A Readjustment of Perspective
Tim Temple

Introduction

In this last half of John, chapter 16, we find the importance of perspective. Perspective is everything in some cases. Jesus is going to talk with His disciples about the importance of perspective and, in fact, a new perspective that we have because of what He is getting ready to do in a few hours in terms of John's Gospel. You will remember that in the last few chapters of John, beginning with chapter 13 and moving through chapter 17, Jesus is preparing His disciples for His upcoming death and resurrection. We have looked at a number of things that He has gone over with them, and He has prepared them gently. He started out slowly and simply and has built, almost in a crescendo, to the time that we come to in chapter 16, where He really begins to be very specific with them about His death.

In chapter 17, He prays a beautiful prayer for them, which is a touching thing, and, the Lord willing, we will begin looking at that in our next lesson. In the first part of chapter 16, He is reviewing for them some of the things that He has been telling them of the persecution that they are going to face in verses 1-4. Then in verses 5-15, He reminds them of the provision that God the Father has made for them in that suffering and in every other need that they will have after He is gone. The point of this reminder is that He has been building since chapter 14, and now He is about to wrap it up and move on into other things. So He is giving a summary and a reminder of what He has been talking about.

Isn't it wonderful that the Lord Jesus, though He was going away, was providing for those disciples and other disciples who would be won at their word down through the generations until now? When Jesus Christ entered earth's atmosphere two thousand or more years ago, He established on earth a personal presence of God that was unlike anything the world had known since creation.

Before that time, God had revealed Himself, and God had been present on the earth from time-to-time, but beginning with the time of Jesus, He was physically present on the earth in a continuing way that had never been true all through the Old Testament. He visited earth. He spoke in the form of the Angel of the Lord; He spoke through His prophets. He had a presence on earth, but when Jesus came physically into the world for thirty-three years, He lived as a human being. When He got ready to leave this world, He told His disciples, in chapter 14, “I am going away, but I am going to send another Comforter Who will be with you forever.” So since that time, God the Holy Spirit has been spiritually present and, in a sense, physically present because He lives within our hearts. From that day until this, there has been a personal presence of God in the earth.

He reminds them of the provision He had made for them, which would continue on through the future until someday when we will all be in Heaven together with Him. All of that is the background for the readjustment of perspective that we find for the third section of the chapter in verses 16-33. Naturally, if we understand this presence of God in our lives, there is going to be a readjustment of perspective. The whole world looks different when we realize that God lives in us. That is part of what is meant in II Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 17, when it says:

II Corinthians 5

17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We have a whole new dimension of life as believers that unbelievers do not have and that we did not have before we became believers, so it brings about a whole new perspective. Specifically, Jesus is talking to those immediate disciples about their perspective on His death, about their perspective on the other aspects of their lives in those very tenuous days that they were going to live through during the next few weeks and months, and then in a more steady pattern after His ascension into Heaven and on through the rest of their lives.

A New Perspective On Sorrow

In verses 16-33, He talks about the details of this readjustment of perspective. The first thing that He tells them in verses 16-22 is that they are going to have a new perspective on sorrow because of what they are about to go through in the next few days with His death and burial and resurrection. From that time on, they are going to have a new perspective on sorrow. The prediction of that is in verse 16. Look at that verse:

John 16

16A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

There is Jesus' prediction which begins this part of the chapter that deals with the new perspective on sorrow. It is kind of the lead-off statement. It gives the background of why their perspective on sorrow is going to change. The implication here in verse 16 is that “you are going to be upset because you will not see Me for a while,” and He goes into that in more detail in the next verses.

As you might expect, the disciples were puzzled about that, and in verses 17-18, you see that puzzlement:

John 16

17Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
18They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.

Let's think about this for a minute. We might wonder why they would be so puzzled. It seems like His statements would be pretty easy to understand. He says, “A little while, and I am going to the Father. You won't see Me for a while; then I will be back for a little while.” The reason that it was puzzling to them was that, in a sense, that statement, even that puzzlement, is a mark in their favor because it shows that they understand some of the things that He had been saying to them already.

Back in chapter 14, in one of the best known verses in the New Testament, He said, “I go to prepare you a place, and if I go and prepare you a place, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you shall be also. In My Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you.”

The implication of that is, “When I go to My Father's house to prepare a place for you, I am going to prepare a place among those mansions.” So they understood that He was going to the Father. Their puzzlement was not about His going to the Father; the puzzlement really was in the little phrase in verse 18, “a little while.” They said, “What is this that He says, ‘a little while'? We do not know what He is saying.” They weren't puzzled about the fact that He was going away. He had already made that clear. They were not puzzled about the fact that He was going to be coming back to them. As far as we know, in three years' time, they had not left His side. There was the time that He sent them out as witnesses about the gospel of the Kingdom, but, by and large, they were not apart from Him as a group.

They now understood that He was going away and He was coming back. Here is what they were thinking in verse 18: “If He is going back to the Father, and if He is going to prepare a place for us and then He is going to come back, how can that take place in a little while? How can He be saying, ‘I am going to be gone a little while.'?”

According to verse 18, that was what their puzzlement was about. They wondered how He was going to do all of those things that He said He was going to do and do it all in a little while. So in verses 18-22, Jesus begins to explain this new perspective to them. Verse 18 summarizes their puzzlement, and in verse 19, Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him. So He said to them:

John 16

19Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

Here is another one of those places in the Gospel where we see Jesus' omniscience—His all-knowing, His knowing of everything around. There were those places where His enemies would be plotting or would be thinking or would be planning to do something, and He would turn to them and say, “Are you thinking about this?” or “Why are you thinking about that?”. He would have been a hard enemy to deal with because He was both God and man. It is sometimes hard to draw the line of distinction between His omniscience as God and His sharp mental quickness as a human being. It is interesting here, in another of those places where He said He knew that they desired to ask Him, so He said to them, “Why are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said?”

There is a lesson for us in that, and it is similar to situations that we are in many times. We will think about a certain situation, and we will think about what God is doing. We think about our attitude toward it or maybe about what God is not doing, and we think about our attitude about that; but we wouldn't want God to know that we feel that way, would we? We certainly wouldn't want Him to find that out. We are just like the disciples. They didn't understand what He was saying, so they turned and among themselves began discussing it with Him standing there.

Aren't you glad that God knows what we are thinking about? Maybe you are not glad to know that. Maybe that is a sobering thought to you, but we get so frustrated in knowing how to pray. We get so frustrated wondering what our attitude ought to be or wondering what action we ought to take and wondering if we are having the right attitude.

It is easy to look back at this physical example of the disciples and say, “Why didn't somebody just ask Him? If they didn't understand what He was saying, why didn't one of them turn to Him and say, ‘Now, Lord, we don't understand what you mean. What do you mean'?” But they were just like us. Instead of going to Him as we would go to Him in prayer, they just murmured among themselves. They discussed it among themselves.

Listen, Jesus knows what that thing in your life is that you are troubled about, that thing that you are confused about or puzzled about, as they were here, and yet He wants us to come to Him with it anyway. There is nothing so deep that you cannot bring it to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing so scandalous that you cannot bring it to God. Some of those scandalous things we might have to bring in the form of confession, but God is never shocked at what we want to pray about. The most wonderful thing about prayer is that we can literally pray about everything.

We talk a lot about the fact that we should pray about everything, but what an amazing thing that we can pray about everything! There is no other relationship like that in any of the relationships that we enjoy, even with a husband and wife. There may be those things sometimes that for any number of reasons you might not want to discuss with your spouse. You might not want your spouse concerned about it until it is all settled. You might not want your spouse to know about it because it is something that you have done wrong and you feel guilty about it.

There are any number of reasons we might not feel like we can discuss something with our spouse. That is not to say that we should live that way, but it is just to describe how we feel. Sometimes we think another person would be too shocked for us to discuss that thing with them or too disappointed in us or any number of reactions that they might have. We never have to worry about that with God. He loved us and bought us with His own blood while we were His enemies. There is nothing that you or I can do or say that will shock God. It may disappoint Him, but it won't disappoint Him from the standpoint of His turning away from us.

Jesus knew that the disciples were puzzled and were afraid to tell Him, so, as we have seen so many times before, He sought them out. He turned to them in the middle of verse 19 and said: “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said?” Then, in verse 20, He makes this exclamation:

John 16

20Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

I said a moment ago that in verse 16, He talks about “the little while,” Now He amplifies that “little while” by saying that a part of that “little while” is that they are going to weep and lament. To make matters even worse, while they are weeping and lamenting, the world is going to be rejoicing. He says, “You will be sorrowful,” but in the last line of verse 20: “…your sorrow will be turned into joy.”

Of course, He is speaking here most immediately about His Crucifixion. Within a matter of hours, the Lord Jesus Christ was going to be hanging on the Cross, and the disciples would be thinking that this is the worst thing that could ever happen. Even though He has been telling them about it for a number of weeks now, and He has been hinting at it all the time that they have been with Him, they are going to think that it is the end of the world. They are going to weep and lament and think that it is all over. They are going to be sorrowful about the time that they are no longer going to have with Him. What is worse, there will be those who are rejoicing because of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the next verses, He gives an explanation of that. How could it be that something that would make them weep and lament and be sorrowful could also bring about great joy? You see, that is what He is talking about in verse 20. There is going to be one event that is going to bring both great sorrow and great rejoicing. How could that be? In verses 21-22, He gives the explanation of that. He says:

John 16

21A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

Let's think about that. There have been Bible teachers through the years who have tried to allegorize this statement in verse 21 and say that the woman is Israel giving birth to Christ, etc. There is at least one place in the book of Revelation where there is an allegory just like that, but here He is just speaking literally. I think the best way to take verse 21 is just as a literal example. He is literally talking about any woman who gives birth.

When a woman goes through childbirth, there is great anguish when she goes through that labor. The word that is translated sorrow here is not sorrow in the sense of being sorry that this has happened. It is the sense of sorrow at having to go through the pain. It is not sorrow in the sense of loss, but sorrow in the sense of difficulty. When a woman is in labor, she has sorrow because her hour has come and there is a great deal of pain and suffering involved in childbearing. That was established in God's very first covenant with Adam and Eve in the garden. He told Eve that in sorrow she would bring forth children, that the labor pains would be there and all those difficulties that go with childbearing.

I have mentioned to you before and probably many of you have heard my dad say that if men had to give birth, every family would only have one child. It is something that only a woman can fully understand. He says, “Here is a situation where there is great difficulty, there is great sorrow in that sense.” There is great pain and all of that, but in verse 21, He says, “As soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, but joy that a human being has been born into the world.”

We see one event that brings two completely different reactions, one event that brings both great suffering and difficulty and dread of that suffering and difficulty, and one and the same event brings great joy that a human being has been born into the world. In verse 22, Jesus makes the application of that. He says:

John 16

22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

Because of Jesus' Resurrection, they are going to see Him again. You remember the Gospel accounts. First Corinthians, chapter 15, tells us that Jesus walked on the earth for forty days after His Resurrection, and during that time there were many witnesses to His Resurrection. Think about how the sorrow of the disciples at losing the Lord Jesus, at having Him go away, even if it was to go and prepare a place for them, was turned into great joy when they saw Him alive again.

The Resurrection became the backbone of these men's and women's lives for the rest of their lives. The Resurrection is the one thing that sets Christianity apart from all the religions of the world. Notice, He says in the last line of verse 22, “Your joy no one will take from you.” Why is that? It is because the joy was in seeing Him again. It was not the joy of expecting to see Him again someday, although certainly we do have joy over that. It was not the joy of knowing that He would come back for us someday, but for them personally, it was the joy of actually seeing Him whom they had watched die and whom they had seen buried and whose grave they had seen guarded—seeing that One alive again.

That is a thrill that is beyond anything that any of us have personally experienced. It thrills us to know it happened. The liberals and the agnostics have tried to take that away from us, and they have tried to give the idea that the Resurrection is some fantasy that some fanatics have. But there have been many studies all through the years of the Resurrection and the evidences of it and the details of it. It is a completely acceptable statement to say that the Resurrection is as well attested as any historical event that ever took place and better attested than most. There is more evidence of the kind that could be admitted in a courtroom that Jesus Christ rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar wrote the Gaelic Wars .

This will probably date me, but when I took Latin in high school, the big bugaboo of second year Latin was having to translate Julius Caesar's Gaelic Wars , and I can assure you that that book exists. The books are stained with the tears of many high school Latin students all through the years probably. But in terms of evidence that it was actually Julius Caesar who wrote that book, that it actually was the man by that name who wrote the book, there is much more evidence that Jesus Christ rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar actually wrote that book. But nobody ever questions the fact that He was the author of the book that bears His name.

Satan has inspired all kinds of things to downplay the Resurrection and take it away from us, but Jesus Christ said the fact that you are going to see Him again—He was speaking of the Resurrection in that verse—is going to bring a joy to your hearts that no one can take away from you. It brings that same kind of joy to we who believe it by faith and who look back on it as an historical fact and apply it to ourselves. That is why we can have joy even in the midst of sorrow. That is why, in our most difficult situations, we can rejoice because we have, as those original disciples did, a new perspective on sorrow.

A New Perspective On Supplication

There is a second new perspective in this section of the chapter that Jesus talks about. There is not only a new perspective on sorrow because of His going away and then coming back again, but also a new perspective on supplication. Verses 23-24 talk about a new privilege. Look at verse 23:

John 16

23And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Then, if you will look down at verse 26 for a moment, He helps to clarify that statement. Notice verse 26:

John 16

26At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

We will talk more about that verse in a moment, but it clarifies what He is saying here in verse 24: “Until now, you have asked nothing in My name.” Until now they had been asking Jesus personally for understanding about this or that. He had been telling them things personally. They had been, in a sense, making their prayer requests to Him, but He says, “In that day, you shall ask Me nothing.” “In that day” refers not to just the Resurrection that He has just been talking about, but to everything following the Resurrection. He says, “After the Resurrection, after the Ascension back to Heaven, you will ask Me nothing. Whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you. Until now, you have asked nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.”

The new privilege is that they will be able to ask God the Father for things, and they will be asking in the name of Jesus. Now that would be a tremendous privilege. All through their lives and all through the Old Testament, people had been able to pray to God. There are many beautiful prayers recorded that men made before Jesus ever came to the earth, so He is not saying, “The new privilege is to talk to the Father,” but He is saying the new privilege is that now they would be able to come to the Father in Jesus' name. Even though God, in the Old Testament, had always heard prayers, and men had some assurance that He heard prayers, this new privilege is a much more personal relationship.

In the Old Testament, there were the sacrifices and the priests and all those things that were all a part of approaching God. Prayers that were made were made in a very formal way in most cases, and they were in many, many cases made at an altar with a sacrifice, with a priest officiating. It was a formal kind of prayer even though it was the privilege of prayer, and there is a lot to learn about prayer from Old Testament prayers, but the new privilege is in verse 23.

John 16

23…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

We understand these kinds of relationships in human relationships. How many times have you taken an interest in some child that is the friend of one of your children? There are many times when people say, “I know so and so. He's my son's friend, and I helped raise him.” There is a closeness that comes from knowing somebody else's child, or on the other side of that coin, knowing somebody who is a friend of your child. There is that special relationship there, so Jesus says, “No longer are you going to have to build an altar and make a sacrifice. No longer are you going to have to come on the Day of Atonement or one of the other feast days. Now you can go to My Father in My name.”

We have all heard stories of people who got a job or got some kind of help from someone because they knew that person's son or daughter. That relationship of sonship and being the friend of the son or the daughter is a common human experience, and that is what Jesus says: “You are going to have the new privilege of coming to the Father in My name.”

Then in verses 25-27, He shows how that brings about the new perspective. He says:

John 16

25These things have I spoken unto you in figurative language: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in figurative language, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.

First, He says, “The new perspective is because of fulfilled prophecy.” Now, verse 25 may not sound much like prophecy, but let's think about this for a minute. He says, “Up until now, I have been talking to you in figurative language.” In the context of the verse, what He means is, “The things I have told you about the Father have had to be largely in figurative language [largely in parables or largely in stories]. The time is coming when I no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.”

In the time that is to come, He is going to be crucified, buried, resurrected and in short order taken back to Heaven. The Holy Spirit will come, and then they will be able to understand fully about the Father. Up to now, they could only understand from a figurative standpoint about the Father. He says, “Very soon I am going to be able to tell you very clearly things about the Father, and because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, you will be able to understand because you will be able to see fulfilled prophecy. You will be able to understand those kinds of things.”

The first reason they will have a new perspective on prayer is that they will be able to know about the Father very clearly. The second reason, in verses 26-28, is because of freedom in prayer. He says:

John 16

26At that day [that is, in that day when I have risen from the grave, gone back to Heaven, the Holy Spirit is indwelling you] ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
28I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

Here He talks about a new kind of prayer, a new level of prayer and a new freedom in prayer. In verse 26, He repeats what He had said in verse 24: “You will ask in My name…,” but notice the second phrase in verse 26:

John 16

26…and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

If we just took that verse out of its context, we would think that Jesus was saying, “I am not going to pray for you any more,” but what He is saying here is “From now on, you are not going to have to depend on My praying to the Father for you. In fact, when you come to the Father, you are not going to have to come with My seconding your prayer.” In other words, even though Jesus has told them and is going to tell them that He is going to pray for them, He is saying that the disciples, and we as His disciples, can come directly to the Father in prayer. We come in Jesus' name, but it is not in any sense because Jesus is praying with us and for us. We come to the Father in Jesus' name, but our prayer is our own prayer. Our prayer is directly from us to God, and we don't even have to depend on Jesus to be praying for us for our prayers to be heard. He says, “I am not going to be giving a second to your prayer. I am not going to be convincing the Father to listen to your prayer—none of that. You will be able to go directly to the Father in prayer.”

Think about that. What a privilege that is that we can go directly to the God of the Universe and don't even have to have the approval or the seconding or some kind of special push on our prayer from God the Son. That is a new freedom in prayer. Again, this doesn't mean that Jesus doesn't pray for us. Several places in the Scripture tell us that He makes intersession for us. He is our advocate. First John, chapter 2, tells us that if we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Who is Jesus Christ the righteous. He tells us in a couple of places that He is at the right hand of the Father, making intersession for us, but that is Jesus praying for us. That is not Jesus translating our prayers to the Father or convincing the Father that He ought to listen to our prayers. That is Jesus' prayer ministry. Our prayer ministry is directly to the Father, and it is in conjunction with, but separate from, the prayer ministry of Jesus—a new freedom in prayer.

You see, we have a completely different perspective on prayer than even those disciples did, certainly different from those who think that a priest or some other intermediary—the mother of Jesus or someone else—has to help our prayers along to the Father. Jesus said, “In that day, you will come directly to the Father, and even I will not have to boost your prayers to Heaven.

One of the sad things about some of the other groups who call themselves Christians—some of them are Christians—is that they confuse this very issue and think that we have got to jump through all kinds of hoops to get our prayers into Heaven. It has brought about so much confusion that a lot of people think, “What is the use to pray? I wouldn't be doing it right anyway.”

There is a very simple formula in prayer. We go to the Father in Jesus' name. We go to the Father because we are His children and because we are friends. We are brothers of His Son. We come to Him because of our relationship to Jesus, but Jesus doesn't have to help the Father hear those prayers. They come directly to Him.

A New Perspective On Sonship

Finally, in the last few verses of the chapter, there is a third new perspective. We have a new perspective on sorrow. We have a new perspective on supplication, and in verses 28-33, we have a new perspective on Sonship. First, in verses 28-30, He establishes His own Sonship. Look at verse 28:

John 16

28I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
29His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

Here is the Sonship of the Savior. He makes the clear statement, “I came from the Father. I have come into the world. I leave the world and go back to the Father.” They second that by saying, “We understand that. You are speaking plainly now. You are not speaking figuratively. We understand that you came from the Father and that you are going back there.”

That is the Sonship of the Savior, but now in verse 31, Jesus asked them:

John 16

31… Do ye now believe?

That is a piercing question. The sense of that question is, “You say that you believe about My Sonship, and you do, but you need to be sure that you do believe that, because,” in verse 32:

John 16

32Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33These 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.

Here is the sonship of believers. He said, “You need to remember that you believe that I have come from the Father and that I go back to the Father. You believe that, but you are going to need to remember that you believe that because the hour is coming—in fact, it has come [literally in a matter of a few hours of the clock]—when you will be scattered.” Peter would deny Him. The others wouldn't even be close enough to be tempted to deny Him. John was apparently in the courtroom. Peter was following afar off. We don't even know where the rest of them were. They scattered when all the trouble started. They got out of there as quickly as they could. They came and watched the crucifixion, but they didn't in any way try to hinder it or anything like that. They were scattered, and Jesus predicted that.

In verse 33, He said, “I have spoken this to you in advance so that you may have peace.” How could they have peace when they were scattered? It is because they have already said, “We believe that you are the Son and that you came from the Father and that you are going back to the Father.” They had trusted Christ even though they were going to lose it for a little while under the extreme duress under which they were going to be. Remember, at this point, they did not have the Holy Spirit yet. They were going to be scattered, but He said, “I want you to understand that in your scattered state, you are still My children.” They were still His children, even though they had scattered.

Jesus validated that when He said, “Go tell My disciples and Peter to come and meet with Me in Galilee.” He had to gather them up. They had scattered. He had to get the message to them that He wanted to meet with them, and He wanted to be sure that even Peter, the one who had denied Him, came. That is because those Christians scattered from Him in that hour of need. In fact, He said in verse 33, “You will leave Me alone,” and they certainly did, except for the fact that the Father was with Him, so He wasn't alone. From the standpoint of His followers, they were going to leave Him alone. He said, “I will be by Myself, except the Father will be with Me.” He had to gather them up and bring them back to Himself. They would probably never again forget the last lines of verse 33:

John 16

33These 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.

In forty days they would have the Holy Spirit within them to remind them of that, and since that time we have the Holy Spirit to remind us of that. “In the world you will have tribulation.” Some of us know a little something of what that is about. Tribulation is a general term. He had said at the beginning of the chapter that people would persecute them, and He had said in the last part of chapter 15 that they would have great persecution.

We have not seen very much of that in our generation and in our nation. We may before it is over with. This word that He uses in verse 33 is a more general word. It is just a word for suffering in general, and some of us have been through that and some of you have been through more of that than I have.

Conclusion

Isn't it a wonderful thing to know that in the midst of our tribulation, that because we are also sons of God, we can have peace in the midst of that tribulation because He has overcome the world? He has triumphed over sin, over death, and has validated that by being present with the Father in Heaven, so we have a new perspective on sonship. We are sons of God because He is the unique Son of God, and because we are sons of God, nothing can overcome us, no matter what the troubles may be. “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”


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