Bill Heinrich  -  Dec 21, 2015  -  Comments Off on 15.01.05 PROMISE OF JOY OUT OF SORROW

15.01.05 Jn. 16:16-24



16 “A little while and you will no longer see Me;                                                                          again a little while and you will see Me.”

17 Therefore some of His disciples said to one another, “What is this He tells us: ‘A little while and you will not see Me; again a little while and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’ ?” 18 They said, “What is this He is saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what He’s talking about!”

19 Jesus knew they wanted to question Him, so He said to them, “Are you asking one another about what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see Me; again a little while and you will see Me’?

20 “I assure you:

You will weep and wail,                                                                                                           but the world will rejoice.                                                                                        You will become sorrowful,                                                                                                             but your sorrow will turn to joy.

21 When a woman is in labor                                                                                                          she has pain because her time has come.                                                                But when she has given birth to a child,                                                                                       she no longer remembers the suffering                                                                              because of the joy that a person has been born into the world.

22 So you also have sorrow now.                                                                                                    But I will see you again.                                                                                             Your hearts will rejoice,                                                                                                               and no one will rob you of your joy.

23 In that day you will not ask Me anything.

I assure you:

Anything you ask the Father                                                                                   in My name,                                                                                                              He will give you.                                                                   24 Until now you have asked for nothing                                                               in My name.                                        

Ask and you will receive,                                                                                                    so that your joy may be complete.


Verses 19 to 24 form a unique parable.  The disciples failed to understand, but Jesus knew what they were thinking (v. 19) and answered their thoughts. He presented an event from daily life to express a spiritual truth – a teaching method He used many times.  He said that He would be dead for only a very brief time, but would then return. They would suffer horrible grief at His death, but that deep sorrow would become overwhelming joy at His resurrection. Just as a woman giving birth anguishes in pain, she is overwhelmed with joy at the new life.[1]  Here again, no matter how much Jesus could have explained the future; everyone had immense difficulty understanding Him. They were trapped in thinking about a personal Friend and their physical land, whereas Jesus was speaking of transcending into the spiritual world and returning.

“She no longer remembers the suffering.”  The Greek word for suffering is thlipsis, which would be better translated as a great anguish or a great tribulation, definitely more severe than suffering.[2] Yet this narrative is not about the anguish or tribulation that Jesus would suffer, but the agonies of the disciples at the end of the Passion Week. All those horrific events, however, will seem pale in light of the coming resurrection and the future life with the Holy Spirit. Victory is waiting for the overcomers (Jn. 16:33). This is further discussed in the next section below.

“I assure you.” Some translations, such as the King James Version, translate this phrase as verily, verily or truly, truly.[3]  The meaning is to assure the listener of the certainty of the message, as is the word amen. In fact, the word amen, often seen as truly or verily in some translations of the gospels.[4] The term amen (Gk. amen, 281)[5] is a confirmation of truthfulness. When numerous Old Testament passages are examined, Amen is said by God to mean, it is and shall be so, and by men, so let it be.[6]

[1]. Isa. 26:17-19; 16:7-14; Hos. 13:13-14; Jn. 16:21.


[2]. Lang, Know the Words of Jesus. 35-36.


[3]. Lang, Know the Words of Jesus. 279. See also 05.04.02 and 11.02.26.


[4]. https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox/135861d7fcdfed9d Retrieved February 22, 2012. See also Green, Interlinear Greek-English New Testament; Berry, Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament;  Lang, Know the Words of Jesus. 279.


[5]. Vine, “Amen.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary. 2:25.

[6]. Vine, “Amen.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary. 2:25.


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