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Your sorrow will turn to joy

John's gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Refresh on last week, the tenderness of Jesus as a shepherd, the joy of his ressurection, and prayer in his name.

Can anyone remember what we talked about last week?
Is was a section that the ESV entitles the work of the holy spirit. Let’s remember the section of John’s gospel that we are in. Jesus’s public ministry has finished and now Jesus has begun his private ministry focused specifically towards his disciples. Jesus’s focus here is to prepare his disciples for what it is going to be like after the Resurrection and the ascension of Christ.
Last week we were looking at the reasons why Jesus had to go away from them and ascend to go and be with the father. We saw some of these were
That he can intercede for his people before his father
So that he could send the holy spirit
To inaugurate his kingdom. This is one that we didn’t really talk about last week but if you read the gospels you will see that there is enormous focus on the kingdom of God that Jesus is bringing in and it is at the ascension into heaven where he leaves his disciples physically that he claims the kingdom which he had won through his death and ressurection.
The particular focus of last week was the giving of the holy spirit who came to do two things:
Convict the world of sin, judgement and righteousness
Guide the disciples into all truth
Really the holy spirits role is to bring the world to Christ. The holy spirit is the one who convicts of sin in the heart of a believer which makes them realize that they need Christ. The holy spirit is the one who points us then to Jesus to take refuge in him. The holy spirit is also the one who inspires the bible and so he inspired the disciples in the writing of the NT so that we can be sure it is not just mans words but what the holy spirit inspired men to write
Read verses 16-19
Verse 16: what do you think Jesus means by “A little while and you will see me no longer and again a little while and you will see me”?
There are a couple of things people think this could be referring to however I think the best interpretation is that it refers to this:
You will see me no longer refers to Jesus’s death.
Then you will see me refers to Jesus’s Resurrection and then the post Resurrection appearances that Jesus gives to his disciples.
Verse 17: The disciples were confused. They still hadn’t realized that Jesus was going to die and then to rise again. They didn’t see how Jesus could be going to his father (verse 10) and how he could be going away for a little while and that they would see him in a little while. To be fair on them it is very confusing.
You see the confusion carried on in verse 18 some translations note that there is an emphasis when it says “they were saying” that they kept saying and were repeatedly asking about this.
Perhaps you find what Jesus says and what the bible says confusing. Well you can talk about it like the disciples talked about it. You’re not the first to find it tricky.
Read verses 19-22
Verse 19: we see how graciously Jesus answers their question. He doesn’t mind necessarily that they didn’t get it at first.
Notice that they don’t even ask him but he knows that they wish to. That is the kind of saviour we have. He knows ours questions, he knows our needs and he answers them even though he might leave us confused for a little while just like he does here with his disciples.
Verse 20 though Jesus knows what his disciples want to hear, the straight forward explanation the fact is what is about to happen is not straight forward and so he tells them what they need to know. He gives what directly applies to them in the situation.
What will the disciples do?
weep and lament
What will the world do?
It is interesting that both of these sets of words used to describe the reactions of the world and the disciples are outward. The disciples will lament that means to mourn; and they will weep. They will not be able to contain their grief at what happens.
But the world… is going to rejoice, or be delight, or to give greetings, or welcome to. The world is loving it.
The world would have looked on Jesus’s crucifixion and laughed with joy. Gods plan seemed to have failed. They had thrown it down. The rebels have won. The ‘saviour’ is dead.
Faithlife Study Bible Chapter 16

The religious leaders believe that crucifying Jesus, who claimed to be the Son of God, is something that they should take pride in and praise God for. Secretly, they kill him for selfish reasons, not out of zeal for God or Rome as they claim (12:42–43; 19:7, 12).

But do you think the worlds joy lasted?
Imagine the look if you will on Satan’s face when he hears Jesus heart begin to beat again and death was cast down once and for all.
But the focus is on the disciples. Their sorrow will be turned to joy. From the teacher being beaten by death. The one they had placed so much hope in restoring the kingdom to Israel slain. This is changed to the saviour has conquered and death itself is slain.
In verse 21 we have the example of the mother in labour. The bible often uses the picture.
In childbirth, or so they tell me, it is this awful incredibly painful experience. Its just agony and one of the most painful things one can experience. But then at the end of it what happens?
There is a baby, and that is a moment of tremendous joy.
So the disciples are to go through a period of pain and sadness but there is a tremendous joy at the end of the tunnel.
There is the beginning of new creation. The resurrected saviour inaugurating the kingdom of God.
This picture can be expanded and is in the bible. In Romans 8 we are told that the creation is in pangs of childbirth ready to be reborn. You could say that this whole period of time until Jesus’s coming again parallels this experience. Pain and suffering now which leads to the joy of the new creation.
This world is groaning. It is groaning now with Corona, it groans as people get older and the body starts not to work so well, it groans during natural disasters. But there will be a resurrected world and we will have resurrected bodies. Jesus accomplishes this on the cross as the firstfruits of the final Resurrection coming later. This worlds sorrow will turn to joy.
Verse 22: could anyone summarize verse 22?
There will be such joy at the resurrection of Christ that no one will be able to take the joy from them.
Will the world try?
You bet it will. It will kill them, and torture them, and excommunicate them from the synagogue. But no matter what the world throws at them this joy cannot be lost.
It is a joy unquenchable. I wonder if we have this joy? I think sadly that we often don’t have enough joy in what Christ has done for us. That fact that we serve a living saviour who has overturned death and Satan and daily intercedes for us. We should experience a joy unquenchable.
Read verses 23-24
In verse 23 is Jesus just giving them a magic formula to be able to get whatever they want?
There are many churches and groups that teach that you can basically name and claim whatever you want and God has to give it.
We have to remember that what the bible means by name and what we often mean by name are two different things.
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible The Biblical Idea of Name

The name of a person or people expressed what the person or people thought the proper description or statement of character was

For example:
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible The Biblical Idea of Name

Adam names the animals according to their nature (Gn 2:19, 20); “Noah” means “one who brings relief and comfort” (5:29); “Jesus” means “savior” (Mt 1:21). When a person was given a new position or a radical change took place in his life a new name was given to indicate that new aspect, for example, Abraham (“father of many,” Gn 17:5);

So the name of Jesus means something other than just a magic word that some groups would have us use it as.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary 16:23–24

The words in My name are not a magical formula which enable the user to get his will done; instead those words tied the requests to the work of the Son in doing the Father’s will (cf. “in My name” in 14:13–14; 15:16; 16:24, 26).

It is also coming not thinking that God should give us anything because of ourselves but rather that he will give us these things because of Christ. We come in who Christ is not who we are. So we can have confidence, as Christ is Gods beloved son, that the father will treat us like sons.
There has been this new emphasis in John’s gospel on praying in Jesus’s name. We have this assurance at the end that we will receive when we pray in his name so our joy may be full.
John Calvin says:
Commentary on the Gospel according to John Chapter 16

That your joy may be full. By this he means that nothing will be wanting which could contribute to a perfect abundance of all blessings, to the accomplishment of our desires, and to calm satisfaction, provided that we ask from God, in his name, whatever we need.

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