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John 16 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-7 - This chapter is part of a major section of John's gospel in which Jesus speaks with His disciples the night before His crucifixion. In this first passage of chapter 16, He begins to warn them (and us) of the trouble we have facing us because we're His followers.

    • We will be considered threats by the establishment, and some will even face death on account of Christ.

    • Yet even though Christ is not physically with us, He's with us spiritually, because the third member of the Trinity - the Holy Spirit - has come to us.

  • v8-15 - One of the primary missions of the Holy Spirit will be showing the world where it's wrong about fundamental things like sin, righteousness and judgment.

    • But the Spirit isn't there to just show you where you're wrong, but rather to guide you into all the truth (v13)

    • All that the Father has belongs to Christ, and now Christ has given us His Spirit.

  • v16-24 - Between the raw emotion and the fatigue that comes with it, the disciples have no idea what Jesus is talking about. Put yourself in their shoes... they don't know how the story ends like what we do!

    • Jesus senses their confusion and explains what it means that although they will experience momentary grief and pain as He leaves them, that grief will turn to joy when He returns.

    • As disciples living 2,000 years later, we find two key treasures in this passage:

      • 1) Don't be so surprised to see society rejoicing at it's deeper and deeper levels of ungodliness. Jesus said we will grieve as the world rejoices.

      • 2) This is now the third chapter in a row in which Jesus flat out tells us "my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name (v23)."

        • Are you taking advantage of this promise, and learning to pray powerful prayers in Jesus' name?

        • "Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete (v24)."

  • v25-32 - The disciples are still confused, but Jesus once again points them forward to the coming day when all they mysteries and questions we have regarding God will be made clear to us.

    • The disciples think they have things all figured out,

    • but Jesus knows what will happen in just a few hours: they will scatter, leaving Jesus alone to pay for the sins of His people.

  • v33 - Jesus closes out this amazing three chapter monologue with one of the deepest promises of the entire Bible. Know this one well:

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!

OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: Jesus tells His disciples in v20 that their grief will turn to joy. This is exactly what is prophesied in Jeremiah 31:12-13.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: What names does Jesus give to the Holy Spirit in this chapter? (See verses 7 and 13.) - BONUS: look up v7 in various translations and find the other ways the Greek word used (paraclete) is translated.

  2. What ways should you as a Christian be optimistic about the future? What ways should you be pessimistic?

  3. Paraphrase v33 in your own words.

Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Your Father, who loves you because you love Jesus (v27)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Take heart and be reminded that Jesus has overcome the world (v33)

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: "The Father will give you whatever you ask in Jesus' name... Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete (v23-24 - notice this is now the third day in a row this promise has been made to you, so take advantage of it!)


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