Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      John - Chapter 16 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. I am telling you this to keep you from being afraid.
    2. You will be chased out of the Jewish meeting places. And the time will come when people will kill you and think they are doing God a favor.
    3. They will do these things because they don't know either the Father or me.
    4. I am saying this to you now, so that when the time comes, you will remember what I have said. I was with you at the first, and so I didn't tell you these things.
    5. But now I am going back to the Father who sent me, and none of you asks me where I am going.
    6. You are very sad from hearing all of this.
    7. But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.
    8. The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God's justice and the judgment.
    9. The Spirit will show them that they are wrong about sin, because they didn't have faith in me.
    10. They are wrong about God's justice, because I am going to the Father, and you won't see me again.
    11. And they are wrong about the judgment, because God has already judged the ruler of this world.
    12. I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand.
    13. The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn't speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen.
    14. The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you.
    15. Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.
    16. Jesus told his disciples, "For a little while you won't see me, but after a while you will see me. "
    17. They said to each other, "What does Jesus mean by saying that for a little while we won't see him, but after a while we will see him? What does he mean by saying that he is going to the Father?
    18. What is this 'little while' that he is talking about? We don't know what he means."
    19. Jesus knew that they had some questions, so he said: You are wondering what I meant when I said that for a little while you won't see me, but after a while you will see me.
    20. I tell you for certain that you will cry and be sad, but the world will be happy. You will be sad, but later you will be happy.
    21. When a woman is about to give birth, she is in great pain. But after it is all over, she forgets the pain and is happy, because she has brought a child into the world.
    22. You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel.
    23. When that time comes, you won't have to ask me about anything. I tell you for certain that the Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.
    24. You have not asked for anything in this way before, but now you must ask in my name. Then it will be given to you, so that you will be completely happy.
    25. I have used examples to explain to you what I have been talking about. But the time will come when I will speak to you plainly about the Father and will no longer use examples like these.
    26. You will ask the Father in my name, and I won't have to ask him for you.
    27. God the Father loves you because you love me, and you believe that I have come from him.
    28. I came from the Father into the world, but I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.
    29. The disciples said, "Now you are speaking plainly to us! You are not using examples.
    30. At last we know that you understand everything, and we don't have any more questions. Now we believe that you truly have come from God."
    31. Jesus replied: Do you really believe me?
    32. The time will come and is already here when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go back home and leave me by myself. But the Father will be with me, and I won't be alone.
    33. I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.

John - Chapter 16

Entered: August 12, 2005

Entered: September 13, 2011

We think faith is built on what we can see and know for certain, but God knows better. And, in fact, by definition, that is not even faith. The writer of Hebrews defines faith in this way, "Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) God came to mankind in the form of the man Jesus and performed many sign miracles to demonstrate who He was and instead of believing, they killed Him. Obviously, God's kingdom will not be built by having God live on earth through Jesus.

Jesus told His disciples that it was really best for Him to go away so He could give them the "Counselor." (16:7) If following Jesus were dependent on His physical presence, not everyone would have that opportunity, for He could not be present with everyone at the same time, nor could He be present with anyone permanently. But the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, could be present, living in every believer permanently. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and He "will guide you into all the truth." (16:13) 

It is in this way that true faith can be built. We can't do it on our own, but we first must take a step toward God. With what faith we are given, we must accept Jesus as God's Son which entitles us to being given the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we are then taught and we begin to see life from God's perspective, and faith grows. But it is not always a consistent process of growth for we are prone to seek solutions and answers to our questions apart from the counsel of the Holy Spirit. We have an independent nature in us that defaults to trying to do things on our own, but this hinders the growth of our faith. It grows as we become dependent on the counsel of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.