The soul of Jesus was clouded with the prospect of impending persecution and suffering. This chiefly because of his disciples. The world hating him, would assuredly hate them also. So he was much concerned to fortify them against the evil to come: “These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember (and understand; 2:17, 22; 12:16) that I told you of them” (13:29; 14:29 also). Forewarned and with yet greater confidence in their Lord as a true prophet when his words were so exactly fulfilled, they would brace their souls against the onset of antagonism and stiffen their loyalty to his cause.
He could have spelled out these ominous predictions for them in the early days of their discipleship. But what purpose could it achieve when they had Jesus constantly with them? But now he was to be taken from them. Then their understanding of his person and work were marvellously limited: now, for all their many misunderstandings, they knew and loved him better.
In a little while he would be snatched away from them, but because he had been at pains to explain to them beforehand (15:18-25) there was no need for bewildered blunders such as Peter’s: “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now?” (13:37). Even so, there was puzzlement enough, as their later cross-questioning of him was to show (16:17-19). And, inevitably, a bleak sense of impending bereavement clouded their present enjoyment of his fellowship.
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Author: Harry Whittaker
Keywords: comforter, comforter Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost
Bible reference(s): John 16:4-15
Source: Studies in the Gospels.
Page indexed by: inWORD Bible Software.