When Sorrow Turned to Joy
By Robin Spengler
John 15:26 and 16:5-28
This evening we will be looking at John 16 and some of what the Apostle recorded in this final conversation between Jesus and the remaining 11 disciples.
John 16:5-6 = But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
This scene takes place after Judas had left the room to betray Jesus. They had completed the Passover meal and Jesus warns that He would be leaving them. The disciples are filled with great sorrow, their teacher was leaving them.
Sorrow – There is always sorrow when parting from a loved one.
Jesus had previously spoken of,
The future denial of Peter (John 13:38).
His leaving to prepare a place for them (John 14:2).
Him being the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6).
He and the Father being one (John 14:7).
Asking the Father to send them a helper (John 14:16).
Him being the true vine and His disciples being the branches (John 15:1-5).
The disciples being hated by the world (John 15:18-19).
Yet they had still not fully understood what Jesus was doing.
John 16:22 = So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your Joy from you.
It is interesting that Jesus does not talk about the Crucifixion at this point but assures them that they would see Him again. Jesus was referring to the resurrection.
The Resurrection – On the third day Jesus would rise from the dead. He would appear to the eleven and 500 other witnesses.
In the 40 days between the resurrection and the ascension, most of Jesus’ teachings were about the kingdom of God. Jesus was preparing them for something much bigger.
John 16:28 = “I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
This is a clear statement; Jesus had come from the Father in Heaven and now He was returning to the Father in Heaven. Jesus’ mission on earth was complete.
Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father (Eph 1:20-23).
This means that all authority has been given to Jesus (Matt 28:18).
Jesus is crowned immortal King of Kings and his Kingdom is everlasting
John 15:26-27a = But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me. And you also bear witness.
The life that Jesus has called us to is not natural, its supernatural. Anyone who tries to be a Christian in their own strength is denying Christ.
This is why Jesus asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit, also referred to as the Spirit of Christ (Phil 1:19 and many other references).
We now get to the heart of this teaching – Pentecost.
The name comes from the Greek word Pentekostos. This literally means 50.
Pentecost is always celebrated 50 days after the Jewish Passover. It is one of three main Jewish festivals. Jews from all over Asia Minor and further would come to Jerusalem to celebrate the wheat harvest.
It was on this day that 120 disciples of Jesus (Ac 1:15) were gathered together worshipping God.
The prophecy of Joel (Joel 2:28-29) and the words of Jesus (John 16:5-15) were fulfilled on this day.
Meaning for the Church.
The pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost was the completion of Jesus’ ministry on earth.
Every true believer in Christ is empowered supernaturally to live out the Christian life (Romans 8:9).
It is possible to receive an infilling of the Holy Spirit through prayer (Ac 8:17). This is given to empower for ministry (Ac 9:3-9).
The Law of Moses celebrated at the festival has now been replaced by the Law of the Spirit (Romans 8:1-2).
At Babel, the human race was scattered all over the earth and spoke different languages (Gen 11:1-9). At Pentecost, each disciple was given a new language to tell the visiting Jews about Jesus in their own language, uniting people who were once estranged.
The wheat harvest celebration is replaced with Jesus Christ who is our Bread of Life (John 6:51).
It may also be said that the Church was born at Pentecost. But that’s not all, there is an even greater purpose for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The Kingdom of God had come into the world!
If you are a Christian you are in God’s Kingdom on earth and Jesus is your King.
Never think of the kingdom as something in the future or only in Heaven. The kingdom is now although it is incomplete. There is still sickness, suffering, sin, and death.
We say the Kingdom has been inaugurated but not yet consummated. The Kingdom will only be consummated with the 2nd coming of Jesus.
Christians have the Holy Spirit which enables supernatural living in this kingdom. Love, peace, and Joy are supernatural fruit of the Spirit of Jesus.
This supernatural life is yours, Christian. Now go out and live it!