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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.

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5. But now I go my way to him that sent me—While He was with them, the world's hatred was directed chiefly against Himself; but His departure would bring it down upon them as His representatives.

and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?—They had done so in a sort (Joh 13:36; 14:5); but He wished more intelligent and eager inquiry on the subject.

6, 7. But because I have said these things … sorrow hath filled your heart—Sorrow had too much paralyzed them, and He would rouse their energies.

7. It is expedient for you that I go away

My Saviour, can it ever be

That I should gain by losing thee?



for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you—(See on Joh 7:39; Joh 14:15).

8. And when he is come, he will, &c.—This is one of the passages most pregnant with thought in the profound discourses of Christ; with a few great strokes depicting all and every part of the ministry of the Holy Ghost in the world—His operation with reference to individuals as well as the mass, on believers and unbelievers alike [Olshausen].

he will reprove—This is too weak a word to express what is meant. Reproof is indeed implied in the term employed, and doubtless the word begins with it. But convict or convince is the thing intended; and as the one expresses the work of the Spirit on the unbelieving portion of mankind, and the other on the believing, it is better not to restrict it to either.

9. Of sin, because they believe not on me—As all sin has its root in unbelief, so the most aggravated form of unbelief is the rejection of Christ. The Spirit, however, in fastening this truth upon the conscience, does not extinguish, but, on the contrary, does consummate and intensify, the sense of all other sins.

10. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more—Beyond doubt, it is Christ's personal righteousness which the Spirit was to bring home to the sinner's heart. The evidence of this was to lie in the great historical fact, that He had "gone to His Father and was no more visible to men":—for if His claim to be the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, had been a lie, how should the Father, who is "a jealous God," have raised such a blasphemer from the dead and exalted him to His right hand? But if He was the "Faithful and True Witness," the Father's "Righteous Servant," "His Elect, in whom His soul delighted," then was His departure to the Father, and consequent disappearance from the view of men, but the fitting consummation, the august reward, of all that He did here below, the seal of His mission, the glorification of the testimony which He bore on earth, by the reception of its Bearer to the Father's bosom. This triumphant vindication of Christ's rectitude is to us divine evidence, bright as heaven, that He is indeed the Saviour of the world, God's Righteous Servant to justify many, because He bare their iniquities (Isa 53:11). Thus the Spirit, in this clause, is seen convincing men that there is in Christ perfect relief under the sense of sin of which He had before convinced them; and so far from mourning over His absence from us, as an irreparable loss, we learn to glory in it, as the evidence of His perfect acceptance on our behalf, exclaiming with one who understood this point, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God," &c. (Ro 8:33, 34).

11. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged—By supposing that the final judgment is here meant, the point of this clause is, even by good interpreters, quite missed. The statement, "The prince of this world is judged," means, beyond all reasonable doubt, the same as that in Joh 12:31, "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out"; and both mean that his dominion over men, or his power to enslave and so to ruin them, is destroyed. The death of Christ "judged" or judicially overthrew him, and he was thereupon "cast out" or expelled from his usurped dominion (Heb 2:14; 1Jo 3:8; Col 2:15). Thus, then, the Spirit shall bring home to men's conscience: (1) the sense of sin, consummated in the rejection of Him who came to "take away the sin of the world"; (2) the sense of perfect relief in the righteousness of the Father's Servant, now fetched from the earth that spurned Him to that bosom where from everlasting He had dwelt; and (3) the sense of emancipation from the fetters of Satan, whose judgment brings to men liberty to be holy, and transformation out of servants of the devil into sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. To one class of men, however, all this will carry conviction only; they "will not come to Christ"—revealed though He be to them as the life-giving One—that they may have life. Such, abiding voluntarily under the dominion of the prince of this world, are judged in his judgment, the visible consummation of which will be at the great day. To another class, however, this blessed teaching will have another issue—translating them out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son.

12-15. when he, the Spirit of truth, is come … he shall not speak of himself—that is, from Himself, but, like Christ Himself, "what He hears," what is given Him to communicate.

he will show you things to come—referring specially to those revelations which, in the Epistles partially, but most fully in the Apocalypse, open up a vista into the Future of the Kingdom of God, whose horizon is the everlasting hills.

14. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine and show it unto you—Thus the whole design of the Spirit's office is to glorify Christ—not in His own Person, for this was done by the Father when He exalted Him to His own right hand—but in the view and estimation of men. For this purpose He was to "receive of Christ"—all the truth relating to Christ—"and show it unto them," or make them to discern it in its own light. The subjective nature of the Spirit's teaching—the discovery to the souls of men of what is Christ outwardly—is here very clearly expressed; and, at the same time, the vanity of looking for revelations of the Spirit which shall do anything beyond throwing light in the soul upon what Christ Himself is, and taught, and did upon earth.

15. All things that the Father hath are mine—a plainer expression than this of absolute community with the Father in all things cannot be conceived, though the "all things" here have reference to the things of the Kingdom of Grace, which the Spirit was to receive that He might show it to us. We have here a wonderful glimpse into the inner relations of the Godhead.

16-22. A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father—The joy of the world at their not seeing Him seems to show that His removal from them by death was what He meant; and in that case, their joy at again seeing Him points to their transport at His reappearance amongst them on His Resurrection, when they could no longer doubt His identity. At the same time the sorrow of the widowed Church in the absence of her Lord in the heavens, and her transport at His personal return, are certainly here expressed.