Title: Gospel of John [16:16-24]. The Father delights in every believer. PSA 22:8; .
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.
I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for help that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for but everything I hoped for.
Despite myself, my prayers were answered.
I, among all men, am most richly blessed.
[Unknown Confederate soldier, allegedly found on his corpse at Gettysburg]
JOH 16:25 "These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will speak no more to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father.
The hour of telling plainly of the Father is at the giving of God the Holy Spirit.
Though it would appear that Christ has spoken plainly to them about many things, to their confused minds that are rooted in the old way of the Law they seem like parables or proverbs.
However, He had used a number of symbolic images to get His message across: the washing of their feet, the "Father's house," the vine and branches, and the birth of a baby. In the days that followed, these images would become clearer to the disciples as they would be taught by the Spirit of God.
It is clear here that the hour when He will speak to them plainly of the Father is at the gift of God the Holy Spirit.
He has already alluded to this.
JOH 16:14 "He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.
JOH 16:15 "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.
It becomes clear that the purpose of the Scripture is not to just claim profound truths but to come to know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through those truths.
There is always a purpose to scripture, a very real application to life, and not just an accumulation of knowledge alone.
JOH 16:26 "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request the Father on your behalf;
There seem to be two inferences here.
1. "I do not have to repeat to you that I will intercede for you always."
2. "The Father will hear you in My name. It will no longer be just Me who is praying for you."
The Father will hear us whether Christ intercedes on our behalf or not. Yet, of course, He continues to intercede for us just as He prayed for the disciples during His ministry, as well as for us, the future believers, which is so beautifully illustrated in the next chapter. He is likely also saying that He does not have to tell them of this again before He leaves. The Father will hear you and I will continue to pray for you; enough said.
The Lord has always been praying for them while we have no record of them praying for themselves.
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."
This will no longer be the case as it was then. Christ will continue to pray for them but they are instructed to pray to the Father themselves when the time comes that Christ is at the right hand of the Father and "in My name" becomes appropriate and powerful.
It is proper to ask others to pray for you, but that should not be to the exclusion of your own prayers.
And then He shares the beautiful truth of why the Father will always have a ready ear for them as well as all believers.
JOH 16:27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father.
The unique aspect to this verse is that the word used for "love" is phileo and not agapao.
The saints have a phileo love for the Lord which springs from their joy in Him, a love of delight. The Father has a love of delight in the saints.
The Father finds in each saint the One whom He takes delight, the Lord Jesus, and because the saints find their delight in Him also.
In this particular case we could say that agape is a love springing from seeing the value in another whereas here the Lord is referring to a love springing from delight in another. They have delighted in Christ and so it is an affection. The Father has an affection toward us because of who we are in Christ. He delights in His Son and now that the Son is in us and we in Him, the Father has that same delight in each saint, hence He calls us beloved.
We must learn to see ourselves as those whom the Father delights in, no matter what our condition, because His Son is in us.
The phileo love of the Father is mocked in the world:
"Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him."
Satan and his world system have no reference to this love from the Father to the Son and now to every believer because He is in them and they in Him. They don't believe it to be true or relevant so they mock it. Much of the Church at large rejects it or is ignorant of it and so find no rest in their position. This silences the truth under a wave of legalism and spirituality through morality as well as humanistic ideas about the love of God. To Satan, love, whatever he understands that word to mean, must be earned. This is easy to know because in his system of government, everything must be earned. Therefore, Satan has been able to silence the truth of God's love in Christ within the Church and has constructed a world system that has mocked it.
The Father delights in us and if that doesn't comfort us, nothing will.
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 His mission in the world is just about fulfilled. Yet there is more to do from the vantage point of heaven.
He will continue to reveal the Father to the disciples and the rest of the Church, but the agent of that revelation will be God the Holy Spirit.
His return to the Father will mark the victory as He sits at the right hand of God and the intercalation of the age of Israel, which is the Church age, will begin. The Church is a time, a dispensation, that no one ever anticipated as it was a hidden mystery since long ages past. This age will be characterized by a ministry to each believer through the Holy Spirit who will teach, guide, and empower every believer.
People today say they would believe if they could see Him. I've personally heard two separate people on separate occasions say that if God appeared to them then they would believe. This is an excuse and a lie. It's no different than those around the cross who promised they would believe in Him if He came off the cross, as if He was scarce with miracles before the cross.
The common grace gospel is made clear by God the Holy Spirit to all and they that reject it believe the Lie. God knows those who are His and if there would be one more added in our day through a personal visitation from the Lord then I would confidently assume that God the Father would have had them born in Palestine around 30 AD. There have been plenty who have seen Him and believed and plenty more who have not seen Him and believed. In fact the number of believers who have not seen Him likely far outnumber those who did see Him since it is a comparison of 3 years vs. 1981 years.
JOH 16:29 His disciples said, "Lo, now You are speaking plainly, and are not using a figure of speech.
JOH 16:30 "Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God."
What is it that has become plain to them? It is obvious that they are still confused on a number of things. Yet in verse 28 He made the most explicit declaration of where He had come from and where He was going during this night. However, while they may plainly understand where He is going there is much about the reasons, the whys, and the results of His resurrection, session, and session that they still do not know. We have the account in the gospels of their fear at the arrest of our Lord and their scattering from Him. If they understood the results of Christ's death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session they would not have feared, but they don't even understand it at this point so as to have faith in it for peace and courage. Jesus knows this from prophecy and likely from His own fabulous insight.
JOH 16:31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?
JOH 16:32 "Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
I understand the ways of understanding, if that makes any sense. Ignorance being turned to cognizance of the plans and purposes of God and that mixed with faith makes up the greatest discoveries in life. Once discovered, we often ask how we didn't see it before and we also recognize the times in the past when it was taught and we just didn't get it. Because of this I sought to discover how many times the Lord spoke of His origin in heaven and His return there in glory as recorded in the gospel and I was shocked to see how often He did so. It is a great study. The reactions of those who hear it are extremely insightful. In almost every instance the responses come from the unbelieving Jews and the disciples are silent in the background. However, we can gather that they had spinning wheels in their brains with no absolute conclusions due to how they act and what they say and ask in the Upper Room and in the few hours subsequently.
Let's look at the references to where He has come from and where He is going that He made on this night.