142. The Necessity for Leaving
1“I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away.
2They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.
3And they will do this because they have not known the Father.
4But I have said these things to you, that when the hour comes you may remember that I told you.”
5“Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Why are you going?' 7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away.a For if I do not go away the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes he will make the world conscious of sin and righteousness and judgment.”b
12“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of himself, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me. He will draw on my truth and declare it to you.c 15All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
(Jn. 16:1–5, 7–8, 12–15) (continued)
a “it is to your advantage that I go away”—Here Jesus makes a startling statement. How could his leaving the apostles alone in the world be to their advantage?
Jesus is to die, but in his stead he is sending a new spirit that will take the place of his personal presence and teaching. This new spirit endowment is the Spirit of Truth; it is a joint bestowal of the Father and the Son, and it functions to foster truth in the individual. This spirit comforter destroys the believer's sense of isolation and loss due to Jesus leaving the world. It helps men recall his words and illuminates his life on earth, and it provides new power for the believer to witness to the truths of Jesus' gospel (as was seen at Pentecost). Eventually it leads the believer into all truth.
b “he will make the world conscious of sin and righteousness and judgment”—The Spirit of Truth in us makes clear the difference between sin and righteousness, and helps us to choose wisely concerning them.
c “He will not speak of himself, but whatever he hears he will speak.... He will draw on my truth and declare it to you.”—The Spirit of Truth comes from Jesus and reveals Jesus' truth to us.
Jn. 16:3 Father. / Father, nor me. (RSV)
Jn. 16:4 when the hour (KJV) / when their hour (RSV) • you. / you of them. (RSV)
Jn. 16:5 Now / But now (RSV) • me, 'Why are (Tay) / me, 'Where are (RSV)
Jn. 16:7 the Comforter will (KJV) / the Counselor will (RSV)
Jn. 16:8 will make the world conscious of sin (Bas) / will convince the world concerning sin (RSV) • and judgment." / and judgment: concerning sin because they do not believe in me. (RSV)
Jn. 16:13 all truth. (KJV) / all the truth; (RSV) • He / for he (RSV) • speak of himself, but (KJV) / speak on his own authority, but (RSV)
Jn. 16:14 me. He / me, for he (RSV) • will draw on my truth and (Phi) / will take what is mine and (RSV) (180:6/1951–2)