John 16:16-33 (NRSV)
Sorrow Will Turn into Joy
16”A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.”
17Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.”
by Ann Weems
Going through life
is a listening.
When we listen
to the word,
where we are so
If we listen to the word
and hallow it
into our lives,
how we can so
19Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? 20Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. 21When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.
It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born. This is not necessarily cause for alarm. The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money.
–Elinor Goulding Smith
Babies are such a nice way to start people.
Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher’s mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again.
–Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby
Children are a gift from the Lord.
22So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
Peace for the Disciples
25“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. 26On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
“This is a remarkable passage, by which we are taught that we have the heart of God as soon as we place before Him the name of His Son.”
Here is the final proof of something which must never be forgotten. Often we tend to think in terms of an angry God and a gentle Jesus; what Jesus did is presented in a way which seems to mean that he changed the attitude of God to men, and made him a God of love instead of a God of judgment. But here Jesus is saying: “You can go to God, because he loves you,” and he is saying that before the Cross. He did not die to change God into love; he died to tell us that God is love. He came, not because God so hated the world, but because he so loved the world. Jesus brought to men the love of God.
28I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”
29His disciples said, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! 30Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.”
31Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
33“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace.
- Jesus made the way for peace with God:
Romans 5:1 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
- Jesus made the way for peace with others:
Ephesians 2:14 (NLT)
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.
In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
Take courage! HERE is “Be Not Afraid!” by John Michael Talbot. Lyrics follow.
You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.
If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.
Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you!
1) “Ask and you shall receive,” Jesus says in verse 24. Consider keeping a prayer journal to record your petitions and the answers God sends. It can be a record of the Lord’s faithfulness to you, a reminder of his loving presence.
2) Do you have times when you feel lonely and abandoned? Jesus says in verses 31-32 that his disciples will be scattered and he will be left alone. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” What comfort can these verses bring to you, or to others who may feel alone in this world?
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.