John 16 New International Version
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy
16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”
19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, 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 entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
What About You?
Are you familiar with the meaning of Jesus’ teachings? While smugness may attempt to claim that you fully grasp everything, Jesus points out that we all are likely be in a similar state of confusion as the disciples in our scripture passage. It’s OK, confusion is not necessarily an unfavourable position to be in.
First and foremost, the disciple’s confusion demonstrates that they took Jesus seriously. A good thing to do is to admit you don’t know it all because it enables you to be open to learning.
I am a learner. I studied for my master’s degree in my late 50s and then began a PhD in my 60s. I also study the Bible under various Teachers of different Church traditions to glean an overview of interpretation.
I know a secret; the more I learn about the Bible, the more I learn about myself. Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV.
‘All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. ‘
The Disciples weren’t indifferent or apathetic. On the contrary, they genuinely cared about and desired to understand His teaching. They must have possessed some level of faith in Jesus. Otherwise, they would have disregarded him. But they didn’t. They actively listened, sought to understand, and engaged in discussions about his teachings. They hung around Jesus, asking Him questions and strove to understand the meanings behind His words.
Confusion is a part of learning. Before we actually ‘get it,’ we need clarification as we struggle with meaning. Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t criticise their confusion. Instead, he errs towards the positive by recognising their efforts and acknowledging their faith. Even though the disciples are perplexed, Jesus continues to communicate using figurative language; he does not give up on them.
Instead of straightforward and clear explanations, the message is mystical because what he imparts is profound. The mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven are deep, as the book of Revelation points out to us- Revelation 2:29Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
How can you cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation of the mysteries of life and faith? Also, what steps can I take to humbly admit my confusion and seek the gift of faith from our Lord?
Then some of his disciples asked us what he was saying to us?
‘A little while, and you will not see me. And again, in a little while, you will see me. And for I am going to the Father, and they said, what is this that he is saying a little while? We need to understand what he is saying. John 16:17 to 18.
This passage seems confusing to the disciples, who did not realise that Jesus would die, rise, and ascend to heaven.
Read with Your Faith
Because Jesus’ teachings are so vastly profound, and mystical, we cannot begin to comprehend them with our cerebral minds. To fully understand what is happening, we must first approach Jesus’ teachings through her faith. Faith only implies a partial understanding of some things. Instead, it is a supernatural gift that allows one to believe without foresight and comprehension. Faith is simply trusting without the need for explanation.
Faith in God stems from God, not from one’s reasoning abilities. However, faith always leads to a deeper understanding, so as the disciples express their faith, they also come to understand. Ultimately, despite Jesus’ figurative language, the disciples believe anyway.
John 16:30 New Living Translation
Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
The Remedy for Confusion
If you find yourself confused about matters of faith, God, morality, or other mysteries of life, don’t be afraid to acknowledge your confusion. We all need clarification. It’s a part of being human, particularly a part of learning.
Admitting confusion is a humble recognition of the truth, and this humility serves as a crucial step toward receiving the gift of faith.
Today, take a moment to reflect on whether you struggle with indifference toward Jesus teaching or something else. Commit yourself to imitate the disciples who intentionally grappled with all that Jesus taught, no matter your struggles. Don’t hesitate to confess your confusion, lay it before the Lord, and ask for His help. Strive to receive the gift of faith and let that flicker of faith become the pathway to a deeper understanding of life’s mysteries.
Lord my God, you are so profound and unfathomable that no one can ever fully grasp the debt, breath, of you.
My mysterious Lord you open the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven to us who believe. Open my mind to a deeper understanding of you so I may profess my faith in you and all you have chosen to reveal.
I do believe. I believe, my God, Help me in my moments of confusion and doubt.
Jesus, I trust in you- Amen.
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Paula Rose Parish💕
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