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Gospel of John [16:16-24]. Substitution vs. Transformation. Act 1:6-11; Rom 8:24-39.

JOHN-16-141107
length: 62:35 - taught on Nov, 7 2014
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Title: Gospel of John [16:16-24]. Substitution vs. Transformation. ACT 1:6-11; ROM 8:24-39.

 

As we complete the gospel of John I will give Greek translations as they are needed.

 

JOH 16:16 "A little while, and you will no longer behold Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me." 

 

JOH 16:17 Some of His disciples therefore said to one another, "What is this thing He is telling us, 'A little while, and you will not behold Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?" 

 

JOH 16:18 And so they were saying, "What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is talking about."

 

JOH 16:19 Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, "Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, 'A little while, and you will not behold Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me'?

 

JOH 16:20 "Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy.

 

JOH 16:21 "Whenever a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a child has been born into the world.

 

JOH 16:22 "Therefore you too now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you.

 

JOH 16:23 "And in that day you will ask Me no question. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name.

 

JOH 16:24 "Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.

 

We begin this next section:

 

First, there is a principle in this section that is important to grasp.

 

The principle is simply this: God brings joy to our lives, not by substitution (changing the circumstance), but by transformation (changing the heart).

 

His illustration of the woman giving birth makes this clear. The same baby that caused the pain also caused the joy. In birth, God does not substitute something else to relieve the mother's pain. Instead, He uses what is there already but transforms it.

 

Every parent knows what it is like to have a sorrowful child because he has lost or broken a toy or because a playmate has gone home. The parent can either substitute something else for the broken toy or absent friend, or he can teach the child to transform his thinking into an experience of contentment.

 

If the parent always gets a new toy for the child each time a toy is broken, that child will grow up expecting every problem to be solved by substitution. If the parent always phones another playmate and invites him or her over, the child will grow up expecting people to come to his rescue whenever there is a crisis. The result either way is a spoiled child who will not be able to cope with reality.

 

The way of substitution for solving problems is the way of immaturity. The way of transformation is the way of faith and maturity.

 

There are so many spoiled brats running around in our world who lust for substitutions, both children and adults. We cannot mature emotionally or spiritually if somebody is always replacing our broken toys.

 

Jesus did not say that the mother's sorrow (pain) was replaced by joy, but that the sorrow was transformed into joy. The same baby that caused the pain also caused the joy.

 

And so it is in the Christian life.

 

God takes seemingly impossible situations, adds the miracle of His grace, and transforms trial into triumph and sorrow into joy.

 

And not just when the pain stops but in the midst of it.

 

DEU 23:5

Nevertheless, the Lord  your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the Lord  your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you.

 

Examples of this abound in the Bible.

 

Joseph's brothers sold him as a slave, and Potiphar put him into prison as a criminal, but 'God transformed that hopeless situation of defeat into victory. Joseph was changed while in prison and then had the capacity for promotion and blessing. The happiness of the mature does not depend on blessing, but only on his relationship to God.

 

Egypt's persecution of Israel only caused them to multiply and prosper the more in the midst of slavery and increased persecution. However, though God prospered them physically their minds were not transformed. Because their minds were not transformed the Israelites were still miserable in freedom. King Saul's murderous pursuit of David only made David more a man of God and helped produce the psalms that encourage our hearts today. Even Jesus took the cross, a symbol of defeat and shame, and transformed it into a symbol of victory and glory.

 

Christ did not change the situation so that the disciples sorrow would be turned to joy, rather, He transformed their hearts through faith and the resultant joy was divine and mature.

 

Now that we understand this principle, we can better understand the problems and questions of the disciples.

 

JOH 16:16 "A little while, and you will no longer behold Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me."

 

Jesus announced that in a little while, they would not see Him, then, in a little while, they would see Him. It was a deliberately puzzling statement as Christ says in verse 25 that He was speaking in figurative language, and the disciples did not understand.

 

It is possible that He was talking about His burial, in which they would not see Him for three days, and His resurrection when they would see Him.

 

It is most likely that He is talking about His ascension and session.

 

JOH 16:10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me;

 

This is what the disciples understood Him to mean:

 

JOH 16:17 Some of His disciples therefore said to one another, "What is this thing He is telling us, 'A little while, and you will not behold Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?"

 

Also, in verse 23, He said that in that day you will ask Me no question, while after His resurrection they asked Him many questions.

 

If therefore, He is referring to when they see Him in heaven, it might indicate that they will not have joy until then, but that would mean that none of them experienced the fruit of the Spirit, but we know that they did.

 

In verse 28 He again reiterated that He was going to the Father and so this is clearly emphasized as His “you will not see Me” as opposed to His burial.

 

JOH 16:28 "I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father."

 

So, did they have to wait for heaven to have joy?

 

JOH 16:22 "Therefore you too now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you.

 

If that were true then we would also have to wait until then along with every other believer. However, this is clarified when we realize that the disciples at this time were confused about not only where He was going but also about what was going to take place right before His ascension, nor the significance of it. They did not understand the reality or the significance of the cross, the death, burial and resurrection even though He had told them many times.

 

But after the cross and the witness of His resurrection, what He had done and where He was going was made clear. Also, His return in glory was also made clear.

 

ACT 1:6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"

 

ACT 1:7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

 

ACT 1:8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. " 

 

ACT 1:9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

 

ACT 1:10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them;

 

ACT 1:11 and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

 

They didn’t have to wait until heaven to have joy; they just simply needed to know the truth of His victory and their seeing Him again in heaven and have faith in it so as to make it a reality.

 

With that faith they didn’t have to wait for the time of actually seeing Him to occur to rejoice in its reality.

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