John 16:5 "But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?' 6 "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

 We will see in this message that Jesus is telling them He is going away, but the disciples are more concerned with themselves than they are that Jesus will die. They are sorrowful because of their loss, not His dying. Then Jesus tells them it is necessary that He goes away so that the Holy Spirit can come to live in them and through them.  Jesus can only be in one place at a time in His human body, but the Holy Spirit can indwell all Christians at the same time(Romans 8:9) and give us the power to live the Christian life.  Sorry this message got messed up and about half of it is gone.  My recorder started acting up. I will replace it with the rest of verse 7-9 when it is redone.

 John 16:1 "These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.

Jesus did not want His disciples to stumble (Gr. skandalethron, be caught unaware) in their discipleship after His departure because the events that would follow took them completely by surprise (cf. Matt. 5:10-12). Even though they did not understand everything Jesus told them immediately, they would remember them and understand them more fully later (cf. 14:20, 25-26).

"The greatest danger the disciples will confront from the opposition of the world is not death but apostasy.  Jesus gave this present teaching so His believing disciples would not depart from Him and what He had taught them when persecution assailed them following His departure from them (cf. Matt. 10:33; Mark 8:38; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 3:8).

 2 "They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.

16:1-2. The disciples may have wondered why Jesus was telling them about the world’s hatred and persecution. Jesus, anticipating this question, indicated that expecting trouble beforehand would help them remain in the path of God’s will. (He gave a second reason in v. 4.) The disciples would face excommunication and even death.

Persecution unto death occurred in the case of Stephen (Acts 7:59), James (Acts 12:2), and others (Acts 9:1-4). Some people throughout church history have been motivated to persecute believers because of a misguided zeal for God. They think they are offering a service to God

Romans 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

Jesus was always very open and direct about the cost of discipleship with those who wished to follow Him:

Luke 9:23-26 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man be will ashamed of this one when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (see also verses 57-62).

Jesus does not want His disciples to be taken by surprise, and so He tells them about the difficulties which lie ahead for them as His disciples. These men will be rejected by their fellow-Jews, put out of the synagogue, and even put to death. And the irony of all this is that when their opponents do such things, they will actually suppose that they are serving God by their opposition to Christ and His disciples.[1]

Whether in the first century or in the twentieth, Christians have often discovered that the most dangerous oppression comes not from careless pagans but from zealous adherents to religious faith, and from other beliefs. A sermon was preached when Cranmer was burned at the stake. Christians have faced severe persecution performed in the name of Yahweh, in the name of Allah, in the name of Marx—and in the name of Jesus.”

Who better illustrates this than Saul, before his conversion?

Acts 22:4 “I persecuted this Way even to the point of death, tying up both men and women and putting them in prison”.

Acts 26:9-11 “Of course, I myself was convinced that it was necessary to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is what I did in Jerusalem: not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons by the authority I received from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote against them when they were sentenced to death. 11 I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to force them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged at them, I went to persecute them even in foreign cities” (see also 1Timothy 1:12-16).

 3 "And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.

The opponents of the disciples would do these things because they had not come to know the Father or the Son. Theirs would be a sin of responsible ignorance.

 4 "But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

The disciples appear to be in a state of emotional shock. They are overwhelmed with sadness. There seems to be nothing to say. Think of it. Jesus is going to leave them, and when He does, they are not only going to be forsaken by their own people, they are going to hunted down by them as though they were criminals.

 5 "But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?'

 6 "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.

Jesus notes the fact that His disciples are not now asking Him where He is going. Earlier, Peter did ask (13:36), and Thomas came close to asking (14:5). It is not that they hadn’t asked; it is that they have stopped asking. It is as though the more they have asked, and the clearer Jesus’ meaning has become (He really was leaving them behind, and they could not accompany Him), the more the disciples have become distressed. And so they simply (as we would say) “clammed up.”

This is similar, I think, to the questions which Nicodemus was asking Jesus in John chapter 3. His questions and comments got shorter and shorter, and finally they just ceased. The more Jesus told him, the worse it seemed to get, and so Nicodemus, like the disciples, chose to keep quiet. Jesus seems to be calling their quietness to their attention, perhaps gently rebuking them by doing so. They were so caught up in their own sorrow and their own sense of loss that they did not wish to consider anything else, anything beyond themselves.

DA. Carson challenges us to consider the lessons we should learn from our Lord’s gentle rebuke of His disciples for their silence: they are too preoccupied with themselves, and with their own problems, and not focused upon their Lord. Is this not true of us as well? Are we so absorbed in our own lives, that we not only fail to “fix our eyes on Jesus,” but we also fail to see the needs of those about us?

They do not see their way to go on without Jesus.

7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Our Lord’s “going away” is not only necessary, it is to their advantage. It is not that Jesus is abandoning them when He goes away, and that He is sending the Holy Spirit as a kind of consolation gift. He must go away, or the Holy Spirit cannot come. And when the Spirit does come, the disciples will see that they could never have had it better.

"It is important to note that the Spirit comes to the church and not to the world. This means that He works in and through the church. The Holy Spirit does not minister in a vacuum. Just as the Son of God had to have a body in order to do His work on earth, so the Spirit of God needs a body to   accomplish   His   ministries;   and   that   body   is   the church. . . . The Spirit does not 'float' in some ghostly way up and down the rows of a church building, seeking to win the lost. The Holy Spirit works through the people in whom He lives."

8 "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Before that  conviction  had  come  mainly  from  the  Old  Testament,  John  the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples' personal influences.

So, what is the Holy Spirit's ministry?  The Holy Spirit's ministry is to come into a world where there's righteousness in Christ over here and where there is evil and sin and rebellion over here and somehow break down that resistance, smash that wall of sin, penetrate into the hearts of individuals and bring them to the side of Jesus Christ, to bring them into fellowship with God.  That's the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the world, to bring men to Jesus Christ.

Now in order to bring them to Christ He has to break the power of sin because sin is the thing that holds men in rebellion against God.  Sin is the thing that separates men from God.  Sin is the thing that maintains their antagonism against God.  A vile man hates a holy God.  He hates anybody that smacks of a holy God.  The reason the world hates Christians who really live righteous lives is because they act as a living condemnation of them.  And so what the Holy Spirit must do is enter into the world and break the power of sin.  He must destroy the shackles of sin that bind and grip a man's heart.  And that's His ministry and that's what He sets to break and to shatter that sin.

The verb convict occurs eighteen times in the New Testament (cf. Mt. 18:15; Lk. 3:19; Jn. 3:20; 8:46; 1 Cor. 14:24; Eph. 5:11, 13; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 1:9, 13; 2:15; Heb. 12:5; Jas. 2:9; Jude 15, 22; Rev. 3:19). Arguably, in every instance the verb has to do with showing someone his sin, usually as a summons to repentance … The ‘exposure, is the exposure of one who does evil and who hates the light; it brings the shame that makes the evil person shrink from the light.”

The legal idea suggested by some seems to have been derived from the use of the term in extra biblical literature, whereas the biblical writers used elenxo primarily to describe correction, not prosecution or conviction.

The second meaning of the word "reprove."  It also means not to convict but to convince.  And here it isn't an objective condemnation, here it is not the idea that the Holy Spirit is going to doom men, here it is the idea that the Holy Spirit is going to reach into the heart of an individual and lay bare his sin to convince him that he needs Jesus Christ.  Do you know what the Holy Spirit wants to do?  He wants to convince you so He'll never have to convict you.  But if there is a rejection of the convincing ministry, there will be the convicting ministry, final judgment.

The world may think that it is judging Christians, but it is the Christians who are passing judgment on the world as they witness to Jesus Christ! Believers are the witnesses, the Holy Spirit is the “prosecuting attorney,” and the unsaved are the guilty prisoners. However, the purpose of this indictment is not to condemn but to bring salvation.[2]

When a lost sinner is truly under conviction, he will see the folly and evil of unbelief; he will confess that he does not measure up to the righteousness of Christ; and he will realize that he is under condemnation because he belongs to the world and the devil (Eph. 2:1–3). The only person who can rescue him from such a horrible situation is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There can be no conversion without conviction, and there can be no conviction apart from the Spirit of God using the Word of God and the witness of the child of God.

Witnessing is a great privilege, but it is also a serious responsibility. It is a matter of life or death! How we need to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us to the right persons, give us the right words, and enable us patiently to glorify Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today. #HLMSocial*F


“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32


The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.


[1] “D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991), p. 531.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 16:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App