John 11-16 The Voice (VOICE)
John points to stories where Jesus returns to the issue of faith again and again. The crowds are fickle, believing sometimes and not others. The religious leaders refuse to believe because Jesus doesn’t fit their paradigms. The disciples and close friends constantly face situations that challenge their faith, and this especially happens when Lazarus dies. John is implicitly urging his readers to have faith in Christ, even in difficult times, because He is the source of life and well being.
11 There was a certain man who was very ill. He was known as Lazarus from Bethany, which is the hometown of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary did a beautiful thing for Jesus. She anointed the Lord with a pleasant-smelling oil and wiped His feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus became deathly ill, 3 so the sisters immediately sent a message to Jesus which said, “Lord, the one You love is very ill.” 4 Jesus heard the message.
Jesus: His sickness will not end in his death but will bring great glory to God. As these events unfold, the Son of God will be exalted.
5 Jesus dearly loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. 6 However, after receiving this news, He waited two more days where He was.
Jesus (speaking to the disciples): 7 It is time to return to Judea.
Disciples: 8 Teacher, the last time You were there, some Jews attempted to execute You by crushing You with stones. Why would You go back?
Jesus: 9 There are 12 hours of daylight, correct? If anyone walks in the day, that person does not stumble because he or she sees the light of the world. 10 If anyone walks at night, he will trip and fall because he does not have the light within. 11 (Jesus briefly pauses.) Our friend Lazarus has gone to sleep, so I will go to awaken him.
Disciples: 12 Lord, if he is sleeping, then he will be all right.
13 Jesus used “sleep” as a metaphor for death, but the disciples took Him literally and did not understand. 14 Then Jesus spoke plainly.
Jesus: Lazarus is dead, 15 and I am grateful for your sakes that I was not there when he died. Now you will see and believe. Gather yourselves, and let’s go to him.
Thomas, the Twin (to the disciples): 16 Let’s go so we can die with Him.
17-18 As Jesus was approaching Bethany (which is about two miles east of Jerusalem), He heard that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. 19 Now many people had come to comfort Mary and Martha as they mourned the loss of their brother. 20 Martha went to meet Jesus when word arrived that He was approaching Bethany, but Mary stayed behind at the house.
Martha: 21 Lord, if You had been with us, my brother would not have died. 22 Even so I still believe that anything You ask of God will be done.
Jesus: 23 Your brother will rise to life.
Martha: 24 I know. He will rise again when everyone is resurrected on the last day.
Jesus: 25 I am the resurrection and the source of all life; those who believe in Me will live even in death. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never truly die. Do you believe this?
Martha: 27 Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Anointed, the Liberating King, God’s own Son who we have heard is coming into the world.
28 After this Martha ran home to Mary.
Martha (whispering to Mary): Come with me. The Teacher is here, and He has asked for you.
29 Mary did not waste a minute. She got up and went 30 to the same spot where Martha had found Jesus outside the village. 31 The people gathered in her home offering support and comfort assumed she was going back to the tomb to cry and mourn, so they followed her. 32 Mary approached Jesus, saw Him, and fell at His feet.
Mary: Lord, if only You had been here, my brother would still be alive.
33 When Jesus saw Mary’s profound grief and the moaning and weeping of her companions, He was deeply moved by their pain in His spirit and was intensely troubled.
Jesus: 34 Where have you laid his body?
Jews: Come and see, Lord.
35 As they walked, Jesus wept; 36 and everyone noticed how much Jesus must have loved Lazarus. 37 But others were skeptical.
Others: If this man can give sight to the blind, He could have kept him from dying.
They are asking, if Jesus loves Lazarus so much, why didn’t He get here much sooner?
38 Then Jesus, who was intensely troubled by all of this, approached the tomb—a small cave covered by a massive stone.
Jesus: 39 Remove the stone.
Martha: Lord, he has been dead four days; the stench will be unbearable.
Jesus: 40 Remember, I told you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God.
41 They removed the stone, and Jesus lifted His eyes toward heaven.
Jesus: Father, I am grateful that You have heard Me. 42 I know that You are always listening, but I proclaim it loudly so that everyone here will believe You have sent Me.
43 After these words, He called out in a thunderous voice.
Jesus: Lazarus, come out!
44 Then, the man who was dead walked out of his tomb bound from head to toe in a burial shroud.
Jesus: Untie him, and let him go.
Once again Jesus amazes everyone around Him. How does He raise Lazarus? What kind of man can speak life into death’s darkness? Throughout His time on earth, those around Him are continually surprised by Jesus. He is unique. How does He have power over death? It takes a while, but more and more His followers become convinced this is no ordinary man.
45 As a result, many of the Jews who had come with Mary saw what happened and believed in Him. 46 But some went to the Pharisees to report what they witnessed Jesus doing. 47 As a result of these reports—and on short notice—the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the high council.
Pharisees: What are we going to do about this man? He is performing many miracles. 48 If we don’t stop this now, every man, woman, and child will believe in Him. You know what will happen next? The Romans will think He’s mounting a revolution and will destroy our temple. It will be the end of our nation.
Caiaphas, the High Priest That Year: 49 You have no idea what you are talking about; 50 what you don’t understand is that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people so the whole nation won’t perish.
51 His speech was more than it seemed. As high priest that year, Caiaphas prophesied (without knowing it) that Jesus would die on behalf of the entire nation, 52 and not just for the children of Israel—He would die so all God’s children could be gathered from the four corners of the world into one people. 53 In that moment, they cemented their intentions to have Jesus executed.
54 From that day forward, Jesus refrained from walking publicly among the people in Judea. He withdrew to a small town known as Ephraim, a rural area near the wilderness, where He set up camp with His disciples.
55 The Passover was approaching, and Jews everywhere traveled to Jerusalem early so they could purify themselves and prepare for Passover. 56 People were looking for Jesus, hoping to catch a glimpse of Him in the city. All the while, some Jews were discussing Him in the temple.
Some Jews: Do you think He will decide not to come to Jerusalem this year for the feast?
57 In the midst of this confusion, the Pharisees and the chief priests ordered that if anyone knew the whereabouts of Jesus of Nazareth, it must be reported immediately so they could arrest Him.
12 Six days before the Passover feast, Jesus journeyed to the village of Bethany, to the home of Lazarus who had recently been raised from the dead, 2 where they hosted Him for dinner. Martha was busy serving as the hostess, Lazarus reclined at the table with Him, 3 and Mary took a pound of fine ointment, pure nard (which is both rare and expensive), and anointed Jesus’ feet with it; and then she wiped them with her hair. As the pleasant fragrance of this extravagant ointment filled the entire house, 4 Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (who was plotting to betray Jesus), began to speak.
Judas Iscariot: 5 How could she pour out this vast amount of fine oil? Why didn’t she sell it? It is worth nearly a year’s wages;[a] the money could have been given to the poor.
6 This had nothing to do with Judas’s desire to help the poor. The truth is he served as the treasurer, and he helped himself to the money from the common pot at every opportunity.
Jesus: 7 Leave her alone. She has observed this custom in anticipation of the day of My burial. 8 The poor are ever present, but I will be leaving.
9 Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10 The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11 because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.
12 The next day, a great crowd of people who had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem; 13 so they gathered branches of palm trees to wave as they celebrated His arrival.
Crowds (shouting): Hosanna!
He who comes in the name of the Lord is truly blessed[b]
14 Jesus found a young donkey, sat on it, and rode through the crowds mounted on this small beast. The Scriptures foretold of this day:
15 Daughter of Zion, do not be afraid.
16 The disciples did not understand any of this at the time; these truths did not sink in until Jesus had been glorified. As they reflected on their memories of Jesus, they realized these things happened just as they were written. 17 Those who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus enthusiastically spoke of Jesus to all who would listen, 18 and that is why the crowd went out to meet Him. They had heard of the miraculous sign He had done.
His followers may suspect during their time with Jesus that He is more than a man, but it takes the power and glory of the resurrection to convince them completely that Jesus is divine. When they see Him, touch Him, and hear the sound of His voice thunder in their souls, the disciples know they are face-to-face with God’s immense glory, the unique Son of God. Reading and rereading the Scriptures in light of their experiences of Him, it becomes clear that Jesus’ life and story are the climax of God’s covenants with His people.
Pharisees (to one another): 19 Our efforts to squelch Him have not worked, but now is not the time for action. Look, the world is following after Him.
20 Among the crowds traveling to Jerusalem were Greeks seeking to follow God and worship at the great feast. 21-22 Some of them came to Philip with an important request.
Greek Pilgrims (to Philip): Sir, we are hoping to meet Jesus.
Philip, a disciple from the Galilean village of Bethsaida, told Andrew that these Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Together Andrew and Philip approached Jesus to inform Him about the request.
Jesus (to Philip and Andrew): 23 The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. 25 The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore. 26 Anyone who serves Me must follow My path; anyone who serves Me will want to be where I am, and he will be honored by the Father. 27 My spirit is low and unsettled. How can I ask the Father to save Me from this hour? This hour is the purpose for which I have come into the world. But what I can say is this: 28 “Father, glorify Your name!”
Suddenly a voice echoed from the heavens.
The Father: I have glorified My name. And again I will bring glory in this hour that will resound throughout time.
29 The crowd of people surrounding Jesus were confused.
Some in the Crowd: It sounded like thunder.
Others: A heavenly messenger spoke to Him.
Jesus: 30 The voice you hear has not spoken for My benefit, but for yours. 31 Now judgment comes upon this world, and everything will change. The tyrant of this world, Satan, will be thrown out. 32 When I am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me.
33 These words foreshadowed the nature of His death.
Crowd: 34 The law teaches that the Anointed is the One who will remain without end. How can You say it is essential that the Son of Man be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man You are talking about?
Jesus: 35 Light is among you, but very soon it will flicker out. Walk as you have the light, and then the darkness will not surround you. Those who walk in darkness don’t know where they are going. 36 While the light is with you, believe in the light; and you will be reborn as sons and daughters of the light.
After speaking these words, Jesus left the people to go to a place of seclusion. 37 Despite all the signs He performed, they still did not believe in Him. 38 Isaiah spoke of this reality, saying,
Lord, who could accept what we’ve been told?
39 This is the reason they are unable to believe. 40 Isaiah also said,
God has blinded their eyes
41 Isaiah could say this because he had seen the glory of the Lord with his own eyes and declared His beauty aloud. 42 Yet many leaders secretly believed in Him but would not declare their faith because the Pharisees continued their threats to expel all His followers from the synagogue; 43 here’s why: they loved to please men more than they desired to glorify God.
Jesus (crying out before the people): 44 Anyone who believes in Me is not placing his faith in Me, but in the One who sent Me here. 45 If one sees Me, he sees the One who sent Me. 46 I am here to bring light in this world, freeing everyone who believes in Me from the darkness that blinds him. 47 If anyone listening to My teachings chooses to ignore them, so be it: I have come to liberate the world, not to judge it. 48 However, those who reject Me and My teachings will be judged: in the last day, My words will be their judge 49 because I am not speaking of My own volition and from My own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak. 50 I know His command is eternal life, so every word I utter originates in Him.
13 Before the Passover festival began, Jesus was keenly aware that His hour had come to depart from this world and to return to the Father. From beginning to end, Jesus’ days were marked by His love for His people. 2 Before Jesus and His disciples gathered for dinner, the adversary filled Judas Iscariot’s heart with plans of deceit and betrayal. 3 Jesus, knowing that He had come from God and was going away to God, 4 stood up from dinner and removed His outer garments. He then wrapped Himself in a towel, 5 poured water in a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His towel.
Simon Peter (as Jesus approaches): 6 Lord, are You going to wash my feet?
Jesus: 7 Peter, you don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later.
Peter: 8 You will not wash my feet, now or ever!
Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you will have nothing to do with Me.
Peter: 9 Then wash me but don’t stop with my feet. Cleanse my hands and head as well.
Jesus: 10 Listen, anyone who has bathed is clean all over except for the feet. But I tell you this, not all of you are clean.
Within pain and filth, there is an opportunity to extend God’s kingdom through an expression of love, humility, and service. This simple act of washing feet is a metaphor for how the world looks through the lens of Jesus’ grace. He sees the people—the world He created—which He loves. He also sees the filthy corruption in the world that torments everyone. His mission is to cleanse those whom He loves from those horrors. This is His redemptive work with feet, families, disease, famine, and hearts.
When Jesus sees disease, He sees the opportunity to heal. When He sees sin, He sees a chance to forgive and redeem. When He sees dirty feet, He sees a chance to wash them.
11 He knew the one with plans of betraying Him, which is why He said, “not all of you are clean.” 12 After washing their feet and picking up His garments, He reclined at the table again.
Jesus: Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and truly, that is who I am. 14 So if your Lord and Teacher washes your feet, then you should wash one another’s feet. 15 I am your example; keep doing what I do. 16 I tell you the truth: a servant is not greater than the master. Those who are sent are not greater than the one who sends them.[f] 17 If you know these things, and if you put them into practice, you will find happiness. 18 I am not speaking about all of you. I know whom I have chosen, but let the Hebrew Scripture be fulfilled that says, “The very same man who eats My bread with Me will stab Me in the back.” 19 Assuredly, I tell you these truths before they happen so that when it all transpires, you will believe that I am. 20 I tell you the truth: anyone who accepts the ones I send accepts Me. In turn, the ones who accept Me also accept the One who sent Me.
21 Jesus was becoming visibly distressed.
Jesus: I tell you the truth: one of you will betray Me.
22 The disciples began to stare at one another, wondering who was the unfaithful disciple. 23 One disciple in particular, who was loved by Jesus, reclined next to Him at the table. 24 Peter motioned to the disciple at Jesus’ side.
Peter (to the beloved disciple): Find out who the betrayer is.
Beloved Disciple (leaning in to Jesus): 25 Lord, who is it?
Jesus: 26 I will dip a piece of bread in My cup and give it to the one who will betray Me.
He dipped one piece in the cup and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After this occurred, Satan entered into Judas.
Jesus (to Judas): Make haste, and do what you are going to do.
28 No one understood Jesus’ instructions to Judas. 29 Because Judas carried the money, some thought he was being instructed to buy the necessary items for the feast or give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas took his piece of bread and departed into the night.
31 Upon Judas’s departure, Jesus spoke:
Jesus: Now the Son of Man will be glorified as God is glorified in Him. 32 If God’s glory is in Him, His glory is also in God. The moment of this astounding glory is imminent. 33 My children, My time here is brief. You will be searching for Me; and as I told the Jews, “You cannot go where I am going.” 34 So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. 35 Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.
Simon Peter: 36 Lord, where are You going?
Jesus: Peter, you cannot come with Me now, but later you will join Me.
Peter: 37 Why can’t I go now? I’ll give my life for You!
Jesus: 38 Will you really give your life for Me? I tell you the truth: you will deny Me three times before the rooster crows.
Ultimately Peter is telling the truth. He is more than willing to lay down his life. But none of His disciples understand the magnitude of the persecution and hatred that is about to be unleashed.
Even Peter, Jesus’ dear Peter, is afraid. He protests any inference to Jesus’ impending departure. Each of the twelve would do the same. Jesus calms their fears over and over again with stories, metaphors, and outright promises, saying, “I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you” (14:18).
14 Jesus: Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. 2 My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. 3 I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. 4 You know where I am going and how to get there.
Thomas: 5 Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the path?
Jesus: 6 I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 If you know Me, you know the Father. Rest assured now; you know Him and have seen Him.
Philip: 8 Lord, all I am asking is that You show us the Father.
Jesus (to Philip): 9 I have lived with you all this time, and you still don’t know who I am? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? 10 Don’t you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? I’m not making this up as I go along. The Father has given Me these truths that I have been speaking to you, and He empowers all My actions. 11 Accept these truths: I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done. 12 I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. 13 Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. 14 Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it. 15 If you love Me, obey the commandments I have given you. 16 I will ask the Father to send you another Helper, the Spirit of truth, who will remain constantly with you. 17 The world does not recognize the Spirit of truth, because it does not know the Spirit and is unable to receive Him. But you do know the Spirit because He lives with you, and He will dwell in you. 18 I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you. 19 In a little while, the world will not see Me; but I will not vanish completely from your sight. Because I live, you will also live. 20 At that time, you will know that I am in the Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. 21 The one who loves Me will do the things I have commanded. My Father loves everyone who loves Me; and I will love you and reveal My heart, will, and nature to you.
God becomes flesh and lives among humanity, not just to have a transaction with people and ultimately die, but to continue to be with them and to send His Spirit to be present with believers. So God calls His Spirit-indwelled people to something greater, something more significant: they are here as redeeming forces on this earth; their time here is about reclaiming the things He has created. Believing God has created the entire cosmos and that it is restored in Jesus, the believer’s work here through the Spirit is to say, “This belongs to God,” and to help point out the beauty of creation to everyone. And most of all, to live in it themselves by the power of the Holy Spirit who plants the teachings of the Lord in their hearts.
The Other Judas: 22 Lord, why will You reveal Yourself to us, but not to the world?
Jesus: 23 Anyone who loves Me will listen to My voice and obey. The Father will love him, and We will draw close to him and make a dwelling place within him. 24 The one who does not love Me ignores My message, which is not from Me, but from the Father who sent Me.
25 I have spoken these words while I am here with you. 26 The Father is sending a great Helper, the Holy Spirit, in My name to teach you everything and to remind you of all I have said to you. 27 My peace is the legacy I leave to you. I don’t give gifts like those of this world. Do not let your heart be troubled or fearful. 28 You were listening when I said, “I will go away, but I will also return to be with you.” If you love Me, celebrate the fact that I am going to be with the Father because He is far greater than I am. 29 I have told you all these things in advance so that your faith will grow as these things come to pass. 30 I am almost finished speaking to you. The one who rules the world is stepping forward, and he has no part in Me; 31 but to demonstrate to the cosmos My love for the Father, I will do just as He commands. Stand up. It is time for us to leave this place.
15 Jesus: I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. 2 My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not bear fruit. He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that they will bear more fruit; 3 already you are clean because you have heard My voice. 4 Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me.
5 I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn. 7 If you abide in Me and My voice abides in you, anything you ask will come to pass for you. 8 Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father.
At a time when all of His disciples are feeling as if they are about to be uprooted, Jesus sketches a picture of this new life as a flourishing vineyard—a labyrinth of vines and strong branches steeped in rich soil, abundant grapes hanging from their vines ripening in the sun. Jesus sculpts a new garden of Eden in their imaginations—one that is bustling with fruit, sustenance, and satisfying aromas. This is the Kingdom life. It is all about connection, sustenance, and beauty. But within this promise of life is the warning that people must be in Christ or they will not experience these blessings.
Jesus: 9 I have loved you as the Father has loved Me. Abide in My love. 10 Follow My example in obeying the Father’s commandments and receiving His love. If you obey My commandments, you will stay in My love. 11 I want you to know the delight I experience, to find ultimate satisfaction, which is why I am telling you all of this.
12 My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. 13 There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. 14 You celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. 15 I don’t call you servants any longer; servants don’t know what the master is doing, but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends. 16 You did not choose Me. I chose you, and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit. As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done. 17 This is My command to you: love one another.
18 If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me. 19 If you were a product of the world order, then it would love you. But you are not a product of the world because I have taken you out of it, and it despises you for that very reason. 20 Don’t forget what I have spoken to you: “a servant is not greater than the master.” If I was mistreated, you should expect nothing less. If they accepted what I have spoken, they will also hear you. 21 Everything they do to you they will do on My account because they do not know the One who has sent Me. 22 If I had not spoken within their hearing, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for ignoring My voice.
23 If someone despises Me, he also despises My Father. 24 If I had not demonstrated things for them that have never been done, they would not be guilty of sin. But the reality is they have stared Me in the face, and they have despised Me and the Father nonetheless. 25 Yet their law, which says, “They despised Me without any cause,”[g] has again been proven true.
26 I will send a great Helper to you from the Father, one known as the Spirit of truth. He comes from the Father and will point to the truth as it concerns Me. 27 But you will also point others to the truth about My identity, because you have journeyed with Me since this all began.
As Jesus warns of the mistreatment His followers can expect, He disarms fears by noting the most important things. If the Spirit is within, there is no reason to fear. In fact, the church will thrive under persecution. Yet humans are obsessed with power and political prominence as a means to influence the culture. Christian citizens have an obligation to strive for justice and freedom through the transforming power of the Spirit in people’s lives. Rather than exerting temporal power, the real work of the Kingdom often thrives under fierce attack and opposition. Jesus announces this coming persecution to His followers, believing this will lead to their finest hour.
16 Jesus: I am telling you all of this so that you may avoid the offenses that are coming. 2 The time will come when they will kick you out of the synagogue because some believe God desires them to execute you as an act of faithful service. 3 They will do this because they don’t know the Father, or else they would know Me. 4 I’m telling you all this so that when it comes to pass you will remember what you have heard. It was not important for Me to give you this information in the beginning when I was with you. 5 But now, I am going to the One who has sent Me, and none of you ask Me, “Where are You going?”
6 I know that hearing news like this is overwhelming and sad. 7 But the truth is that My departure will be a gift that will serve you well, because if I don’t leave, the great Helper will not come to your aid. When I leave, I will send Him to you. 8-9 When He arrives, He will uncover the sins of the world, expose unbelief as sin, and allow all to see their sins in the light of righteousness for the first time. 10 This new awareness of righteousness is important because I am going to the Father and will no longer be present with you. 11 The Spirit will also carry My judgment because the one who rules in this world has already been defeated.
12 I have so much more to say, but you cannot absorb it right now. 13-15 The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth. He will not speak His own words to you; He will speak what He hears, revealing to you the things to come and bringing glory to Me. The Spirit has unlimited access to Me, to all that I possess and know, just as everything the Father has is Mine. That is the reason I am confident He will care for My own and reveal the path to you. 16 For a little while you will not see Me; but after that, a time will come when you will see Me again.
Some of His Disciples: 17 What does He mean? “I’ll be here, and then I won’t be here, because I’ll be with the Father”?
Other Disciples: 18 What is He saying? “A little while”? We don’t understand.
The promise of eternity is a reminder that God’s children are made for a renewed world. There is great comfort amid fear, knowing believers will be reunited with Jesus and joined with the Father. As believers labor together in this world—enduring pain, loss, and unfulfilled desires—they should be encouraged that in eternity all needs will be fulfilled in the presence of God.
19 Jesus knew they had questions to ask of Him, so He approached them.
Jesus: Are you trying to figure out what I mean when I say you will see Me in a little while? 20 I tell you the truth, a time is approaching when you will weep and mourn while the world is celebrating. You will grieve, but that grief will give birth to great joy. 21-22 In the same way that a woman labors in great pain during childbirth only to forget the intensity of the pain when she holds her child, when I return, your labored grief will also change into a joy that cannot be stolen.
23 When all this transpires, you will finally have the answers you have been seeking. I tell you the truth, anything you ask of the Father in My name, He will give to you. 24 Until this moment, you have not sought after anything in My name. Ask and you will receive so that you will be filled with joy.
25 I have been teaching you all of these truths through stories and metaphors, but the time is coming for Me to speak openly and directly of the Father.
26 The day is coming when you will make a request in My name, but I will not represent you before the Father. 27 You will be heard directly by the Father. The Father loves you because you love Me and know that I come from the Father. 28 I came from the Father into the cosmos, but soon I will leave it and return to the Father.
All His disciples mourn Jesus’ refusal to take His rightful place as a king and lead a revolution. Jesus knows political might, brute force, and earthly governments are not helpful tools in a battle for hearts. Spiritual revolutions are subversive. They are led by defiant acts of love (for example, healing, foot washing, and martyrdom). Laws do not change hearts, and violence induces hatred and fear. But a sincere community of faith in which love and hope are demonstrated even in the darkest hours will lead a spiritual revolution. It is time to go forward with open eyes and continue to labor as Christian citizens, placing hope only in the redemptive work of the gospel.
Disciples: 29 We hear You speaking clearly and not in metaphors. How could we misunderstand? 30 We see now that You are aware of everything and You reveal things at the proper time. So we do not need to question You, because we believe You have come from God.
Jesus: 31 So you believe now? 32 Be aware that a time is coming when you will be scattered like seeds. You will return to your own way, and I will be left alone. But I will not be alone, because the Father will be with Me. 33 I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.