John 16:1-7

In John 16:1-7 Jesus continues to school the disciples on what is coming.  “I have told you these things so that you won’t be staggered by all that lies ahead.” Jesus warned His disciples of coming opposition because He did not want them to be surprised and caught off guard by it. “For you will be excommunicated from the synagogues, and indeed the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing God a service.”

He also did not expect that His disciples would immediately leave the synagogues, or leave them by their own choice. They would be forced out of the synagogues for Jesus’ sake. So He wanted to give a heads up on that too, so they would be prepared.

Why will the religious leaders react that way?  “This is because they have never known the Father or me.” You would think that the religious folks would know God and the One He sent to save them.  But they weren’t looking or listening, and were focused on their own power.  So Jesus has to prepare His disciples for what is coming. “Yes, I’m telling you these things now so that when they happen you will remember I warned you. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.”  He didn’t tell them at first, as there was no reason to do so, but now as His time is ending, He is in preparation mode to help them be ready for what lies ahead.

Jesus is leaving, and is somewhat amazed that the disciples aren’t trying to understand why. “But now I am going away to the one who sent me; and none of you seems interested in the purpose of my going; none wonders why.” Peter had asked this question earlier and Thomas asked a similar question as well. Therefore Jesus must mean not only the words of the question, but the heart of it.  The disciples are just focused on their loss, not the reason behind it. “Instead you are only filled with sorrow.”  But Jesus wants them to understand how important this is. “But the fact of the matter is that it is best for you that I go away, for if I don’t, the Comforter won’t come. If I do, he will—for I will send him to you.”

Guzik points out that while Jesus is making to case that it is to the advantage of the disciples that He go away, they likely don’t see it that way.  Was what was coming really to their advantage?  Put yourself in their shoes and ask if it was…..

  • To your advantage that Jesus is arrested?
  • To your advantage that Jesus’ ministry of teaching and miracles is stopped?
  • To your advantage that Jesus is beaten?
  • To your advantage that Jesus is mocked?
  • To your advantage that Jesus is sentenced for execution?
  • To your advantage that Jesus is nailed to a cross?
  • To your advantage that Jesus dies in the company of notorious criminals?
  • To your advantage that His lifeless body is laid in a cold grave?

There are some big things coming and Jesus is all about getting His disciples ready for what lies ahead!

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