Morning Devotions: John 16
I greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I'm going to read from God's Word, make some observations from God's Word, apply God's word into our live and I'm going to close in a word of prayer. We're in John chapter 16, and I'm going to begin reading from verse 1.
Hear the Word of the Lord.
John 16 Christian Standard Bible
16 “I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. 2 They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. 4 But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 About sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you. 16 “A little while and you will no longer see me; again a little while and you will see me.” 17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this he’s telling us: ‘A little while and you will not see me; again a little while and you will see me,’ and, ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They said, “What is this he is saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what he’s talking about.” 19 Jesus knew they wanted to ask him, and so he said to them, “Are you asking one another about what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me; again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. 21 When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her time has come. But when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a person has been born into the world. 22 So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy from you. 23 “In that day you will not ask me anything. Truly I tell you, anything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 24 Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. 25 “I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 On that day you will ask in my name, and I am not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29 His disciples said, “Look, now you’re speaking plainly and not using any figurative language. 30 Now we know that you know everything and don’t need anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe? 32 Indeed, an hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
1. How Jesus’ Ascension is an Advantage:
Chapter 16 of the Gospel of John can be split into 3 portions. The first portion from verse 1 to verse 15. It really investigates the question or the statement, “it is to your advantage that I ascend.” The disciples just can't get it, but Jesus had said in John 16:7, “Nevertheless, I'm telling you the truth. It is for your benefit I go away, because if I don't go away the Counsellor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. What could be the benefit of Jesus Christ not being with his disciples, ascending into heaven and no longer being in physical proximity around them? One of the benefits that Jesus Christ gives them in this chapter is that he will send the Holy Spirit after his departure. What a wonderful blessing and gift that will be to the church, empowering them, emboldening them, guiding them into truth, guarding them from error and glorifying Jesus Christ in their lives.
2. How Jesus’ Death is an Advantage:
Secondly, the next portion is from verse 16 through the verse 24. It investigates the question, “How can it be to their advantage that Jesus dies?” In verse 16 we read, “A little while you will no longer see me: again a little while and you will see me.” In verse 20, “Truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” And then in verse 25, “Your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.” Jesus is saying, if he dies will be to their advantage because he is going to rise from the dead. That's the staggering message of Easter. Their sorrow will be turned to Joy! Their weeping and mourning will be turned to rejoicing! And it will be the kind of joy that never ever be able to be taken away from them!
3. How a Believers’ persecution is an Advantage:
Again, the third section from verse 25 to verse 33 investigates the question, “how on earth could it possibly be to our advantage that we face persecution?” How could it be to the advantage of those disciples that they might be persecuted? Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” The truth is, we discover the victory of Christ, the strength of Christ in us, the glories of Christ, in the midst of the hardship of this world. Jesus Christ overcame the grave. Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and Sent His Holy Spirit. And even in the midst of persecution, Jesus Christ will be glorified in his people!
How do we go about applying chapter 16 to our lives?
Firstly, if you're an unbeliever and you’re reading this text, the call on you is to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. In chapter 16 verse 9 we read, that the Holy Spirit convicts “About sin, because they do not believe in me;” Unbeliever, even as you hear and have been spending time in the Gospel of John or even in this particular chapter, you have seen Jesus Christ, high and lifted up, dying for the sins of many. You have been convicted of your own sin and your need a Saviour apart from yourself. The reality is, Jesus didn't stay dead! He rose on the third day! The price which he paid for your sin has been accepted by God. The joyous good news is that you may repent for the forgiveness of sins. The call and command upon your life is to repent; to turn away from your sin and to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ that you might live.
If you're a new convert; you've just come to faith and you read Chapter 16 for the first time, read with me verse 7. “It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don't go away the Counsellor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. There are so many benefits to Jesus Christ ascending into heaven. The reality is that by proximity, if he was still in this world, he would be geographically constrained to one location. And yet he's, he's risen from the grave, he's ascended into heaven and he sent his Holy Spirit into this world that the Spirit might convict man, that the spirit might reside in our hearts. There’s no proximity problem when it comes to God. He is with you and he is in you.
Secondly the Holy Spirit has a particular gift to glorify Jesus Christ in this world. Jesus ascends into heaven and sends his Spirit and it's a benefit to you, because the Spirit points us continually to the person of Christ and to his glories above.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit exposes sin. Not only in our hearts so that we might by this means of grace being proved and be made fit for Heavens Glory, but the Holy Spirit convicts of sin in the world. He prepares the hearts of men to hear the gospel proclamation, that they might put their faith in their trust in him and live. The Holy Spirit is described in the Book of John as a Comforter. And that's one of the benefits of Jesus Christ ascending and sending the Holy Spirit, that we might be comforted because this world is not an easy place. We face trials and tribulations, difficulties, turmoil and yet because the Holy Spirit is with us, we have a Comforter; a very near friend in our time of need.
Lastly, the Holy Spirit is given to guide us into Truth. He guided the apostles into truth, as they remembered the sayings of Jesus Christ, wrote them and made a record in the New Testament. But the Holy Spirit is no less of a guide to us as we access the Word of God and see the truth of God's Word in Scripture, and are pointed to the Person of Jesus Christ
Believer, how much you apply this text into your life? In John 16:23-24, we have the words of Jesus Christ, saying, “In that day you will not ask me anything. Truly I tell you, anything you ask the Father in my name He will give you. Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive so that your joy may be complete.” As you read this text, I hope that you are keyed in to the importance of prayer. As we look at John chapter 17 tomorrow, that will become even more evident. For now, can you see that the pathway to the very Throne of God has been laid bare? There’s no obstacle stopping you from approaching the very throne room of God and laying your petitions before him. God hears your prayers! And God is pleased to work in them. Pray in the name of Jesus Christ, and by his authority, that you might see the hand of God moving in your life and your joy may be made complete.
Let's close in a word of prayer.
Father God, I do thank you for John chapter 16. How it speaks into our hearts and into our lives! I asked Father God, would you raise up a generation that prays, a generation which boldly approaches your throne, a generation LORD God which is confident in you and sees your hand moving in their lives, and then attributes all the praise and the glory back to You, that you might be glorified in this life, even as you will be forever in the life to come. This are pray in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and our Saviour. Amen.
May the Lord. God bless you this day.