John 16:28-33

Sunday Morning Bible Study

December 15, 1996


Jesus is having His last evening with His men.

He's getting them ready for what's up ahead of them, after He leaves to go back to heaven.

He's told them that they're going to face tremendous persecution, but they wouldn't be facing it alone, they would have the Holy Spirit to help them.

reread 16:25-27

:28-33 Peace in troubled times

:28 again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

Jesus is simply repeating what He's been saying all evening, that He is going to go back home to the Father.

The evening started with:

Joh 13:3-4 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. (AV)

Joh 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. (AV)

Then He goes on to mention it over and over in:

John 14:2-3; 18-20; 28-29; 16:5,7,16

Do you think He's trying to make a point? I wonder if they guys are going to get it?

:29 Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

He had said that He was speaking in figurative language, but would one day speak openly and plainly to them (vs.25).

Now the disciples are saying, "Hey, now we understand!"

They are understand that Jesus' home is in heaven, and that He's returning.

But to be honest, they still don't really understand the way He's going to get there.

They don't understand that there's a cross up ahead.


Life may not be as easy to understand as you think.

Be careful about thinking that you know just what's up ahead.


I remember in Jr. High finally reaching the point where I knew more than my parents.

It's been downhill ever since.

Now I'm where my parents were, and know that I don't even have a clue!

(James 4:13-17 NIV) Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." {14} Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. {15} Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." {16} As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. {17} Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

:30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things,

The words "sure" and "knowest" are actually the same words in the Greek, a word we could translate as "know" or "understand".

As in, "Now we're really beginning to understand that You really understand absolutely everything!"

Why are the disciples saying this?

Earlier, Jesus had spoken this mystical saying, "A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father." (John 16:16)

The disciples hadn't understood, and while they were asking each other what He meant, Jesus read their minds and began answering their questions, even before they asked Him (16:17,19)

The disciples have just been sitting through all this, and have been blown away at Jesus' understanding of their thoughts.


Jesus knows all about you.

(Psa 139:1-6 KJV) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. {2} Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. {3} Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. {4} For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. {5} Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. {6} Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

:30 and needest not that any man should ask thee

We could translate this as the NAS does:

(John 16:30 NASB) "Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God."

Remember the context

Jesus has been telling them that there would be a day when they wouldn't be needing to ask Him any questions, because they will fully understand through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (16:13, 17, 20-22, 23)

The idea is that the disciples are now saying, "Gosh Lord, You are already speaking crystal clear to us, and none of us has any more questions at all!"

:30 by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

Because they've just had such an intense encounter with Jesus speaking and responding to their own thoughts, they declare that they are having no problem believing that He came from God.

:31 Do ye now believe?

Jesus questions their faith.

Look at the things the disciples have been saying to Jesus:

(John 11:16 KJV) Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

(John 13:37 KJV) Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.

But the bottom line is that it's not what you say that counts.

It's what you live.

:32 ye shall be scattered,

There's going to be really tough, scary times up ahead.

Jesus is going to be arrested, put on trial, and executed.

And the guys are all going to run.


It's the hard times that show you what you believe.

I think that sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that our faith is what is supposed to make life better for us.

And in a sense that's true.

But the real value of your faith is only shown by how it takes you through the hard times.

It's not about getting rid of the hard times.

It's about surviving through the hard times.

Hard times like:

Death of a loved one.

Fighting in your marriage.

Losing your possessions.

Having a friend turn against you.

Jesus said,

(Mat 7:24-27 NKJV) "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: {25} "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. {26} "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: {27} "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

The storms are definitely going to come, that's never in question.

The storms are simply going to show:

- whether or not you've built your house on the rock.

- whether or not you've been applying the things Jesus teaches you into your life.

- just how real your faith is.

In parts of the world where hurricanes hit, people are warned in advance of the storm, and begin to prepare their house to stand up in the high winds.

They board up the windows, and prepare emergency supplies.

It's the thing we do when we DAILY read God's Word and put it into effect in our life.

We're preparing for the storms up ahead.

:32 yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

Even though the disciples would abandon Jesus, God would not.


Find your fulfillment in God first.

There may be times when we too may face abandonment.

Listen to Paul's heart as he writes to his beloved friend Timothy:

(2 Tim 4:16-18 KJV) At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. {17} Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. {18} And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

This is coming from the great, renowned apostle Paul himself! Abandoned!

David knew what this was all about.

Read 1Sam 30:1-8

(1 Sam 30:6 KJV) And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

There was a point where David couldn't count on anyone else encouraging him, and he had to encourage himself.

In the Psalms, David wrote:

Ps 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. (AV)

This is a hard subject.

I am a person who believes that we need strong, healthy relationships within the church.

And I want us to do everything we can as a church to help build strong, supportive relationships within this church.

But there has also got to be a sense in which our walk with God has got to be such that we aren't totally dependant upon people.

God wants us to be leaning on Him.

People will let you down.

Anybody that's human will let you down.

When you are depending on your husband or your wife to meet all your inner needs, you're going to be disappointed.

And that's going to cause problems in your marriage.

We need to find our inner fulfillment in the Lord.

Because He will never let you down.

Are you disappointed in someone?

Why are you so surprised?

Your relationship with them will go much better if you stop expecting them to be perfect and to fulfill all your needs.

:33 These things I have spoken unto you ... peace

Jesus is referring to the things He's been saying through the evening.

He's been warning them about the difficult times up ahead.

Earlier He had said:

(John 16:1 KJV) These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

He was warning them ahead of time so they wouldn't be totally blown away when the tough times came.

But I think Jesus is also talking about more than just this evening's conversation.

I think this principle is applicable to all the things He's told them.

I think it applys to all of God's Word.


God's Word brings peace.

In that great Psalm written to teach us about God's Word, Psalm 119, we see how God's Word helps us in our hard times:

(Psa 119:50 NASB) This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me.

(Psa 119:92-93 NASB) If Thy law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction. {93} I will never forget Thy precepts, For by them Thou hast revived me.

If you're going through difficult times, you need to spend even MORE time in God's Word, not less.

We say to ourselves, "I don't have time for this!"

In reality, we can't get along without it.

How does God's Word help me in affliction?

For one thing, it keeps me straight on the facts:

It reminds me of God's heart of love for me.

It reminds me of God's promises to work things out for the good.

I see God's faithfulness in the Scriptures, and how He doesn't abandon His people.

Secondly, it builds my faith up, so I can hang on in the storm.

:33 that in me ye might have peace.

peace - eirene - peace.

The idea here is not the absence of conflict.

After all, we're going to be having "tribulation" in the world.

The idea here is a heart that experiences peace right in the middle of difficult times.


It's the eye of the hurricane.

I remember watching a TV show about hurricanes where these crazy scientists fly special airplanes right into a hurricane and measure the wind velocities.

The airplane is bouncing up and down, it's raining, it's turbulent.

Then they break through into the eye of the hurricane, and there's absolutely no wind, and it's clear, sunny skies inside the eye.

Note the "might".

Peace isn't a guarantee (I'm not too thrilled with that).

But it's possible.


Prayer changes the "might" to "shall".

One of the things that Jesus has been speaking to the guys about is prayer.

Prayer is God's main ways of giving us peace:

(Phil 4:6-7 KJV) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. {7} And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It's when we learn to pray and put things into God's hands, that we will experience the peace that Jesus offers in the midst of the storm.


Lisa Owens was facing knee surgery. She was a bit nervous about it, so she asked her boss, the veterinarian at the clinic where she worked if he had any advice for her. He was very comforting and without any hesitation he told her, "Turn your worries into prayers, get plenty of rest and don't lick your incision."

-- Reader's Digest

:33 In the world ye shall have tribulation:

tribulation - thlipsis - it comes from the word which means "to press" or "to press hard upon". It means oppression, affliction, pressure.

Has anybody been under any pressure lately?

:33 but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

be of good cheer - tharseo - to be of good courage, to have your confidence built up.

overcome - nikao - to be victorious, to conquer.

It's always used of spiritual victory in the New Testament (A.T. Robertson).


It's a spiritual battle.

It's not finances.

If I only had a better job, or perhaps if I win the lottery!

Yet Paul wrote,

(Phil 4:11-13 NKJV) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: {12} I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. {13} I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

It's not those "people".

If I can just get rid of this guy at work that bugs me.

If I can just get rid of the husband and find a new one.

But Paul wrote,

(Eph 6:12 KJV) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It's not time pressures or getting more sleep ...

In reality, life is a spiritual battle.

And when Jesus died on the cross, He won the victory, declaring "It is finished!" (John 19:30)

Paul writes,

(Rom 8:37-39 KJV) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. {38} For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The battle is really a spiritual one.

Learn to fight spiritual battles with spiritual weapons.


Most of the bad guys in Superman were always so stupid, trying to use guns and knives against the Man of Steel.

Those weapons were useless against him.

It was the smart guys who realized they needed to use kryptonite.

We are in a spiritual battle, so use your spiritual weapons - God's Word, Prayer.