John 16:1-33 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus Teaches the Work of the Holy Spirit
Comments for Study 21

John 16:1-33
Key verse: 16:13a


I. "But When He, the Spirit of Truth, Comes" (1-15)

>1. What did Jesus predict about the disciples' future?

* "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray." (1)

* This future is secure. They will go astray. They will remain in Christ.

* Jesus also said in John 15:18-27, that they will be persecuted, killed and they will teach God's words.

* "They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God." (2)

* Put out of synagogue.

* Be killed.

>Who would persecute them?

* People who think they are offering a service to God.

* For the apostles it was the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. Basically the Jewish leaders.

* Saul, later called Paul was one who killed Christians thinking that he was offering a service to God.

* Later the Greeks and Romans (Gentiles) would also persecute them because they considered them a threat to their religions too.

* Religious people are sometimes God's worst enemies. I remember hearing a preacher who had the gift to cast out demons say when asked which areas are more prone to demon possessions, "Areas where there are a lot of churches and through social pressures are expected to go to church every week."

* More persecutions come from within rather then without.


* Just as Jesus was treated; mocked, beaten, put in jail, put on trial, wiping, etc.

* But making them a cast out. (2)

* Even to death. (2)

* The synagogue was the center of Jewish culture and society. They would end up losing their "Jewish" identity and claim the new identity in Jesus' society and synagogue.

* They used Deut. 13:6-11 to justify thier actions. Yet they knew what Jesus was doing and said they did. So their motives were really selfish.

* When we witness to others these days some don't understand or accept what we are doing. Even parents and friends don't understand.


* "They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me." (3)

* "Known" -past tense, not future.

* They don't have a personal relationship with God.

>Why did Jesus tell them these things now, not before? (1-4)

* "I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you." (4)

* "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray." (1)

* He hadn't told them because he was with them, but will be leaving them.

* While Jesus was with them they would not die. Jesus had to die for them first. They would attack the leader first.

* While with them, Jesus protected them.

* He told them now, so they won't go astray in the future.

* He told them now, so they will remember in the future.

* Jesus hid bitter truths from them because they were to weak to handle it first. But in the end he hid nothing from them.

* After the religious leaders got rid of Jesus they would work to get rid of his followers. They would become the main target.

* He had told them before, but not as clearly as he is saying now for the time had come for this to happen.

>2. Where was Jesus going, and why was it to the disciples' advantage that he go?

* "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?" (5)

* "But I tell you the truth; it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." (7)

* Why didn't the disciples ask where he was going? (5) Perhaps the disciples stopped (see chapter 14) asking questions to protect their pride. Jesus' responses had been small rebukes.

* Their questions were similar to this.

>Why could the Holy Spirit not come unless he left? (5-7)

* "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." (5-7)

* Jesus is the one who sends him.

* The great outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we now it today, could not have happened until Jesus died, rose, and ascended into heaven. The Holy Spirit is recording working in the Old Testament, just not much. In Acts 2:17-21 Peter quoted Old Testament verses that talk about the great out pouring of the Holy Spirit. The verses he uses emphasises the greatest pouring is associated with Jesus' coming, especially the second coming. These days many all around the world are seeing visions of Jesus.

* We need to have independent Christians, depending on God through the Holy Spirit. The disciples could not depend on human Jesus, now, only Jesus in the Spirit. We need to know how to depend on the invisible God.

* "another" -implies they are similar to each other.

* When faith is based on the physical it is weak faith, perhaps not even real faith. "We live by faith not by sight." (2 Cor. 5:7, Heb. 11:1, Acts. 20:29)

* The disciples think about Jesus going away, the Holy Spirit coming, and the mighty work of the Holy Spirit.

>3. What did Jesus teach about the work of the Holy Spirit?

* "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment; in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgement, because the prince of the world now stands condemned." (8-11)

* "convict" -to convince, to prove or feel guilty, to show to be in error or have done wrong, to rebuke. It is still up to the person to accept this work of the Holy Spirit. If a person does not then they have blasphemed against the work of the Holy Spirit.

* "the world" -fallen, sinful, unsaved man.

* A work of the Holy Spirit is convicting the world of guilt.

* Until the Holy Spirit comes on a person, they relate sin (evil) and righteousness (morality) to their societies standards, with their own adjustments.

* Those who didn't have the Bible are still convicted because the Holy Spirit is what convicts men of sin. (Rom. 2:15)

* In verse 27 Jesus said that the disciples must testify about Jesus. However, the Spirit would be the one working in men's hearts as we testify about Jesus. We have no power to convict. (Acts 16:18)

* Remembering this will give the disciples hope later.

>Why does the Holy Spirit rebuke the world about sin?

* "Because men do not believe in me." (9)

* Acknowledgement of sin is needed before we can ask for forgiveness and forgiveness is needed before we can have a relationship with God through Jesus.

* Acknowledgement of sin is the Holy Spirit's convictions.

* Sin is singular here. When men don't acknowledged the truth of Jesus it is a sin. (9) Unbelief equals sin. This is related to chapter 15.

* The work of the Holy Spirit is more powerful than sin.

>About righteousness?

* "Because I am going to the Father." (10)

* Righteousness is given through the vessel of the Holy Spirit. (10)

* Righteousness is possible because Jesus has gone back to the Father.

* God is righteousness. (Rom. 3:22,23)

* God revealed Jesus' righteousness through raising him from the dead.

>About judgment?

* "Because the prince of this world now stands condemned" (11)

* Jesus' death and resurrection condemned the prince of this world, Satan.

* Satan is prince of the world, meaning, he is leader of those who do not accept Jesus as Lord. He is already condemned. So all those who follow him are also condemned.

* Most people think only bad people will be judged. They have only their idea of bad. And they are not "that" bad in their eyes.

* All will come before the judgement seat of Christ. (2 Cor. 5:10)

* The Holy Spirit is more powerful than Satan. We should not be fearful of Satan. In the world we can have peace.

><4.What else does the Spirit do? (13-14)

* "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he has and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you." (13-14)

* "you" -disciples

* Guides people into all truth. (13) Not right away. Each in his own time schedule. Each according to God's will.

* Speaks what he hears. (14) He will not speak on his own.

* Speaks what is yet to come. (14)

* He tells of what is yet to come.

* He will bring glory to Jesus. (14)

* He takes what is Jesus' and makes it know to us. (14)

* How does he do the later? Through prayer and Bible study.

>Why is he called the Spirit of truth?

* He reveals truth.

* He reveals Jesus (10,14) who is truth.

* He reveals the truth of this world. (8)

* He reveals the truth of each person to themselves. (9)

>What is the main point of his teaching?

* To bring glory to Jesus. (14)

* The Holy spirit reveals Jesus. Jesus is the end that leads to God the Father.

* A disciples can see the Holy Spirit in people they witness and minister to. However, if the person emphasizes the Holy Spirit more than Jesus then we can question what is happening in them because Jesus said the Holy Spirit works to emphasize Jesus.

>How can we receive the Holy Spirit? (Lk. 11:11-13)

* "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Lk. 11:11-13)

* One baptism, many fillings. So much asking.

* In the upper room (Acts 1:14) even though the apostles had Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit they prayed (asked).

II. "After a Little While you will See Me" (16-33)

>5. How did Jesus explain to his disciples the meaning of "a little while"?

* "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me." (16)

* "see me no more" -For the disciples this was his death. For us it has been two thousands years.

* Appearances by context of verses 17-19 are that the disciples did not ask Jesus, but talked about it quietly amongst themselves.

* "a little while" -time of pain and suffering. (20-23)

>How does the parable of birth apply?

* "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you; Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." (20-23)

* He compares it to a woman who has a baby.

* Jesus will leave the disciples, causing grief and anguish. But Jesus will come back and cause the disciples to be filled with joy.

* Life giving suffering.

* The more the anguish and pain the greater the joy afterward.

* Pain in the process of joy for the believers.

* The pain is real, so is the joy.

* Our time of suffering will be short compared to the time of joy.

* Jesus uses the same allegory for the time approaching his second coming.

* The strength of pain increase and the intervals between the pain decrease as the time of new birth approaches. Thus it was for the disciples before his resurrection. Thus, it is for us now.

>What will be the source of their grief?

* Jesus' going. (22)

* Jesus' death.

* Peter's denial.

* They all ran away.

* Judas' betrayal.

>The cause of joy?

* Jesus' resurrection. (23, 20:20)

>6. What privilege do disciples have because Jesus died and rose and sent the Spirit?

* "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (23-24)

* God will hear and answer our prayers said in Jesus' name. (23)

* Our joy will be complete. (24)

* In this passage Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit. If we ask for the Holy Spirit, the Father will give it to us.

* We can have confidence that the Father will answer our prayers for the Holy Spirit if we ask in Jesus' name.

>How can the joy of the disciple be complete? (22-24)

* Prayer for the Holy Spirit.

* Answered prayer. (24)

* Think of Jesus' resurrection. (22)

* John 15:16.

>7. What did Jesus tell the disciples plainly about the Father and about what would happen in the future?

* "Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf." (25-26)

* "No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God." (27)

* "I came from the Father and entered the world, now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father." (28)

* The Father loves us because of Jesus.

* Jesus is from God.

* God does not love us because of our sin, but because of Jesus our sins have been washed away. He loves us, but hates our sin. Sin has been removed. So their is nothing about the believer that the Father does not like.

* Jesus said that we can pray directly to the Father. We don't need mediators. (1 Tim. 2:5)

* In the future things will be made clear. The Holy Spirit slowly reveals to those who ask and stay in Jesus. This become more and more clear as time goes on in our life and in history. Jesus has told them this before.

>8. What was the disciples' response to his prediction of his resurrection?

* "Then Jesus' disciples said, 'Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God." (29-30)

* Their response was positive. Before this they were in confusion.

* Earlier claims are recorded in: John 1:41, 45, 49, Peter's confession that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, and John 6. Their understanding of Jesus grew over time.

>What would happen to them when Jesus was arrested and crucified?

* "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me." (32)

* Jesus was glad that they believed (31), but he also knew their limitations (32). They would be scattered.

>9. What was Jesus' personal faith and assurance? (28, 32-33)

* "I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father." (28)

* "Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (32-33)

* The cross was not the end.

>What was his confidence about his disciples?

* They believed him. (31)

* They would desert him. (32)

* They would have trouble. (33)

* They would have peace. (33)

* He has overcome the world. (33)

>What does it mean to us that Jesus has overcome the world?

* We must have the same faith and assurance that Jesus has won the fight and is victor so that we can live like Jesus and gain the victory in all situations.