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Chapter 16

"I have told you these things so that nothing will upset your faith. You will be kicked out of the synagogues. In fact, the time is coming when some people will think that by killing you they are doing God a favor. They will do things like this because they have no true knowledge of the Father or of me. I have told you these things so that when that time does come, you will remember what I said would happen."

When the Holy Spirit comes he will help the disciples understand all that Jesus has taught them (16:5-15).

"Up till now there has been no reason for me to tell you these things, because I have been with you. Now I am going back to the one who sent me, yet not one of you has asked, 'Where are you going?' But because I told you what was going to happen, sorrow has filled your hearts. I tell the truth: It is to your advantage that I am going away. Unless I return to the Father, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.


Aqueduct in Caesarea

"When the Spirit comes he will convince the world that they are wrong in their views about sin, righteousness, and judgment. He will convince them that not to believe in me is sin. He will convince them that my going to the Father and no longer being in view is proof of my righteousness. He will convince them that judgment is certain, because God has already judged the prince of this world.

"I have much more to tell you, but right now it would place too great a burden on you. But when the Spirit comes, he will guide you into a fuller understanding of the truth you have received. He will not speak on his own accord, but will pass on to you only what he hears. He will tell you about things yet to come.

"The Spirit will honor me by taking what I say and explaining it to you. All that the Father has belongs to me as well. That's why I said the Spirit will take what I say and explain it to you."

Jesus tells his disciples that in a little while he will be leaving them but that before long he will be back (in three days, after the resurrection), and the grief they experience will be turned into joy (16:16-33).

Jesus said, "You won't see me for a little while; then after a little while you will see me once again."

Turning to one another, we asked, "What did he mean when he said, 'You won't see me for a little while; then after a little while you will see me again,' and 'I am going to the Father'?" We kept asking, "What is this 'little while' he keeps talking about? We haven't the faintest idea what he means."

Jesus knew that we wanted to question him, so he said, "Are you wondering what I meant when I said that for a little while you wouldn't see me; then after a little while you would see me again'? "I tell you the truth, you will weep and lament like mourners at a funeral, while the world will rejoice. You will be filled with sorrow, but suddenly your sorrow will be transformed into joy.

"When a woman is about to give birth she is in great pain. But as soon as the child is born, she forgets all about the pain and is filled with joy because she has brought a baby into the world. In the same way, for a time you will be in distress. But later I will see you, and your heart will respond with such joy that no one will ever be able to take it from you.

"When that day comes, you won't be asking me for anything! I tell you the truth, it will be the Father who will grant every request made in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in this way. So now, ask the Father for anything in my name, and you will receive it so that your joy may overflow.


New life from old stone

"I have been using figures of speech in talking with you. But the time is coming when what I say will no longer seem obscure. I will be able to explain with clarity about the Father. Then you will ask the Father in my name. I won't have to ask him on your behalf because the Father himself loves you.

"God loves you because you love me and believe that I came from him. When I came into the world I left the Father; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."

"Now you are speaking plainly," we told him, "and not using figures of speech that are difficult to understand! Now we understand that you know all things, and we do not need to question you any more. For this reason we believe that you truly have come from God."

Jesus replied, "Do you really believe? The time is coming -- it's already here -- when you will be scattered. Each of you will go to his own home and I will be left alone. Yet I won't be alone, because my Father will be with me. I have told you these things so that in me you may have all that makes for true happiness. As long as you are in the world you will have trouble and sorrow. But be courageous! I have overcome the world."

Mediterranean coast at Caesarea