John 16J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Jesus speaks of the future without his bodily presence
16 1-4 “I am telling you this now so that your faith in me may not be shaken. They will excommunicate you from their synagogues. Yes, the time is coming when a man who kills you will think he is thereby serving God! They will act like this because they have never had any true knowledge of the Father or of me, but I have told you all this so that when the time comes for it to happen you may remember that I told you about it. I have not spoken like this to you before, because I have been with you; 5-11 but now the time has come for me to go away to the one who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ That is because you are so distressed at what I have told you. Yet I am telling you the simple truth when I assure you that it is a good thing for you that I should go away. For if I did not go away, the divine helper would not come to you. But if I go, then I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convince the world of the meaning of sin, of true goodness and of judgment. He will expose their sin because they do not believe in me; he will reveal true goodness for I am going away to the Father and you will see me no longer; and he will show them the meaning of judgment, for the spirit which rules this world will have been judged.
12-15 “I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now. Yet when that one I have spoken to you about comes—the Spirit of truth—he will guide you into everything that is true. For he will not be speaking of his own accord but exactly as he hears, and he will inform you about what is to come. He will bring glory to me for he will draw on my truth and reveal it to you. Whatever the Father possesses is also mine; that is why I tell you that he will draw on my truth and will show it to you.
The disciples are puzzled: Jesus explains
16 “In a little while you will not see me any longer, and again, in a little while you will see me.”
17-18 At this some of his disciples remarked to each other, “What is this that he tells us now, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again, in a little while you will see me’ and ‘for I am going away to the Father’? What is the ‘little while’ that he talks about?” they were saying. “We simply do not know what he means!”
19-23a Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him what he meant, so he said to them, “Are you trying to find out from each other what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will not see me, and again, in a little while you will see me’? I tell you truly that you are going to be both sad and sorry while the world is glad. Yes, you will be deeply distressed, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman gives birth to a child, she certainly knows pain when her time comes. Yet as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers her agony for joy that a man has been born into the world. Now you are going through pain, but I shall see you again and your hearts will thrill with joy—the joy that no one can take away from you—and on that day you will not ask me any questions.
23b-24 “I assure you that whatever you ask the Father he will give you in my name. Up to now you have asked nothing in my name; ask now, and you will receive, that your joy may be overflowing.
Jesus speaks further of the future
25-28 “I have been speaking to you in parables—but the time is coming to give up parables and tell you plainly about the Father. When that time comes, you will make your requests to him in my own name, for I need make no promise to plead to the Father for you, for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. Yes, I did come from the Father and I came into the world. Now I leave the world behind and return to the Father.”
29-30 “Now you are speaking plainly,” cried the disciples, “and are not using parables. Now we know that everything is known to you—no more questions are needed. This makes us sure that you did come from God.”
31-33 “So you believe in me now?” replied Jesus. “The time is coming, indeed, it has already come, when you will be scattered, every one of you going home and leaving me alone. Yet I am not really alone for the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may find your peace in me. You will find trouble in the world—but, never lose heart, I have conquered the world!”