The Farewell Discourse, continued…

JOHN | Lesson 15 | Lesson Notes / Talking Points

Read John, chapters 15-16

I / INTRODUCTION: MAKING THE CONNECTIONS

1 / I am calling this lesson ‘The Farewell Discourse, continued’ because chapters 15-16 are a continuation of Jesus’ final, parting encouragements to His disciples which He began in the upper room.

2 / The Farewell Discourse actually began in chapter 13 as they were eating the Last Passover together, and when He rose from supper to wash their feet … and then commanded them to love one another.

3 / It was at that time that Jesus began preparing them for His crucifixion and death the next day, and then for His eventual ascension and going back to the Father who had sent Him / ch 13.33. It was when He said, “Where I am going you cannot come” that the disciples began to panic and melt down with fear and anxiety / ch 13.36; ch 14.1-5; 14.27-28; et al.

4 / We began in Lesson 14 [on chapter 14] to show how Jesus tamps down their anxiety, assuages their fears, and reassures their faith with numerous promises He gives them. Yes, He is going away back to the Father, but He also promises them that their lives and ministries will continue to go on until He comes back. And, His going away will not leave them as orphans – He will send the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit who will take His place in them and with them. The Holy Spirit will continue to minister to them in all the ways Jesus had ministered to them – and even more so / see ch 16.7.

5 / So that brings us to chapters 15-16. There is a lot to cover here, but I don’t want to leave any of it out without at least connecting these instructions and promises with each other.

6/ PLEASE NOTE: what Jesus will relate to His disciples on their way to Gethsemane is not just random musings. Every part of this Farewell Discourse flows from what He had said before and is all connected.

7 / So what I hope to do here is just outline these various pericopes in Jesus’ Farewell Discourse, summarize the main promise and encouragement He wants to give His disciples [and us], and add perhaps some explanatory notes with each section to help us make the connections with comes before and after it … hopefully, to tie the whole Farewell Discourse together into a cohesive message.

8 / And, as always, we’ll fill in some of the gaps and give more details than I’ve included here when we’re together in our class time…

II / ch 15.1-17 / You will continue to bear fruit in character, service, and witness … as you abide in Me, the True Vine – the Source and Giver of your life.

1 / ‘Bearing fruit’ continues through this section through verse 16

2 / The ‘fruit’ we will bear is not just one thing: we will bear the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ in our character; the ‘fruit of our labors’ in our service; and the ‘fruit of believers’ through our witness.

3 / “I AM the True Vine and My Father is the Vinedresser. You will continue to bear fruit as you fulfill the Great Commission and Mission Mandate I will give you before I go back to the Father.”

4 / “You must abide/remain in Me as the Source of your life – everyone who does not abide in Me only evidences they are not connected to Me as the Source of their life. They are imposters, pretenders, hypocrites. They will be destroyed.”

5 / “You must also abide in all the words I have given you from My Father. The Word will be the channel through which My life will flow through you and work in you.”

6 / “You must also do everything you by asking the Father in My Name in prayer” / see ch 14.12-14.

7 / “You must also abide in My love – loving Me and loving one another with My love through you. There is no greater love than the love I am demonstrating to you by dying and laying down My life for you. You all keep on loving one another as I am loving you.”

8 / NOTE all the truths we must ‘abide’ in to bear fruit to Christ: [1] in Him, [2] in His words, [3] in His love

III / ch 15.18 – 16.4 / The world of unbelievers will hate you, persecute, and even kill some of you. They will hate you because they hate Me. But I am telling you ahead of time so you will know to expect it. And the Holy Spirit – the Helper, Advocate – will be bearing your witness through you.

1 / “Don’t expect the unbelieving world to love, accept, or receive you and your witness to Me. People love ‘their own kind.’ But, they hated both Me and My Father … and will continue to hate you because you are Mine.”

2 / “The primary reason they will hate you is because you will expose their sin and unbelief … that’s why they hated Me.”

3 / “But the Scripture was fulfilled in their hating Me ‘without cause’ [see Pss 35.19 & 69.4]. The same will be true when they hate you.”

4 / “BUT, you will continue to bear witness of Me through the power of the Holy Spirit. He will be the One who witnesses to Me through you” / see Acts 1.8.

5 / v 26 / NOTE: it was the witness to Jesus, and especially His resurrection, that the enemies of Christ will seek to kill and destroy. This persecution – and even martyrdom – began in earnest shortly after Jesus’ own resurrection as the apostles boldly bore witness to Him. Jesus’ promise here is adamant and fail-proof: “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 will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” The witness of the apostles and the churches to the Gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is invincible! The power of the Holy Spirit speaking and working through the faithful witness of the churches will not fail!  

6 / “So don’t allow their opposition to throw you off of your mission – don’t think their persecution of you, or even killing you, means that My plan is not working out or that they are thwarting your mission. I am telling you all this so you will not be surprised when it happens to you.”

IV / ch 16.5-15 / Your witness will not be at all deterred or defeated by the opposition of the unbelieving world. The Holy Spirit will bear witness to Me through you. Be encouraged and emboldened!

1 / “I know that because I have said, ‘I am going away,’ sorrow is filling your heart. That is all you have heard. You should be asking Me, ‘Lord, what are You going to be doing when You go away to Your Father?’”

2 / “That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Actually, you are going to be more fully empowered and equipped to be My witnesses through the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit. He will be your Helper and My Advocate with you and in you.”

3 /  v 7 / “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.” When Jesus was with His disciples in physical, human body, His Presence was localized where He was. But now that He has gone back to the Father, and by sending the power of the Holy Spirit upon us, the message of the Gospel of Christ has gone out into the whole world!

4 / vv 8-9 / “And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

  • concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me / The Holy Spirit will prove to be wrong the immediate enemies of Christ when their unbelief is refuted by His resurrection – everything He said about Himself will come to pass. They will stand condemned before God when they stand before Him in the judgment and also by the historical record of the Gospel Scriptures; the Holy Spirit will also do the work of convicting all who will eventually believe in Christ concerning their sin of unbelief. He will bring them to faith to believe in Christ.
  • concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no longer  / The Holy Spirit will bear witness to the righteousness of Jesus Christ by raising Him from the dead, and then later to ascend to the right hand of the Majesty on High. Only a righteous Savior could demonstrate His own righteousness by such a Divine act.
  • concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged / The Holy Spirit will bear witness to the defeat of Satan by raising Christ again from the dead. Jesus pronounced judgment on Satan in chapter 12.31. The head of the serpent was crushed. When Christ was raised from the dead, He triumphed over Satan and all the powers of darkness / Colossians 2.13-15; Hebrews 2.14-15; Revelation 12.7-11. The Holy Spirit continues to pass judgment and condemnation against the ruler of this present darkness every time a new believer is brought to faith in Christ / 2 Corinthians 4.1-6.

5 / “As you bear witness to Me in the power of the Holy Spirit, He will do all the work of convicting the world of the truth of your witness. He will convict some of the truth of what you witness, and they will believe and be saved. As for the others who do not believe, the Holy Spirit will ‘prove them to be wrong’ by verifying and demonstrating the truth of everything you witness.”

6 / “I can’t tell you everything you need to know right now. There is too much … and you can’t even understand and comprehend it all in your present state of mind and experience. But the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire you to understand My Gospel … and He will also be inspiring you to write more words to explain and instruct you in the fuller understanding and proclamation of My Gospel.”

V / ch 16.16-24 / I know all of this sudden realization that I am going away back to My Father is traumatizing you – you are going to be saddened and traumatized more here shortly. But, trust Me, your momentary sorrow will be turned into ever-lasting joy when you see Me again.

1 / “When I have been crucified and buried, you will not be seeing Me. But then, after three days, I will rise again, and you will see Me again! And after forty days with you, I will be going to My Father. Ten days after that, I will send the Holy Spirit upon you to empower you to continue My mission!”

2 / “During that short period of time when I am in My grave, our enemies will rejoice and celebrate what they think is their victory over Me. You will be filled with sorrow … you will weep and lament – wondering if it’s all over for Me and for you.”

3 / “Like when a mother is in labor pains and suffering from the painful contractions, you, too, will suffer the pain of my momentary absence. But the pains of travail are giving birth to a new life! So it will be with Me. Then there is celebratory JOY in the birth of a new life. The pain of the travail is over and forgotten! I know you can’t see and feel that now … but you will!”

VI / ch 16.25-33 / I have been using short and startling statements to prepare you for the events that are coming – after a few days when the upcoming events have transpired, I will explain them to you more fully and clearly. You will be more able to understand then. Just know this: you will have troubles without end in the world … but I have conquered, overcome, and defeated all your enemies and opposition. I will give you My peace. Be encouraged and emboldened to believe and trust Me!

1 / “When I have been saying things like: “I am going away…,” “I am going to the Father…,” “Yet a little while and you will not see Me; and then a little while and you will see Me again…” – I know these words have been like riddles and parables and cryptic messages to you. That’s because the events I’ve been telling you about haven’t happened yet. But after a few days, when it has all transpired, I’ll have more opportunity to explain it all to you so you can better understand.”

2 / “In that day – after I have gone back to My Father – you will pray to the Father in My Name and by My authority. I will not need to persuade the Father to receive your requests or show favor to you. Because the Father loves you already. The Father loves you because you have received Me when I came from Him.”

3 / [NOTE: when Jesus says in verse 28, “I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father,” He is summing up and reiterating the entire theme and message of the Gospel of John. See how this one statement reiterates what John writes in chapter 1.9-18.]

4 / v 29: “His disciples said, ‘Ah, now You are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question You; this is why we believe that You came from God.’” The disciples meant well. They thought they were beginning to put it all together and see the big picture. But they really had no idea how incompletely they understood the implications of what Jesus was telling them.

5 / BUT, Jesus knew they didn’t understand … nor were they prepared for the tests of their faith that were coming upon them, even in the very next few minutes and hours. He would go to the Garden of Gethsemane. He would be accosted by the Roman soldiers being led by the Jewish religious leaders [chief priests and elders]; Judas would be at the head of the party to point out Jesus and identify Him; they would arrest Him and take Him into custody; He would be taken to Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod for mock hearings and trials; He would be condemned to die by crucifixion; and by the next morning, He would be hanging on His Cross to die.

6 / vv 31-32: “Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me.’” Jesus had already warned Simon Peter that he would deny that he even knew Him / ch 13.36-38. The other disciples would turn tail and run to protect themselves from being arrested with Jesus.

7 / This, too, was in fulfillment of Scripture prophesied in Zechariah 13.7: “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who stands next to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered…”

8 / You, too, must believe this promise Christ Himself trusted in: when all other earthly friends, support systems, and resources turn against you, forsake you, and fail you … God will never leave you nor forsake you. And Jesus Himself will promise later in the Great Commission, “And, behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” We must know that, believe that, trust that!

9 / v 33 / And then … this concluding reassuring promise to calm their troubled hearts – not only in advance of what was impending upon Him and them, but also for all the ages to come…until He comes again: “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”

DO YOU BELIEVE?

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