FIRST 'SO THAT': Over and over the Bible promises that God will never let those He's chosen for Himself slip away. We often refer to this doctrine as the perseverance of the saints. We certainly are preserved in grace by God's strength, but we are not just passive pawns in the process. Jesus told His disciples (and us) the things we're reading in these chapters "so that you will not fall away (v1)." It's by reading and following God's Word that we persevere in our salvation.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: Certainly the four gospel narratives tell us all we need to know to be saved: Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, and paid the penalty for our sins and gave us His righteousness so that we may be reconciled to God. But today Jesus makes clear that He has much more he wants to communicate, and that He will send His Spirit to "guide [His disciples] into all truth (v13)." The original disciples needed to wait for this guidance, but all we need to do is keep reading the New Testament.
STRAIGHT TALK: We've seen over and over in the gospels where Jesus needed to speak figuratively and in parables during His ministry because people were filtering His words through all sorts of preconceived misperceptions about what they expected their Savior to be like. Now that the disciples are beginning to understand that Jesus came to die, He can speak more directly to them. It's not till you begin to see Jesus through the lens of the cross that you can truly understand Him.
MASSIVE PROMISE: The Bible makes very few promises that are meant for all people at all times, but we get one of them today in v33. Yet it's not the type of promise you might expect:
In this world you will have trouble.
Notice that Jesus isn't promising this to the Pharisees or other people who reject Him, rather He speaks it to the disciples! Chapter 16 opened with a declaration that Jesus was telling these things so that His followers would not fall away, and it closes with the assurance that we will face trouble.
SECOND 'SO THAT': What advantage then is there to being a follower of Christ if we're subject to the same (if not more) trouble than people who go their own way? That all important answer is the second 'so that' - the second reason Jesus gave us theses words:
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace... But take heart! I have overcome the world (v33).
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)