In Me You Have Peace – John 16:16-33 ESV, Rob Harlan, Teaching Team

John 16:16-33

Intro:

16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

  1. V 17-18 “17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.”
  1. There are times when the Word of God is hard to understand, isn’t it?  There are times when life is hard to understand. Sometimes the words of dear brothers and sisters in Christ seems kind of unclear and confusing.  
  2. Sometimes, especially at times when we may be facing tragedy and we are tempted to doubt God. Sometimes we may doubt words of encouragement from other Christians, whose words seem at the time more like pious piffle, banal platitudes that seem meaningless, insensitive, and irrelevant.  
  1. V 20 – 22 “20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
    1. I think that statement is so profound, “…you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will burn into joy…” Because I think of the burden that Christ had for what His disciples were about to go through.  They were going to be so bereaved, shocked, and horrified to the point where, really, they would lose their faith. These men would for a time be without both Christ and without the Holy Spirit…a dangerous in between time that would break them.  
    2. In some ways this tough time is almost a template for what happens to us in this life.  There are times that we go through hard times, don’t sense the presence of the Holy Spirit (though He is still there) and we are tempted to forsake and despair.  In those times know this: Christ’s heart breaks for you and if we would stop and listen to His voice when He speaks in His word, you know what He says? “Hold on!  Your sorrow will turn to joy!”  

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.[a] 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  1. V25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.”
  1. Jesus admits here that He has been speaking in figures of speech. He knows it is hard sometimes to understand. But know this:  There is a time when the Word comes and comes in POWER. Power to change your life.  We will touch on this later, but the Disciples are going to get this power as the Word of God is opened to them as things start to unfold from now on through to Pentecost.
  2. Think about Abraham sacrificing His Son Isaac and not understanding this – the full significance would not be realized until Christ came – Isaac and the sacrificial lamb was a picture of the substitutionary atonement.  There are things in your life right now that will only make sense at the end of it, or at the resurrection.  
  1. V26-28 “In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.[a] 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
  1. Jesus here begins to disclose the relationship that He intends for them to have with God – as a FATHER.  He is now no longer a distant, angry judge, but rather a present father that, because of Christ, can now be approached as a Daddy.
  2. Jesus is like a natural born son welcoming in the newly adopted kids and saying, “You don’t need to ask me, you can now go to Him as your father!  He is now your father too!!”  As Pastor Colin puts it, “He wants to share His Daddy with us.”
  1. V29-31 “29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?”
  1. Note the relief of His followers.  FINALLY. Isn’t it a wonderful relief to hear the pain word of God?  When someone comes and explains a text of scripture that you have always wondered about in such a way as to meet you RIGHT where you ARE.  It can be so exciting and such a game changer and those that have been in the Lord for some time know what I mean. It is like the answer has been there all along and you wonder how you missed it.  Oh that we have such revelations all the time! 
  2. But isn’t it stunning that they NOW believe?  Where is the faith of Peter? “Thou art the Christ, the Son of God!”  But isn’t this how we are? Isn’t this how it is to grow in faith? It is a process. 
  3. Notice they say nothing of Messiah or being God but just “from God.”  Man. These were the disciples. We need to be patient and generous with people who are coming to the Lord, and even with our selves when we fail and look at the good God is doing- look, they believe He is from heaven.  God was going to build on that faith!! 
  1. V32 “Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” 
  1. Jesus brings to prophecy and as He knows from the Old Testament, the Disciples would all forsake Him. One would betray, one would deny, and ALL would forsake, and Jesus knows this and states it. Openly. Obviously.  
  2. No figures of speech – raw. He tells them how He will end up all. Alone. But look at His conclusion- yet I am not alone for the father is with me. 
  3. Note, He refuses to keep His eyes here below and let His circumstances define who He is.  He could have gotten bitter at them or started to despair. He was going to be affected by circumstances but not defined by them. 
  1. V33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
  1. Why did He say these things!?  To give them some “perspective” – mock there faith while He put them back in there place?  Did He want some sympathy or repentance? NO! It was for THEM. 
  2. He wants them to have PEACE. He isn’t even thinking of Himself here.  This is not a scold, it is entirely for their benefit and we have to learn this about the nature of God, His words, His discipline, His heart… 
  3. He is for you, not against you.  He is on your side, on your team.  It may not always seem like it. He knows where you are going to fail before you fail.  And He wants you to know that He loves you anyway and that He wants you to have peace. 
  4. This is the peace that passes understanding because it the world you will have tribulation! But He has already overcome the world.  He has already won the battle.  

Application

  1. V 25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.” Sometimes God is hard to understand. Hard to understand in the Bible, hard to understand in our circumstances, hard to understand in the what He is speaking to you in the choices that you have to make. Know that God is testing you and molding you and forming in you patience, trust, and the fruit that comes if that: peace.  What a relationship we have with God! We don’t have to worry anymore! We can trust Him with the future. Remember that this life is only for a season.  It seems long and sorrowful for many of us, doesn’t it?  But your sorrow will turn to joy. The experience of the disciples is a like a pattern for what we experience in the world. 
  2. V 27 “the Father Himself Loves you…” How do you view God?  Do you view God through the lenses what you saw as a kid looking at your own earthly father?  Maybe you are saved and following Christ and still see God as an angry judge with whom you have no hope of ever pleasing, always living with a sense of His displeasure.  If you are saved, that’s a lie! It a lie of the enemy (now there no condemnation). Only God can give you deliverance from that.
  3. V 31 Do you now believe?  Jesus again with a rhetorical question in regard to their surprising lack of faith.  He had turned the water into wine, healed the official’s son, headed the lame man, fed the 5000, walked on water, healed the blind man, and raised the dead back to life again (do you now believe?).  Do you believe?  
    1. Or do you still have doubts about God, His character, your relationship with Him, who He is?
    2. Do you know that you can block blessings by your doubt?  If you ask for something from God, and you doubt His character, It actually blocks the answered prayer.  James 1:5-8 “5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
    3. What is the secret to great faith?  The secret is there is no secret. The disciples asked Jesus “Lord, increase our faith!!”  Luke 17:6 “And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”  Jesus doesn’t seem to be impressed, nor does He tell them. The purpose is not to increase faith, but to stop all of your doubting. Why? Because doubting is almost like praying to a different God. You praying to the God who is powerless or untrustworthy, a God of your own imagination.  
    4. The strength of faith is not in your faith but in the object of the faith.  And if you are constantly looking down to see if you actually have faith you have gotten your eyes all in the wrong place!  You are looking down into your own dark hart to see if there is something there that might count as faith, and trying to drum up faith, which is inherently self-focused and self-reliant. Faith is forgetting all that and turning your attention to the object of the faith and just trusting Him, not just for the answered prayer, but for the timing of the prayer.
    5. I think of it as kids.  Do they have great faith?  No, but they don’t have doubt, so what they do have in faith, they can act on. They have that faith the size of a mustard seed and that is all you need.  
    6. Do you worry that God won’t do what you ask?  That shows what you think of Him. This is really what it comes down to.  If you had an employee that was not dependable, and you asked them to do something you would worry if it would get done.  If they were dependable, then you wouldn’t even worry about it. Let me ask you, which employee is God, to you? 
  1. V33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace…” The purpose: that you may have peace.  God has many purposes for you, but here in this passage it is that you might have peace.  Do you have turmoil in your heart this morning? Do you have shame and sorrow for sin, worry about the future, or deep hurts from the past?  Take these things to God and don’t hang on to them. Roll them on to God, release them to Him. Philippians 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  I can’t tell you the peace that I have when I just give things over to the Lord. He is able to answer prayer.