John 16 - Part II
The Spirit of the Truth
Earlier Jesus had told the disciples that the Father would give them another Comforter, the Spirit of the truth. A spirit that the people of the world would not receive because they do not know the Father by experience. Then he said, I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you (John 14:17-18). Peter, on the day of Pentecost, confirms that when Jesus was resurrected he received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit and anointed those in the upper room with the same spirit (Acts 2:32-33). The “another Comforter” was the fullness of the Father’s spirit given Jesus and which he gave to his followers. This is confirmed again in chapter 16.
John 16:13: But when that One comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you into all Truth, for He will not speak from Himself, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will announce the coming things to you (LITV).
Jesus speaks of the Spirit of Truth as of himself in the third person. While Jesus possessed the understanding of the Father, it is the cross that would reveal whether or not he would walk in the light of the Father (John 7:16; 12:49-50). As believers, we are tested in a similar manner - by experience. 1John 1:6-7: 6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7. But if we walk in the light, as he (the Father) is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. It is the cross that reveals the fullness of the love of the Father and the Son for all humanity. And it is by walking in the light of the correct understanding of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that enables us to reach the fullness of their love and be cleansed from our sins.
Jesus adds to the explanation: John 16:14-15: 14. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. So ultimately, it is the Father who glorifies the Son. How? By giving us the understanding of the Son’s sacrifice.
Just imagine for a moment - The Son of God, while living with his Father, had immortality, total security, riches or whatever he needed; and he lay all that down just for you and me, so that we would have the opportunity to partake of the same Divine nature and immortality (2 Peter 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:54). That is awesome!!
John 16:16-19: 16. A little while, and ye shall not see me (physically): and again, a little while, and ye shall see me (spiritually), because I go to the Father. 17. Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18. They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. 19. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
Today, we can look back and using the writings of the disciples, understand these things. The disciples are a type of our spiritual journey, as neither did we understand at first either. Most of what Jesus spoke, he did not explain in plain words, as he will say below:
John 16:20-25: 20. Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
When Jesus spoke of “another Comforter,” a “Holy Spirit,” a “Spirit of Truth” he was speaking in a proverb. Man has taken the proverb and literally made the Comforter a third God, or some other entity. Now we understand all these terms to mean that the Father’s understanding, which is holy and pure, comes through the Son of God in a way as to enlighten us with truth and bring an inner comfort and peace.
Jesus also used a proverb of a woman travailing to birth a child. During the delivery there is labor and pain, but after the delivery, only joy of having brought forth a child. The bringing forth of a correct understanding of the Son of God sets one apart from all the world, including religions. Why is there anguish, travail and sorrow? Over time for me, first, my wife left, then later I separated from church and friends. I travailed over a certain doctrines, not to mention dealing with sin in my own life. Then there is a different kind of travail when you try to share your beliefs with others and bring forth in them, the same understanding you now carry. Paul expressed this king of travail in, Galatians 4:19: My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.
John 16:26-30: 26. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27. For the Father himself loves you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 29. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speak you plainly, and speak no proverb. 30. Now are we sure that you know all things, and need not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that you came forth from God.
Now are we sure was spoken presumptiously by the disciples, as displayed when they deserted Jesus in the garden. There is a fine line here. We should always have confidence the Lord is leading, but be cautious, as self-confidence may lead to self dependency. It is similar to knowledge puffs up (1Corinthians 8:1). Pride can come up, even with correct knowledge.
John 16:31-33: 31. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 32. Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
The disciples were about to face death, the initial scare coming in the garden, which proved that they were not ready when they all fled. Jesus lived in the world and overcame the world, and was able to continue through the cross. I believe that our assurance in God will not be complete until we have a fullness of the Father’s understanding and can face possible death as we give the message of God’s love to the world. Amen.
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