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Bible Commentaries
John 16

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

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Verses 1-33


1. Persecutions Predicted. (John 16:1-6 .)

2. The Comforter and His Demonstration. (John 16:7-15 .)

3. Sorrow and joy. (John 16:16-22 .)

4. The Father Himself Loveth You. (John 16:23-27 .)

5. His Final Word before His Prayer. (John 16:28-33 .)

Again He announced coming persecutions. The world is the same today as then, and before this age ends these predictions of our Lord will be again fulfilled, during the great tribulation.

The coming of the Comforter is once more announced by Him. He could not come unless the Lord departed. He is to be sent to His own and when He comes He will make a great demonstration to the world. The word “reprove” in John 16:8 is incorrect; the Greek word is difficult to express in its full meaning. Some have translated it by “rebuke,” others use the word “convince” or “convict.” The word “demonstrate” seems to be the nearest to the original. “And when He is come He will bring demonstration to the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment.” The presence of the Holy Spirit in believers is the proof to the world that the whole world is guilty of the death of Christ; the whole world is under sin and therefore not on probation but under condemnation. The Holy Spirit is also the demonstration to the world of righteousness. This does not mean that He brings righteousness to the world, or makes the world righteous, as so many erroneously believe. Our Lord adds: “Of righteousness, because I go to my Father and ye see me no more.” The Holy One was rejected by the world, cast out as an unrighteous One. But He, Who owned and satisfied God’s righteousness in dying as the substitute of sinners, is now exalted to the right hand of God; there He is the witness of righteousness. The presence of the Holy Spirit on earth demonstrates this fact. God raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory; the world sees Him no more as a Saviour personally on earth; but will see Him again as Judge, when He comes to judge the world in righteousness. Righteousness is fully displayed in the glory, where He is. The hope of righteousness is to be with Him there. (Galatians 5:5 .) The Holy Spirit also brings demonstration to the world of judgment “because the prince of this world is judged.” Sentence of judgment is pronounced against Satan, but not yet executed. He is the god of this age, but he was judged in His Cross. Judgment must come upon the world and its prince. The Holy Spirit now present upon the earth in the believers demonstrates this fact.

Many things He had to say unto His disciples, which they could not bear. The many things He mentioned were made known in due time by the Holy Spirit come down from heaven. Of this He speaks in the verses which follow. Note the seven things spoken of the Spirit of Truth: 1. He will guide you into all truth. 2. He shall not speak of Himself. 3. Whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak. 4. He will show you things to come. 5. He shall glorify Me. 6. He shall receive of Mine. 7. He shall show it unto you. This is the work He does now among and in the Saints. In all His work His gracious aim is to glorify Christ. When we glorify Christ, exalt Him, obey Him, follow Him and are devoted to Him, the Holy Spirit fills and uses us.

Then He spoke of the little while; the little while when they would see Him not; the little while, when they would see Him again. His final words before His great prayer are full of comfort and assurance. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you.”--”For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” These are words precious to faith. Once more He speaks of His leaving the world to go back to the Father. But before that homegoing takes place they all were to be scattered and leave Him alone. He added: “Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” Our Lord was never forsaken by His Father; He was forsaken of God, the Holy God, when He stood in the sinner’s place.

The last utterance to His own is the assurance of peace in Him, the tribulation in the world, and the shout of victory: “Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.” And then His prayer.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on John 16". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/john-16.html. 1913-1922.
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