John 16

Chapter 16

1 “I have told you this
to prevent you from falling away.
2 They will expel you from the synagogues.
Indeed the hour is coming
when anyone who kills you
will believe that by doing so
he is serving God.
3 And people will do such things
because they have not known the Father or me.
4 But I have told you this
so that when the hour arrives
you may remember that I forewarned you about them.

The Spirit of Truth, Our Guide to All Truth[a]

“I did not tell you all this previously
because I was with you.
5 But now I am going away
to the one who sent me.
Not one of you asks me,
‘Where are you going?’
6 However, because I have told you this,
you are overcome with grief.
7 “Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth:
it is better for you that I depart.
For if I do not go away,
the Advocate will not come to you,
whereas if I go,
I will send him to you.
8 “And when he comes,
he will prove the world wrong
about sin and righteousness and judgment:
9 about sin,
because they do not believe in me;
10 about righteousness,
because I am going to the Father
and you will see me no longer;
11 about judgment,
because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
12 “I have much more to tell you,
but you would not be able to bear it now.
13 But when the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you into all the truth.
He will not speak on his own authority,
but he will speak what he hears,
and he will declare to you
the things that are coming.
14 He will glorify me,
for he will take what is mine
and communicate it to you.
15 Everything that the Father has is mine.
That is why I said
that he will take what is mine
and communicate it to you.

Triumph of Jesus and the Joy of the Witnesses[b]

16 “In a little while
you will no longer see me,
and then a short time later
you will see me again.”

17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘In a little while you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’? 18 What is this ‘little while’? We do not know what he means.”

19 Jesus knew that they wanted to question him, so he said to them,

“You are asking one another
what I meant by saying,
‘In a little while
you will no longer see me,
and then a short time later
you will see me again.’
20 Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn
while the world rejoices.
You will be sorrowful,
but your grief will turn into joy.
21 “A woman in labor suffers anguish
because her hour has come.
But when her baby is born,
she no longer recalls the suffering
because of her joy
that she has brought a child into the world.
22 In the same way,
you are now in anguish,
but I will see you again,
and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one shall deprive you of your joy.
23 “On that day,
you will not ask me anything further.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
if you ask the Father for anything in my name,
he will give it to you.
24 Until now, in my name,
you have not asked for anything.
Ask and you will receive,
so that your joy may be complete.
25 “I have used figures of speech
to explain these things to you.
The hour is coming
when I will no longer use figures,
but I will tell you about the Father in plain words.
26 When that day comes,
you will make requests in my name.
I do not say
that I will entreat the Father on your behalf.
27 For the Father himself loves you
because you have loved me
and have come to believe
that I came from God.
28 I came from the Father
and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world
and returning to the Father.”

29 “At last you are speaking plainly,” his disciples said, “and not using figures of speech. 30 Now we realize that you know everything and do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this, we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus responded,

“Have you finally come to believe?
32 I tell you, the hour is coming,
indeed it has already come,
when you will be scattered,
each one going to his own home,
and you will leave me alone.
And yet I am not alone
because the Father is with me.
33 “I have told you this
so that in me you may be in peace.
In the world
you will endure suffering.
But take courage!
I have overcome the world.”


  1. John 16:4 The disciples have to overcome sadness at the departure and absence of Jesus so that they may understand the meaning of the event: passage to glory, gift of the Spirit, and the beginning of a new era in the world. But until the end of history the trial of Jesus will not stop, and the disciples will have to testify to him in a world where unbelief appears unceasingly.
    The testimony of Christians can never stop; such testimony does not depend on the intelligence and the strength of people but on the action of the Spirit, who unveils to Christians, in faith, the glory of Christ and the view that history takes of this light (Christ). It is not a matter of a new revelation but of a discovery of what the words, actions, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus mean for each era: the truth of God that denounces the falsehood of sin, the goodness of God that denounces evil, and the condemnation of the forces that enslave people. The Spirit is the Paraclete: defender of Jesus in the heart of believers, defender of believers facing unbelief and refusal of the light—that is, the world in the sense the world is taken here (Jn 15:5-15). The Spirit is strength, support, light (see Jn 14:16).
  2. John 16:16 The departure of Jesus will be a moment of disarray for the disciples; his absence will more than once be a moment of disarray for believers. But that is not the last word. The sufferings, like the pains of giving birth, make a testimony fruitful. Let us rather look at the Death and Resurrection of Christ; they are the definitive events in history. From the cross and Easter a new light is given to believers; a new confidence with God is offered to them. Christ will be the mediator; with him believers will be one with God. This intimacy will be a time of endless joy and peace for people who have believed they are children of God.
    What is the return of Christ? Is it the glorious coming at the end of time or the Resurrection manifested in the appearances? The two things go together. The Resurrection will inaugurate a new era, the last times; and the end of time will manifest the glory of the Risen One.

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