According to John 16:1-33

16  “I have said these things to you so that you may not be stumbled.  Men will expel you from the synagogue.+ In fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you+ will think he has offered a sacred service to God.  But they will do these things because they have not come to know either the Father or me.+  Nevertheless, I have told you these things so that when the hour for them to happen arrives, you will remember that I told them to you.+ “I did not tell you these things at first, because I was with you.  But now I am going to the One who sent me;+ yet not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’  But because I have told you these things, grief has filled your hearts.+  Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the helper+ will not come to you; but if I do go, I will send him to you.  And when that one comes, he will give the world convincing evidence concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment:  first concerning sin,+ because they are not exercising faith in me;+ 10  then concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11  then concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.+ 12  “I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now.+ 13  However, when that one comes, the spirit of the truth,+ he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come.+ 14  That one will glorify me,+ because he will receive from what is mine and will declare it to you.+ 15  All the things that the Father has are mine.+ That is why I said he receives from what is mine and declares it to you. 16  In a little while you will see me no longer,+ and again, in a little while you will see me.” 17  At that some of his disciples said to one another: “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘In a little while you will not see me, and again, in a little while you will see me,’ and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18  So they were saying: “What does he mean by saying, ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19  Jesus knew they wanted to question him, so he said to them: “Are you asking one another this because I said: ‘In a little while you will not see me, and again, in a little while you will see me’? 20  Most truly I say to you, you will weep and wail,+ but the world will rejoice; you will be grieved, but your grief will be turned into joy.+ 21  When a woman is giving birth, she has grief because her hour has come, but when she has given birth to the child, she remembers the tribulation no more because of the joy that a man has been born into the world. 22  So you also, now you have grief; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,+ and no one will take away your joy. 23  In that day you will ask me no question at all. Most truly I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything,+ he will give it to you in my name.+ 24  Until now you have not asked for a single thing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. 25  “I have spoken these things to you in comparisons. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in comparisons, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26  In that day you will make request of the Father in my name; in saying this, I do not mean that I will make request for you. 27  For the Father himself has affection for you, because you have had affection for me+ and have believed that I came as God’s representative.+ 28  I came as the Father’s representative and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”+ 29  His disciples said: “See! Now you are speaking plainly and are not using comparisons. 30  Now we know that you know all things and you do not need to have anyone question you. By this we believe that you came from God.” 31  Jesus answered them: “Do you believe now? 32  Look! The hour is coming, indeed, it has come, when each one of you will be scattered to his own house and you will leave me alone.+ But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.+ 33  I have said these things to you so that by means of me you may have peace.+ In the world you will have tribulation,+ but take courage! I have conquered the world.”+

Footnotes

Study Notes

local courts: In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Greek word sy·neʹdri·on, here used in plural and rendered “local courts,” is most often used with reference to the Jewish high court in Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin. (See Glossary, “Sanhedrin,” and study notes on Mt 5:22; 26:59.) However, it was also a general term for an assembly or a meeting, and here it refers to local courts that were attached to the synagogues and had the power to inflict the penalties of scourging and excommunication.​—Mt 23:34; Mr 13:9; Lu 21:12; Joh 9:22; 12:42; 16:2.

rendering sacred service to him: Or “worshipping him.” The Greek verb la·treuʹo basically denotes serving. As used in the Scriptures, it refers to rendering service to God or in connection with the worship of him (Mt 4:10; Lu 2:37; 4:8; Ac 7:7; Ro 1:9; Php 3:3; 2Ti 1:3; Heb 9:14; 12:28; Re 7:15; 22:3) or to rendering service at the sanctuary or temple (Heb 8:5; 9:9; 10:2; 13:10). Thus, in some contexts the expression can also be rendered “to worship.” In a few cases, it is used in connection with false worship​—rendering service to, or worshipping, created things.​—Ac 7:42; Ro 1:25.

expel you from the synagogue: Or “excommunicate you; ban you from the synagogue.” The Greek adjective a·po·sy·naʹgo·gos (lit., “away from the synagogue”) is used only three times, here and at Joh 9:22 and 12:42. An expelled person would be shunned and scorned as a social outcast. Such cutting off of fellowship from other Jews would have severe economic consequences for the family. The synagogues, which were used primarily for education, were apparently sometimes used as places for local courts that had the power to inflict the penalties of scourging and excommunication. (See study note on Mt 10:17.) Jesus’ foretelling that his followers would be expelled from the synagogues warned them of the possible consequences of following him. Although Jesus had earlier said that the world would hate his followers, this was the first time he directly said that some of them would be killed.

a sacred service: The Greek word used here is la·treiʹa and refers to an act of worship. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, this noun appears solely with reference to serving God. (Ro 9:4; 12:1; Heb 9:1, 6)​—For a discussion of the related Greek verb la·treuʹo, see study note on Lu 1:74.

helper: Or “comforter; encourager; advocate.” The word rendered “helper” (pa·raʹkle·tos) is used in the Bible to describe the roles of both the holy spirit (Joh 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) and Jesus (1Jo 2:1). It could literally be rendered “one called to someone’s side” to give help. When Jesus spoke of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, as a helper and referred to this helper as ‘teaching,’ ‘bearing witness,’ ‘giving evidence,’ ‘guiding,’ ‘speaking,’ ‘hearing,’ and ‘receiving’ (Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15), he used a figure of speech called personification, that is, referring to something impersonal or inanimate as if it were alive. In the Scriptures, it is not unusual for something that is not actually a person to be personified. Some examples are wisdom, death, sin, and undeserved kindness. (Mt 11:19; Lu 7:35; Ro 5:14, 17, 21; 6:12; 7:8-11) It is obvious that not one of these things is an actual person. God’s spirit is often mentioned together with other impersonal forces or things, further supporting the fact that it is not a person. (Mt 3:11; Ac 6:3, 5; 13:52; 2Co 6:4-8; Eph 5:18) Some argue that the use of Greek masculine pronouns when referring to this “helper” shows that holy spirit is a person. (Joh 14:26) However, Greek grammar requires masculine pronouns when the activity of “the helper” is described, since the word for “helper” is in the masculine gender. (Joh 16:7, 8, 13, 14) On the other hand, when the neuter Greek word for “spirit” (pneuʹma) is used, neuter pronouns are used.​—See study note on Joh 14:17.

that one: Both “that one” and “he” in verses 13 and 14 refer back to “the helper” mentioned at Joh 16:7. Jesus used “the helper” (which is in the masculine gender in Greek) as a personification of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, which is in the neuter gender in Greek.​—See study note on Joh 14:16.

that one: Both “that one” and “he” in this verse refer back to “the helper,” mentioned in the preceding verse. (See study note on Joh 16:13.) Jesus used a figure of speech called personification when he spoke of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, as a helper. He said that this helper would “teach,” “bear witness,” ‘give evidence,’ “guide,” “speak,” ‘hear,’ and “receive.” (Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15) Personification describes something impersonal or inanimate as if it were alive. In this context, the spirit would give the world convincing evidence concerning sin, in that the world’s failure to exercise faith in God’s Son would be exposed. The spirit would also give the world convincing evidence concerning righteousness, in that Jesus’ ascension to heaven proved that he was righteous. The spirit would demonstrate why Satan, “the ruler of this world,” merits adverse judgment. (Joh 16:9-11) The Greek word used here for “to give . . . convincing evidence” is e·legʹkho, which is also rendered “to reprove.”​—1Ti 5:20; Tit 1:9.

helper: Or “comforter; encourager; advocate.” The word rendered “helper” (pa·raʹkle·tos) is used in the Bible to describe the roles of both the holy spirit (Joh 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) and Jesus (1Jo 2:1). It could literally be rendered “one called to someone’s side” to give help. When Jesus spoke of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, as a helper and referred to this helper as ‘teaching,’ ‘bearing witness,’ ‘giving evidence,’ ‘guiding,’ ‘speaking,’ ‘hearing,’ and ‘receiving’ (Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15), he used a figure of speech called personification, that is, referring to something impersonal or inanimate as if it were alive. In the Scriptures, it is not unusual for something that is not actually a person to be personified. Some examples are wisdom, death, sin, and undeserved kindness. (Mt 11:19; Lu 7:35; Ro 5:14, 17, 21; 6:12; 7:8-11) It is obvious that not one of these things is an actual person. God’s spirit is often mentioned together with other impersonal forces or things, further supporting the fact that it is not a person. (Mt 3:11; Ac 6:3, 5; 13:52; 2Co 6:4-8; Eph 5:18) Some argue that the use of Greek masculine pronouns when referring to this “helper” shows that holy spirit is a person. (Joh 14:26) However, Greek grammar requires masculine pronouns when the activity of “the helper” is described, since the word for “helper” is in the masculine gender. (Joh 16:7, 8, 13, 14) On the other hand, when the neuter Greek word for “spirit” (pneuʹma) is used, neuter pronouns are used.​—See study note on Joh 14:17.

that one: Both “that one” and “he” in verses 13 and 14 refer back to “the helper” mentioned at Joh 16:7. Jesus used “the helper” (which is in the masculine gender in Greek) as a personification of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, which is in the neuter gender in Greek.​—See study note on Joh 14:16.

world: In this context, the Greek word koʹsmos refers to the world of mankind apart from God’s servants, the unrighteous human society alienated from God. John is the only Gospel writer to quote Jesus as saying that his followers are no part of the world or do not belong to the world. The same thought is expressed two more times in Jesus’ last prayer with his faithful apostles.​—Joh 17:14, 16.

the world: In this context, the Greek word koʹsmos refers to the world of mankind apart from God’s servants, the unrighteous human society alienated from God.​—Compare study note on Joh 15:19.

the whole world: The basic meaning of the Greek term koʹsmos, most often rendered “world,” is “order” or “arrangement.” In secular Greek literature, it may refer to the world of mankind, and it is often used in this sense in the Christian Greek Scriptures. (See study notes on Joh 1:9, 10; 3:16.) However, the term koʹsmos is not just a synonym for mankind. In the Bible, it retains its original sense of “order” or “arrangement,” since the world of mankind reflects a certain structure, being composed of various cultures, tribes, nations, and economic systems. (1Jo 3:17; Re 7:9; 14:6) That is the meaning of the term “world” in this and some other contexts. Over the centuries, the framework of things that surround and affect human life has grown in size and complexity as mankind has grown in population.​—See study note on Joh 16:21.

born into the world: Here Jesus used the birth of a human as an illustration to show how tribulation and grief can be “turned into joy.” (Joh 16:20) A woman giving birth experiences the pain of childbirth, but the joy of bringing a new life into the world will overshadow the pain and make her forget it. In this context, the term “world” (Greek, koʹsmos) refers to the organized, human society, or sphere of human life and circumstances, into which the child is born. In the Bible, the term “world” sometimes has this meaning.​—1Co 14:10; 1Ti 6:7; see study note on Lu 9:25.

anything: In addition to the subjects mentioned in Jesus’ model prayer (Mt 6:9-13), the Scriptures mention a wide range of circumstances that affect God’s servants and that are appropriate subjects for prayer. Personal prayers, then, may embrace virtually every facet of life.​—Php 4:6; 1Pe 5:7; 1Jo 5:14.

comparison: John is the only Gospel writer to use the Greek word pa·roi·miʹa. (Joh 10:6; 16:25, 29) It is similar in meaning to the Greek word pa·ra·bo·leʹ (“illustration” or “parable”) that is common in the other Gospels but not used at all in John’s account. (See study note on Mt 13:3.) The word pa·roi·miʹa may also convey the idea of a comparison or an analogy. Peter employed the same term with regard to the “proverb” of the dog that returns to its vomit and the sow that goes back to rolling in the mire. (2Pe 2:22) The same noun is used as the title of the book of Proverbs in the Greek Septuagint.

comparisons: Or “figures of speech; figurative language.”​—See study note on Joh 10:6.

has affection for you: The Greek verb phi·leʹo is translated “have affection for,” “like,” “be fond of,” and “kiss.” (Mt 23:6; Joh 12:25; Mr 14:44) This Greek term may describe a very close bond, such as a relationship between genuine friends. When Jesus “gave way to tears” as he approached Lazarus’ tomb, onlookers said: “See, what affection he had for [form of the Greek verb phi·leʹo] him!” (Joh 11:35, 36) This Greek term can also describe the close bond that may exist between a parent and a child. (Mt 10:37) As shown here at Joh 16:27, this Greek word describes the strong, warm, personal attachment that Jehovah has for his Son’s followers, as well as the warm feelings that the disciples had for God’s Son. At Joh 5:20, this same Greek word is used to describe the Father’s close attachment to the Son.

in union with: Lit., “in.” In this context, the Greek preposition en is used to show close association. This use of the preposition is especially noteworthy in the writings of John and Paul. (Ga 1:22; 3:28; Eph 2:13, 15; 6:1) At 1Jo 3:24 and 4:13, 15, it describes a Christian’s relationship to God. Further supporting the rendering “in union with” is the way the preposition is used at Joh 17:20-23, where it occurs five times.

he has no hold on me: Or “he has no power over me.” Lit., “in me he has nothing.” Jesus had no imperfection or wrong desire that Satan could take advantage of so as to turn him away from serving God. The Greek expression rendered “has no hold on me” may reflect a Hebrew idiom used in legal contexts with the meaning “he has no claim on me.” By contrast, the Devil was able to enter into Judas and get a hold on him.​—Joh 13:27.

by means of me: Or “in union with me.” In this context, the Greek preposition (en) can denote both agency (“by means of”) and close association and unity (“in union with”).​—See study note on Joh 10:38.

I have conquered the world: In this context, the Greek word koʹsmos (“world”) refers to unrighteous human society alienated from God. The term “world” is used in a similar sense at Joh 12:31; 15:19; 2Pe 2:5; 3:6; and 1Jo 2:15-17; 5:19. On the whole, the way people of this “world” behave and the attitudes they display are out of harmony with God’s will as expressed in the Scriptures. (1Jo 2:16) On this last night of his earthly life, Jesus could rightly say: “I have conquered the world.” He triumphed over the world by not becoming like it, by not permitting the thinking and actions of unrighteous human society to influence him in any way. By his faith, loyalty, and integrity, Jesus proved that “the ruler of the world,” Satan, had “no hold” on him. (See study note on Joh 14:30.) Jesus stated in the prayer recorded in John chapter 17 that neither he nor his disciples were part of this world. (Joh 17:15, 16) And when on trial before Pilate, Jesus told that Roman governor: “My Kingdom is no part of this world.” (Joh 18:36) More than 60 years after Jesus’ trial, John was inspired to write: “This is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith.”​—1Jo 5:4, 5.

Media