Hello readers! We’re continuing going through the New Testament in the hopes of coming to a deeper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. We’ve been in the gospel of John and tonight, we’re going to start the 16th chapter, which means we’re about 3/4th of the way through this book. That’s not too much of a surprise as this is one of the books that has numerous references to deity in it. Tonight, we’re going to look at verses 1-4:
1“All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.
Jesus now tells his apostles why he’s been telling them all of this. He wants them to know two things. First off, he wants them to know the truth. He is who he claims to be. He begins this upper room discourse talking about his own identity. The second is that he wants them to know that they are not alone. The Holy Spirit will come and give them comfort.
Why would the apostles get handed over to the synagogue rulers? This is one point I think ancient Jews were far more consistent on. It seems today many Jews seem to be of the opinion that Jesus was a good teacher and if the Christian path is the path that they are on, then that is fine for them.
I think the early Jews would have been scandalized and rightly so.
Of course, I don’t think the early Jews were right in their view of Jesus, but I believe they were more consistent. They saw him as contrary to the law of YHWH and if that was the case and he was leading the people of Israel away from devotion to YHWH, then the way they handled him was correct.
Jesus says it will go beyond being excommunicated from the syangogue however. It also means that they would be killed for their belief in him. According to the testimony of the early church, the only apostle who wasn’t martyred was John who died in exile on the isle of Patmos.
Let’s clear something up on John 16:3. Several years ago there was an email circulating the net where Al Gore said his favorite Bible verse was John 16:3. It would have been an obvious reference to John 3:16, but the idea was that Gore was quoting a verse really that said that the people who did such things would do so because they did not know Jesus or the Father.
I am no fan of Al Gore, but there is no evidence to back this claim. In the same way, this email has been circulating I have found out about John Kerry, about George W. Bush, and about Barack Obama. Christians. Please go to websites like truthorfiction.com before you forward emails unless there’s some valid source like a link to a news story. We are to be people of truth and if we give into gullible emailings it only confirms in some people the idea that Christians are gullible idiots who will believe anything.
Jesus does not want us to be surprised at all of this. When it came to the apostles, they would remember that they were told this would happen. Later on, we will see how this applies more to us, but generally in the NT, we do see the promise that Christ will be with his people and ease them in their sufferings.
We shall continue on this tomorrow.