Sermon preached on Sunday, March 27, 2016 at Faith Bible Church during the morning worship service based on John 16:16-22.
Transport yourself for a moment some 2,000 years ago – to the time when Christ hung on that cross of shame.
Sorrow must have filled the disciples’ hearts as they watched Jesus hanging on a cross. What devastation? What heartbreak?
What was going on in their minds? Could they even think straight with so much sorrow? I mean their sorrow must have flooded all their faculties.
Soon their sorrow would turn into joy. Soon they would recall all that Jesus had taught them. Soon they would press on in TRUE BELIEF in the Messiah, the God-man named Jesus who spent three years with them teaching and preaching about the Kingdom of God.
But that would come in time. All they could cope with now was their sorrow.
Can you imagine the pain and the hurt Jesus must have felt? Could you imagine your response in seeing all this?
Question: If you knew this was going to happen within a day, what last words would you expect from the Lord Jesus Christ whom you left all to follow? What words of comfort would He give them?
Jesus gives us this answer in John 16. READ John 16:16-22.
We find ourselves on a Thursday evening, just hours away when Jesus would be betrayed and arrested.
From chapter 13:1 of John to chapter 17:26, Jesus is in the Upper Room with His disciples. You might recall that Jesus had sent Peter & John to make the necessary preparations for the Passover meal – less than a day from His crucifixion.
Luke records this in Luke 22:7-13 where Luke writes –
7Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
8And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.”
9They said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?”
10And He said to them, “When you have entered the city [Jerusalem], a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters.
11“And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’
12“And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.”
13And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
You might recall that throughout their time in the Upper Room, our Lord…
• Washes the disciples’ feet (13)
• Comforts His disciples regarding His Second Coming (14)
• Speaks regarding the Vine and the Branches (15)
• Promises to send the Holy Spirit during His absence (16)
• Prays for Himself, the disciples, and His Church (17)
All this occurs in the evening prior to His betrayal, arrest, and His crucifixion – on a Thursday night.
And what I want to pull out in our passage are four things.
The Promise made to the disciples (v. 16)
The Perplexity revealed among the disciples (vv. 17-19)
The Clarity given for the disciples (vv. 20-21)
The Certainty reiterated to the disciples (v. 22)
These four things simply give us a small outline to hang our thoughts on. But what I want you to see is how our Lord comforts His disciples when they would need it the most – prior to the events that follow. Here our Lord is truly the Servant – not thinking of Himself, rather thinking of His disciples.
Knowing their weaknesses, having been with them these last three years, Jesus displays a love and care for the disciples unparalleled to any other.
You might remember that there arose a dispute among the disciples soon after Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. Do you know what it was concerning? Luke tells us in chapter 22, vv. 24-30 what it was they were fighting about –
24And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.
Even on the eve of His crucifixion, the disciples were bickering once again as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest out of the bunch.
If there was any motivation to withhold a genuine love and care for someone it would most certainly be found in a group of men who were more concerned about themselves than the Lamb that was to be led to the slaughter.
The disciples were still ever-so selfish and here Jesus serves them in love, comforting them when they would need it the most.
Later in that same passage of Luke, Jesus tells His disciples –
27“For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
He serves them in these words and here you have THE PROMISE made to the disciples. Look now at v. 16 of our passage, John 16:16 –
16“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.”
The promise is two-fold:
1. “In a little while you will no longer see Me”
2. “In a little while you will see Me”
But what does this mean?
16A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. 17Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. 19Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? 20Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. (KJV)
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