John 16:1-15 – The Spirit, the Son, and the Father

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POSTED 06 NOVEMBER, 2017

“These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.’”

reproduced from Salvation on the Line, Volume I

While Yeshua’s teaching to His Disciples at the Last Supper or Last Seder do include some strong words, particularly as they involve the coming persecution of His Disciples, they are specifically intended to offer them with key points of solace and comfort. Yeshua directs, “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray” (John 16:1, NIV). There is going to be some anticipated hostility issued against the Disciples, by the Jewish Synagogue, because of the Disciples’ belief in Yeshua as the Messiah (John 16:2). Yeshua informs them, “They will do these things because they have never known the Father or Me” (John 16:4, TLV). Of course, it would be inappropriate to apply this statement to the whole of the First Century Jewish community, as many of Yeshua’s fellow Jews did acknowledge Him, and surely also knew the Heavenly Father. This is mainly a Messianic indictment against the religious leadership. What cannot go overlooked, though, is how the knowing in view applies equally to the Father and the Son (ton patera oude eme).

Yeshua is returning to the Heavenly Father who sent Him, but He is perplexed as to why none of the Disciples have asked Him about it: “But now I am going to the One who sent me. ‘Not one of you is asking me, “Where are you going?”’” (John 16:5, CJB/CJSB). The Disciples were apparently saddened by their Master’s soon departure, as He indicates, “Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief” (John 16:6, NIV). One of the key reasons, as explained by Yeshua to His Disciples, that He must leave is so that the Holy Spirit can finally come on the scene. The Holy Spirit is attested to have some significant powers involving conviction, righteousness, and judgment—which will seemingly be manifested in the activity that the Disciples perform as they go out and proclaim the message of Yeshua. Of course, the Disciples could not fully comprehend it during the discussion that was taking place at the meal:

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I don’t go away, the comforting Counselor will not come to you. However, if I do go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will show that the world is wrong about sin, about righteousness and about judgment—about sin, in that people don’t put their trust in me; about righteousness, in that I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; about judgment, in that the ruler of this world has been judged. I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now’” (John 16:7-12, CJB/CJSB).

Within Yeshua’s statements, we see some of the concentrated beginnings of recognizing that the Holy Spirit will have a substantial role to play in the work of Messiah followers. The Holy Spirit, by indwelling Messiah followers, is very much to be the presence of the Messiah within them. While much of the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit is to supernaturally change the character of human hearts and minds, it is also something which is to convey messages to Messiah followers—namely as the Holy Spirit is not an independent actor or agent, but conveys what the Father and Son direct. Yeshua describes some of this interconnectivity:

“But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-15, TLV).

The statements of John 16:13-15 hardly give us a comprehensive picture of supernatural phenomena in Heaven, nor do they give us a full scope of data on the Spirit, the Son, and the Father. But, what the statements of John 16:13-15 do for certain is that they depict a relationship present between the Spirit, the Son, and the Father. Even though it may be observed that there are many limitations to the traditional Christian doctrine of the Trinity, a revealed tri-unity of Elohim is something detectable in passages like John 16:13-15.

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