John 16:19 – 33
19 Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.
21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”
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29 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. 30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
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Three Powerful Statements
1. “Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” (v. 24)
In the verse right before this statement, Jesus tells the disciples that they can “ask the Father directly”. This was and still is such a profound statement. Up until the time of Jesus, the practice of the Jews was to approach the priest and bring an animal sacrifice and have the priest intercede on behalf of the worshipper or petitioner before God. And once a year, at the Day of Atonement, only the High Priest was allowed to enter in the Holy of Holies in the Temple to intercede before God on behalf of the people. (Read Hebrews 9:1-8)
But now Jesus is telling the disciples that they could go directly to the Father to lay their requests directly as the feet of God, no longer needing to go through a human priest to reach God. What an awesome promise this is. And we read in Matthew 27:51-52, when Jesus died on the cross:
At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened.
Most curtains when they are torn, will tear from the bottom to the top. But Jesus’ death opened the way between God and man through His death. And God supernaturally reached down and tore the curtain in the Temple from the “top to the bottom” so all might know that they could now come in to the Most Holy Place and lay their petitions before the Father. Hallelujah!!
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2. “From this we believe that you came from God.” (v. 29)
Finally, after 3 1/2 years of teaching the disciples and showing His divine power through miracles, the disciples state their belief that Jesus came from God. So what was it that caused them in this passage to make this statement? Look carefully at the context of this chapter. Jesus was trying to explain that he would die (“you won’t see me”) and then be raised to life again (“after that you will see me again”). They did not understand this statement, but they were sure thinking a lot about what this must mean.
And it says, “Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it”. From this, they realized that Jesus knew exactly what was on their hearts and minds. It was as if he could read their very thoughts. And from that, they knew for sure He was divine, for Scripture tells us that only God knows the thoughts and the hearts of men. (Romans 8:27) Does that frighten you? Or does that comfort you, knowing that God is aware of your inner most thoughts, and thus is an intimate and caring God.
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3. “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (v. 33)
For three chapters now, Jesus has been telling His disciples what lay ahead for Him and for them. Chapter 17 is His final prayer to the Father on behalf of His disciples. Jesus predicted for them that people would hate Him and kill Him, and treat the disciples in like manner. Jesus would go away for a while, and there would be great sadness and grief. But then come His final words to His disciples, “Take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Even in the very face of death itself, Jesus is confident that He would be victorious. And we know that three days after Jesus died, He did in fact rise again to prove that He was the Son of God, able to defeat Death itself, and give us the hope and promise that we who believe in Him will also one day be resurrected from the dead to join Him in Heaven as His people. What a tremendous promise that is. What hope and joy it gives to us who may be facing terribly dark days here on earth. But have no fear, we too will overcome the forces of evil that are in this world. We too will be overcomers. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!!
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