As stated in the previous lesson, Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure. This portion of scripture discusses the revelation that they will not be alone after He goes back to Heaven. It speaks of the “Comforter” which will guide and direct them.
Jesus deals with the fact that He is returning to the Father who sent Him. Note John 7:33, which states that Jesus told them earlier that He would not be with them much longer. John 12:35 records the fact that Jesus tells them again about His departure. He uses the word “Light,” which is descriptive Him. In John 1:4, the writer says that Jesus is the “Light of men.” He says that they must be in the Light. In John 8: 12, Jesus makes an “I Am” statement. He proclaims that He is the Light of the world. Those who walk in the Light will not walk in darkness. The darkness spoken here is not natural but spiritual. When they do this, they will become the “sons of Light.” Note the word “light” is capitalized. (The translation used in this instance is the New American Standard Bible [Updated Edition].) It is therefore, important to understand this word in the light of its context.
The Greek form is phao , which means “to shine or manifest, especially by rays.” Strong’s Talking Greek_Hebrew Dictionary. The one who walks in the rays of the Son of God will know the Father. They will not walk in spiritual darkness. They will walk in the rays of the true life found in God alone.
Jesus addresses the sorrow they experience because of His leaving. In John 14:1, Jesus tells His disciples not to be troubled. He knew what they would experience, but there would be hope in the future coming of the Holy Spirit. In John 16:22, Jesus tells His disciples that although they are experiencing grief right now, they will rejoice. He promises that they will see Him again, and they will rejoice.
Stress is a word used by engineers to describe both the external force applied to a material and the internal strength required to resist the pressure. [See Lloyd John Ogilive, Making Stress Work for You: Ten Proven Principles, with Built in Study Guide (Waco, TX: Word, 1985), 25-26.] Such combined stresses will cause the material to change both size and shape. An example of this can be seen in a metal like iron. It has a yield point at which outside pressure increases the density of the metal. This would make it stronger. When this strain exceeds its load bearing capacity, what is known as a “failure point” causes the metal to break. This is what happens when a blacksmith heats and hammers a horseshoe. He is not only shaping the metal, but he is increasing its strength.
- Stress is external pressure that causes physical, mental or emotional strain.
- Stress is internal resistance in response to outside pressure.
- Stress is negative pressure that results in distress, danger or destruction.
- Stress is positive pressure that results in motivation and movement: “The stress of having to support a family caused the young man to seek a better job.”
Why am I discussing stress? Our lives are filled with stress. Stress causes not only problems in our personal lives, but in our entire lives. We are faced with stress on a daily basis. Stress brings on illnesses and other mental problems. That is why I believe we should study this topic.
I hope these lessons will enlighten and encourage you. If, at any point, you have questions or concerns, please write me. Let me know if these discussions are beneficial to you.
Are you at a breaking point in your life right now? Are you at the point where if you have one more pressure added to your life, you will break? You realize that you are at that point, but you do not know what to do Stress can become a monster in our lives. It can also be a motivator if we handle it right.
The following statement is quoted in Dennis Rainey, Lonely Husbands, Lonely Wives: Rekindling Intimacy in Every Marriage (Dallas: Word, 1989), 96.
“It matters not how great the pressure is, only where the pressure lies. As long as the pressure does not come between me and my Savior, but presses me to Him, then the greater the pressure, the greater my dependence upon Him.”
Jesus addresses the sorrow they are experiencing at this time because He is leaving. In John 14:1, Jesus tells His disciples not to be troubled. He knew what they would feel, but there would be hope in the future coming of the Holy Spirit. In John 16:22, Jesus tells His disciples that although they are experiencing grief right now, they shall rejoice. He promises that they shall see Him again.
He is returning to the Father who sent Him. Note John 7:33, which states that Jesus told them earlier that He would not be with them much longer. See the following verses: John 12:35 and John 13:36. His disciples have apparently have not been closely listening. Note John 13:33, where Jesus mentions this also. Peter responds to this statement by asking Jesus where He is going. Jesus speaks plainly to him by telling him that where He is going he would not be able to come at that time. Peter will follow Him later. Peter bears this out in 2 Peter 1:14 (NASB) when he says the following: “knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.”
In the upcoming verses, Jesus tells them about the coming of the Holy Spirit, which will be their Comforter and Counselor.
The timing of this information is important to take note of. This chapter is part of Jesus’ teaching before He dies. Jesus could have told them this earlier, but it was not time. Jesus was coming to the end of His earthly ministry, and there were important facts that His disciples needed to know concerning their future. Jesus told them that just as He was about to be persecuted, they would travel the same road. They would be considered heretics. Since the world hated Him, they would suffer hatred also. Some would think they were justified in their actions because they would be killing individuals who taught a different doctrine. When these things happened to them, they would remember Jesus’ warning. History records these facts. When I studied the Roman Empire, these facts were covered in the textbook. It mentions the various Roman emperors and their dealings with the Christians at that time.
In 64 A.D., the Roman emperor, Nero, looked around for a scapegoat to blame the disastrous fire of Rome on. The Christians became the target. He inflicted the most fiendish tortures on the Christians living in the area. He raised the bar of hatred against these believers. It is recorded that Paul was beheaded during Nero’s reign. See the following: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/christians.htm#.
Theme: Giver of the Spirit
Jesus’ Warning Verses 1-4
The Holy Spirit Promises 5-15
Jesus’ Death and Resurrection 16-22
Prayer Promises 22-33
Key Verse: John 16:33 (KJV)
(33) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.