John 16 – Farewell

Read John 16

In the Gospel of John, chapters 13-17 are known as Jesus’ farewell address to the disciples.  All of the discourse during this time takes place while Jesus and His disciples celebrating the Passover, the Last Supper.  As Jesus spends His last hours on earth with His disciples, He imparts to words of comfort and reassurance for the future, particularly after He is gone.

The apex of Jesus’ words here is found in chapter 15, imploring His followers to abide in Him that they may bear fruit.  Chapters 14 and 16, however, reveal the way in which God makes that possible: through the sending of the advocate, the Holy Spirit.  Jesus tells them all of this that His followers would not fall away.

As the gravity of Jesus’ words begins to sink in, Jesus comforts them by pointing to a time when the disciples will receive both truth and power when the Holy Spirit comes on them.  At that time, things will be made clear and they will begin to understand more fully what is happening and will happen in the coming hours.

All of this is a precursor of things to come.  Yes, the disciples grief will turn to joy.  Yes, they will understand more fully what God is doing through Jesus.  But that doesn’t mean that life will be a breeze forever them.  In fact, a time will come when persecution will come and the followers of Jesus would be scattered.  (Dating would indicate that this was happening in the time that John wrote this Gospel)

Jesus’ point in all of this, though, was not the happiness, the sadness, the ease or the hardship, but the fact that God would be present with them through it all.  The Holy Spirit continues to be present with the people of God daily too.

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