We’re in the final six chapters of John. My goal is to wrap it up in the next two weeks by focusing on the “Bible Study Express” instead of alternating to topic-oriented writing.
Here I have provided the Scripture and notes for v. 1-19, followed by the highlighted passage for v. 20-33. At this point, I will not attempt to condense the words of Jesus or summarize the eyewitness account from John. You will find the actual verses followed by notes.
Verse 2 may come to mind when we read through Acts, as the man named Saul, under the authority of the high priest, goes through the land hunting down and persecuting Christians, convinced that he is doing the right thing (Acts 9:1, 2; 26:9-11). Amazingly, this man becomes the apostle Paul. The verse reads: 2 For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.
5 “But now I am going away to the One who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
16 “In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.” 17 Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? 18 And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
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.
NOTES for 1-19:
In these last moments with the disciples, Jesus warned them about further persecution, told them where, when, and why he was going, and assured them they would not be left alone, but that the Spirit would come. He did not want their faith to be shaken or destroyed after the events he knew lay ahead. God wants us to know that the Holy Spirit will be there for comfort, to teach us truth, and to help us.
v. 5-6 tell us that even though the disciples had asked Jesus about his death, they never wondered about its meaning. (They were mostly concerned about themselves and what would become of them if Jesus went away.)
v 7 – Unless Jesus did what he came to do, there would be no Good News. If he did not die , he could not remove our sins; he could not rise again and defeat death. If he did not go back to the Father, the Holy Spirit would not come. Christ’s presence on earth was limited to one place at a time. His leaving meant he could be present to the whole world through the Holy Spirit.
9 – According to Jesus, not believing in him is sin.
10-11 – Christ’s death on the cross made a personal relationship with God available to us. When we confess our sin, God declares us righteous and delivers us from judgment for our sins.
13 – Jesus said the Holy Spirit would tell them “about the future” – the nature of their mission, the opposition they would face, and the final outcome of their efforts. They didn’t fully understand those promises until the Holy Spirit came after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Then the Holy Spirit revealed truths to the disciples that they wrote down in the books that now form the New Testament.
HIGHLIGHTED PASSAGE (John 16:20-24 and 29-33) – Sadness will be turned to Joy
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.
skipping to 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”
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.”
LESSONS/NOTES (v 20-33):
20 – The world rejoiced as the disciples wept, but the disciples would see Jesus again in three days and rejoice. The world’s values are often the opposite of God’s values. This can cause us to feel like misfits. Even if life is difficult now, one day we will rejoice. Let’s keep our eye on the future and on God’s promises.
V 23-27 – This speaks of a new relationship with God for the believer. People previously approached Him through priests. After the resurrection, we could go to Him directly. This is only because Jesus has made us acceptable to God.
Remember that what we are asking for must be in line with God’s character and His will. He answers every prayer, but it may not be within the time that we want, and the answer is either yes, no, or wait. Regardless of the answer and the timing, rejoice that you have Jesus in your life.
v 32 – The disciples scattered after Jesus was arrested (see Mark 14:50). Jesus accepted their statement of faith even though he knew their weaknesses. He knew they would have to grow into people whose words and lives matched even to the point of death. (The disciples of today – me and hopefully you – have gone or are going through the same process of maturity.) How well are we each living out what we say we believe about Jesus?
**All notes are from the Life Application Study Bible.