pg 129. Available online at http://www.geocities.com/johncharlesryle/index.html (Accessed November 2008).

[2] Andrew Dukes, The Names of God (Kregel).

 

David L Simon (19 June 2004, Edited 11 November 2008, CCC)
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