a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above


“I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling. 2They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. 3And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. 4But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

The Work of the Spirit

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Sorrow Will Turn into Joy

16 “A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? 20Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. 21When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. 22So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

Peace for the Disciples

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. 26On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! 30Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” 31Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

16. A little while, and you do not see me. Christ had often forewarned the apostles of his departure, partly that they might bear it with greater courage, partly that they might desire more ardently the grace of the Spirit, of which they had no great desire, so long as they had Christ present with them in body. We must, therefore, guard against becoming weary of reading what Christ, not without cause, repeats so frequently. First, he says that he will very soon be taken from them, that, when they are deprived of his presence, on which alone they relied, they may continue to be firm. Next, he promises what will, compensate them for his absence, and he even testifies that he will quickly be restored to them, after he has been removed, but in another manner, that is, by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

And again a little while, and you will see me. Yet some explain this second clause differently: You will see, me when I shall have risen from the dead, but only for a short time; for I shall very soon be received into heaven.” But I do not think that the words will bear that meaning. On the contrary, he mitigates and soothes their sorrow for his absence, by this consolation, that it will not last long; and thus he magnifies the grace of the Spirit, by which he will be continually present with them; as if he had promised that, after a short interval, he would return, and that they would not be long deprived of his presence.

Nor ought we to think it strange when he says that he is seen, when he dwells in the disciples by the Spirit; for, though he is not seen with the bodily eyes, 9999     “Combien qu’il ne soit point veu des yeux corporels.” yet his presence is known by the undoubted experience of faith. What we are taught by Paul is indeed true, that believers,

so long as they remain on earth, are absent from the Lord, because they walk, by faith, and not by sight,
(2 Corinthians 5:6, 7.)

But it is equally true that they may justly, in the meantime, glory in having Christ dwelling in them by faith, in being united to him as members to the Head, in possessing heaven along with him by hope. Thus the grace of the Spirit is a mirror, in which Christ wishes to be seen by us, according to the words of Paul,

Though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet we know him no more; if any man be in Christ, let him be a new creature,
(2 Corinthians 5:16, 17)

Because I go to the Father. Some explain these words as meaning that Christ will no longer be seen by the disciples, because he will be in heaven, and they on earth. For my part, I would rather refer it to the second clause, You will soon see me; for my death is not a destruction to separate me from you, but a passage into the heavenly glory, from which my divine power will diffuse itself even to you.” He intended, therefore, in my opinion, to teach what would be his condition after his death, that they might rest satisfied with his spiritual presence, and might not think that it would be any loss to them that he no longer dwelt with them as a mortal man.

VIEWNAME is study