Jesus is getting ready to leave and he's communicating to his disciples all that he needs them to know before he goes. So he's washed feet. He's told them not to let their hearts be troubled. He's honored Judas, and, by this time, has been betrayed by Judas. And as he walks with the disciples in the dead of night through the city of Jerusalem, he showed the disciples a grape vine and told them that he is the vine and they are the branches and pleaded with them to remain in him. And now, his focus is on warning the disciples about the persecution that they will inevitably face because of how the world is about to treat him.
And like we would and do, the disciples begin to grieve as they understand that their beloved teacher is leaving. But like the disciples, we have a good reason to take heart. In fact, we have four major reasons to take heart!
Have congregation turn to John 16
Remind them about Q&A
Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer. “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
So the disciples are losing heart here becuase they are going to lose Jesus, even though he has already told them that they can expect another advocate in the Holy Spirit who will be with them- who will permanently remain with them. And this is the first reason that we can take heart:
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.
he Holy Spirit gives us our power, our stength, our boldness, our conviction.
Living w/o HS is like trying to take on a German Panzer head on on foot; living w/ HS is like having the most accurate, powerful, and effective air support. You see over and over again in Scripture that the Holy Spirit is associated with POWER!!!
Without the Holy Spirit, we would not be able to live a Christian life. And he has far more power than we realize- the very same power that lived in Jesus, enabling his ministry dwells in us, his church. Through the Spirit, we can pray in Jesus' name. Through the Spirit, we can make bold audacious requests for healing, for courage, for provision, for stength, for encouragement...
The Holy Spirit assures us that we are children of God. (Ro. 8:14)
No one but a son wakes up the king for a glass of water...
The Holy Spirit helps us to understand who Jesus is. The Holy Spirit is not jealous of our worship of Jesus- it brings him joy.
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement:
1. The world's sin becuase it doesn't believe (they stand condemned); our sin because we do believe (we stand redeemed).
2. The world's righteousness becuase for them, the truly righteous one is absent; our righteousness, because the one who is truly righteous has purchased us from our sins.
3. The world's judgement becuase their leader stands judged already and being on his side, they stand judged already; our judgement becuase we stand innocent before the judge because of the work of Jesus.
But that's not the only reason we can take heart...
“In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.” Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.” Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.” Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
Did you catch it? The next reason that we can take heart is because...
We don't talk about this a whole lot, but not just Jesus, not just the Holy Spirit, but also God the Father loves us. The Father HIMSELF loves us.
for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.
This is amazing. Becuase of Jesus' love for us, the Father loves us too. Becuase Jesus paid it all, the Father loves us. Jesus earned the love of the Father for us. Becuase we love and follow Jesus, the Father loves us. We can take heart becuase the Father loves us. But that's not the only reason we can take heart!
Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
This is another reason that we can take heart:
Jesus has overcome the world.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Suffering. Victory in the Kingdom of God is attained through suffering. This is why in Acts 8, when persecution breaks out, the growth of the Church explodes. But Jesus has overcome the world with his suffering on our behalf. The Father agreed to let him pay the penalty, the Son went, and the Spirit enabled his perfect ministry.
DO YOU SEE HOW ALL THREE OF THEM WORK TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD?!? This is not arianism- The Holy Spirit < the Son < the Father. All are equal in authority and title. They each serve different functions of what the Godhead desires.
Santa- Arias 325 AD (first eccumenical council).
Insert image from open site about Santa
But Jesus overcomes the world! And because of that, we can be bold and confident, full of the Holy Spirit! On our own, we would be cowards, but with Jesus, we are BOLD. We should declare the truth to the world BOLDLY. This is why the word παρρησια is a theme of the book of Acts. It means boldness. See, you remember what Jesus predicted and what happened after his death- the disciples were timid and meek:
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
But after Jesus rises from the dead and they are filled with the Holy Spirit, the script is flipped:
After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
Because of what Jesus accomplished, we can not only take heart, but we can also be bold!
Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
Jesus uses the analogy to talk about how our sorrow will turn to joy of a woman giving birth he says:
It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.
This is hilariously true, isn't it? Anyone who has more than one kid understands there's a process that women go through in deciding whether they want another child, and it's hilariously true that they forget the pain. So it will be with us for our lives- the glory that awaits us in heaven or when Jesus comes back is worth immesurably more than we can endure here.
Tragedy vs. Comedy
There are tragic arcs within Scripture- the Fall, Samson, Saul, David, etc., but the long arc of the story of God is a comedy. The story of Scripture is one that moves man from fallenness and bondage to sin to restoration and freedom in Christ.
Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
This is what we have to look forward to. That no matter what happens, if we live our lives in Christ, and loving him and serving him, joy and celebration await us. God will dwell with us face to face. We will get to attend the only funeral full of celebration and joy- death's funeral. The end is already written, guys. Spoiler alert: Jesus wins. And by extension, we win! All we have to do is hold on to Jesus. Live life by the power of the Holy Spirit (yield to his will) and be loved by the Father and we will know eternal joy.
If you don't know that joy, or the peace that Scripture talks about, or the hope of expectantly waiting for Jesus to be glorified, or you need prayer for anything, after we do questions and sing, let's talk.