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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 16 - Verse 4

Verse 4. These things which are about to happen, Joh 16:1,2. He had foretold then that they would take place.

Ye may remember, &c. By calling to mind that he had foretold these things they would perceive that he was omniscient, and would remember, also, the consolations which he had afforded them and the instructions which he had given them. Had these calamities come upon them without their having been foretold, their faith might have failed; they might have been tempted to suppose that Jesus was not aware of them, and of course that he was not the Messiah. God does not suffer his people to fall into trials without giving them sufficient warning, and without giving all the grace that is needful to bear them.

At the beginning. In the early part of the ministry of Jesus. The expression these things here refers, probably, to all the topics contained in these chapters. He had, in the early part of his ministry, forewarned them of calamities and persecutions (Mt 10:16; 5:10-12; Mt 9:15), but he had not so fully acquainted them with the nature, and design, and sources of their trials; he had not so fully apprised them of the fact, the circumstances, and the object of his death and of his ascension to heaven; he had not revealed to them so clearly that the Holy Spirit would descend, and sanctify, and guide them; and especially he had not, in one continued discourse, grouped all these things together, and placed their sorrows and consolations so fully before their minds. All these are included, it is supposed, in the expression "these things."

Because I was with you. This is the reason which he gives why he had not at first made known to them clearly the certainty of their calamities and their joys; and it implies,

1st. That it was not needful to do it at once, as he was to be with them for more than three years, and could have abundant opportunity gradually to teach these things, and to prepare them for the more full announcement when he was about to leave them.

2nd. That while he was with them he would go before them, and the weight of calamities would fall on him, and consequently they did not so much then need the presence and aid of the Holy Spirit as they would when he was gone.

3rd. That his presence was to them what the presence of the Holy Spirit would be after his death, Joh 16:7.

He could teach them all needful truth. He could console and guide them. Now that he was to leave them, he fully apprised them of what was before them, and of the descent of the Holy Spirit to do for them what he had done when with them.

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