John 16:1-11 The Divine Witness

by | Jun 6, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. Future Opposition

A. Jesus Explains Future Opposition Vs. 2, 3

1. In John 15:18-27, Jesus had been explaining to them about future opposition.

a. In verses 26 & 27, He assured them that the Holy Spirit would aid them in the face of opposition, and that they would be able to speak of Jesus even when persecuted.
b. In John 16:1-4, Jesus continued with the same line of thought about coming persecution. This is a continuance of John 15:18-27. (Jesus wasn’t rambling.)

2. Not too long after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, they would be filled with the Holy Spirit, and would begin to make known the message of Jesus.
3. V. 2- will think that he offers God service- this speaks of supposed religious service.

a. The Jewish religious leaders felt that they were serving God by opposing Christians.
b. The disciples would initially face excommunication. This affected their whole life.
c. The Apostle Paul confessed that this had been his mindset before becoming a Christian. (Acts 26:9-11; Philippians 3:6; 1 Timothy 1:13)
d. Militant Muslims feel the same sentiment about killing Christians to honor Allah.

4. The disciples would soon feel the opposition of those within Orthodox Judaism, who believed that Jesus was a false Messiah and had deserved to die.
5. In Acts 7, we see the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
6. The early church suffered great persecution. By the year 325 AD, there were an estimated 7 million Christians in Europe, but there had been 2 million killed for their faith.
7. V. 3- Most of this persecution was from religious people, either the early Jewish faith or the Roman pantheists. Those people thought they were pleasing God/gods by killing Christians. Jesus said that they did it because they didn’t know the Father or the Son.

B. Jesus’ Intentions In Telling Them Vs. 1, 4

1. Jesus wanted the disciples to not stumble when this persecution came.
2. Stumble- not a stumbling block, but the spring of a trap which might go off suddenly.
3. Jesus didn’t want his followers to be suddenly caught off guard when persecution came.

a. NOTE- It is easier to handle the trials of life is we are not completely surprised.
b. The Bible informs us of many things to not be surprised about: last days, persecution, consequences of sin, the falling away of many from the faith, etc.

4. Jesus also knew that as he told them ahead of time about the coming persecution, it would validate the authenticity of who He was. It would help their faith in the future.
5. He didn’t tell them these things when He was first with them. The early opposition was less and was directed against Jesus, and not them; but things were going to be changing.

II. Jesus’ Departure, The Holy Spirit’s Arrival

A. The Disciples’ Sentiment Vs. 5, 6

1. V. 5– This seems to contradict John 13:36 and 14:5. Peter and Thomas had both asked Jesus about His upcoming departure. How could Jesus say this?
2. Though the words were similar in the previous questions, the intent seems to be different.
3. They had previous asked Jesus of His departure and how it would affect them.

a. The tenor of their previous question seemed to have been, “What are we going to do”?
b. Instead, it should have been, “How will it be better if you go away?” They focused on their loss, not their gain.

4. V. 6– Jesus seems to forgive their shortsightedness, knowing that their mindset had been deeply affected by their own sense of losing Him.

B. The Advantage Of Jesus Leaving V. 7

1. In the minds of the disciples, the departure of Jesus was the worst thing that could happen. Jesus corrected their thinking. This would be an advantage.
2. In His incarnation, Jesus (God the Son) could only be at one place at one time.

a. With His departure, the Holy Spirit would come and indwell all Christians worldwide forever. (Romans 8:9)

4. The disciples would learn to be led by the indwelling Spirit instead of the external Jesus.

a. This would require growing in their discernment of God’s Spirit.

5. Before the coming of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were often fearful.

a. After being indwelt, they spoke with great boldness. (Acts 4:31)

6. While with them physically, Jesus presence would not be with Christians permanently.

a. When the Holy Spirit came, Believers were indwelt forever. (John 14:16)

7. The continued work of Jesus through His disciples would take a giant leap forward.

C. The Work Of The Holy Spirit With Non-Christians Vs. 8-11

1. Jesus has been explaining the work of the Holy Spirit within a Believer’s life.
Now He explains the work of the Spirit amongst Unbelievers.

2. Convict- to convince, to reprove, to rebuke, to expose, to refute.

a. The Holy Spirit will use the word of God to convince the unbeliever of truth.
b. The Holy Spirit uses the Spirit led Christian in this convicting/convincing work.

3. V. 9Convince the world of sin- sin is the truth about man.

a. Refusing to believe that man has sinned and deserves God’s judgment. (Romans 3:23)
b. Refusing to believe that Jesus is the solution for man’s guilt. (Romans 6:23)
c. The Holy Spirit convinces a man not that they have just “made mistakes” but that they are guilty before God, and that they cannot save themselves.
d. Ultimately, the greatest sin is the rejecting of Jesus, who came to forgive sin.

4. V. 10-Convince the world of righteousness- righteousness is the truth about God.

a. The bodily ascension of Jesus proved who He was: God in the flesh and Savior.
b. Jesus made many claims re. Himself. The fulfillment of those claims validates Him.
c. Jesus was the perfect example of what the Father accepts into Heaven: sinlessness
d. The Holy Spirit convinces the unbeliever that Jesus was all that He claimed He was.
e. The Holy Spirit convinces the unbeliever that Jesus’ death pays for their sin.

5. V. 11- Convince the world of judgment- judgment is the inevitable result of these truths.

a. V. 11 states a fact re. the judgment of Satan, who stands opposed to Jesus.
b. If Satan is judged for his rebellion against Jesus, surely all who follow him will be too.
c. 1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
d. The convincing work of the Holy Spirit is to convince the unbeliever that they are guilty before God, and that there is no remedy for that apart from Jesus.

Life Group Questions

1. Jesus told His disciples to expect opposition. He told them ahead of time so that when it happened, they wouldn’t be stumbled. Has that warning helped you deal with opposition?

2. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would “come to us”. He said in John 14:17 that the Holy Spirit shall be “in you”. How mindful are you that the Holy Spirit is in you and every other Believer, and how does that affect your relationships with other Christians?

3. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would convince people of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
How does that help you or affect you when you are speaking to unbelievers about Jesus?